Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD in the News

June 28, 2018

Double Investment in the Care Economy to Avoid Global Crisis – ILO (News Deeply)


By Megan Clement

Changes in family structures and lengthening life expectancies are leading the world towards a care crisis, the International Labour Organization has warned. And it’s women who will lose out the most.

The world is facing a crisis in the provision of care in the coming decades, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned. In a new report on the future of the global care economy, the authors state that without proper government investment in care services before 2030, gender inequality will increase and economies will suffer.


Much of the looming care conundrum is due to the changing structure of families worldwide. While in the past, the burden of unpaid care work has been split across extended families, the rise of nuclear families and single-parent households has intensified the responsibilities that fall to primary caregivers, who, more often than not, are women. There are 300 million single parents leading households worldwide, and 78 percent of them are women. 

“This idea of the traditional role of extended families helping out with child care – it’s not the norm any more,” Addati says.

Mayra Buvinic, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, says this dynamic applies to the elderly as well, and that the developing world will be affected just as much as the developed.

“In the developing world you’re still under the notion that families will take care of their elderly, but they’re not any more, in a lot of places,” she says. “And then what do you do with your elderly?

​Read the full article here.

June 25, 2018

Logos On Aid Supplies: Helpful, Demeaning...or Dangerous? (NPR)

It seems like a pretty simple thing. When a humanitarian group hands out bags of food or sets up toilets for people who are poor or recovering from a crisis, the group puts its logo on the product.

It's a way of taking credit, which makes donors happy. It's a way of letting the recipients know where to complain if there's a problem. And if you're sitting at home and catch the logo on a TV report, you might be inspired to contribute to that particular charity.

But now, some people are questioning the branding of aid goods.

The first concern: How do the logos make aid recipients feel?


Logos have become such a powerful tool that there have been incidents of ISIS stealing U.N. food aid, slapping their own logo on the boxes and redistributing it back to people.

Governments — especially those recovering from a humanitarian crisis — are anxious to get credit, too, says W. Gyude Moore, the former Liberian minister of public works. Except there's one problem: They don't often control the purse strings.

Read the full article here.

June 24, 2018

Michael Clemens' research on CNN's State of the Union

On the June 24 episode of CNN’s State of the Union, Jake Tapper asked Senator Johnson (R-WI), Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, to respond to Michael Clemens’ research on violence as a driving factor for migration to the U.S.

Watch here.

June 22, 2018

Opinion | Isaacs must disavow US migration policy if he wants to lead IOM (IRIN)

By Jeremy Konyndyk

Is a vote for Ken Isaacs to head the International Organization for Migration a vote of support for US President Donald Trump’s migration policy?

That is the question countries should ask themselves as they gather next week in Geneva to elect the next director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

I know Isaacs and have worked closely with him: we both served as director of Foreign Disaster Assistance for the US government, he under George W. Bush and I under Barack Obama. There is a strong bond and sense of a shared humanitarian mission amongst those who have served in that role. I believe that Isaacs shares that sense of mission, but that belief is hard to reconcile with statements – posted on his now-shuttered social media accounts – like “Muslims fast, they also blast”, and suggestions that European countries build a wall to keep out refugees.

Read the full article here.




June 22, 2018

Forests provide a critical short-term solution to climate change (UN Environment)

To prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we need to act now.

There is a “catastrophic climate gap” between the commitments that countries have made under the Paris Climate Agreement and the emissions reductions required to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, according to UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report 2017.


“IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change] numbers suggest that if deforestation ended today and degraded forests were allowed to recover, tropical forests alone could reduce current annual global emissions by 24 to 30 per cent,” says the Center for Global Development in its report Why Forests, Why Now?

Read the full article here.

June 21, 2018

Before reversal, U.S. was on pace to put over 19,000 child migrants in detention by year’s end (The Washington Post)

Before its apparent reversal, President Trump's immigration policy was on pace to put more than 19,000 migrant children in federal detention by the end of 2018, according to a Washington Post analysis.

