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Showing posts for "Foreign Aid"

Five Questions on Sustainable Investing With Morgan Stanley’s Audrey Choi

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A man fills a glass with water from a spring in Chiffa in Medea Governorate, Algeria (Reuters/Ramzi Boudina). A man fills a glass with water from a spring in Chiffa in Medea Governorate, Algeria (Reuters/Ramzi Boudina).

This post features a conversation with Audrey Choi, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and managing director of its Global Sustainable Finance Group. Choi talks about the evolving $20 trillion sector, including important U.S. policy changes and her thoughts on where sustainable investing is headed. Read more »

Tackling Climate Change Through Agriculture

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A farmer burns a paddy field in Thailand's Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, August 14, 2015 (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom). A farmer burns a paddy field in Thailand's Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, August 14, 2015 (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom).

Emerging Voices highlights new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges from contributing scholars and practitioners. This post is from Dr. D. Michael Shafer, president and founder of Warm Heart Worldwide and professor emeritus of political science at Rutgers University. Warm Heart is a community-based development organization dedicated to building socially- and economically-sustainable communities in rural areas of northern Thailand.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Central America’s Anticorruption Support, UNDP at Fifty, Foreign Bribery Action

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Demonstrators hold candles as they sing the national anthem during a march to demand the resignation of Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Tegucigalpa, September 11, 2015. The protesters are calling for the resignation of Hernandez over a $200-million corruption scandal at the Honduran Institute of Social Security (Reuters/Jorge Cabrera). Demonstrators hold candles as they sing the national anthem during a march to demand the resignation of Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Tegucigalpa, September 11, 2015. The protesters are calling for the resignation of Hernandez over a $200-million corruption scandal at the Honduran Institute of Social Security (Reuters/Jorge Cabrera).

Central America’s Anticorruption Support
The presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were in Washington to discuss plans for the $750 million that Congress authorized to help their nations take on violence and boost economic development. The outlay comes in the wake of a record uptick in Central American migration to the United States. Nearly 3 million people have fled their homes and neighborhoods, including 100,000 unaccompanied minors who arrived at the southern border between October 2013 and July 2015. The U.S. funding requires Northern Triangle governments to address myriad domestic problems, including strengthening legal systems, protecting human rights, and rooting out corruption. U.S. anticorruption efforts will be met with broad civil society and multilateral support, dovetailing with grassroots campaigns against graft and high-level impunity in Honduras and Guatemala, and furthering the resolve of multilateral-backed bodies such as Honduras’s new Mission Against Corruption and Impunity (MACCIH).

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: India’s Growth, U.S. Development Seeks Private Investment, and Ugandan Elections

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Workers erect scaffolding at the construction site of a metro station in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, September 30, 2015. India's annual infrastructure output growth picked up in August to 2.6 percent from a year ago, mainly driven by higher cement and electricity generation, government data showed on Wednesday (Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee). Workers erect scaffolding at the construction site of a metro station in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, September 30, 2015. India's annual infrastructure output growth picked up in August to 2.6 percent from a year ago, mainly driven by higher cement and electricity generation, government data showed on Wednesday (Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee).

Can India Avoid Emerging Market Slump?
India outpaced China as the world’s fastest growing economy in 2015, with gross domestic product (GDP) rising 7.5 percent. Consumption by the nation’s 1.3 billion citizens drove the gains, along with public infrastructure spending to upgrade the nation’s roads, railways, ports, and power grids. India’s government is on track to spend over a trillion dollars on infrastructure as part of a 2012-2017 five year plan, as one of the emerging markets able to borrow at low international rates (debt to GDP is for now a manageable 50 percent). Yet private sector investment hasn’t followed suit. Bureaucratic difficulties in acquiring land and permits and financing snafus show how difficult it is to do business – India is ranked 130 of 189 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report. A tough external environment led to a decline in exports and an outflow of portfolio investments. To attract the private investment needed for long term growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to tackle issues including labor regulations, taxes, and onerous import and export documentation.

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Five Questions with Dean Karlan

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A girl studies while sitting on top of a taxi outside her shanty home at a roadside in Mumbai, India (Shailesh Andrade/Reuters). A girl studies while sitting on top of a taxi outside her shanty home at a roadside in Mumbai, India (Shailesh Andrade/Reuters).

