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  • Author: Yared Seid, Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, Seid Nuru Ali
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Ethiopia has experienced rapid economic growth since 2005. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 10.5 per cent per annum for the period between 2004–05 and 2013–14. Public investment in key infrastructure and interventions in the agriculture sector have made important contributions to GDP growth. This growth has been accompanied by a process of capital deepening and signs of structural shift away from traditional and primary sectors towards secondary and tertiary sectors. Both processes of high growth and structural shift have important implications for poverty reduction and income distribution. One potential channel through which these influences work is the labour market. The indications of structural transformation that Ethiopia has shown in the last decade, including a continuous decline in the role of agriculture and rise in that of services, have led to reallocation of jobs and labour from low-productivity agriculture to more productive industrial—in particular the construction sub-sector—and service sectors. The rise in total factor productivity, overall increase in labour force participation rate, and fall in the labour share of the agriculture sector are indicative of the nature and extent of structural shift in the Ethiopian economy. A more durable shift of economic activities towards the manufacturing sector is expected to follow the rising trend in investment in the sector. This study explores the impact of the high economic growth and slow but unmistakable structural change on a number of economic outcomes working through the labour market. The growth opportunities and challenges of the Ethiopian economy are also discussed.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Economy, Economic Growth, Investment, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Per Pinstrup-Andersen
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Large food price fluctuations—caused primarily by extreme weather events, market disruptions, investor behaviour and government policy—began in the world market in 2007 and presented serious challenges for governments, private traders, farmers and consumers. A collaborative project between Cornell University, University of Copenhagen, and UNU-WIDER on the political economy of food price policy studied how selected governments responded to increasing food price volatility, and explains why they responded as they did. The degree to which world market price volatility was transmitted to national and local markets varied greatly among the 16 countries included in the project. This was due to trade policies, differences between import and export parity prices, and several other factors. The low degree to which international prices were reflected in domestic prices in some cases, and the large impact of national factors—such as local weather events, poorly functioning domestic markets, and limited dependence on foreign trade—meant that the behavioural response by governments to the international food crisis tended to be similar to the responses to earlier food price fluctuations caused by national factors. Path dependence was widespread.
  • Topic: Government, Markets, Food, Volatility
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tony Addison, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The design and implementation of effective aid policy requires a deeper understanding of the impact of aid and the overall environment in which development aid operates. This policy brief addresses four areas which are key to understanding how aid works: the relationship between aid and economic growth, the effects of aid volatility, the benefits of co-operation, and the macroeconomic management of aid flows.
  • Topic: Foreign Aid, Economic Growth, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carol Newman, John Rand, Finn Tarp, Neda Trifković, Nguyen Tue Anh
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This report summarises information from the Vietnam Technology and Competitiveness Survey (TCS) that has been conducted every year since 2010, concluding with 2014. The TCS has been a collaborative effort of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the Development Economics Research Group (DERG) of the Department of Economics (DoE), University of Copenhagen. The data used in this report is based on four survey rounds, and, with the addition of future rounds of the survey, aims to give researchers and policymakers a detailed understanding of the dynamics of technology, productivity and profitability of Vietnam’s growing private sector. This report provides readers with an introduction to the main features of the dataset and an overview of the main trends among the firm from the manufacturing sector in Vietnam. As the report does not provide a complete description of the full range of information collected in all survey rounds, both interested readers and researchers are encouraged to review the survey questionnaire and explore the full survey dataset.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Private Sector, Survey
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Teressa Juzwiak, Elaine McGregor, Melissa Siegel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief considers how businesses and governments in global cities contribute to the integration of migrant and refugee populations, either through outreach, specialized programmes, the provision of services, or targeted funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and to what extent these contributions can be deepened or expanded. The research involved the study of eight cities around the world representing a diversity of immigration experiences: Auckland (New Zealand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chicago (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lisbon (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and São Paulo (Brazil).
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Immigration, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Malaysia, Brazil, Lisbon, Portugal, New Zealand, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur
  • Author: Shyama V. Ramani, Ajay Thutupalli, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Veena Ravichandran, Tamás Medovarszki
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy need business engagements with other women (and men) that offer 'spaces' for dialogue to learn and build business capabilities. While formalization of entrepreneurial activity is favourable under some circumstances, it can be detrimental under others, necessitating a case-by-case evaluation. Many top-down actions for women's empowerment in the informal sector are only effective in gender-neutral economic development programmes. In this Policy Brief, we argue that although policy interventions may be favourable, they are neither necessary nor sufficient for change, as successful women role models are often the best agents for sweeping change.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: James Cockayne
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: On 30 November 1943, Franklin Roosevelt was in Teheran, celebrating Winston Churchill's sixty-ninth birthday with Josef Stalin. FDR gave Churchill a Persian vase, and as discussion turned to the post-war order he passed an aide a pencil sketch of what was to become the United Nations.
