How should we evaluate lockdowns? Disentangling Effectiveness, Context, and Politics

“In the early stages of the pandemic, there was significant pressure and urgency to respond. Now several months into the response, we are better equipped to assess the effectiveness and necessity of lockdowns, and to determine the most appropriate package of interventions to combat COVID-19.”

via Center for Global Development

The Macroeconomics of Pandemics in Developing Countries: An Application to Uganda

“Differences in demography, comorbidities, and health systems affect mortality risk; lower incomes affect agents’ willingness to forego consumption to reduce disease risk. Optimal containment is significantly less restrictive in the latter context, a normative implication contradicted by positive findings of similarly strict lockdowns across rich and poor countries.”

via Center for Global Development

What Do Past Shocks to Education Finance Tell Us About the Choices We’ll Face After COVID-19?

“We’ve heard the consistent refrain that the education sector needs to become more resilient to this and future crises, but we’ve heard much less about what that means in practice. Inevitably, it will require identifying tradeoffs and strategizing about how to deal with them in ways that support education outcomes, especially for students and families most likely to be affected.”

via Center for Global Development

From Overall Fiscal Space to Budgetary Space for Health: Connecting Public Financial Management to Resource Mobilization in the Era of COVID-19

“In low- and middle-income countries, 70% of budgetary space for health is driven by changes in overall public expenditure, while about 30% is directly attributable to the share of the budget allocated to health. Public financial management improvements can maximize or even enlarge budgetary space for health.”

via Center for Global Development

New Data Show the World Bank’s COVID-19 Response Is Too Small and Too Slow

“The World Bank is not on track to meet its $160 billion target by June 2021 as measured by new commitments. We estimate that the flow of money from the World Bank to its client countries will total just $79 billion by June—less than halfway to its $160 billion pledge.”

via Center for Global Development

Is the World Bank’s COVID-19 Crisis Lending Big Enough, Fast Enough? New Evidence on Loan Disbursements

“The pace of World Bank lending appears incommensurate to the scale of the crisis: while the Bank forecasts a 4.1 percent decline in GDP growth between 2019 and 2020 in the median low- income country, World Bank disbursements in 2020 have risen by just 0.3% of GDP by comparison.”

via Center for Global Development

Mortality Data in COVID-19 and Beyond: The Bedrock of Global Health Security

“What is the true death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic? We don’t know, but there is consensus on one thing: the numbers are likely worse than official figures show. The adage ‘better data drive better decisions’ could not be more true in the current context.”

via Center for Global Development

Debt Relief for Poor Countries: Three Ideas Whose Time Has Come

“There are three critical and urgent issues that should rise to the top of the agenda for the upcoming meetings of the G20 and the IMF and World Bank: making temporary debt service standstills work for poor countries with demonstrable need; shifting into high gear for IMF finance; and making IMF finance contingent on private creditor participation in debt restructurings.”

via Center for Global Development

COVID-19 and Girls’ Education: What We Know So Far and What We Expect

“Many schools around the world remain closed, affecting girls’ education directly. But both research and advocacy pieces highlight a host of other potential concerns that either directly or indirectly affect girls’ education and ultimately, their overall wellbeing.”

via Center for Global Development

What Matters Most for Policy Now: Better Mortality Data

“Measuring deaths completely, accurately, and quickly is an essential prerequisite to better economic and public health policies during COVID-19 and beyond. Yet despite its centrality to our collective fates, the state of mortality reporting is dire. Most low- and even middle-income regions lack data on deaths.”

via Center for Global Development