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  • Author: Max Otto Baumann
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: There is a case to be made for greater transparency of the United Nations’ (UN) development work at the country level. Transparency can, in the simplest terms, be defined as the quality of being open to public scrutiny. Despite improvements in recent years, UN organisations still only partially meet this standard. Only the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and, with limitations, the World Food Programme (WFP) systematically publish basic project parameters such as project documents, funding data and evaluations. Others do not even publish project lists. Only the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) publishes evaluations – a key source on performance – in an easily accessible way next to programme or project information. Lack of project transparency constitutes not only a failure to operate openly in an exemplary way, as should be expected of the UN as a public institution with aspirations to play a leadership role in global development. It also undermines in very practical ways the development purposes that UN organisations were set up for: It reduces their accountability to the stakeholders they serve, including executive boards and local actors; it hampers the coordination of aid activities across and beyond the UN; and it undermines the learning from both successes and failures.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, Transparency, World Food Program (WFP)
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mariya Aleksandrova
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Social protection plays a central role in achieving several of the social and environmental goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a result, this policy area is gaining increased recognition at the nexus of global climate change and development debates. Various social protection instruments are deemed to have the potential to increase the coping, adaptive and transformative capacities of vulnerable groups to face the impacts of climate change, facilitate a just transition to a green economy and help achieve environmental protection objectives, build intergenerational resilience and address non-economic climate impacts. Nevertheless, many developing countries that are vulnerable to climate change have underdeveloped social protection systems that are yet to be climate proofed. This can be done by incorporating climate change risks and opportunities into social protection policies, strategies and mechanisms. There is a large financing gap when it comes to increasing social protection coverage, establishing national social protection floors and mainstreaming climate risk into the sector. This necessitates substantial and additional sources of financing. This briefing paper discusses the current and future potential of the core multilateral climate funds established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in financing social protection in response to climate change. It further emphasises the importance of integrating social protection in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to access climate finance and provides recommendations for governments, development cooperation entities and funding institutions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations, Climate Finance, Sustainable Development Goals, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Srinivasa Reddy Srigiri, Ines Dombrowsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Understanding the conditions for coordination in the WEFNexus is key to achieving the 2030Agenda. We provide a framework for analysing nexus governance from a polycentricity perspective, which can be useful in formulating coherent strategies for the integrated implementation of the SDGs.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, United Nations, Water, Food, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mao Ruipeng
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: As China deepens its engagement in global governance and development, its strategic motivation and rising influence within the UN and on international rules and norms are attracting the world’s attention. This paper focuses on China’s engagement with the UNDS, specifically Chinese funding and allocation decisions. China’s UNDS funding has risen rapidly since 2008 and even accelerated in 2013. Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese funding (excluding local resources) grew at an annual average rate of 33.8 per cent. In 2017, its total contribution reached USD 325.869 million. China’s shares of core funding and assessed contribution in its total UNDS funding are much higher than traditional donor countries. However, the share of non-core funding has also jumped. While China tends to mostly provide funds for UNDS development projects, in recent years it has also been hiking funding for humanitarian assistance. This paper also examines three cases of China’s earmarked funding – to the UNDP and the WFP, which receive the largest share of its UNDS funds, as well as for UNPDF operations, which count as a voluntary contribution. There are several reasons for China’s growing engagement with the UNDS, from evolving perception of foreign aid and appreciating the UN’s multilateral assets to fostering the reputation of “responsible great nation” and pushing forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) through cooperation with the UNDS. In general, China continues to integrate into the global development system, and can be expected to maintain its support for the UN and continue to contribute to the UNDS.
  • Topic: Development, International Law, United Nations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Norms
  • Political Geography: China, Global
  • Author: Anne Koch, Jana Kuhnt
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: With its guiding principle “leave no one behind”, the 2030 Agenda aims at improving the living conditions of poor and marginalised groups. Migrants and refugees are not systematically considered in this process. In oder to do so, data disaggregated by migratory status is urgently needed.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugees, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Geovana Zoccal
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: rilateral Cooperation (TriCo) has to operate growing complexity in the international development cooperation, going beyond the North-South-divide. TriCo became broader, more dynamic and flexible. The briefing presents recommendations to advance TriCo for all donors, and to make the modality support the 2030 Agenda.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Max Otto Baumann, Erik Lundsgaarde
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The United Nations development system and other multilateral organizations have increasingly been funded through earmarked contributions. This has implications for their ability to effectively and independently perform the functions member states’ expect of them.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, United Nations, Multilateralism, Development Aid, Funding
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Silke Weinlich, Max Otto Baumann, Erik Lundsgaarde
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Germany has become the second-largest funder of UN humanitarian and development work, but its funding is rather fragmented and restricted. To be an effective supporter of multilateralism, the German Government should adopt a coordinated, strategically informed approach to funding UN organizations.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: John Hendra, Max Baumann
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In order to effectively assist countries in building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and return to a path towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN and its development organizations will need to focus more than in recent times on high-level policy advice.
  • Topic: United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: South Africa’s engagement in global development structures has evolved since 1994, when the country re-entered the international community. The historical philosophical underpinnings of the African National Congress, the governing party, aimed to reaffirm the country’s place in the Global South and African firmament after the end of apartheid. This understanding is necessary in the context of South Africa’s priorities over the past 25 years, not least in the development debates. The last two decades have seen significant attempts to develop global norms that tackle the serious developmental challenges faced by developing countries. The paper explores these initiatives and divides them into three streams – those undertaken by the United Nations, those begun by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC), and those that may be understood as part of club governance processes (such as the G20, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), and the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA). South Africa’s engagement in these global development structures is analysed, along with its contribution to the evolution of African agency on the issues of global development. South Africa has strongly criticised existing power relations while undertaking strategic engagements with the North, centred on the vision of an African renaissance and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development initiative. The country has consistently argued that Northern aid cannot be put on the same platform as South-South Cooperation as they have different origins. Other African states and continental institutions have also ramped up their engagement on global development and development cooperation in recent years, which the paper also explores. While South Africa has always identified Africa as a core pillar of its foreign policy, its interests have not always cohered with those of the rest of the continent. Lastly, the paper explores possible avenues that South Africa might pursue in the current polarised multilateral environment. Its biggest challenge is the tension regarding its Global South identity, which has to balance its commitment to African issues and institutional processes, and its positioning via its membership of the BRICS as an emerging power that seeks to contest the current global power configurations.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, Multilateralism, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa