In this essay, Andrew Natsios gives a first-hand account of what he finds most hinders USAID—layers of bureaucracy that misguide and derail development work.
In this short essay, senior fellow David Wheeler compares the world’s foreign assistance architecture to how the rest of the world operates in the digital age. He suggests that multilateral and bilateral transactions from one behemoth to another may be stuck in the past now that technology can and should create more person-to-person foreign aid programs.
In the final installation of a three-part series, Mead Over estimates the fiscal burden of international AIDS treatment programs, and suggests ways that donors, governments, and patients can sustain current treatments while preventing future cases.
This essay proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of HIV prevention by strengthening incentives for both measurement and achievement. It builds upon a companion essay that proposes an “AIDS Transition”—that is, a gradual reduction in the number of people infected with HIV even as those inflected live longer—as a reasonable objective of donor and government AIDS policy.
Recognizing the donors’ obligation to sustain financing for the millions of AIDS patient who would not be alive today without it, this essay proposes a dynamic paradigm for the struggle with the AIDS epidemic—“the AIDS transition” —and argues that to most rapidly achieve an AIDS transition new funding of AIDS treatment should be tightly linked to dramatically improved and transparently measured prevention of HIV infections.
Paul Romer argues that the principal constraint to raising living standards in this century will come neither from scarce resources nor limited technologies; rather, it will come from our limited capacity to discover and implement new rules. He suggests a new type of development policy: chartering new cities to create centers of growth and prosperity within developing countries.
In this essay, visiting fellow Desmond Bermingham describes the framework for a better “global education compact” between donor and recipient nations and four possible arrangements to mobilize and allocate development assistance for education. He highlights the advantages and disadvantages of these options—all with the motivation of informing decisions that must be taken by the United States and other G-20 countries if donor commitments are to be met.
Undernutrition kills more than three million mothers and children annually, and millions more children suffer irreversible, long-term damage to their bodies and minds. Yet nutrition is too often a low priority for rich-world donors and even for governments in the most affected countries. A new CGD essay by Ruth Levine and Danielle Kuczynski shows why and offers two practical suggestions for improvement.
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CGD policy analyst Lindsay Morgan explores the reality of aid-supported development in Zambia from three (very different) perspectives of people working there, in light of Dambisa Moyo's book, Dead Aid. She sheds light on a fundamental paradox of the aid business (huge donor efforts, much good, and massive unfulfilled need) and explores the paradox of three peoples’ lives—of believing they can fight injustice and suffering, and knowing there are significant limits to what they can do.
Senior fellow Todd Moss investigates how the aftershocks of the global economic downturn are affecting Africa. African countries that take the right steps to mitigate the pain will be poised to benefit from the eventual recovery; those that don't will be left behind.
Senior fellow Todd Moss considers the future of foreign aid in light of Dambiso Moyo’s book, Dead Aid, which argues that Western aid to Africa has brought more harm than help. The relevant question today, he argues, is not whether aid is good or bad, but rather how aid can be made to work better for both donors and the people of Africa.
Post-doctoral fellow Jenny C. Aker supports the innovation of the World Food Program's new Purchase-for-Progress initiative but argues that it might not be the panacea that others claim. She questions some of the assumptions of the P4P and cites some potential unintended consequences, especially for the thin grain markets of the Sahel. Aker provides five concrete suggestions for the WFP to consider during the pilot phase of this program.
In this essay, CGD post-doctoral fellow Jenny Aker analyzes the performance of grain markets in Niger during its 2005 food crisis, when an estimated 2.4 million people were affected by severe food shortages, to find ways to avoid future crises. She finds that local grain markets are highly responsive to national and sub-regional price shocks and suggests that local early-warning systems should monitor the impact of drought and prices in key national and sub-regional markets. This essay highlights the need for policies that account for the impact of local purchases and regional trade on food security.
Visiting fellow Carol Lancaster reflects on how Guatemala has changed since her first visit four decades ago. A larger middle class and formal sector, more NGOs, and more women in professional life: these are among the positive changes. Yet the country is poised to either realize its great potential or succumb to obstacles along the way. U.S. policies can influence the future of Guatemala and other countries in the region, but they must look beyond the narrow focus on drugs and migration.
CGD senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez argues that the recent sharp spike in food and oil prices, above the long term upward trend, threatens Latin America’s stability and is the result of excess global liquidity and the U.S. credit mess. She says the region must fight inflation now and, going forward, insist on a greater say in setting global financial rules.
In this CGD Essay, visiting fellow Nancy Lee provides the full details and policy recommendations for a strategy of regional investment integration in the Americas. The essay, excerpted from her chapter in the forthcoming White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President, builds on a previously published CGD Note by specifying the scope of the proposed agreement, outlining its expected gains, and identifying the initial steps the United States could take to encourage a fresh agreement to be reached.
International migration has long been a central tool in the battle against global poverty and inequality, but the recent heated political debate over immigration reform has largely failed to recognize how migration shapes the development process. In this essay, research fellow Michael Clemens and co-author Sami Bazzi outline five major reasons why migration is a development issue in today’s world, and they suggest an agenda for the next U.S. administration to make U.S. migration policy work for the United States, for countries of origin, and for the migrants themselves.
CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran argues in this essay that the next U.S. president can play a valuable role in helping Africa to overcome two crucial barriers to poverty reduction: lack of power and lack of roads. Ramachandran urges the next president to create a $1 billion Clean Energy Fund for Africa to facilitate the transfer of U.S. infrastructure technology, including renewable energy; and to encourage the World Bank and the African Development Bank to focus on cross-country regional infrastructure projects, also with a strong emphasis on clean technology. The essay is included in a forthcoming CGD volume: The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President.