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About the Development Assistance and Governance Initiative

The Development Assistance and Governance Initiative (DAGI) at Brookings aims to influence how aid and development policies are used to tackle global poverty and today’s pressing development challenges. The work program is led by a core team of scholars and offers critical recommendations to policymakers with the goal of improving development outcomes for millions around the world. DAGI’s core research agenda focuses on the following areas:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): DAGI engages in research and dialogue on the drivers of progress and next steps to achieve the SDGs, a universal framework to which 193 countries have agreed. Focus areas include the global development architecture; the changing nature of global poverty, including the rise of the global middle class and the difficulty of eradicating extreme poverty, which is increasingly concentrated in fragile and vulnerable states; the operationalization of the SDGs; interventions that support poverty reduction; the impact of technology (especially digitization) on the development process and development cooperation; sectoral trends; and engagement in key processes and debates to reinforce the relevance of the SDGs—nationally and sub-nationally—to broader policy efforts.
  • Aid and beyond: DAGI examines how to broaden the concept of financing for development to include flows beyond Official Development Assistance (ODA). Focus areas include metrics to capture SDG financing and trends in the aid industry, the allocation of official development finance across countries and sectors, the effectiveness of institutions such as the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), blended finance, de-risking, partnerships, and the private sector.
  • Multilateral roles and reforms: DAGI actively engages with senior management of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and lending institutions on how to optimize their overall development impact, standard-setting, country and sector allocation decisions, leverage, and opportunities to scale up. A particular area of focus is sustainable infrastructure as a key connector between growth, and development, and climate, and DAGI has partnered with the New Climate Economy (NCE) on strengthening the implementation and financing of the global agenda. Focus areas include engagement in the Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, set up by the G-20 Finance Ministers and the annual Global Infrastructure Forum.
  • U.S. foreign aid reform: DAGI undertakes research and dialogue about the continued importance of U.S. leadership in global development and the need for continuity on accountability and transparency measures, as well as the accessibility and usability of publicly provided data. The Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty is the program’s signature annual conference on global development, and the event and follow-on activities have taken a particular focus on generating ideas and recommendations for the U.S. on aid architecture redesign, multilateral aid reform, and approaches to fragility.
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