It is widely agreed that the middle class is vital to progress because of its many virtues, but defining middle class in any meaningful way is difficult. And survey evidence suggests the middle class is not culturally unique, particularly socially progressive, or entrepreneurial.
Debt can bring about disaster, as in Greece or with your deadbeat son; but it can also be a the engine of growth and prosperity.
A new wave of development programs that explicitly use incentives to achieve their aims is under way.They are part of a trend, accelerating in recent years, to disburse development assistance against specific and measurable outputs or outcomes. With a proliferation of new ideas under names such as “payments for performance,” “output-based aid,” and “results based financing,” it is easy to lose sight of basic underlying similarities in these approaches and to miss some significant differences.
The main body of this short essay comprises written testimony that Owen Barder submitted to Britain’s House of Lords in response to a question about the effectiveness of foreign aid. In a brief introduction Barder draws upon his recent experience living in Ethiopia for three years to shed light on how he thinks about the question of aid effectiveness.
Charles Kenny investigates the complex role development agencies have in promoting technology overseas.
Subjective-well-being (SWB) polls help to illustrate some of the absurdities of taking income per capita as our measure of the ultimate good. Polls do not capture a be-all and end-all measure of the good. Considerable caution is required in the use of such polls for policymaking.
GAVI’s Future: Steps to Build Strategic Leadership, Financial Sustainability, and Better Partnerships
As GAVI and its new leadership look beyond June 13, Amanda Glassman of CGD and Lisa Carty, Margaret Reeves and Stephen Morrison of CSIS have joined to recommend an agenda that builds on GAVI’s comparative advantage and maximizes impact on child health.
Charles Kenny takes a look at the Peace Corps, fifty years after its founding. Demand from developing countries for volunteers outstrips the Peace Corps’ capacity to respond. Nonetheless, he argues, the agency operates on a model designed for a very different world, and an evolutionary change in that model from a government-operated program to a grant-making system closer to the Fulbright scholarships could result in a higher effectiveness in meeting the Peace Corps’ fundamental goals over its next fifty years of life.
In his latest essay, Charles Kenny seeks to revive Solow's model of exogenous growth; growth driven by the global diffusion of new technologies and ideas. He suggests that when it comes to quality of life improvements, institutions may be less important than exogenous factors, like new vaccines, oral re-hydration therapies, or improvements in hygiene and education practices.
Charles Kenny attempts to dispel development pessimists' fears in this essay summarizing his latest book Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding - And How We can Improve the World Even More (Basic Books). According to Charles, better health, education, greater access to civil and political rights, infrastructure and even beer, are all signs historic progress being made in the developing world.
Arkedis focuses on understanding why long-term development is often subjugated to other objectives in the day-to-day planning processes of the U.S. government. She proposes one way to ensure that funding choices are made more rationally and systematically: by aligning the differing goals of aid more explicitly with redefined foreign assistance budget accounts.
Debt crises in Europe, sluggish growth in the United States, and an overvalued Chinese currency could all spell trouble for developing countries. CGD senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez unpacks three big financial-sector risks for 2011.
A new focus on measuring development results would have far-reaching benefits for U.S. development strategy, for U.S. public diplomacy efforts, and for the strength of Pakistan’s democratic institutions. In this essay, Nancy Birdsall and Wren Elhai suggest five possible indicators that illustrate the type of measurable targets that could help the United State and Pakistan meet shared goals for effective and transparent development.
This short essay, prepared for the CGD event, “Whatever Happened to the Jubilee? A 10th Anniversary Assessment of the Debt Relief Movement,” provides a brief contextual overview of several recent debt agreements as well as the remaining challenges ahead.
The Jubilee 2000 movement, which called for the cancellation of the foreign debts of the poorest nations, became one of the most successful international, nongovernmental movements in history. David Roodman provides thumbnail assessments of Jubilee 2000 from several perspectives, deemphasizing anecdotes and statistics in favor of major themes.
This essay explores how demographic factors affect infrastructure and the choices policymakers should make concerning infrastructure development.
This essay draws on the work of the Center for Global Development's Study Group on U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan and on the ideas in the group's open letters to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to present five recommendations for spending aid money well in Pakistan.
Visiting fellow Nuhu Ribadu reflects on his experience as the head of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the international work needed to challenge corruption in Africa.