Tag Archives: poverty

The Trillion-Dollar Question: Financing the Sustainable Development Goals


After years of consultation, discussion, and debate, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will guide development efforts for the foreseeable future are close to becoming a reality — meaning a global commitment to end poverty in all its forms everywhere and eliminating extreme poverty entirely by 2030. But one crucial question remains: how to pay for it all?

The Financing for Development (FfD) conference met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia earlier this month to try to reach an agreement on the right mix of development aid, taxes, loans, trade, and private investment to pay for the ambitious agenda set out in the SDGs, building on the failures and successes of the previous Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration.

Following the FfD conference, the Center for International Private Enterprise’s (CIPE) convened a panel of experts to reflect on the new SDG financing framework and outline important steps leading up to the summit in September where 193 heads of state will converge to ratify the goals.

Hosted by CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan, the panel featured Trevor Davies of KPMG, Christopher Jurgens of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Louise Kantrow of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Kamran M. Khan of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and Sarah Thorn of Walmart.

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Harnessing Markets to Reduce Extreme Poverty


When “3 billion people on the planet making less than $3 a day, [are] effectively cut out of society, we are missing the opportunity of all those people to be our musicians, our Einsteins, and our professors- it is really all of us that lose.”

In an event on harnessing the power of markets to tackle global poverty, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks and Acumen founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz highlighted the role markets can play in enabling the poor to participate fully in society.

By treating the poor “as assets to society,” rather than liabilities, “we’re going to enliven their capital and that will also give them earned success and dignity,” said Brooks. Novogratz’s philosophy is to do just that – by investing in the poor through so-called “patient capital.”

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The Post-2015 Development Agenda: An Ambitious Goal or Imperative for Action?

by Laura Boyette and Teodora Mihaylova


How effective is the current global development agenda? What needs to be done differently going forward? How can we set goals that are more attainable and sustainable?

In 2000, at the dawn of a new millennium, the United Nations laid out an ambitious global development agenda known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seeks to resolve some of the most pressing international challenges of our time: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, improving maternal health, reducing child mortality and promoting environmental sustainability, among others. Happily, the world has made some exciting progress toward achieving these goals.

The MDGs will expire on December 31, 2015 and a new set of principles will replace them. In order to face these new challenges, the United Nations once again created a panel to debate the needs that face our world post-2015. In May of 2013, the panel released their report.

At a recent talk at Georgetown University, Chair of the Center for American Progress John Podesta argued that five fundamental shifts have taken place since the inception of the current standards in 2000.

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Beyond good governance

October 17th is once again the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year’s theme is “From poverty to decent work: Bridging the gap.” Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are prime candidates to create sustainable work for the poor, but they face many obstacles including corruption and cumbersome business environments. Yet in a 2009 Survey on the Business Environment for SMEs in Egypt, CIPE found that not all SMEs surveyed had to pay bribes as part of licensing and registration, and those that didn’t pay bribes actually went through the process faster, on average, than those that did. How could that be?

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The intermediary imperative

Egyptian Spice Vendor

Perhaps this Egyptian street vendor can now get a loan. Could he also have need for a bank? (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stager57/2219225055/)

This month the World Bank loaned $300 million to the Egyptian government to pass on as loans to Egyptian micro- and small- enterprises (MSEs). Aside from the fact that bureaucrats may seek kickbacks or play favorites when disbursing loans, the move calls into question the role of donor organizations in private sector investment. Should they provide capital directly, which may encourage unsustainable donor dependency? Or should they help build capacity to enable financial intermediaries, who have a long history of providing capital and financial services to clients of all demographics?

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Empowering the poor and forgotten

Jua Kali Associations Training

"Jua Kali" association staff at a 2004 CIPE training in Kenya. "Jua Kali" is the common Kenyan term for the country's informal sector. (Photo: CIPE)

Association executives from around the world are gathering today in Washington D.C. the 2010 Association International Conference. As part of pre-conference activities, association executives from the U.S. are visiting Capitol Hill today to remind legislators that associations are important drivers of economic and social change.

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The day after…World Water Day

School girls collecting water from handpump

Was there an open, competitive procurement process used in building this pump, and can this community adapt that process for building anything else? (Photo: Water.org)

Yesterday as I was browsing through BCLC’s global issues web portal on water, I couldn’t help but think about what else corporations might be leaving behind when they’re done a water access project. On the day after a water project is completed, there just might be more that has changed besides greater access to drinkable water. It’s possible that corporations are not just leaving behind tangible projects, but also intangible processes.

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