CFR Presents

Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

Food Security and the Need for Responsible Investment Guidelines

by Guest Blogger for Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Monday, September 15, 2014
A farmer collects rice during harvest time at a paddy field in Padalarang, Indonesia's West Java province, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Beawiharta). A farmer collects rice during harvest time at a paddy field in Padalarang, Indonesia's West Java province, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Beawiharta).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Gregory Myers, director of private sector engagement at Cloudburst Group and former division chief for the Land Tenure and Property Rights Division at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Unlocking the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs

by Isobel Coleman and Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Varsha Mahendra, founder of DSGYN IDYS and Jus Blouses, works in her showroom and in the factory in Hyderabad, India, October 2012 (Courtesy Goldman Sachs). Varsha Mahendra, founder of DSGYN IDYS and Jus Blouses, works in her showroom and in the factory in Hyderabad, India, October 2012 (Courtesy Goldman Sachs).

This post is from Isobel Coleman, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) senior fellow and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy initiative, and Dina Habib Powell, global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. 

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Women’s Achievements and Continued Challenges in Afghanistan

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Monday, September 8, 2014
Afghan women take part in a literacy class at the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) center in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Zohra Bensemra). Afghan women take part in a literacy class at the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) center in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Zohra Bensemra).

Early this summer, a group of congresswomen returned from a visit to Afghanistan. Their takeaway: “Women are now participants—and in many cases, leaders—in a society that once systematically subjugated them.” Indeed, women in Afghanistan have made great strides in recent years, but many challenges remain—especially in the face of imminent U.S. withdrawal from the country.

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UN Human Rights Council Calls for a Mission to Investigate ISIS Violations in Iraq

by Catherine Powell Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, in Iraq, August 11, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Rodi Said). Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, in Iraq, August 11, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Rodi Said).

In the midst of an otherwise depressing news cycle on Iraq, the recent resolution out of Geneva from the UN Human Rights Council is a positive note. The resolution, adopted on Monday, requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to dispatch a fact finding mission to Iraq to investigate alleged human rights violations committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and associated terrorist groups. Read more »

How to Make Fuel Subsidy Reform Succeed

by Isobel Coleman Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Anti-government protesters march during a demonstration to denounce fuel prices hikes in Sanaa, Yemen, August 4, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Khaled Abdullah). Anti-government protesters march during a demonstration to denounce fuel prices hikes in Sanaa, Yemen, August 4, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Khaled Abdullah).

A few weeks ago, Yemen’s government took the bold – some might say foolhardy – step of winding down a fuel subsidy program that was costing it billions of dollars. Overnight, fuel prices in the country nearly doubled, sparking violent riots. For average Yemenis, the sudden end of one of the few tangible benefits they get from their government is bitter indeed, especially since 54.5 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. It’s no surprise that thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. But the change in policy didn’t have to occur this way.

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Kerry Returns to Afghanistan; Women’s Rights Remain in Peril

by Catherine Powell Friday, August 8, 2014
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks next to Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, Afghanistan, following the signing of a deal to form a national unity government (Courtesy Reuters/Omar Sobhani). U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks next to Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, Afghanistan, following the signing of a deal to form a national unity government (Courtesy Reuters/Omar Sobhani).

This year marks a significant moment for Afghanistan: with the recent presidential election and the U.S. withdrawal of troops, the country will undergo both political and security transitions. However, these twin transitions are currently imperiled.

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Banking with Bitcoin

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman Tuesday, August 5, 2014
A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto, Canada, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Mark Blinch). A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto, Canada, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Mark Blinch).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Sarah Martin, CEO of Boone Martin, a global communications firm that focuses on social impact investing.

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Market-Oriented Development  

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman Monday, August 4, 2014
Women carry silage on their backs in the High Atlas, Morocco, August 2006 (Courtesy Reuters/Eve Coulon). Women carry silage on their backs in the High Atlas, Morocco, August 2006 (Courtesy Reuters/Eve Coulon).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Rodney W. Nichols, president and CEO emeritus of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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Prosecuting Sexual Violence Offenders after Conflict

by svonwendel Thursday, July 31, 2014
A Tutsi woman passes between a guerilla from the Rwandan Patriotic Front on the left and a wounded man on the right, Rwanda, May 1994 (Courtesy Reuters). A Tutsi woman passes between a guerilla from the Rwandan Patriotic Front on the left and a wounded man on the right, Rwanda, May 1994 (Courtesy Reuters).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Sigrid von Wendel, who edits the Development Channel.

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Fragile States, Fragile Lives: Child Marriage Amid Disaster and Conflict

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Wednesday, July 30, 2014
A young Afghan refugee carries her sister in the Jungle Pir Alizai refugee camp, near the Pakistan-Afghan border town of Chaman, June 2007 (Courtesy Reuters/Mian Khursheed). A young Afghan refugee carries her sister in the Jungle Pir Alizai refugee camp, near the Pakistan-Afghan border town of Chaman, June 2007 (Courtesy Reuters/Mian Khursheed).

Drivers of child marriage, such as weakened institutions, lack of economic opportunity, and increased occurrence of sexual violence and assault, are exacerbated during armed conflict and natural disaster. In my latest Council on Foreign Relations publication, “Fragile States, Fragile Lives: Child Marriage Amid Disaster and Conflict,” I explore the relationship between child marriage prevalence rates and fragile states. Existing data and an abundance of qualitative evidence point to a relationship: countries with high rates of child marriage tend to be among the world’s least stable.

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