Emerging Voices highlights new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges from contributing scholars and practitioners. This post features a conversation with Dean Karlan, professor of economics at Yale University, president and founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, and founder of ImpactMatters, a newly-launched organization that assesses how well nonprofits use and produce evidence of impact.

1) How have development economics and the study of poverty evolved in recent years?

Until about fifteen years ago, there were two different strands of development work, both with limitations. The first asked a big, monolithic policy question—“does aid work?—and compared how aid affected development outcomes across countries. But the cross-country research lacked the necessary data and an understanding of critical micro-level mechanisms, or the obvious first step of why some countries get more aid than others. It led to big debates, but failed to determine causality.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Egypt’s Backsliding, UK Transparency Setbacks, New Global Rankings

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Members of security forces keep watch in Tahrir Square before the fifth anniversary of the January 25 uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, January 24, 2016 (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany). Members of security forces keep watch in Tahrir Square before the fifth anniversary of the January 25 uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, January 24, 2016 (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany).

United States Undeterred by Egypt’s Democratic Backsliding
Five years after its revolution, Egypt is no closer to democracy. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government routinely arrests political and social media activists, and has detained tens of thousands of people, many held for months without charges. Raids on news outlets and a law prohibiting journalists from contradicting official government information undermine freedom of expression. Every opposition party boycotted fall 2015 legislative elections and less than a third of the population turned out to vote. Still, the United States seems to be choosing stability over political freedoms. President Obama restored $1.3 billion in annual military assistance cut after Sisi overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. And Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan recently visited Cairo to boost security and counterterrorism cooperation, congratulating Sisi on inaugurating a new parliament.

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Will Setting Goals End Hunger? What’s Next for the SDGs…

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L), Lars Lokke Rasmussen (C), co-chair and Danish Prime Minister, and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, co-chair and Uganda's President, applaud at a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, September 25, 2015. World leaders on Friday adopted the most sweeping agenda ever of global goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change, described by the United Nations secretary-general as "a to-do list for people and planet" (Reuters/Mike Segar). U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L), Lars Lokke Rasmussen (C), co-chair and Danish Prime Minister, and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, co-chair and Uganda's President, applaud at a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, September 25, 2015. World leaders on Friday adopted the most sweeping agenda ever of global goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change, described by the United Nations secretary-general as "a to-do list for people and planet" (Reuters/Mike Segar).

Emerging Voices highlights new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges from contributing scholars and practitioners. This post is from Dean Karlan, professor of economics at Yale University, president and founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, and founder of ImpactMatters, a newly-launched organization that helps nonprofits use and create evidence to assess their impact.

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Critiquing U.S. Aid in Pakistan: A Second Take

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
Girls sit near a dumping ground in Peshawar (Reuters/A. Ali). Girls sit near a dumping ground in Peshawar (Reuters/A. Ali).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This post is from Nadia Naviwala (@NadiaNavi), an Islamabad-based researcher and writer. Here she details a recent New York Times story on U.S. development assistance in Pakistan, and explains why investigating aid efforts there requires a different approach.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Sustainable Development Goals Adopted

by Shannon K. O'Neil
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 27, 2015. More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27, 2015 at United Nations in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, a press statement by the U.N. stated (Reuters/Mike Segar). U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 27, 2015. More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27, 2015 at United Nations in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, a press statement by the U.N. stated (Reuters/Mike Segar).

The biggest achievement of the past week’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York was the adoption of a new fifteen-year plan for global development. Replacing the soon-to-expire Millennium Development Goals, seventeen new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will guide UN and domestic development policies through 2030 with an ambitious, and some say overly idealistic agenda. Based on UN member and civil society input over a three-year process, the final set of SDGs aims to eliminate hunger, reduce inequality, promote shared economic growth, and “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Pope Francis all endorsed the new “global goals” during the three-day UN Sustainable Development Summit held in the run-up to UNGA. Here are two major takeaways from the summit:

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: U.S. Fights Corruption, Preventing Mass Atrocities, and More

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, September 25, 2015. More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27 at the United Nations in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda a press statement by the U.N. stated. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters). Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, September 25, 2015. More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27 at the United Nations in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda a press statement by the U.N. stated. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters).

CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy (CSMD) Program highlights noteworthy events and articles each Friday in “This Week in Markets and Democracy.” 

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