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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: The rising value of remittance flows into developing countries in recent years is often not widely appreciated. At a macro level, remittances support growth and are less volatile than other private capital flows, tending to be relatively stable through the business cycle. At a micro level, remittances benefit recipient households in developing countries by providing an additional source of income and lower incidences of extreme poverty. Remittances act as a form of 'social insurance', supporting households' capabilities to resist economic shocks. Remittances help recipient households to increase spending on essential goods and services, invest in healthcare and education, as well as allowing them to build their assets, both liquid (cash) and fixed (property), enhancing access to financial services and investment opportunities. Understanding the role and importance of remittances is particularly important at the current juncture, with the global economy experiencing a uniquely sharp and synchronized shock as a result of COVID-19. This report examines the available evidence on remittance flows and their potential economic effects. The report explores and shows how remittance flows remain a crucial lifeline in supporting developing economies through the current pandemic crisis and into the recovery. Although remittances slowed during the pandemic, they remained more resilient than other private capital flows, making them even more important as a source of foreign inflows for receiving countries. While the World Bank estimates that remittance flows to developing countries (low-and-middle income economies) contracted by 7.0% in 2020, this decline is likely to have been far less severe than the downturn in private investor capital. Looking forward, the World Bank predicts that remittance flows to developing countries will contract by a further 7.5% in 2021. But the outlook remains subject to a high degree of uncertainty with both upside and downside risks. A wider set of dynamics – including central bank data outturns for 2020, economic outlooks for the world economy in 2021, survey data and remittance consumer market fundamentals – suggest that while there are downside risks, there is also potential that 2020 and 2021 will not turn out as weak as predicted by the World Bank and for a period of strong remittance growth in the medium-term as sender economies recover and demand from developing economies remains high.
  • Topic: Development, Recovery, Economic Development , Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Renata Avila Pinto
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Governments all over the world are adopting cutting-edge technologies to experiment with quicker, cheaper and more efficient delivery of services traditionally provided by human beings. From citizen security to allocation of social ben- efits, technologies are being deployed at a rapid pace, the aim being to serve people better, reduce costs and enhance accountability. The results are mixed. In some cases, the technologies exclude entire groups of the population, thereby exacer- bating race, gender or economic inequalities. In other cases, technology is used to surveil specific groups or communities, eroding their right to pri- vacy. And there are no clear remedies to mitigate the harm done by machines or to increase the accountability of those deploying the systems. However, when designing tech interventions, universal human rights, democratic rules and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should shape the initiatives of the public sector. An important prerequisite is a higher degree of autonomy from big tech companies. Further- more, participatory design and testing in collabo- ration with the communities the technologies are intended to serve are needed, not only to avoid harm but to increase effectiveness and quality.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Governance, Inequality, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Eldridge
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Even as many developing countries are confronting the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are already bracing for the widespread, global recession that will follow. These countries already struggle to provide many services and supports to their citizens, and although the emergency assistance packages of international financial institutions are a start, they alone won’t be enough to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 and enable a strong recovery. Although most developing countries escaped the 2007–08 financial crisis with limited damage, for many, this economic downturn is expected to be much worse because of the direct health effects, the sharp decline in global economic activity, the structural composition of their economies, and constrained policy options.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Across the developing world the United States runs aid programs that have met the laudable goal of reducing infant mortality and maternal death resulting from childbirth. We have done some astonishing things, such as completely eliminating smallpox. Now we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by working to equip local communities with the tools needed to fight back against the coronavirus. Effective and inexpensive vaccines are everywhere administered to countless children who would otherwise die or be crippled by disease. More vaccines are on the way, perhaps even one for malaria, one of the biggest killers in the developing world. It is nothing short of a miracle. And yet the impact of these efforts in many countries could well be a legacy of war, famine, misery and the creation of new and even worse diseases.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, USAID, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Muhammad Yunus
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Muhammad Yunus is an economist and the founder of Grameen Bank, which provides microcredit to the impoverished without requiring collateral. Yunus and Grameen were awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2006.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Capitalism, Finance, Microcredit
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David A. Lake, Eli Berman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: Violence is a feature of life in many developing countries. As governments, private philanthropic organizations, and communities work to reduce inequity, alleviate poverty, and improve the well-being of people living in low- and middle-income countries, what role does conflict play in stymying development? And can development reduce conflict? David Lake, distinguished professor of political science at UC San Diego, poses five questions about development and conflict to Eli Berman, research director at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and professor of economics at UC San Diego.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Governance, Afghanistan, Conflict, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Angelo Paolo L. Trias
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The UN Global Assessment Report (GAR) is a comprehensive review and analysis of worldwide progress on disaster risk management (DRM). This year’s edition challenges us to move beyond prevailing norms in DRM to consider the complex nature of systemic risk. What does this shift mean and how will it shape DRM policy, research, and practice?
  • Topic: Development, Migration, United Nations, Risk, Sustainability, Disaster Management
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Eldridge
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The United Nations projects that by 2050, urban areas will swell in size by 2.5 billion people, with 90 percent of that growth occurring in Asia and Africa. Urbanization presents significant development benefits—boosting innovation, human capital accumulation, and access to opportunities—but it also strains existing physical infrastructure, social services, and public health systems. To manage the challenges and maximize the benefits of rapid growth, national and municipal governments, civil society, and development partners (among others) must weigh interrelated financial, political, cultural, economic, and technical considerations. For many, the big question is whether cities should build anew in urban peripheries or retrofit and reinvest in urban cores. At a recent event hosted by the Urban Institute, in partnership with the World Bank, experts considered this question through the lens of one rapidly growing city: Dhaka, Bangladesh, examined in a new World Bank report, Toward Greater Dhaka.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Urban
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Global Focus
  • Author: Margareth Sembiring
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The negotiations in the recently concluded COP24 in Katowice produced a critical rulebook for the 2015 Paris Agreement. Equally important is the Silesia Declaration signed during the conference. It exhorted relevant stakeholders to ensure a just transition for segments of populations affected by climate agenda.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Melanie Kesmaecker-Wissing, Lucy Knight, Ruth Mayne, Jola Miziniak
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Effective behaviour change strategies can play a vital role in combating poverty, injustice and environmental degradation. They can help prevent violence against women and girls; enable better health, hygiene and environmental behaviours; motivate and empower people to participate in campaigns or to become change makers; or influence people to make more equitable, ethical or sustainable purchasing and investment decisions. There is growing understanding among civil society organizations, governments and others about how to enable behaviour change, but many interventions still rely too much on information provision and awareness raising. This discussion paper draws on learning from theory and practice to provide practitioners with an understanding of the range of influences that shape different behaviours at individual, group, societal and system levels. It suggests a menu of possible interventions to address them, and highlights the need for resources and skill-building. It will be relevant for practitioners involved in programming, humanitarian, influencing and campaigning work, as well as for government officials and donors.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Inequality, Gender Based Violence , Behavior
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Over the next decade, cities in developing markets will drive global economic expansion. McKinsey predicts that 440 cities in emerging markets will generate half of all growth through 2025. To realize the potential of urbanization, developing cities need to become denser, easier to navigate, and more adept at using data to deliver public services. Inefficient public transit has posed a significant challenge to urban areas around the world. 1.2 billion trips are made using public transit every day, but the share of trips via public transit has declined in developing cities from 35.5 percent in 1995 to 23.7 percent in 2012.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Cities, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik, Janet Malzahn
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: As the global refugee crisis persists, refugees continue to leave war-ravaged countries and increase the strain on the world’s philanthropic sector. Conflicts and instability have expelled more than 68 million men, women, and children from their homes. With widening funding gaps and no resolution in sight, the international humanitarian system must tap into new sources of funding, resources, and expertise to care for the expanding population of displaced people. The private sector can, and should, help address this crisis. By partnering with humanitarian organizations, for-profit companies offer a unique perspective and wealth of resources to help refugees. These socially responsible partnerships, which we've documented and cataloged, engage the private sector in humanitarian efforts by giving them the opportunity to generate gains for their business while also producing value for refugees by joining with mission-driven non-profits. These partnerships are more likely to provide meaningful and ongoing help to refugees if they are profitable for businesses.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Refugee Crisis, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus