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CFR Presents

Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

Holding Sudan to the Gold Standard

by Catherine Powell Thursday, May 21, 2015
Military personnel walk past women in Tabit village in North Darfur, Sudan. The joint peacekeeping mission in the region known as UNAMID visited Tabit in November 2014 to investigate media reports of an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls (Courtesy Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters). Military personnel walk past women in Tabit village in North Darfur, Sudan. The joint peacekeeping mission in the region known as UNAMID visited Tabit in November 2014 to investigate media reports of an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls (Courtesy Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters).

Although it may have slipped from headlines, the conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur has not disappeared. Indeed, the region has seen almost unabated violence for over a decade, notably spiking in January 2013. In February of this year, a Human Rights Watch report shed light on the violence, documenting mass rape and other atrocities committed by forces loyal to the Sudanese government from October 30 to November 1, 2014.

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Gender Equality and Smart U.S. Foreign Assistance

by Rachel Vogelstein Thursday, May 21, 2015
Women carry bricks on their back as they work at a brick factory in Bhaktapur, Nepal. (Courtesy Ahmad Masood/Reuters) Women carry bricks on their back as they work at a brick factory in Bhaktapur, Nepal, May 2015. (Courtesy Ahmad Masood/Reuters)

It has become axiomatic in international development that increasing economic opportunities for women contributes to economic growth. Organizations from the World Bank to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have concluded that women’s participation in the economy is linked to poverty reduction and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Today, the question is not whether women’s economic participation matters—rather, it is how to promote this goal most effectively.

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Expanding Private Sector Engagement in Developing Countries

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, May 18, 2015
A construction worker takes measurements of roofing metal bars of a new hospital under construction in Hoima town, Uganda April 27, 2015 (Courtesy Reuters/James Akena). A construction worker takes measurements of roofing metal bars of a new hospital under construction in Hoima town, Uganda April 27, 2015 (Courtesy Reuters/James Akena).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners, highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Elizabeth Littlefield, president and chief executive officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. governments development finance institution.

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Moving Beyond Utopia to What’s Possible for 2030: Setting Realistic Sustainable Development Goals

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, May 18, 2015
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the plenary of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro June 22, 2012 (Reuters/Paulo Whitaker). Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the plenary of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro June 22, 2012 (Reuters/Paulo Whitaker).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Deirdre White, chief executive officer of PYXERA Global.

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Measuring Opportunities for Digital Payments: The Global Findex 2014

by Guest Blogger for Rachel Vogelstein Friday, May 8, 2015
A worker uses an ATM newly installed in her factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2014 (Courtesy Camilla Fabbri/World Bank). A worker uses an ATM newly installed in her factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2014 (Courtesy Camilla Fabbri/World Bank).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Leora Klapper, lead economist for the World Bank’s development research group.

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Rethinking Accountability at the World Bank

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Thursday, May 7, 2015
Nepali women, clients of Accountability Counsel, challenge a World Bank-funded transmission line endangering their community (Courtesy Komala Ramachandra/ Accountability Counsel). Nepali women, clients of Accountability Counsel, challenge a World Bank-funded transmission line endangering their community (Courtesy Komala Ramachandra/ Accountability Counsel).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Esq., founder and executive director of Accountability Counsel, and Kindra Mohr, Esq., Accountability Counsel’s policy director. Accountability Counsel is a non-profit legal organization that defends the environmental and human rights of communities around the world that are harmed by internationally-financed development projects.

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Mexico’s Fight Against Corruption

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Relatives of the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college hold pictures of the students during a demonstration to demand justice, in Mexico City, November 5, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Tomas Bravo). Relatives of the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college hold pictures of the students during a demonstration to demand justice, in Mexico City, November 5, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Tomas Bravo).

Corruption allegations and revelations cover Mexico’s front pages. Public officials’ penchant for expensive watches, use of government helicopters for personal errands, and a string of expensive houses facilitated by preferred private contractors have incensed not only Mexico’s chattering classes but also the broader public. 2014 opinion polls conducted by the Pew Research Center show corruption ranks second only to crime in citizen concerns.

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Helping Afghan Women Help Themselves

by Catherine Powell Friday, May 1, 2015
Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, hands out leaflets during her August 2005 election campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. Barakzai later survived a suicide bombing attack in December 2014 (Courtesy Zohra Bensemra/Reuters). Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, hands out leaflets during her August 2005 election campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. Barakzai later survived a suicide bombing attack in December 2014 (Courtesy Zohra Bensemra/Reuters).

Progress toward women’s rights and empowerment cannot be made without actors on the ground willing to fight for it. This is particularly true in Afghanistan as the United States begins to transition out of its on-the-ground presence and the Afghan government takes on more responsibility for security and stability. Local women’s rights movements will be more important than ever in ensuring Afghan women and girls maintain the strides they have made since the fall of the Taliban.

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India as Regional Power: Promoting Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

by Catherine Powell Monday, April 20, 2015
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) speaks as Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani watches during the opening session of 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 26, 2014 (Courtesy Narendra Shrestha/Pool/Reuters). India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) speaks as Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani watches during the opening session of 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 26, 2014 (Courtesy Narendra Shrestha/Pool/Reuters).

Last month’s decision by President Obama to extend the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is an important step in securing the substantial American investment there. This extension—which is and should be temporary—is crucial to allow the Afghan government and security forces to build their capacity to maintain stability on the ground.

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Mr. Ghani Goes to Washington

by Catherine Powell Friday, March 27, 2015
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama after their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, DC, March 24, 2015 (Courtesy Jonathan Ernst/Reuters). Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama after their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, DC, March 24, 2015 (Courtesy Jonathan Ernst/Reuters).

This week, during the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s White House visit, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he will delay the schedule for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and current troop levels will be maintained through the end of 2015. While I have reservations about the use of U.S. military power abroad more generally, a brief extension of the American military presence in Afghanistan makes sense to secure the substantial U.S. investment there.

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