A CGD working paper co-authored with Lant Pritchett. Actually, largely written by Lant. Which isn't the way senior-junior paper writing processes are meant to go.
The approach of 2015, the target date of the Millennium Development Goals, sets the stage for a global reengagement on the question of “what is development?” We argue that the post-2015 development framework for development should include Millennium Development Ideals which put into measurable form the high aspirations countries have for the well-being of their citizens. Standing alone, low bar targets like the existing Millennium Development Goals “define development down” and put at risk both domestic and global coalitions to support to an inclusive development agenda. Measuring development progress exclusively by low bar targets creates the illusion that specific targeted programs can be an adequate substitute for a broad national and global development agenda.
A paper for CGD: The International Finance Corporation wants to increase its development impact in fragile states. Currently, the IFC’s fragile-state portfolio mirrors that of overall foreign direct investment stocks in such countries: focused in extractive industries and mobile telephony. That suggests potentially limited value-added from the Corporation’s investments in terms of crowding in private capital. If the IFC is trying to increase its portfolio and development impact in fragile states, it should look for sectoral opportunities that share some of the features of mines and mobile investments but currently attract limited FDI—where corporation investment could act as a catalyst to private investments. These features include limited reliance on broader infrastructure, regulatory institutions or local skilled labor, comparatively simple financing, and the generation of large enough rents to provide revenues to government while remaining profitable. Off-grid electricity is a sector that is evolving towards such features and the IFC should consider a stronger push towards off-grid projects in fragile states.