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Comparing Five Bilateral Development Finance Institutions and the IFC

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:34:07 +0000


Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)—which provide financing to private investors in developing economies—have seen rapid expansion over the past few years. This paper describes and analyses a new dataset covering the five largest bilateral DFIs alongside the IFC which includes project amounts, standardized sectors, instruments, and countries. The aim is to establish the size and scope of DFIs and to compare and contrast them with the IFC.

Inside the Portfolio of the International Finance Corporation: Does IFC Do Enough in Low-Income Countries?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:33:21 +0000


IFC’s portfolio is not focused where it could make the most difference. Low income countries are where IFC has the scale to make a considerable difference to development outcomes. While an excessive portfolio shift might imperil IFC’s credit rating, the evidence suggests that there is considerable scope for increasing commitments to low income countries without significant impact to IFC’s credit scores.

Identification Revolution: Can Digital ID Be Harnessed for Development? (brief)

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:57:24 +0000


Recent advances in the scope and sophistication of identification systems could have far-reaching consequences for development. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are common features that ID systems should share if they are to support development.

Identification Revolution: Can Digital ID Be Harnessed for Development?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:08:37 +0000


Identification Revolution: Can Digital ID Be Harnessed for Development? offers a balanced perspective, covering both the benefits and the risks of the identification revolution, and pinpointing opportunities to mitigate those risks.

Fuel Subsidy Reform in Developing Countries: Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG Cooking Gas Subsidy in India

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:20:00 +0000


India’s reform of household subsidies for the purchase of LPG cooking gas stands out for a several reasons. The paper provides a detailed picture of the reform through its various stages, including how the process was conceptualized, coordinated, and implemented. It analyzes how such a reform must be able to adapt to concerns as they arise and to new information, how digital technology was used and how it is possible to use a voluntary self-targeting “nudge” to defuse potential resistance to income-based targeting.

Towards the Argentine Presidency in the G20: What Macro-Financial Challenges Does the Region Face and What Are the Implications for the Debate?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:30:43 +0000


After the slowdown of the Chinese economy and the sharp decrease in commodity prices, the Latin American macroeconomic outlook has worsened substantially in relation to the boom that occurred between 2003 and 2012, despite favorable external conditions characterized by significantly high liquidity in international capital markets and a strong economic recovery in developed nations.

Encouraging State Governments to Protect and Restore Forests Using Ecological Fiscal Transfers: India’s Tax Revenue Distribution Reform - Working Paper 473

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:47:40 +0000


India’s tax revenue distribution reform creates the world’s first ecological fiscal transfers (EFTs) for forest cover, and a potential model for other countries. In this paper we discuss the origin of India’s EFTs and their potential effects. In a simple preliminary analysis, we do not yet observe that the EFTs have increased forest cover across states, consistent with our hypothesis that one to two years of operation is too soon for the reform to have had an effect. This means there remains substantial scope for state governments to protect and restore forests as an investment in future state revenues.

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goal Zero Targets: What Could We Do? - Working Paper 472

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:30:51 +0000


The Sustainable Development Goals are an ambitious set of targets for global development progress by 2030 that were agreed by the United Nations in 2015. A review of the literature on meeting "zero targets" suggests very high costs compared to available resources, but also that in many cases there remains a considerable gap between financing known technical solutions and achieving the outcomes called for in the SDGs. In some cases, we (even) lack the technical solutions required to achieve the zero targets, suggesting the need for research and development of new approaches.

An Initial Estimation of the Size of Health Commodity Markets in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:14:53 +0000


This post previews preliminary answers to one initial question: what can we say about the size and nature of health commodity markets in low- and middle-income countries? We share early insights; list the data sources we used, while also signalling others we hope to draw on going forward; and highlight our assumptions and caveats.

What a New Survey of Aadhaar Users Can Tell Us About Digital Reforms: Initial Insights from Rajasthan

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:59:52 +0000


India’s Aadhaar biometric identification scheme has registered over 1.1 billion people, including almost all adults in the country and over 15 percent of the global population. Of course, initiatives of this scale cannot escape controversy. What the debate has so far lacked, however, is data. We set out to help fill that gap with a survey focused on a digital governance initiative in the state of Rajasthan.