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International development experts share their ideas on how wealthy countries can promote prosperity in developing countries. Follow at

Oct 22, 2010

As if Pakistan needed more troubles, this summer’s catastrophic flooding stretched the capacity of that country’s civilian government to the breaking point. How can the United States act to shore up a key ally and put a strategically critical country back on the path towards development and stability? My guest this week is Molly Kinder, a senior policy analyst here at the Center for Global Development. Together with CGD president Nancy Birdsall, she spearheads the Center’s initiative that looks specifically at U.S. development policy in Pakistan and recommends how it might be more effective. Wren Elhai, who oversees the production of the Wonkcast and helps me by drafting these posts, also contributes to our Pakistan initiative, as a writer and analyst.

On the Wonkcast, Molly and I discuss Pakistan’s immediate needs in the aftermath of the floods and how they fit into the longer-term development picture. Molly emphasized that over the long term, aid will be only a small piece of the solution. What’s most needed are policy reforms so the government to collect more in tax revenue, strengthen the education and health systems, and to put the energy sector on a sustainable financial footing. “Unless Pakistan itself reforms, there’s really no chance that our aid by itself can transform the country,” Molly tells me.

Read a full show summary on the Wonkcast site: