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    United Nations University Press
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Entries in Center for Global Development (3)

Sunday
Nov212010

The GOP Landslide and Aid to Africa

Todd Moss and Stephanie Majerowicz over at the the Center for Global Development predict that starting soon, as a result of the recent election, aid to Africa will likely drop by $900 million per year beginning in 2012.  They analyzed U.S. aid flows to Africa between 1961-2008 and found that aid decreases significantly when the Presidency and Congress are controlled by different parties.  


This result is driven by different parties in the White House and on the Hill–not because Republicans are structurally anti-aid.  Yes, the GOP has plenty of vocal foreign aid critics, but the record is pretty clear.  In fact, ODA flows to Africa are highest under all Republican control, followed by all Democratic control.  The combination for the next two years–Democratic White House and Republican/split Congress–is actually the lowest configuration.


I would be interested in learning why it is that aid decreases.  My guess is that when a Democrat is in the White House, the Republicans pretty much oppose any increase in spending, regardless of what it's for.  Not sure what the cause would be when the situations are reversed. 


As for the why aid is greater when the Republican's control Congress and the Presidency, I'm guessing that (in the past) it has to do with increased aid to non-aligned countries during the Cold War as we competed against the Soviets for influence in Africa.  More recently, however, there was a dramatic increase under Bush the Younger who quadrupled aid to Africa, mainly to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

 

Monday
Oct042010

Obama's Development Policy

President Obama spoke last week at the opening of the United Nation's Summit on the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), and in his speech laid out his Administration's new Global Development Policy.

 

The best analysis I've seen so far is that of Connie Veillette who is with the Center for Global Development in New York.  She writes about the good, the bad, and "the uncertain."

 

The good, she says, is that now we have a plan in place, "one that sets objectives, clarifies approaches, and is results-oriented."  The bad, of course, is we "will seemingly continue to rely on a gaggle . . .  of government agencies to do development work," which as Rebecca Williams at the Budget Insight blog notes, involves "12 departments, 25 agencies and nearly 60 government offices."

 

And the uncertain?  Well that has to do with how the Obama Administration's new policy will be operationalized in addition to unresolved issues related to the role (or lack thereof) of USAID.

 

You can find the whole post here, along with some useful additional commentary by Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the Center for Global Development, and a major player with a lot of influence in development circles.

 

Saturday
Feb202010

D3 Weekly Link Roundup

The always informative Eeben Barlow on the difference between parastatal and privatized military companies.


Volunteering in Haiti for Spring Break might not be the great idea you think it is.

 

Peacebuilding versus Al-Qaeda.

 

There was a coup in Niger.  Even so, the Center for Global Development argues against withdrawing development assistance (the U.S. suspended all non-humanitarian aid programs).  

 

Kings of War have a useful rundown on the militarization of foreign policy while Dan Gerstle over at War and Peace covers a UN report criticizing the militarization of aid in Afghanistan.

 

Prism, the journal of the National Defense University’s Center for Complex Operations (read post-conflict stabilization and state-building), releases its second issue (you can download the first one here).

 

Reach 364 (a U.S. Air Force officer studying Arabic in Amman and with a smarter head on his shoulders than your average flyboy) writes a good post over at his Building Peace blog on cross-cultural learning and the dangers of overconfidence when working in foreign countries. 

 

U.S. troop presence dropped below 100K in Iraq this week and thoughts on the drama in Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

 

Tough times for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (unlike USAID, they focus on middle-income countries). 

 

The World Bank’s Conflict and Development blog has a set of online video interviews with leaders from conflict-affected countries about overcoming conflict, building institutions, confidence building, and the role of the international community can play in addressing these issues.  You view them here and here.

 

Why disaster response will always be insufficient.

 

A great piece by Joshua Foust on why the media can’t get it right in Afghanistan.

 

Saundra over at Good Intentions are Not Enough explains the importance of needs assessments before designing/initiating any assistance programs.

 

USAID and the U.S. military’s SOUTHCOM team up to help with Haiti’s long-term reconstruction.

 

Finally, some cool pictures of goats.  (Hat tip to Chris Blattman).