The “4 Ds” that Threaten Middle-Income Countries

Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Global Health NOW June 26, 2019. The authors, Shashika Bandara, Kaci Kennedy McDade, Hanna Huffstetler, and Wenhui Mao are major contributors to the 4Ds project at the Center.   In the last 2 decades, more than 30 countries moved from low-income to middle-income status, a billion people were lifted out of poverty, and there were major reductions in maternal and child mortality globally. Despite this progress, middle-income countries, where over 70% of the world’s population now live, are facing unprecedented challenges. The progress they’ve made is threatened. In particular, 4 key phenomena—which we call the 4Ds of global health transition—are rapidly reshaping the nature of health in MICs: Disease: The global burden of disease is shifting away from infections toward non-communicable diseases and injuries. In many…
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Measuring the gap between ability and effort in domestic revenue mobilization

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog. The authors, Ipchita Bharali and Indermit Gill have authored a policy brief and a report "Enhancing domestic revenues: constraints and opportunities" available for download here. Developing countries should expect foreign aid to fall during the transition from low to middle income, and end soon after. In low-income countries, the share of foreign aid is about 2.5 percent of GDP. This drops to 0.8 percent in lower-middle-income economies; by upper-middle-income levels, it is a negligible 0.2 percent. For both givers and receivers of foreign assistance, one of the main concerns is that foreign aid weakens the incentives to build domestic revenue administration capacity and make sensible tax policy choices. The stakes can be high. Even a pre-announced and gradual reduction of foreign…
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