The number of children being held by the government grew by about 62 per day since May, after Trump's policy of criminally prosecuting all first-time adult border crossers was implemented. Even assuming that the harsher policy deters would-be migrants and slows the rate of increase, the government was on track to detain an additional 1,000 children every month.


“The magnitude of the incarceration of children under these new policies remains unclear,” said Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development, who has been critical of the proposal. “The rate of incarceration before these recent unclear announcements was extremely high, and it’s certainly not obvious this apparent change in course will result in a large or any reduction.”

Read the full article here.


June 20, 2018

Map of the Day: Where Refugees Live (UN Dispatch)


Today’s map comes from the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Tent Partnership for Refugees. It shows that as many as 2.1 million refugees of working age (18 to 59) live in major urban areas in developing countries.

According to a report the two organizations published Tuesday, this means there are substantial employment opportunities for these refugees that would also lower the cost of hosting them and create economic benefits for host countries.


“There are many barriers to employing refugees but companies should know that geography isn’t one of them,” Cindy Huang, the lead author of the study and co-director of migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy at the Center for Global Development said in a press release. “Our advice to multinational companies? Hire refugees if they can.”

Read the full article here.

June 20, 2018

Migrants Are on the Rise Around the World, and Myths About Them Are Shaping Attitudes (The New York Times)

Immigration is reshaping societies around the globe. Barriers erected by wealthier nations have been unable to keep out those from the global South — typically poor, and often desperate — who come searching for work and a better life. While immigrants have often delivered economic benefits to the countries taking them in, they have also shaken the prevailing order and upended the politics of the industrialized world — where the native-born often exaggerate both their numbers and their needs.


Research by Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development finds that incomes per capita in the countries with the largest diaspora populations range roughly from $7,000 to $20,000. Some big African countries -- like Nigeria -- have entered that range.

​Read the full article here.

June 20, 2018

Migrants and refugees are good for economies (Nature)

Refugees and migrants searching for safe havens and opportunities benefit their host nations’ economies within five years of arrival, suggests an analysis of 30 years of data from 15 countries in Western Europe.

The study finds that soon after a spike in migration, the overall strength and sustainability of the country’s economy improves and unemployment rates drop. Its conclusions contradict the idea that refugees place an excessive financial burden on a country by sucking up public resources. The study was published1 in Science Advances on 20 June.


Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development, a think tank in Washington DC, says the analysis is a departure from some previous work because it focuses on big-picture impacts, rather than specific elements in an economy — such as the effect that immigrants have on local wages. “An analogy is that Peet’s coffee shop [a US chain] might have a negative effect on Starbucks, but the competition might be better for the economy overall,” Clemens says.

Read the full article here.

June 19, 2018

Here's How Immigration Policy Impacts Your Avocados and Other Produce (Fortune)

An avocado farmer in Santa Barbara, Calif. is struggling to find laborers amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, according to CNN.

Rick Shade, the farmer, only has 25 of the 50 needed workers for the peak season, putting him in a bind at a critical time for his business.

Farm labor shortages, especially in California, the nation’s leading agricultural state, are widespread, according to news reports. In California, 55% of farmers said they didn’t have enough workers, a survey by the California Farm Bureau Federation in 2017 found.

Immigration policies, an aging population of current workers, and an apparent reluctance from Americans to take farm jobs are just some of the complications.


A report by the Center for Global Development in 2013 examined the troubles encountered by the North Carolina Growers Association, which connects farmers in North Carolina with workers. Due to regulations, the NCGA must show that no native workers were willing to take the jobs before they’re able to use workers who have H-2A visas, the Washington Post said.

“In 2011, 245 people were hired out of 268 referred, but only 163 (66.5 percent) of the hired applicants actually showed up to the first day of work. Worse, only seven lasted to the end of the growing season,” the Post reported.

Read the full article here.