The Energy Access Targets Working Group will assess the current common definition of “modern energy access” and propose possible alternative targets. With at least a billion people worldwide living without electricity, and many millions more held back by blackouts and high costs, improving energy access is increasingly a top priority for governments, business leaders, and citizens across the developing world. With Power Africa, SE4All, and the inclusion of a universal energy access target in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, the international community is responding to these growing demands. It is thus imperative that modern energy targets and indicators are set in a meaningful and practical way.
The Unintended Consequences of Rich Countries’ Anti-Money Laundering Policies on Poor Countries Working Group examined how rich countries might rebalance their policies to continue to protect against money laundering and terrorism financing without hindering the ability of people from poor countries to conduct business and transfer money across borders. In 2014 migrants sent over $400 billion of remittances home through formal systems and at least an additional $130 billion through informal channels. Businesses in poor countries also engage in cross-border transactions whether it be to export goods or import key inputs. But banks in rich countries, under pressure from anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism enforcement efforts, are increasingly “de-banking” money transfer organizations, thereby raising costs or removing services for users, some of whom then turn to informal channels. This shift may have detrimental effects on poor people as well as on the security situation.
Increased financial inclusion—greater access by the poor to the use of payments, deposits, credits, insurance and risk-management services—can improve the opportunities and welfare of people living in poverty.
In many large federal or decentralized countries, the majority of public spending on health is executed by state and district governments (see graph below). Improving health in these countries—and globally—depends on improving the sufficiency, efficiency, and effectiveness of health spending at the subnational level. The Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers for Health Working Group, a partnership of CGD and the Accountability Initiative in India, is tasked with identifying practices that improve health and increase the efficiency of subnational allocations.
Transparency in government contracting has gained increasing international support over the past years. Some countries, including the Slovak Republic, Colombia and the United Kingdom, have begun publishing online the complete text of government contracts.
Publishing government contracts can bring many benefits: companies, especially new bidders, have a clearer idea of the goods and services they will bid to provide; governments benefit from increased competition among contractors and product quality; and civil society would have the opportunity to keep track on the value for the money invested and the service delivery.
If you have $200 to spend on health in a developing country, would you vaccinate 10 children against deadly childhood diseases or provide AIDS treatment to one woman to prevent transmission of HIV to her unborn child? Policy makers routinely face such tough budgetary dilemmas with little expert guidance. The Priority-Setting Institutions for Global Health working group report provides practical means to assist priority-setting efforts in low- and middle-income countries.
As international commitments become more ambitious and aid resources become increasingly constrained, global health funding agencies are seeking to improve the efficiency and impact of their investments. This growing “value for money” (VfM) agenda aims to reduce costs, increase impact per dollar spent and focus investments on the highest impact interventions among the most affected populations.
The quality, availability, timeliness and use of basic economic and demographic data to inform policy remain significant challenges across Africa. These challenges stem in part from limitations in technical know-how and qualified human resources, but also from the barriers created by misaligned political and institutional incentives within governments and persistent difficulties in aid coordination from donors. As a result there is a huge need for better examination of the political economy challenges faced by donors and countries.
The Center for Global Development has convened the Hospitals for Health working group to find ways to improve the performance of hospitals as contributors to health in developing countries while strengthening their integration in the broader health delivery system.