Ideas to Action:

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Tag: Evaluation

 

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USAID Just Released Its “Journey to Self Reliance” Indicators. What Comes Next?

Last week, CGD hosted the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for the first public presentation of the agency’s new “Journey to Self-Reliance” metrics. Launched by USAID Administrator Mark Green, the Journey to Self-Reliance is a new strategic approach that aims to more systematically orient the agency’s programming toward building countries’ capacity to address their own development challenges.

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As developing nations are increasingly adopting economic evaluation as a means of informing their own investment decisions, new questions emerge. The right answer to the question “which perspective?” is the one tailored to these local specifics. We conclude that there is no one-size-fits-all and that the one who pays must set or have a major say in setting the perspective.

The World Bank Now Has Three Poverty Lines. Why Not Three for Energy?

The World Bank now has three benchmarks for measuring poverty. The “headline” extreme poverty threshold of $1.90/day will stay, but two new international poverty lines were added for lower middle-income ($3.20/day) and upper middle-income ($5.50/day) countries. While it’s great that the World Bank is bringing a little more nuance to the way we define poverty, it's still a repackaging of Lant Pritchett’s kinky development.

The (Sometime) Tyranny of (Somewhat) Arbitrary Income Lines

As Lant Pritchett reports, the World Bank has introduced two new poverty lines: $3.20 for lower middle income countries, and $5.50 for upper middle income countries. I’m with Lant that this is broadly a good thing. But the process by which the World Bank came up with its new poverty lines suggests it might be worth revisiting some of the pitfalls of income thresholds at the individual or national level. 

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The debate about whether it is more important to have good individual statistics or be a team player that contributes to overall victory is hugely important in development today.

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A central issue in designing performance incentive contracts is whether to reward the production of outputs versus use of inputs: the former rewards efficiency and innovation in production, while the latter imposes less risk on agents.

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Front and center in discussions around the reform and redesign of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are the objectives of increased efficiency and effectiveness. The agency’s new administrator, Mark Green, who has highlighted these goals from day one, has an excellent opportunity to improve the agency’s efficiency and effectiveness through better generation and use of evidence to inform policy and programming decisions.

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