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May 16, 2014

Middle East and North Africa
World Bank Report on Women’s Empowerment Breaks New Ground

Over the past several decades, the World Bank has been an important thought leader on the value of investing in women and girls. In 2001, the Bank released a seminal report, “Engendering Development …


April 3, 2014

Energy and Environment
The Potential of Clean Cookstoves

For decades, global health experts have recognized that smoke from indoor cooking is a major contributor to premature death.  Yet, in poor countries around the world, some 3 billion people still rely…


March 14, 2014

Politics and Government
Helping the Oppressed, not the Oppressors

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 batt…


January 9, 2014

Expanding Financial Access and Education

For several decades, the exciting promise of microfinance has been to provide the world’s poorest with access to financial services. But along the way, microfinance has too often become conflated wit…

December 20, 2013

International Development in 2014

Looking back at 2013, several developments stand out for their significant potential to better the lives of the world’s poorest. Here are three that will likely reverberate for years to come: 1) The…


December 12, 2013

Foreign Aid
Fighting Poverty with Unconditional Cash

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 …


December 4, 2013

Puzzle PISAs: What the Latest Tests Reveal about Global Education

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of its fifth Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study yesterday, with few surprises. Conducte…


November 15, 2013

Maternal and Child Health
Family Planning as a Global Priority

The third annual International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) closes today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with new and increased commitments from countries around the world to bolster local and globa…

Pregnant women in Anand, India, August 2013 (Courtesy Reuters, Mansi Thapliyal)

November 7, 2013

The Benefits of No-Strings-Attached Cash

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 res…


October 10, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
Mo Ibrahim on Africa’s Growth

Earlier this week, we hosted Mo Ibrahim, the global telecom magnate and founder and chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, at the Council on Foreign Relations. Ibrahim spoke intelligently about Africa’s…