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  • Author: Josaphat Kweka, Julian Boys, Amrita Saha
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The private sector and enterprises have a key role to play in the development of the Tanzanian economy. This Policy Brief provides insights and solutions that could offer business sectors the vital policy support that they need to develop and grow.
  • Topic: Development, Economy, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Oliver Morrissey, Milla Nyyssölä
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Diversifying income sources is an important livelihood strategy for households in low-income countries. Having several sources of income helps in increasing total income, and in spreading the risks. New findings on the benefits of income diversification from Tanzanian households can inform policy aiming to develop welfare at the grassroots level and beyond.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Diversification, Livelihoods
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Johannes Hermanus Kemp, Hylton Hollander
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Despite the frequent use of fiscal policy for stabilization purposes, there remains significant uncertainty regarding the impact of fiscal policy decisions on macroeconomic outcomes. This impact is quantified by calculating fiscal multipliers. A fiscal multiplier measures the impact of government’s tax and spending decisions on economic output.
  • Topic: Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Financial Stability
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: John Page, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For a growing number of countries in Africa the discovery of natural resources is a great opportunity, but one accompanied by considerable risks. There is an extensive literature linking natural resource dependence to poor economic performance. One cause is that resource-abundant economies tend to have economic and export structures that are highly concentrated on only few export products. Most of Africa’s resource-rich economies experienced increases in export concentration during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Natural Resources, Economic Growth, Mining, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Hickey, Tom Laver, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, Jeremy Seekings
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, there has been in Africa something of a ‘quiet revolution’ in poverty reduction strategies with the proliferation of social assistance programmes that entail cash transfers to the poor. The past two decades have also been characterized by a series of important political developments that have reshaped both state–society relations within sub-Saharan Africa and its relationship with transnational actors. What lies behind these changes?​​​
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, Poverty, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, East Africa
  • Author: Richard Newfarmer, John Page
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Our research shows that structural change in Africa is relying on a new set of economic activities, called ‘industries without smokestacks’, created by recent technological changes and a changing global market place. Adopting a broad concept of industrialization is crucial to recognizing that manufacturing, while important, is not everything. However, a lot needs to be done internationally, regionally and at the country-level to push these unique drivers of structural change.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Investment, Diversification, Industry
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jean-Philippe Platteau
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There are three main channels of women’s empowerment: legal or policy reforms, outside economic opportunities, and collective action. Legal (or policy) reforms are generally based on statutory laws that enact rules to be followed or prohibit certain practices. External economic opportunities for women represent alternative activities and places of working and living. Collective action brings women together to advance their collective interests.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Discrimination, Equality, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, China, Europe, Turkey, India, Asia, Senegal
  • Author: Ricardo Santos, Vincenzo Salvucci
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon involving things other than consumption — such as access to and quality of health and education, housing, possession of durable goods, freedom, and many other factors. The consumption and multidimensional poverty approaches are complementary: it is possible for example that a family has consumption levels below the poverty line but lives in a good quality home, its members have a good level of education, and vice versa.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Poverty, Survey, Housing
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Luc Soete, Alexis Habiyaremye
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Before the current global recession, many resource-rich African countries were recording unprecedented levels of growth due to a raw material price boom. However, the collapse in raw material prices and the ensuing severe economic difficulties have again exposed the vulnerability of these countries' natural resource export-focussed economic structures. In this research brief, we describe how Africa's abundance of natural resources attracted disruptive and predatory foreign forces that have hindered innovation-based growth and economic diversification by delaying the accumulation of sufficient stocks of human capital. We suggest that for their long-term prosperity, resource-rich African countries shift their strategic emphasis from natural to human resources and technological capabilities needed to transform those natural resources into valuable goods and services to compete in the global market.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, Global Recession, Natural Resources, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS OF 2008 HAS INDUCED two negative external shocks in African countries. The first is a financial shock with the availability of credit declining and the cost of international credit increasing (a financial crisis); and the second is a shock relating to the demand for and price of exports, as most of Africa's important markets went into recession and commodity prices tumbled (an economic crisis).
  • Topic: Globalization, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Marianne Matthee
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The success of Africa's exports, as well as its spatial development, depends on lowering transport costs. In this Policy Brief, we address a number of pertinent questions on transport costs in Africa, such as 'what are transport costs?', 'do transport costs matter for trade?', 'how important are transport costs in practice?', and 'why are Africa's transport costs so high?' We present a case study of the firm location decisions of exporters in South Africa to illustrate the significance in particular of domestic transport costs for manufactured exports. The message from this Policy Brief is that Africa's international transport costs are significantly higher than that of other regions, and its domestic transport costs could be just as significant. Moreover we show how domestic transport costs influence the location, the quantity, and the diversity of manufactured exports. Various policy options to reduce transport costs in Africa are discussed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • 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: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The period 1990-2000 saw 19 major armed-conflicts in Africa, ranging from civil wars to the 1998-2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Peace has been elusive, and the term 'post-conflict' is often a sad misnomer.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea