Why should the United States care about economic growth in Africa? Because it is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. Helping to spur economic growth in Africa promotes our values, enhances our security, and helps create economic and political opportunities for the people of the continent. Public interest in Africa is higher than ever—witness consumer movements such as Product Red—and bipartisan political support recently renewed funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Several new opportunities now exist for U.S. firms to compete and benefit from a win-win partnership with the region.
The next president can secure a place in history by mobilizing America to confront climate change, while starting a clean energy revolution that will strengthen American security and create the next wave of economic growth. The president should seize this opportunity because climate change presents a mortal threat: left unchecked, global warming will undermine the hard-won achievements of developing countries, inflict severe damage on the United States and other rich nations, and destabilize so many societies that the international system will be threatened. CGD senior fellow David Wheeler shows how to turn the threat into an opportunity for greatness.
Healthy Foreign Policy: Bringing Coherence to the Global Health Agenda (White House and the World Policy Brief)
Faced with many urgent challenges, the next U.S. president may be tempted to let global health issues bubble along on the back burner and simply allow reasonably well-funded programs that garner bipartisan support to continue unchanged. This would be a mistake. Instead, the president should set an ambitious course to improve global health by leveraging the full range of U.S. assets to create a more just and safe world.
Don't Close the Golden Door: Making Immigration Policy Work for Development (White House and the World Policy Brief)
International movements of people can spark and sustain the development process in poor countries, helping people climb out of poverty. Creating opportunities for poor people to improve their lives promotes our values, enhances our security,and restores our faltering image abroad. The next president of the United States has an opportunity to advance a migration agenda that is one of several pillars of our leadership position on global development. CGD research fellow Michael Clemens shows how.
Meeting today’s foreign policy challenges requires a new vision of American global leadership based on the strength of our core values, ideas, and ingenuity. It calls for an integrated foreign policy that promotes our ideals, enhances our security, helps create economic and political opportunities for people around the world, and restores America’s image abroad. We cannot rely exclusively or even primarily on defense and security to meet these goals. CGD senior policy analyst Sheila Herrling and senior fellow Steve Radelet argue instead that we must make greater use of all the tools of statecraft, including diplomacy, trade, investment, intelligence, and a strong and effective foreign assistance strategy.
The Commitment to Development Index for Africa: How Much Do the Richest Countries Help the Poorest Continent?
How committed are the world's richest countries to the development of Africa, the world's poorest continent? Rich countries are usually compared on how much foreign aid they give as a percentage of their GDP, but helping Africa involves much more than aid. CGD's Commitment to Development Index has long compared 21 rich countries on aid, trade, migration, and other policies that affect the entire developing world. In the new CDI for Africa, research fellow David Roodman trains the CDI methodology on rich countries' links to this one continent. While the results may not be what you expect, one message is clear: all rich countries could do much more to foster development in Africa.
Why do new democracies sometimes fail? This CGD brief by visiting fellow Ethan Kapstein explores the underlying reasons for frequent backsliding in the world's fledgling democracies and offers the international community recommendations for helping them stay on track toward political stability. Kapstein argues that the international community should encourage political arrangements in which government leaders are constrained by effective checks and balances, and economic policies that help to ensure that the benefits of growth are widely shared.
This CGD brief summarizes the results of the 2007 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which ranks 21 of the world's richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. The Netherlands comes in first on the 2007 CDI on the strength of ample aid-giving, falling greenhouse gas emissions, and support for investment in developing countries. Close behind are three more big aid donors: Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
In 2004 a working group of experts was convened by the Center for Global Development to identify cases in which large-scale efforts to improve health in developing countries have succeeded—saving millions of lives and preserving the livelihoods and social fabric of entire communities. Seventeen of these cases were originally captured in CGD's enormously successful book Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health. This brief is based on the new edition of the book, titled Case Studies in Global Health: Millions Saved published by Jones and Bartlett in 2007, which documents three new successes in Nepal, Chile, and India, and updates to the 17 original success stories.
Global Warming and Agriculture: New Country Estimates Show Developing Countries Face Declines in Agriculture Productivity
This CGD Brief, based on Global Warming and Agriculture: Impact Estimates by Country, by senior fellow William Cline, explores the implications of global warming for world agriculture, with special attention to China, India, Brazil, and the poor countries of the tropical belt in Africa and Latin America. The brief shows that the long-term effects on world agriculture will be substantially negative: India could see a drop in agricultural productivity of 30 to 40 percent; China's south central region would be in jeopardy; and the United States may see reductions of 25 to 35 percent in the southeast and the southwestern plains.
