West Africa

  • Nigerien soldiers prepare their magazines for a dismounted patrol during Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, March 11, 2017

    Commentary

    The Real Questions We Should Be Asking About Niger

    In the wake of the deaths of four U.S. servicemen in Niger, Americans are embroiled in a pointless political squabble. The focus should be on developing a greater understanding of the risks and benefits of U.S. counterterrorism operations abroad.

    Oct 30, 2017

  • A U.S. Army Special Forces weapons sergeant observes a Nigerien soldier while practicing buddy team movement drills in Diffa, Niger, March 11, 2017

    Commentary

    U.S. Helping Niger Halt Spread of Terror in Region

    Niger is at the epicenter of the war on terror, with local and regional violent groups based there and entering the country from nearly every side. U.S. troops are there to train Niger's security services — not to fight. They are also assisting French forces who are fighting there.

    Oct 25, 2017

  • U.S. Army Soldiers provide security during a mission in Yarmouk, Iraq, July 2007

    Report

    Armies Have a Role to Play in Nation Building

    Events in Iraq and Mali have raised questions about the value of Security Force Assistance and U.S. capacity to strengthen client states' militaries in the face of insurgencies or other threats. History shows that SFA programs could be improved if they focused more on ideology and how an army complements a host country's larger nation-building efforts.

    Oct 24, 2017

  • Security forces deploy to secure the area after an overnight raid on a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, August 14, 2017

    Commentary

    Sahel Governments Need More Security Assistance

    Developments in the Sahel are cause for alarm. Despite the presence of an active French counterterrorism force and a UN peacekeeping mission, al Qaeda groups are thriving. The region would benefit from approaches that combine police and military operations with economic development and improved governance.

    Sep 14, 2017

  • French President Emmanuel Macron rides in a helicopter as he visits French troops in Africa's Sahel region in Gao, northern Mali, 19 May 2017.

    Commentary

    The U.S.-France Dustup Over Counterterrorism in the Sahel

    It's time for Paris and Washington to get together with the G5 nations of the Sahel and draft a strategy for achieving shared objectives. The French cannot do it alone or even with the support of the G5 nations. The U.S. would be penny wise but pound foolish to stay aloof or even just uphold the status quo.

    Jun 23, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    Islamic State Control of People Down 83% in Iraq and 56% in Syria from Peak Levels

    The Islamic State has lost substantial control of territory and people but still conducts and inspires attacks around the world. The U.S. should pursue a light rollback strategy that relies on local forces backed by U.S. special operations forces, intelligence assets, and airpower.

    Apr 20, 2017

  • Iraqi forces advance against Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq, March 6, 2017

    Report

    Rolling Back the Islamic State

    The Islamic State has lost substantial control of territory and people. But the group still conducts and inspires attacks around the world. The United States should pursue a light rollback strategy that relies on local forces backed by U.S. special operations troops, intelligence assets, and airpower.

    Apr 20, 2017

  • Malian soldiers ride in the back of a truck in Timbuktu, January 2015

    Report

    How to Address Mali's Terrorist Problem

    The terrorist threat in Mali is growing, but the country's military remains largely ineffective. Mali can't handle the threat without outside help. How can the United States engage Mali and other partners to help foster greater security and stability?

    Apr 20, 2017

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Persistent Barriers to Care: A Qualitative Study to Understand Women's Experiences in Areas Served by the Midwives Service Scheme in Nigeria

    The Nigerian Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) is an ambitious human resources project created in 2009 to address supply side barriers to accessing care.

    Mar 15, 2017

  • French President Francois Hollande (L) walks with Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali at the international conference center of Bamako ahead of the France-Africa summit in Bamako, Mali, January 14, 2017.

    Commentary

    What Mali Really Needs

    Mali needs more international engagement, as well as serious pressure on the Malian state to strengthen its hold on the country. The key will be helping beyond just security force assistance and conventional economic development aid; Mali needs help governing.

    Jan 23, 2017

  • French soldiers from Operation Barkhane stand outside their armored personnel carrier during a sandstorm in Inat, Mali, May 26, 2016

    Commentary

    Mali's Persistent Jihadist Problem

    The 2013 French intervention in Mali averted an al Qaeda-backed thrust toward the capital of Bamako and reduced the threat from other jihadist groups. To ensure that a new threat does not materialize, France will need staying power and support from its allies.

    Jan 12, 2017

  • French President Francois Hollande and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian review troops at the fort of Vincennes, France, July 25, 2016

    Commentary

    Emergencies: France, Mali, and Turkey Are Playing with Fire

    The leaders of France, Mali, and Turkey have declared formal states of emergency. France's Hollande and Mali's Keïta, while responding to real threats, are risking democracy. Erdogan appears to be targeting democracy and using Turkey's recent failed coup as a pretext.

    Aug 15, 2016

  • Blanche and Pulchérie are midwives at a hospital in Benin, photo by Stephan Gladieu, World Bank Flickr Photo Collection/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Dissertation

    The Determinants of Job Satisfaction among Nurses, Midwives, and Auxiliary Nurses in Health Clinics: The Case of Bénin, West Africa

    Using secondary data from a performance-based financing project in health facilities, this dissertation examines the concept of work satisfaction among health workers in Bénin.

    Jul 13, 2016

  • Niger's incumbent President Mahamadou Issoufou speaks to journalists after voting during the country's presidential and legislative elections in Niamey, Niger, February 21, 2016

    Commentary

    An African Country the West Has Ignored Could Have a Big Impact on the Global War on Terror

    This week's presidential election in Niger is of real importance for U.S. interests in Africa and the global campaign against militant Islamists. A clean and peaceful election would constitute a step forward that could help secure an effective counterterrorism partner.

    Feb 26, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Does Price Affect the Demand for Information About New Health Technologies? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria

    We study how pricing subsidies influence the demand for information about a new preventative health technology.

    Feb 19, 2016

  • A mother and son in Nigeria

    Commentary

    A Promising Approach for Expanding Health Insurance to Nigeria's Informal Sector

    The Kwara Community Health Insurance program in Nigeria provides a remarkable proof of concept and template for addressing the challenge of providing risk protection for the poor in the developing world.

    Jan 22, 2016

  • News Release

    News Release

    New Book Outlines How French Strategies Prevented Al Qa'ida's Expansion in Mali

    France's 2013 military intervention in Mali to stop Al Qa'ida from advancing was quick, effective, and relatively low cost. What France accomplished offers lessons for the fight against terrorist groups in Africa and worldwide.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • A French soldier stands guard in an armoured vehicle in the Terz valley, in northern Mali, March 21, 2013

    Commercial Book

    The French War on Al Qa'ida in Africa

    France's 2013 military intervention in Mali to stop Al Qa'ida from advancing was quick, effective, and relatively low cost. What France accomplished offers lessons for the fight against terrorist groups in Africa and worldwide.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • A French soldier from Operation Barkhane rides in an armoured vehicle in Timbuktu, November 5, 2014

    Commentary

    The French Way of War

    There is a French way of warfare that reflects the French military's lack of resources and its modest sense of what it can achieve. They specialize in carefully apportioned and usually small but lethal operations, often behind the scenes.

    Nov 17, 2015

  • A Nigerian woman and infant

    Research Brief

    Evaluating Nigeria's Efforts to Improve Maternal and Child Health

    Nigeria is the world's second-largest contributor to under-five and maternal mortality. To address low rates of use of maternal and child health services, the government deployed midwives to work in rural communities. How effective has this program been?

    Sep 15, 2015