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Poverty and Inequality in Latin America: How the U.S. Can Really Help

9/10/07
Peter Hakim

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."

Trade Policy for Development: Reforming U.S. Trade Preferences

9/4/07

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.

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Does the IMF Constrain Health Spending in Poor Countries? (Brief)

7/23/07
David Goldsbrough

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)

6/25/07
Stewart Patrick and Kaysie Brown

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

6/4/07

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

A Risky Business: Saving Money and Improving Global Health Through Better Demand Forecasts (Brief)

5/18/07

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

4/25/07

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

Inexcusable Absence: Why 60 Million Girls Still Aren't in School and What to do About It (Brief)

4/16/07
Maureen Lewis and Marlaine Lockheed

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

Agriculture and the Doha Round

1/22/07

In this CGD/ Peterson Institute Brief, CGD senior fellow Kimberly Elliott argues that agriculture liberalization is crucial to the successful completion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, since it is the sector with the highest remaining barriers in rich countries and the greatest potential gains from further liberalization. She examines patterns in rich-country support for agriculture and what reform would mean for developing countries, and offers recommendations for how to complete the round and ensure that developing countries benefit.

Why Global Development Matters for the U.S.

6/15/06

Development refers to improvements in the conditions of people’s lives, such as health, education, and income. It occurs at different rates in different countries. The U.S. underwent its own version of development since the time it became an independent nation in 1776.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

Global HIV/AIDS and the Developing World

6/15/06

HIV/AIDS is one of the largest challenges facing the global community. The disease has reduced life expectancy by more than a decade in the hardest hit countries and slashed productivity, making it even harder for poor countries to escape poverty. Global HIV/AIDS and the Developing World, a CGD Rich World, Poor World brief, provides an overview of the impact of HIV/AIDS in the developing world and the U.S. response.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

Global Trade, Jobs and Labor Standards

6/15/06

Trade has the potential to raise incomes worldwide. But trade creates losers as well as winners. This Rich World, Poor World brief provides an accessible introduction to the impact of global trade on U.S. jobs and suggests policies that the U.S. can pursue to maximize the gains and minimize the losses. Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

U.S. Assistance for Global Development

6/15/06

U.S. "development assistance" refers to the transfer of resources from the United States to developing countries and to some strategic allies. It is delivered in the form of money (via loans or grants), contributions of goods (such as food aid), and technical assistance.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

State Building and Global Development

6/15/06

State building is creating and strengthening the institutions necessary to support long-term economic, social, and political development. In the U.S. we often take these institutions for granted, but in many countries they are weak or absent.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

Global Trade, the United States, and Developing Countries

6/15/06

The collapse of the Doha trade talks puts at risk one of the rich world's most important commitments to developing countries: to reform policies that make it harder for poor countries to participate in global commerce. Trade has the potential to be a significant force for reducing global poverty by spurring economic growth, creating jobs, reducing prices and helping countries acquire new technologies. Global Trade and Development, a Center for Global Development Rich World, Poor World brief, explains how the U.S. engages in global trade and how trade affects development and global poverty. Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

Education and the Developing World

6/12/06

Given all the other pressing worries, why was education among the issues that G8 leaders discussed at the St. Petersburg Summit? Education and the Developing World, a CGD Rich World/Poor World Brief, explains why investing in education is not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

Learning from Development: the Case for an International Council to Catalyze Independent Impact Evaluations of Social Sector Interventions

5/31/06

This brief outlines the problems that inhibit learning in social development programs, describes the characteristics of a collective international solution, and shows how the international community can accelerate progress by learning what works in social policy. It draws heavily on the work of CGD's Evaluation Gap Working Group and a year-long process of consultation with policymakers, social program managers, and evaluation experts around the world.

Tackling Health Care Corruption and Governance Woes in Developing Countries

5/15/06
Maureen Lewis

Health care is no more immune to governance problems than any other sector. Numerous studies have documented such problems, for example, in the procurement of health supplies, in under-the-table payments for services, and in nurses and doctors who fail to show up at their clinics but nonetheless collect their salaries. This new CGD Brief by non-resident fellow Maureen Lewis brief surveys these problems and suggests mechanisms for addressing them, including better management, improved logistics and information systems, and strengthened accountability. Learn More

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