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CGD's weekly Podcast, event videos, whiteboard talks, slides, and more.

A New Strategy for the MCC – Podcast with Nancy Lee and Sarah Rose

A dozen years since it was set up with a remit to reduce global poverty through economic growth, the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation recently revealed a new Strategic Plan. Deputy CEO Nancy Lee joined me on the CGD Podcast to discuss how the new plan responds to a very different development landscape. 

Income Categories and Proposed Energy Categories

Energy use is highly correlated with a country’s income category. No rich country consumes less than 5,000 kWh/person/year; no poor country consumes more than 300 kWh/person/year. Just as countries are categorized as low, lower middle, upper middle, and high income, energy categories could be established for extreme low energy, low energy, middle energy, and high energy , on the basis of annual per capita energy use.

The Private Sector and Gender Equality: Beyond Traditional Corporate Social Responsibility

The private sector accounts for the considerable majority of well-paying jobs worldwide. Without the engagement of private companies, global goals for gender equality in the workplace and women’s economic empowerment will never be accomplished. How can companies move beyond traditional corporate social responsibility to combine profits with gender progress?

What Do We Mean By Results-Based Development? – Podcast with Raj Shah and Michael Gerson

It’s quite the buzz phrase: results-based development. But what is actually meant by "results"? Dr. Raj Shah, former Administrator of USAID under President Obama, and Michael Gerson, former presidential speechwriter and Assistant for Policy and Strategic Planning under George W. Bush, have reached across a generational and political divide to share their expertise.

Defeating AIDS, TB and Malaria: Designing Next Generation Financing Models

The global health community has made great strides in addressing AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria: fewer people are contracting these diseases, fewer people are dying from them, and far more people are enrolled in life-saving treatments. Yet to sustain this progress and defeat these three diseases, the global community must find more efficient ways to allocate and structure funding. 

Does the Past Condemn Us? A Conversation on the Future of US Foreign Assistance

Join Nancy Birdsall for a bipartisan conversation with Raj Shah and Michael Gerson on the future of US foreign assistance: what works, what doesn’t, why we should care, and what we should do to reform it.

Shah, USAID Administrator under President Obama, and Gerson, assistant to President George W. Bush for policy and strategic planning, are co-authors of “Foreign Assistance and the Revolution of Rigor” in the recently released second edition of Moneyball for Government.

Median Income / Consumption Data as Extracted from the World Bank’s PovcalNet

By making this data public, we hope to encourage more development professionals to use the median in evaluating individuals’ material well-being in developing (and developed) countries and progress toward broad-based economic growth and shared prosperity. We also hope that wider use of the median will provide an incentive for the World Bank to publish the data in an easily accessible format along with the full distribution, in line with its open data policy.

Better Value in Health Spending Is a Four-Letter Word – Podcast with Amanda Glassman

No one really understands why the first letter is lower case and the rest are in capitals. But one thing that is clear to anyone who has heard of iDSI is that it fills a growing gap in how developing countries decide how to allocate their strained health budgets. The International Decision Support Initiative is a network of expert organizations that helps policymakers make effective, efficient, and ethical decisions about how to prioritize limited resources.

Median Income versus GDP

Median measures of well-being give us a better picture than the mean of the well-being of a “typical” individual. Take Nigeria and Tanzania: in 2010, Nigeria’s GDP per capita (at PPP) was $5,123; Tanzania’s stood at only $2,111. This suggests that Nigerians were more than twice as well off as Tanzanians. Yet, if we compare consumption medians, a different picture emerges: a Nigerian at the middle of the income distribution lived on $1.80 a day, while his or her Tanzanian counterpart had 20 cents more to spend, at $2 a day.

The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy

There are fewer people living in extreme poverty in the world today than 30 years ago. While that is an achievement, continuing progress for poor people is far from assured. Inequalities in access to key resources threaten to stall growth and poverty reduction in many places. The world’s poorest have made only a small absolute gain over those 30 years. Progress has been slow against relative poverty, judged by the standards of the country and time one lives in. And a great many people in the world’s emerging middle class remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty.

Countries Most in Need of Aid Are Less Likely to Get It – Podcast with Owen Barder

Which country’s aid is the best? And who is giving what to whom? Recent statistics from the OECD tell us that the amount of aid given to poor countries was at an all-time high of $137.2bn in 2014 – the latest year for which figures are available. That’s up by just over 1% on the previous year, but the proportion of aid going to the poorest countries has fallen.

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