The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University is a university-wide center that works to advance the understanding of development challenges and offer viable solutions to problems of global poverty.
CID is Harvard’s leading research hub focusing on resolving the dilemmas of public policy associated with generating stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity in developing countries. Our ongoing mission is to apply knowledge to and revolutionize the world of development practice.
The Effects of COVID-19 on Education Systems: Insights from the Global Education Monitoring Report
Originally recorded on April 9, 2021 for the CID Speaker Series, featuring Priyadarshani Joshi, Senior Project Officer of Research with the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report.
Priyadarshani Joshi continued the conversation with CID Student Ambassador after her appearance at the virtual CID Speaker Series event where she shared insights from her recent work on understanding how countries are coping with COVID-19 .
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a historic disruption of education systems around the world. The Global Education Monitoring Report is an independent team housed at UNESCO analyses and contributes to the global discussion around educational progress in the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda through authoritative, evidence-based analyses; and by convening perspectives from a range of national and global experts. This presentation focuses on select recent contributions made by the GEM Report team (and others) on understanding how countries are coping with COVID-19 currently, the growing evidence base on financing, equity and systemic concerns, and what strategies are in place to try and recover from the pandemic.
Incorporating Evidence in U.S. Development Policy and Programming: Advice and Insights
Originally recorded on March 26, 2021 for the CID Speaker Series, featuring Sarah Rose and Erin Collinson from the Center for Global Development and Harvard Kennedy School Faculty Asim I. Khwaja & Dani Rodrik, and moderated by Professor Rema Hanna.
Sarah Rose, Policy Fellow at the Center for Global Development, continued the conversation after her appearance at the virtual CID Speaker Series event held on March 26, 2021, where she discussed incorporating evidence in US development policy and programming.
As the Biden Administration underscores its priority in utilizing evidence to inform policy, how can development practitioners practically do so? How can USAID and other development officials promote and ensure the collection of accurate and timely evidence, and how can they ensure the use of evidence to inform development policy and programming. During the panel, experts will provide their advice and insights on how to ensure evidence informs US development policy.
The Honesty Agenda: Effective Assistance, Women’s Empowerment, and the SDGs in a Post-Covid World
Originally recorded on March 12, 2021
Alix Zwane, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Innovation Fund, continued the discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on March 12, 2021 exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Sama Kubba.
Successfully meeting international development goals in the post pandemic era calls for a renewed commitment to honesty both on a micro level and a macro level about what development assistance can and should seek to achieve. The debate about official assistance is often bookended by, at best, misplaced good intent and, at worst, falsehoods told to reinforce the status quo. Supporting innovation and R&D is at the heart of both an honest development agenda and the clearest path toward pushing decision-making more locally while still being true to our values around environmental, social, and governance standards such as gender equity and climate resilience.
Alix Peterson Zwane is Chief Executive Officer of the Global Innovation Fund. She has 20 years of experience advancing the agenda of evidence-based aid and international development as an investor, a social entrepreneur, and an innovator herself.
Alix has worked at the intersection of the evidence and innovation agendas from a diverse set of posts. She was the first employee and Executive Director at Evidence Action, a non-profit that develops service delivery models to scale evidence-based programs. Under Alix's leadership, Evidence Action catalyzed school-based deworming for hundreds of millions of children around the world, and safe drinking water for millions of people in four countries. Alix launched Evidence Action Beta, an incubator for innovations in development. Alix has also advocated for evidence-based philanthropy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google.org, where she set strategy and made investments to support new public service models that work for the poor and developed models for outcome-based grant-making. She began her career in management consulting and was a member of the faculty of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at University of California, Berkeley.
Alix has published in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and elsewhere. She previously served on the board of directors of Innovations for Poverty Action, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, and Evidence Action. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Born and raised in Colorado, she divides her time between Washington, D.C. and London.
COVID - 19 & Nutrition: Crisis And Opportunity
Originally recorded on February 26, 2021.
Shawn Baker, Chief Nutritionist for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) continued the discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on February 26, 2021, exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Sama Kubba.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented threat to nutrition. It is simultaneously disrupting every sector that families rely on to nourish their children. As families’ incomes drop, they can no longer afford nutritious foods. Producers and sellers of nutritious foods are struggling to stay afloat. Health systems are overwhelmed, and families are more reluctant to access needed healthcare, while necessary efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are decreasing coverage of life-saving care.
In December, startling projections of the secondary impacts from COVID-19 on maternal and child nutrition and economic development were released. Shawn Baker, USAID's Chief Nutritionist, will share the latest data on the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on nutrition, as well as insights into how USAID and its partners are using this data to adapt programming and ensure a more effective, coordinated response to address this global nutrition crisis.
Shawn Baker is the Chief Nutritionist for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In this position, he chairs the Agency’s Nutrition Leadership Council, oversees the vision and strategy of the Agency’s Center for Nutrition in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, and coordinates related efforts across USAID. He also guides USAID’s investments and engagement with partners to address malnutrition in developing countries.
The Transformation of the International Finance Corporation
Originally recorded on February 12, 2021.
Philippe Le Houérou, former CEO of the IFC continued the discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on February 12, 2021, exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Rohit Subramanian.
Philippe Le Houérou discussed the reforms and changes implemented at the International Finance Corporations (IFC) from 20016-to 2020. The IFC is the arm of the World Bank Group that invests in (and with) the private sector in emerging and developing economies and shared his views on the role of the private sector and development finance in the 21st century, the link between public and private partnerships, and key challenges and constraints facing the poorest countries.
Global Mobility and the Threat of Pandemics: Evidence from Three Centuries
Originally recorded on January 29th, 2021.
Michael Clemens, Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy, Center for Global Development and Thomas Ginn, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development continue their discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on January 29th, 2021, exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Sama Kubba.
Countries restrict the overall extent of international travel and migration to balance the expected costs and benefits of mobility. Given the ever-present threat of new, future pandemics, how should permanent restrictions on mobility respond? A simple theoretical framework predicts that reduced exposure to pre-pandemic international mobility causes a slightly slower arrival of the pathogen. A standard epidemiological model predicts no decrease in the harm of the pathogen if travel ceases thereafter and only a slight decrease in the harm (for plausible parameters) if travel does not cease.
Researchers at the Center for Global Development, including featured speakers Michael Clemens and Thomas Ginn, test these predictions across four global pandemics in three different centuries: the influenza pandemics that began in 1889, 1918, 1957, and 2009. They find that in all cases, even a draconian 50 percent reduction in pre-pandemic international mobility is associated with 1–2 weeks later arrival and no detectable reduction in final mortality. The case for permanent limits on international mobility to reduce the harm of future pandemics is weak.