CGD, GDN Launch Free Online Journal Access for Developing Country Members

The Center for Global Development and the Global Development Network have arranged with Johns Hopkins University Press to provide scholars and practitioners residing in developing countries with free online access to thousands of full-text articles from the Project MUSE database of social-science journals.

Upon verification of information submitted through the Directory registration process, the GDN-NA Secretariat will provide developing-country members with details about how to access and search this journal database.

Those interested in participating should register for the service.

GDN-NA: A New Forum for Research, and a New Source for Information

The Center for Global Development, founded in November 2001, is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to reducing global poverty and inequality. In support of CGD 's commitment to engage actively with the policy community and the public on development issues, the Center hosts the North American hub of the Global Development Network. GDN-NA serves as one of eleven regional hubs worldwide for the Global Development Network, an organization devoted to making the perspectives of development professionals who live in the Global South better-represented in research and policy.

GDN-NA promotes the missions of CGD and GDN by helping development professionals around the world to build networks, share knowledge, and influence policy. The site intends to provide developing-country scholars and practitioners with a prominent new outlet for their research and advocacy work. In addition, the GDN-NA website equips development specialists with links to a wide range of valuable information, including potential collaborators in other geographic regions, collections of data and research, important events, and skills to support their projects.

Establishment of the regional hubs -- each hosted by a local NGO -- began in the developing world, and concluded with establishment of the EU hub in 2001 and the North American (US & Canada) hub in 2002. For additional information about resources and memberships, please contact the GDN-NA Secretariat at the Center for Global Development.

CGD, Foreign Policy "Rank the Rich"

Do the policies of rich countries help -- or hinder -- development in poorer countries? In April, the Center for Global Development and Foreign Policy magazine released the first edition of their Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which rates 21 rich donor countries on how much their government's policies help development in poorer countries. The index measures policies in six areas -- foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, peacekeeping, and environment. Countries receive a 0-to-10 score in each area; the average is their overall CDI score. The CDI assesses policy effort rather than impact, so that, for example, a small nation such as Denmark can rank tops on aid even though it gives less in absolute terms than larger countries such as the United Kingdom. In fact, the two biggest countries in the index, the United States and Japan, score 20th and 21st overall, respectively. Meanwhile the Netherlands, Denmark, and Portugal fill out the top three slots.

For more information, visit the "Ranking the Rich" feature on the Center's Web site.

Global Health Policy Research Site Launches

The Global Health Policy Research Network (PRN), organized and led by the Center for Global Development and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, brings together leading experts in public health, economics and other social science and technical fields to develop original, focused research on high-priority global health policy issues. The PRN seeks to improve the outcomes of donor decision-making in global health by:

The network's membership currently includes fourteen institutions, including four located in developing countries. For more information about the PRN, visit the PRN's site.

CGD, GDN Launch Joint Research Project on Quantifying Development Impacts of Rich-Country Policies

The Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Global Development Network (GDN) have launched a joint research project on quantifying the impact of developed countries' policies on developing countries: This project, focusing on impact, extends the Center's yearly preparation of a "Commitment to Development" Index, which aims to measure the degree of effort toward promoting development reflected in advanced industrial states' policies. The CGD/GDN effort has begun by convening an experts' research workshop: Organizers seek to increase knowledge about the "filters" between developed-country policies and socioeconomic outcomes in developing countries. Papers, presented by scholars from South and North, ask how the effects of developed-country policy ripple through developing states' institutional environments to create change, and how analysts might measure these impacts. Policies of interest include decisions taken by rich-country governments in the areas of foreign aid; trade policy; migration policy; environment; security; and private investment regulation. By enhancing the collection and analysis of data with respect to developed-country policies and developing-country sensitivities, this research will offer an innovative and quantifiable perspective on the imperative for development in an age of globalization.

GDN-NA, Urban Institute Provide Resources for "Managing Think Tanks"

Anyone involved in a business understands the fundamental relationship between the daily management of a firm and the success of goods or services produced by that firm. While a financial statement provides a clear expression of that relationship to people in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations often face great challenges as they seek to keep resources and objectives consistently and efficiently aligned. Drawing guidance from a recent study on the management of research and advocacy organizations, GDN-NA provides users with a database of strong management practices, and asks users to contribute examples of their own.

GDN-NA Features Cross-Regional Development Collaboration

GDN-NA works to build networks among development professionals, to allow them to share knowledge, and to enable them to influence policy through their research and advocacy. Highlighting and encouraging collaborative work across regions provides one key way for GDN-NA to fulfill these mandates.

One example of such collaboration comes from the program of the American Political Science Association's recent annual meeting, produced by researchers from Mexico and the US. In a paper on "Measuring Political Democracy", Georgia Tech's Kirk Bowman, Fabrice Lehoucq of Mexico's Center for Economic Research and Instruction (CIDE), and Brown University's James Mahoney work to refine measurements of regime/policy type, a key topic in current analyses of development. Studying the countries of Central America over the 20th Century, the authors observe that "[c]ountry and regional experts are often skeptical of the scores offered by large-N, over-time indices of democracy. They worry that these indices incorrectly score 'their' cases. This paper provides an empirical basis for believing this skepticism is well-founded."

While most studies of cross-national scales for democracy concentrate on issues of conceptualizing democracy, operationalizing democratic practice(s), and aggregating indicators of democracy, Bowman, Lehoucq, and Mahoney observe that "miscoding derived from poor knowledge of cases threatens [such measures'] validity more than [these] more commonly discussed problems." Furthermore, while their analysis focuses on states of Central America, the authors warn that similar concerns likely compromise measurements for states beyond this region -- many states "share two features characteristic of Central America," namely identification as a "small state", or as a state engaged in a transition away from one-party socialist rule. Drawing on the full range of historical sources and adaptation of expert case knowledge, the authors employ iterated-fitting techniques and fuzzy-set tools to enhance democracy measurements for Central America, and suggest new approaches for worldwide indices.

Have you seen another good example of cross-regional research or advocacy on a development topic? If so, please share it with us. If you'd like to create your own example, and want more information about other development professionals interested in cross-regional collaborative work, please contact us.

Make Your Mark on GDN-NA

Do you know of an event, idea, piece of research, or data source that other Network members should know about?

Seeking and featuring member-driven content reflects GDN's efforts to embody participatory models of development and promote South-North flows of perspective.

If you have an item to share, please register as a GDN-NA member and/or send the material to us.

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