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  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Without a clearer understanding of the serious flaws in the government's official measure of poverty, most initiatives aimed at reducing poverty in the United States will be needlessly ineffective. New measures that take into account contemporary lifestyles and the dynamic U.S. economy will be more useful in helping the poor.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Claus Aagaard
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Many countries are currently in a process of water reform, often motivated by increasing and a changing composition – and strength – of demands for fresh water. In many countries this reform process has been met with opposition from all political corners, including traditional water users such as large scale farmers and civil society organizations such as indigenous movements and environmental groups.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Matthew Smith, Alan Roe, Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: An effective state is able to mobilize revenue and spend it on infrastructure, services, and public goods that both enhance human capital and the well-being of communities (especially the poor), as well as stimulating investment and employment creation by the private sector. An effective state also manages public finance to ensure that macroeconomic balance is maintained—with policy neither too restrictive to discourage private investment and growth, nor too accommodative to create high inflation and crowd out private investment. Fiscal issues are therefore at the heart of the state's role in the development process and failure in this policy area—whether it is in taxation, public expenditures, or in managing the fiscal deficit and public debt—can quickly undermine growth and poverty reduction. Fiscal weakness can also be fatal to social peace when one or more ethnic, religious, or regional groups are taxed unfairly—or receives too little in the allocation of public spending.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Jorge Wilheim
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: I shall try to describe the importance of establishing links between short term and long-term projects intended to reduce poverty, illustrating these issues with the recent experiences of São Paulo, Brazil. I shall start with a short commentary on mobile societies, the global economy and the meaning of sustainable development. As our main and final aim is the elimination of poverty and not just its reduction, I shall then outline the links between long-term objectives and urgent short-term strategies. Finally, I will reflect upon poverty reduction efforts undertaken in São Paulo by Mayor Marta Suplicy during her 2001-2004 term when I served as Planning Secretary. Based on this experience, I shall propose some topics for the research agenda on poverty and urbanization.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Politics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is seriously wounded. Unveiled by President Bush in March 2002 as a promising new bilateral aid instrument for tackling global poverty, the most prominent sign of the MCC's distress was the mid-summer resignation of Paul Applegarth, its first CEO. More disturbing are the cuts imposed by the Congressional committees marking up next year's budget. The MCC's original concept was to award $5 billion annually to low-income countries based on objective criteria measuring their performance in ruling justly, investing in people, and promoting economic freedom. Appropriations for the MCC in its third year of funding, however, appear to be stuck below $2 billion. Criticism of the MCC for getting off to a slow start misses the point. Creating a new agency takes time and the original concept remains valid. To enable the MCC to live up to its potential, its newly nominated CEO will have to sell the MCC vision to a skeptical Congress and gain the flexibility required to avoid drifting toward "more of the same."
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Robert E. Litan, Nicholas Warren, Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: With a new wave of white-collar offshoring coming fast on the heels of accelerated job losses in manufacturing, an ever-broader pool of American workers is finding that the nation's safety net has more holes than netting. The nation can and must do more to help insure the livelihoods of American workers in the face of structural shifts of whatever form, while preserving the benefits of an open and innovative economy. With technological change and offshoring accelerating job turnover and the pace at which workers' job-specific skills lose value, the time has come for the federal government to strengthen the existing safety net.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Richard L. Lawson, John R. Lyman, Donald L. Guertin
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Today, hunger, poverty, and desperation remain prevalent throughout much of the developing world. If we are to live in a 21st century more prone to peace than violence, the developed countries must move expeditiously to address the developing countries' energy and water problems. The availability, accessibility and affordability of energy and water are vital to the economic development that is required to alleviate global poverty and to address environmental degradation.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment, Poverty
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: All OECD governments attach importance to combating poverty and exclusion, and for good reason. Poverty and exclusion are evidence of a society that wastes human resources, opportunities and life-chances, both now and for the future. Failure to tackle the poverty and exclusion facing millions of families and their children is not only socially reprehensible, but will also weigh heavily on countries' capacity to sustain economic growth in years to come.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: LaDonna Pavetti
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Efforts to reform the welfare system over the last two decades have largely focused on reducing welfare dependency by getting welfare recipients to work. By the time the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created by the welfare reform law of 1996, there was widespread agreement in the states that welfare recipients should be required to look for work and to do so shortly after (or even before) they began receiving cash assistance. Once TANF was implemented, work became a central focus of local welfare offices. However, as shown by the recent debates on the reauthorization, consensus on work requirements remains elusive.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: Christina Boswell, Jeff Crisp
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In recent years, the issues of international migration and asylum have risen to the top of the international agenda. The pressures and opportunities linked to the process of globalization have led to an increase in the number of people moving from one country and continent to another. At the same time, insecurity and armed conflict in many of the world's poorest and economically marginalized states have triggered new waves of displaced people.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Poverty, United Nations