Ideas to Action:

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doctor
October 25, 2018

The Declaration of Alma-Ata at 40: Realizing the Promise of Primary Health Care and Avoiding the Pitfalls in Making Vision Reality

At the Global Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC) in Astana on October 25–26, 2018, world leaders will redouble their commitment to PHC as a cornerstone of universal health coverage (UHC). The event marks the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata, which enshrined health as a basic human right and underscored the potential of equitable, high-quality PHC to deliver “health for all.”

emergency medical supplies
October 23, 2018

Fit for the Future: Envisioning New Approaches to Humanitarian Response

For more than a decade, reform efforts have attempted to put crisis-affected people at the center of humanitarian response, and make the system more cohesive and responsive. These reforms have produced ever-heavier coordination systems and technocratic guidance, but have targeted the symptoms of the system’s shortcomings rather than the causes. Traditional humanitarian response remains plagued by deep power imbalances, needless rivalries between organizations, and perverse institutional incentives. A new approach is badly needed—one that builds on the aspirations of earlier reform efforts while explicitly tackling the red-line issues that have long undermined them. A new multi-year research initiative at the Center for Global Development (CGD) aims to do just that: develop concrete, pragmatic, and actionable reform options to overhaul the outdated power structures and institutional incentives that have long skewed the humanitarian system’s behavior.

Stalls in a market in Port Victoria, Seychelles
October 15, 2018

Let’s Be Real: The Informal Sector and the Gig Economy are the Future, and the Present, of Work in Africa

It’s time we recognized the truth about the future of work in Africa: it isn’t in the growth of full-time formal sector jobs. The future of work will be people working multiple gigs with “somewhat formal” entities. This is already true, and it will be for the foreseeable future. When we consider the future of work in Africa the question shouldn’t be whether jobs will be formal or informal, but how digital platforms and new technologies might make this type of work more productive and of a better quality for workers themselves.

Cover of 'How Global Businesses Can Improve Refugee Labor Market Access—and Why They Should'
October 9, 2018

How Global Businesses Can Improve Refugee Labor Market Access—and Why They Should

Many of the world’s 25 million refugees spend years struggling to provide for themselves or contribute fully to their host economies because they are legally barred from working or owning businesses. Granting refugees formal labor market access unlocks a range of benefits—for refugees, hosts, and global businesses.

Stock photo of the control panel of an airplane
August 13, 2018

The Risks of Dangerous Dashboards in Basic Education

Many countries’ systems of basic education are in “stall” condition.

A recent paper of Beatty et al. (2018) uses information from the Indonesia Family Life Survey, a representative household survey that has been carried out in several waves with the same individuals since 2000 and contains information on whether individuals can answer simple arithmetic questions. Figure 1, showing the relationship between the level of schooling and the probability of answering a typical question correctly, has two shocking results.

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