For the past decade, U.S. attention to Latin America has focused mainly on promotion of free trade and opposition to narcotics trafficking and security threats. But there are signs that Washington is beginning to recognize the importance of helping the region tackle longstanding poverty and social inequality. Candidates at this weekend's Democratic presidential debate called for a robust foreign policy in Latin America and the Bush administration has recently shown a renewed interest in promoting development and improving Washington's image in the region. This new brief by CGD president Nancy Birdsall and Inter-American Dialogue president Peter Hakim sets forth a practical agenda for how the U.S. can help. Examples: buttress free trade agreements with aid programs that compensate losers; include land redistribution and alternative employment programs in the so-called "war against drugs."
By any measure, the United States is one of the most open economies in the world—importing more than $1 trillion worth of goods duty-free in 2006 alone. Yet poor nations still pay much higher U.S. tariffs than rich countries—an average of 15 percent on a quarter of their imports, compared to 2-5 percent for rich countries. Not only is this unfair, it also undermines American interests by hindering growth in the poorest countries, thereby making them more vulnerable to epidemic diseases, terrorists, and transnational criminal organizations. In this new CGD Brief, senior fellow Kimberly Ann Elliott makes the case for the U.S. to fix this problem by permanently granting all least-developed countries 100% duty-free, quota-free market access and simplifying rules of orgin.
This brief summarizes the findings of the CGD working group on IMF Programs and Health Spending, convened in fall 2006 to investigate the effect of International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs on health spending in low-income countries. The report offers clear, practical recommendations for improvements—for the IMF, the World Bank, the governments of countries working within IMF programs, and civil society organizations.
Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts? Assessing "Whole of Government" Approaches to Fragile States (Brief)
Fragile states--countries defined by poverty, weak governance and often violent conflict--represent a major development challenge for today's global aid community and a significant threat to global security. This CGD Brief offers recommendations for how donors can best engage weak countries, including by experimenting with pooled funding arrangements, developing unified national strategies and by evaluating the impact of their interventions.
Generating Political Priority for Public Health Causes in Developing Countries: Implications From a Study on Maternal Mortality
Why do some serious health issues--such as HIV/AIDS--get considerable attention and others--such as malaria and collapsing health systems--very little? In this CGD brief, visiting fellow Jeremy Shiffman discusses nine factors that influenced the degree to which national leaders in five countries made maternal mortality--death from pregnancy-related complications--a political priority. Drawing on his comparison of these countries, Shiffman offers recommendations for public health priority-setting in developing countries. His bottom line: attaining public health goals is as much a political as it is a medical or technical challenge; success requires not only appropriate technical interventions but also effective political strategies.Learn more
Achieving better health in poor countries depends in part on giving companies that produce drugs, vaccines and diagnostics incentives to invest in their production by improving their ability to forecast which products will be purchased by whom in what quantities. This brief reviews the findings of CGD's Global Health Forecasting Working Group, which was convened in early 2006 to study the challenges surrounding demand forecasting, and offers recommendations for better forecasting, including the creation on an "infomediary" to mobilize, coordinate and disseminate information about product demand.
Bilateral Guest Worker Agreements: A win-win solution for rich countries and poor people in the developing world
Increased labor mobility offers potentially huge gains for the developing and developed world, but migration is massively unpopular in rich countries. In this CGD Brief, non-resident fellow Lant Pritchett lays out a solution that is beneficial to poor people and potentially politically acceptable to rich country voters: temporary legal work programs negotiated bilaterally, with rich countries certifying labor shortages in specific industries and labor-sending countries ensuring that temporary workers return home. On Thursday, May 17th Lant will answer your questions live online at Ask CGD. Submit a question nowLearn more
Remarkable increases in primary schooling over the past decade have brought gender equity to the education systems of many poor countries. But some 60 million girls are still not attending school. In this CGD brief, non-resident fellow Maureen Lewis and visiting fellow Marlaine Lockheed explain the key discovery of Inexcusable Absence, their recent book: three out of four girls not in school belong to ethnic, religious, linguistic, racial or other minorities. Based on this important finding, the authors present new practical solutions to achieve universal primary education for girls and boys. Learn more