On the CGD blog, Nancy Birdsall proposes “Ten Actionable Ideas … for a 21st-Century Global Development Agenda”
What are examples – some realized and some on the table but untested – for practical action in the interests of global prosperity? Where do good ideas come from? How do they get translated into action?
- More AMCs for vaccines and green technology
- Protect some aid from security and political objectives
- Independent evaluation agency
- More representative G-20
- Visas for people from poor countries
- Duty free, quote free access to all markets
- Per capita distribution of net income from non-renewables
- Reform of selection of heads of international agencies
- World Bank to have a global public good window
- Petrol tax in the US
Ever fizzing with ideas, Nancy throws in a few others: endow think tanks in low-income countries; increase capital at development banks; Climate Investment Funds to bring private investment money; Cash On Delivery Aid; new insurance and risk management instruments at the multilateral development banks.
Well I agree with all those, of course (and not just because I’m a visiting Fellow at CGD!). She asks for other suggestions. Here are my ten:
- Global standards for transparency and traceability of all aid to increase accountability and effectiveness
- Climate justice – every person in the world to have equal, tradeable, carbon emission rights, capped overall at the level scientists tell us is safe
- Global information sharing among tax authorities to prevent tax evasion
- Unbundling of aid funding from aid delivery, complete untying and global standardised output and outcome indicators to enable cost comparisons
- A global minimum income guarantee backed by cash payments to the world’s poorest people
- Product traceability from sweatshop to supermarket using barcodes
- A complete ban on exports of small arms
- A standing, professional UN peacekeeping force to be deployed by a reformed Security Council
- Reform of intellectual property to permit free access in the lowest value markets
- Increasing the share of aid to LDCs from 38% of global aid today to 90% by 2012.
Update 25 February: On Twitter, Nancy Birdsall (@nancymbirdsall) says: “@OwenBarder has 3 more actionable ideas (and 7 dreamy ones)”. This is a good game: which of these does Nancy think are actionable and which are dreamy? My guess is she thinks (1), (3) and (9) are actionable and the rest dreamy. But what do you think?
I think they are all realistic – but then I’m with John Lennon: “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the wo-o-rld will live as one”.