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  • Author: Kaitlin Y. Cordes
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Land-based investments can create significant grievances for local individuals or communities, and host governments seeking to address those grievances must navigate a complicated landscape of legal obligations and pragmatic considerations. This report, funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development, focuses on practical solutions for governments confronting grievances that arise from large-scale investments in agricultural or forestry projects. The report considers such solutions in the context of governments’ legal obligations, particularly those imposed by international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts. Understanding the implications of this diverse range of legal obligations is particularly important in light of investors’ growing recourse to international investment arbitration, which can expose a government to liability under an international investment treaty for actions that may be in the best interest of a country and its citizens. Analyzing such obligations is a useful first step for a government seeking to protect its citizens against the negative impacts of land-based investments.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Agricultural investment contracts can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. This Guide provides explanations for a range of common provisions, and includes a Glossary of legal and technical terms. It assists non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on OpenLandContracts.org. The Guide was prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: There is strong bipartisan support for Section 941 of the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, which requires the Pentagon to use cross-functional teams (CFTs). CFTs are a popular organizational construct with a reputation for delivering better and faster solutions for complex and rapidly evolving problems. The Department of Defense reaction to the bill has been strongly negative. Senior officials argue that Section 941 would “undermine the authority of the Secretary, add bureaucracy, and confuse lines of responsibility.” The Senate’s and Pentagon’s diametrically opposed positions on the value of CFTs can be partially reconciled with a better understanding of what CFTs are, how cross-functional groups have performed to date in the Pentagon, and their prerequisites for success. This paper argues there is strong evidence that CFTs could provide impressive benefits if the teams were conceived and employed correctly.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, The Carter Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of suffering. To this end, the Center has sought to wage peace, advance freedom and democracy, and improve health worldwide. As part of these efforts, The Carter Center has enhanced the quality of democratic governance by conducting activities in several areas, including strengthening human rights institutions, combating political corruption, advancing transparent governance, and observing elections
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachel Silverman, Mead Over, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Founded in 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) is one of the world’s largest multilateral health funders, disbursing $3–$4 billion a year across 100-plus countries. Many of these countries rely on Global Fund monies to finance their respective disease responses—and for their citizens, the efficient and effective use of Global Fund monies can be the difference between life and death. Many researchers and policymakers have hypothesized that models tying grant payments to achieved and verified results—referred to in this report as next generation financing models—offer an opportunity for the Global Fund to push forward its strategic interests and accelerate the impact of its investments. Free from year-to-year disbursement pressure (like government agencies) and rigid allocation policies (like the World Bank’s International Development Association), the Global Fund is also uniquely equipped to push forward innovative financing models. But despite interest, the how of new grant designs remains a challenge. Realizing their potential requires technical know-how and careful, strategic decisionmaking that responds to specific country and epidemiological contexts—all with little evidence or experience to guide the way. This report thus addresses the how of next generation financing models—that is, the concrete steps needed to change the basis of payment from expenses to something else: outputs, outcomes, or impact. For example, when and why is changing the basis of payment a good idea? What are the right indicators and results to purchase from grantees? How much and how should grantees be remunerated for their achievements? How can the Global Fund verify that the basis of payment is sound—that the reported results are accurate and reliable and represent real progress against disease control goals? And what is needed to protect communities against coercion or other human rights abuses, ensuring that these new incentives do not drive unintended consequences?
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most money and responsibility for health in large federal countries like India rests with subnational governments — states, provinces, districts, and municipalities. The policies and spending at the subnational level affect the pace, scale, and equity of health improvements in countries that account for much of the world’s disease burden: India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Fiscal transfers between levels of government can — but do not always — play an important role in turning money into outcomes at the subnational level. Well designed, transfers can help put states on a level financial playing field by equalizing spending across states and adjusting allocations for the health risks of each state’s population. Transfers can increase accountability and create incentives for greater spending or effectiveness in service delivery. But transfers are rarely designed with attention to their desired outcomes. To get to better outcomes, international experience suggests that transfers need to be reexamined and reformed along three dimensions. First, central government’s allocation of national revenues to subnational governments should respond to needs and population size. Second, transfers should generate incentives to improve subnational governments’ spending quality and performance on outcomes. Third, independent systems to monitor, evaluate, and provide feedback data on subnational performance can generate greater accountability to the central government, parliaments, and legislatures as well as to citizens. These insights are seemingly simple and suggestive, but each country starts from its own unique history that requires careful technical analysis and political savvy to define reforms with genuine potential to improve health.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Hospitals are central to building and maintaining healthy populations around the world. They serve as the first point of care for many, offer access to specialized care, act as loci for medical education and research, and influence standards for national health systems at large. Yet despite their centrality within health systems, hospitals have been sidelined to the periphery of the global health agenda as scarce financial resources, technical expertise, and political will instead focus on the expansion of accessible primary care. As a result, many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries have failed to evolve and modernize, both in operations and infrastructure, while the knowledge base on hospital effectiveness and efficiency remains small and inadequate. In turn, the standard of care and efficiency achieved by these hospitals has stagnated. The gap in treatment capacity and quality between wealthier and poorer countries—and between hospitals serving wealthier and poorer populations—is widening, just as emerging economies are poised to expand the range and depth of healthcare through universal health coverage.
  • Topic: World Health Organization, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Juan Masullo
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)
  • Abstract: Confronted with civil war, local civilians typically either collaborate with the strongest actor in town or flee the area. Yet civilians are not stuck only with these choices. Collectively defying armed groups by engaging in organized nonviolent forms of noncooperation, self-organization and disruption is another option. This monograph explores this option through sustained and organized civil resistance led by ordinary peasants against state and non-state repressive actors in Colombia’s longstanding civil war: the case of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joaquín Roy
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Joaquín Roy es licenciado en Derecho por la Universidad de Barcelona y doctor por la Universidad de Georgetown. Es catedrático Jean Monnet ad personam y anteriormente fue profesor en Georgetown University, John Hopkins University (Washington DC) y Emory University (Atlanta). Entre las distinciones recibidas destaca la Encomienda de la Orden del Mérito Civil, otorgada por el Rey Juan Carlos I.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joaquín Estefanía
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: El Informe sobre la Democracia en España nació con el objetivo de analizar el funcionamiento de la democracia española y los desafíos derivados del afán por mejorar sus instituciones. En las distintas ediciones continúa proporcionando una información fiable sobre acontecimientos y decisiones colectivas, de utilidad para el análisis, el debate social y la formación de la opinión pública. De este modo, cada entrega anual da cuenta del comportamiento efectivo de nuestro sistema de convivencia: las elecciones, las relaciones entre los poderes e instituciones del Estado, los partidos políticos, la vida parlamentaria; las relaciones entre los poderes centrales y territoriales, la creación y difusión de la información, el comportamiento de los medios y la articulación de la opinión pública, el papel de los poderes económicos, etc. Un selecto plantel de investigadores y un Consejo Asesor de especialistas en la materia hacen posible esta ambiciosa publicación que incorpora una auditoria de la democracia española para intentar aproximarnos a la evolución de la calidad del sistema democrático en nuestro país.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus