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Showing posts for "Foreign Aid"

Leveraging Tech Innovations in Development

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause). Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause).

Over the past decade, technology has begun to revolutionize industries ranging from education and healthcare to financial services and commerce. These transformations are not limited to the developed world – in emerging economies rapid mobile technology proliferation and internet penetration have had profound and unforeseen effects, including expanding financial inclusion through mobile banking services and facilitating employment through online and mobile job platforms.

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Stand by Her: Afghan Men as Advocates for Women

by Guest Blogger for Catherine Powell
Afghan children play on the outskirts of Jalalabad province, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/ Parwiz). Afghan children play on the outskirts of Jalalabad province, May 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/ Parwiz).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Kristen Cordell, gender advisor for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID.  

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Viewing the U.S.–Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement Through a Gender Lens

by Catherine Powell
Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham sign the bilateral security agreement in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 30, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Mohammad Ismail). Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham sign the bilateral security agreement in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 30, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Mohammad Ismail).

After almost a year of stalemate, Afghanistan finally signed a renewed bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States last Tuesday. The document, which allows 9,800 U.S. troops and 2,000 NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan in a training and advisory capacity after the end of 2014, was approved by newly-minted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Read more »

How to Make Fuel Subsidy Reform Succeed

by Isobel Coleman
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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The Status of Women and Girls in Iraq and Afghanistan

by Catherine Powell and Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman
Veiled women walk past a billboard that carries a verse from Koran urging women to wear a hijab in the Islamic State-controlled northern province of Raqqa, Iraq, March 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Stringer). Veiled women walk past a billboard that carries a verse from Koran urging women to wear a hijab in the Islamic State-controlled northern province of Raqqa, Iraq, March 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Stringer).

This post is by Catherine Powell, fellow for CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy Program; and Amelia Wolf, research associate for CFR’s Center for Preventive Action and International Institutions and Global Governance Program.

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Helping the Oppressed, not the Oppressors

by Isobel Coleman
A Uighur worker pulls a cart past a statue of the late chairman Mao Zedong at the People's Square in Kashgar, China, September 2003 (Courtesy Reuters). A Uighur worker pulls a cart past a statue of the late chairman Mao Zedong at the People's Square in Kashgar, China, September 2003 (Courtesy Reuters).

As protestors from Kiev to Khartoum to Caracas take to the streets against autocracy, a new book from economist William Easterly reminds us that Western aid is too often on the wrong side of the battle for freedom and democracy.  In The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the PoorEasterly slams the development community for supporting autocrats, not democrats, in the name of helping the world’s poorest. Ignoring human rights abuses and giving aid to oppressive regimes, he maintains, harms those in need and in many ways “un-develops” countries.

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Fighting Poverty with Unconditional Cash

by Isobel Coleman
A customer conducts a mobile money transfer, known as M-Pesa, in Nairobi, Kenya, July 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Thomas Mukoya). A customer conducts a mobile money transfer, known as M-Pesa, in Nairobi, Kenya, July 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Thomas Mukoya).

Rather than building schools and clinics, or donating solar lights and cows, is the best way to fight global poverty simply to give poor people money? That’s the question a group of smart economists are testing, and their answers could stand the multi-billion dollar aid industry on its head.

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Emerging Voices: The Broken Promises of the Paris Declaration

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman
Outstretched hands, Kukes, Albania, 1999 (Courtesy Reuters). Outstretched hands, Kukes, Albania, 1999 (Courtesy Reuters).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Paul Callan, Andria Thomas, Sebastian  Burduja, Leticia Kawanami, and Adam Bradlow of or formerly of Dalberg Global Development Advisors. Here they review how the agreements of the Paris Declaration played out in practice.  

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The Benefits of No-Strings-Attached Cash

by Isobel Coleman
A man uses the M-PESA mobile banking system in Nairobi, Kenya, May 2009 (Courtesy Reuters/Noor Khamis). A man uses the M-PESA mobile banking system in Nairobi, Kenya, May 2009 (Courtesy Reuters/Noor Khamis).

What if I suggested that the best way to fight poverty is simply to give money to poor people, no strings attached? You’d probably say I was crazy. Just dropping cash on the world’s poorest might result in a temporary improvement in their quality of life, but only until the money runs out and then they would be back where they started. Or maybe you’d be skeptical of even that short-term improvement, since you’d think the lucky recipients would just blow the money on guilty pleasures like alcohol, tobacco, or worse.

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Emerging Voices: Natalie Bugalski and David Pred on the Dark Side of Development

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman
Ruqia Aroo, 80, carries her malnourished grandson near carcasses of dead cattle, Ethiopia, April 2000 (Courtesy Reuters). Ruqia Aroo, 80, carries her malnourished grandson near carcasses of dead cattle, Ethiopia, April 2000 (Courtesy Reuters).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Natalie Bugalski and David Pred of Inclusive Development International. Here they discuss the World Bank’s Safeguard Policies review process.

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