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CGD’s work on gender focuses policies in aid, development finance, trade, migration and peacekeeping that will improve women’s economic empowerment worldwide.
Greater equality drives big gains in health, education, employment, and improved livelihoods—for individuals, their families, and their communities. However, in many parts of the world, women and girls, and other marginalized groups including LGBT people, still face legal, economic, and political constraints that prevent them from participating fully and equally in society. CGD uses evidence to show how governments, donor institutions, and the private sector can help create conditions in low- and middle-income countries that allow all people to thrive.
For a long time, foreign policy was largely "a world minus women," says Valerie Hudson, Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. That's beginning to change, as policymakers increasingly recognize gender as a critical factor in the success or failure of programs. What's missing, says Hudson, is hard data. That's where WomanStats comes in.
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WASHINGTON – Today marks the launch of White House and the World, the Center for Global Development’s latest initiative aiming to chart a path for the next U.S. President’s global development agenda.
Ties between the U.S. and developing countries are becoming stronger each day. International crises that have a direct impact on the security of the American homeland – destabilizing conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa, territorial disputes in Ukraine and the South China Sea, the persistent rise of religious extremism – can find their roots, in one way or another, in failing global development policies.
“America’s ability to lead in the world depends more than ever on its political readiness to address flaws in the global system that undermine opportunities for poor people around the world,” said Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development. "It’s a triple win – the right thing to do for the world’s poor, a sound investment in America’s own long-term prosperity, and fundamental to America’s long-run security.”
A series of wide-ranging briefs tackling development policies from global health and migration to economic transparency and climate change have been released on CGD’s website.
Migration – Gender – Energy Access – Trade – HIV/AIDS & PEPFAR – Economic Transparency – Tropical Forests & Climate Change – Global Health – USAID – MCC – Multilateralism – Outcome-Based Aid – Development Finance
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Modernizing US Migration Policy for Domestic and Development Gain
Expert: Michael Clemens (bio)
Each year, international migrants send roughly four times more money home to developing countries (about $550 billion) than the global total of foreign aid. The U.S. should reflect this shift with more coordinated policies including legal temporary migration for low-skilled Mexican workers.
Advancing a Gender-Based Development Agenda
Expert: Charles Kenny (bio), Sarah Dykstra (bio)
Between 1980 and 2009, the number of women in the global workforce only increased by two percent. Women are much more likely to be stuck in low-productivity, low-paying jobs, with huge impacts on development. The US should target more aid to women’s empowerment and use trade and investment tools to fight discrimination.
Powering Up US Policy to Promote Energy Access
Experts: Todd Moss (bio) & Ben Leo (bio)
It’s time for the developing world to undergo the same transformation the United States did after 1930, when only one in 10 rural Americans had access to electricity. Six hundred million still Africans lack access to electricity, which could be remedied if the U.S. opts to strengthen the Power Africa initiative.
Taking the Lead on Trade: Presidential Leadership for Trade and Development
Expert: Kimberly Elliott (bio)
The rules of regional trade initiatives such as TPP and TTIP are typically set by the richer countries. The U.S. focus on these hurts poor nations and undermines further a WTO that already risks losing credibility. The U.S. should revive multilateralism and ensure regional agreements support both trade and development.
Strengthening Incentives for a Sustainable Response to AIDS: A PEPFAR for the AIDS Transition
Experts: Mead Over (bio), Amanda Glassman (bio)
Since 2003, the U.S. has supported 7 million of the 13.7 million AIDS patients in low and middle-income countries through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). However, without dramatic changes to PEPFAR, the next president risks being held responsible for the failure of a program that until now has been one of the United States’ proudest foreign assistance achievements.
Promoting the Development Power of Economic Transparency
Expert: Owen Barder (bio)
Weak institutions are both a cause and a consequence of underdevelopment. Transparency and openness can be the keys to reform – and the driver for accountable governance – if the next president takes steps to protect and increase tax revenues by implementing multilateral automatic information exchange and tackles money laundering and corruption by requiring public registries of corporate beneficial ownership.
Protecting Tropical Forests, Global Prosperity, and Climactic Stability
Experts: Frances Seymour (bio)
U.S. policies remain sharply divided over the appropriate response to address climate change in all but one area: protecting tropical forests. Tropical forests have many positive – though often invisible – effects on developing economies, and conserving them is a big part of the solution to climate change.
Bringing U.S. Development Finance Into the 21st Century
Experts: Ben Leo (bio) & Todd Moss (bio)
The future of development policy is in development finance. As incomes rise, developing countries need aid less and less; what they need now is private investment and finance. This could be done by establishing a U.S. Development Finance Corporation.
Restructuring U.S. Global Health Programs to Reflect New Challenges and Missed Opportunities
Experts: Amanda Glassman (bio), Rachel Silverman (bio)
In the absence of effective international institutions, the U.S. has become the world’s de facto first responder for global health crises like HIV and Ebola. A U.S. Global Health Coordinator could lead on reforming international efforts to tackle the next global threat.
Is USAID Fit for Purpose? A Proposal for a Top-to-Bottom Program Review
Experts: Casey Dunning (bio), Ben Leo (bio)
USAID has become a $17 billion-per-year agency that operates in 125 countries, yet it has been three decades since a US president instructed the agency to conduct a top-to-bottom review of its programs; the next president should do so.
Realizing the Power of Multilateralism in US Development Policy
Expert: Scott Morris (bio)
Within the Multilateral Development Banks, the U.S. often sets out a policy agenda defined more by budgetary constraints at home than by a clear vision of goals and priorities abroad; doing so threatens America’s status as a global leader. The U.S. should establish a multilateral assistance target and conduct a multilateral aid review and reallocation of budgetary resources to institutions that prove they can reach U.S. policy objectives.
Shifting the Foreign Aid Paradigm – Paying for Outcomes
Experts: William Savedoff (bio), Rita Perakis (bio), Beth Schwanke (bio)
Global development is about much more than aid, but US foreign assistance will remain one of the most visible tools for US development policy. US foreign assistance often comes under fire for failing to achieve measurable and sustainable results. The next frontier of foreign aid is focusing on financing outcomes (like increased agricultural yields) instead of inputs (buying fertilizer).
Defining the Next Ten Years of the Millennium Challenge Corporation
Expert: Sarah Rose (bio), Franck Wiebe (bio)
MCC has a single mission: reducing poverty through economic growth. The model has received much recognition, but since the agency controls just a small portion of the US foreign assistance budget, it alone has not fulfilled— and cannot be expected to fulfill—the founding vision of transforming U.S. foreign assistance policy. The next president should expand the proportion of U.S. foreign assistance subject to MCC-type aid effectiveness principles and make more flexible funding available that is not subject to congressional directives or administrative initiatives.
The same ideals that guided America’s earliest women of courage now lead our country into the world to combat the dehumanization of women in every form. We will not accept that women and girls are sold into modern-day slavery. We will not accept that women and girls are denied an education. We will not accept so-called honor killings, and we’ll do everything that we can to end forced early marriages. And we will work to improve health-care opportunities for all women so that they can help to build a more hopeful future for themselves and for their own children.
Twenty years ago First Lady Hillary Clinton spoke in Beijing before the Fourth World Conference on Women and declared: “If there is one message that echoes from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”
Domestic violence — overwhelmingly against women — is by far the most common form of violence in the world. About 350 million women across the planet have suffered severe physical violence from their intimate partner.
Back in the 1960s and 70s, the standard model of how to make poor countries rich was to insert capital, whether for investments in infrastructure or for human capital investments like education and health.