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Global Lookback 2022


By Izzy Taylor

In 2022, experts at Brookings Global studied myriad issues affecting the global economy and development. In our first ever Global Lookback, I sat down with and recorded 14 fellows as they discussed the research, events, and publications that had the most impact—as well as their insight on the most meaningful work to come in the new year.  

Vice President and Director Brahima S. Coulibaly kicked us off with an overview of the challenges Global scholars sought to address in 2022—from guiding post-pandemic economic recovery and avoiding a sovereign debt crisis to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and transforming education. 

As we count down to 2023, Brookings Global is looking back on our accomplishments.

Vice President @bsangafowacoul kicks off our #GlobalLookback2022—join us in the coming weeks as our scholars recap their proudest moments in 2022. pic.twitter.com/ZpRyMFfq4C

— Brookings Global (@BrookingsGlobal) December 19, 2022

Africa Growth Initiative

This past year, scholars from the Africa Growth Initiative emphasized the importance of including African voices in global debates. Director Aloysius Uche Ordu reflected on convening with senior policymakers from select African countries on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF’s annual meetings, while Landry Signe lent his expertise on trade policy to the United States Congress and the World Trade Organization, among others. Keep an eye out for the upcoming 2023 edition of Foresight Africa, which will provide more insight from these scholars and more concerning the most pressing policy considerations on the continent. 

The Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings had a remarkable 2022. @Aloysiusordu looks back on a high-profile convening, speaks about the importance of featuring diverse African voices, and teases the new edition of #ForesightAfrica coming in 2023. #GlobalLookback2022 pic.twitter.com/0NoAia4jvA

— Brookings Global (@BrookingsGlobal) December 20, 2022

Center for Sustainable Development

In 2022, the Center for Sustainable Development saw major success in Tony Pipa’s work on rural communities in the United States and the Reimagine Rural podcast. Climate change also took a prominent place this year—both Homi Kharas and Amar Bhattacharya focused their research efforts on climate policy, particularly the central role of developing countries and the urgent need for climate finance. Their upcoming edited volume, releasing this year, will shed more light on this increasingly vital subject. Center Director John McArthur discussed furthering progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the 17 Rooms initiative. With 2023 marking the midpoint of the SDG timeline, many of our scholars pointed to the necessity of a renewed, global focus on the SDGs in 2023. McArthur also highlighted the center’s deepened focus on gender equality as a core task of sustainable development. 

.@mcarthur—director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Brookings—reflects on the #17Rooms initiative, the importance of gender equity in sustainable development, and looks ahead to 2023. #GlobalLookback2022 pic.twitter.com/KX3rb0PuWz

— Brookings Global (@BrookingsGlobal) December 22, 2022

Center for Universal Education

As the Center for Universal Education celebrated its 20th anniversary, Deputy Director Jennifer O’Donoghue stressed the value of collaboration with stakeholders of all levels and localities in transforming education systems. The year’s successes reflect this holistic view: Helen Hadani worked to make cities worldwide centers for accessible learning, while Omar Qargha’s work on financial literacy in Jordan emphasized local involvement for sustainable scaling to the national level. In 2023, Emily Morris looks forward to the conclusion of a 15-year study following students in Zanzibar, Tanzania, to identify sources of and barriers to their success. 

Last year, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings celebrated its 20th anniversary.

As part of our #GlobalLookback2022, @jennodjod recaps the important lessons learned from two decades of work that the center is bringing into 2023. pic.twitter.com/DEgO7UOSIr

— Brookings Global (@BrookingsGlobal) December 21, 2022

Elsewhere in Global, fellows narrowed in on specific areas of interest. Danielle Resnick continued her work on food systems transformation in Africa. Zia Qureshi analyzed how technological change is shaping economies and policies. And Carol Graham delved into the benefits of investing in brain capital for public health and economic growth. 

Our scholars collaborated across policy areas to produce over 350 works in 2022 focused on enhancing global development. We’re looking forward to an even better 2023. 

Find the full set of interviews on Twitter using #GlobalLookback2022. 

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