Mission and Values

The Center for Global Development works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community to make the world a more prosperous, just, and safe place for us all.

The policies and practices of the rich and the powerful—in rich nations, as well as in the emerging powers, international institutions, and global corporations—have significant impacts on the world's poor people. We aim to improve these policies and practices through research and policy engagement to expand opportunities, reduce inequalities, and improve lives everywhere.

By pairing research with action, CGD goes beyond contributing to knowledge about development. We conceive of and encourage discussion about practical policy innovations in areas such as trade, aid, health, education, climate change, labor mobility, private investment, access to finance, and global governance to foster shared prosperity in an increasingly interdependent world.

As a nimble, independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit think tank, we leverage modest resources to combine world-class scholarly research with policy analysis and innovative outreach and communications to turn ideas into action.

CGD is fully independent. Our scholars’ policy views are grounded in rigorous, evidence-based analysis that is subject to peer review. We protect our independence by having a diverse funding base that supports our mission, and by being fully transparent about how we’re funded. In 2014 we received top marks from the first-ever international assessment of think tank financial transparency, Transparify.

Rigorous Research

The Center undertakes independent, high-quality research in economics and other disciplines. The Center's research investigates pivotal issues of development policy:

  • Aid Effectiveness and Innovation: Characteristics of effective development assistance, debt relief, and donor accountability practices; support to weak and fragile states; new ways for donor countries to support people's efforts to escape poverty.
  • Climate Change: Interactions between global warming and development; climate-related aid (e.g., adaptation assistance, technology transfers, carbon offsets); development-friendly ways to minimize greenhouse gas emissions; the impacts of climate change in developing countries.
  • Global Governance: The roles of multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF; ways to make them more responsive to the needs of developing countries and more effective agents for collective action to provide global public goods.
  • Global Health and Education: The relationships among health, education, demographic change, and development; innovative solutions for health and education financing and delivery; enhancing girls' well-being through education and other investments.
  • Migration: Opportunities and challenges that large-scale migration presents to global development and poverty reduction; the effects of increased mobility on sending countries' development prospects.
  • Private Investment and Access to Finance: Policies that affect the quantity and quality of capital flows to low-income countries; the roles of multinational firms in development; protection against adverse financial shocks; access to financial services including microfinance.
  • Trade: Links between trade policy and global poverty reduction; the politics and policy of food and agricultural subsidies; development-friendly pathways for bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations; preferential market access for developing countries; intellectual property rights.

Innovative Communications

We work to ensure that CGD research products and policy recommendations shape the views and actions of policymakers, advocates, and public-opinion leaders. We experiment with new, more effective ways to turn ideas into action through many channels:

  • Online Engagement: Our lively website, policy blogs, e-mail newsletters, and online multimedia provide just-in-time delivery of research-based policy perspectives to influential readers around the world.
  • Publications: Our print and online materials include books, peer-reviewed working papers, essays, briefs, congressional testimony, and single-page policy memos addressed to specific decision makers. Analytic findings and policy recommendations are presented in lengths and formats to suit diverse audiences.
  • Events: Our popular events feature the work of CGD experts and other influential development-policy thinkers and practitioners. Participants include current and former policymakers, diplomats, academics, analysts, advocates, and members of the media.
  • NGO Outreach: The Center engages actively with nongovernmental organizations and advocacy groups, including organizations with broad-based U.S. public
    constituencies that share our interest in better development policies and practices.

Our People

The Center boasts world-class researchers, policy analysts, program managers, and communications professionals. Our senior researchers are recognized intellectual leaders in their fields who combine academic rigor with practical policy experience. Junior staff members—research assistants or program coordinators—typically stay at CGD for two years before pursuing an advanced degree in a development-related field. CGD maintains ties with a growing network of former staff working on development issues around the world. Meet our experts or view the full staff list.