  • Topic: Crime, International Cooperation, International Law, Narcotics Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Piracy
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade is a global crisis that not only threatens the conservation of protected species but also has deep implications for peace and security in nations across the world. As wildlife trafficking becomes more organized and illegal trade of wildlife continues to flourish on the ground and in cyberspace, there is an urgent need for a concerted international effort to gather and share wildlife crime information among law enforcement and policymakers, empowering them to stem the tide of wildlife trafficking. There are several good examples out of such efforts, primarily by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and INTERPOL, to combat wildlife poaching and transboundary illegal wildlife trade. At a policy level, the formation of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) can be considered as one of the major achievements in recent times, where CITES, INTERPOL, World Bank, UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and World Customs Organization have come together as one unit to address the issue. The good work done by civil society, including WWF, TRAFFIC, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and member organizations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Species Survival Network (SSN) including grass root NGOs, is noteworthy as well. Yet, combating wildlife crime remains a big challenge. The collective efforts of the conservation community and governments are still unable to check the behaviour of poaching syndicates and organized criminals. We remain far behind in finding an adequate response to the crisis.
  • Topic: Crime, Globalization, International Law, International Organization, Natural Resources, Law Enforcement
  • 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: Madoka Futamura
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Countries under transition from war to peace or from an authoritarian to a democratic regime face fundamental political and social transformations and difficulties in emerging from a problematic past. The transition presents challenges but also opportunities for countries to reconsider their death penalty policies. It is in such a context that some countries abolish, retain or even actively resort to the death penalty to tackle transitional needs. Those who are working for abolition of the death penalty need to go beyond the human rights approach and take a more holistic approach to understand the fragile and complex local situation and needs in which the death penalty becomes a highly political issue.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Human Rights, Political Economy, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform
  • 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: Claudia Luepschen, Ruediger Kuehr, Federico Magalini
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: ZeroWIN (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks) is a five-year project (2009-2014) under the European Commission's Seventh Research Framework Programme. The ZeroWIN project has developed effective strategies for waste prevention through industrial networks. Ten industrial case studies in the automotive, construction, electronics and photovoltaic industries form the core of the project and exchange energy, water and materials in such a way that waste from one industry becomes raw material for another. This brief suggests what can be done to advance the implementation of industrial networks in practice, based on first outcomes of the ZeroWIN project. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 226752
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Health, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Koko Warner, Tamer Afifi, Walter Kälin, Scott Leckie, Beth Ferris, Susan F. Martin, David Wrathall
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The needs of affected people vary across types of human mobility: migration, displacement and planned relocation. Climate policy should draw on state-of-the-art knowledge and experience to distinguish between migration, displacement and planned relocation to improve the resilience of affected countries and communities.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Migration
  • Author: Nadia Bergamini, Robert Blasiak, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Kaoru Ichikawa, Dunja Mijatovic, Fumiko Nakao, Suneetha M. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The following policy report constitutes an important supplement to a set of 20 indicators for resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) that was developed over the course of joint collaboration between Bioversity International and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). The indicators were disseminated widely in pamphlet form for the first time in March 2012. Subsequently, a need was identified for sharing a more in-depth overview of the considerations that went into creating this list of indicators as well as the outcomes of initial field-testing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Sociology
  • Author: Philip Verwimp, Wim Naudé, Tilman Brück
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Although the impacts of violent conflict on investment, production, incomes and inequality have been widely studied on an aggregate level, comparatively less is known about the more diverse impacts of such conflict at the micro (particularly firm) level. Understanding such impacts can improve policies to mitigate the human and financial costs of violent conflict in developing countries. This policy brief discusses lessons from recent studies to address this gap.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, International Trade and Finance, War
  • Author: Sefano Burchi, Pasquale Steduto, Eelco van Beek, Patrick MacQuarrie, Anton Earle, Anders Jägerskog, David Coates et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This Brief offers a working definition of water security developed from contributions made by the broad range of organizations, agencies, programmes and institutions that form UN-Water. Through this Brief, UN-Water aims to capture the constantly evolving dimensions of water-related issues, offering a holistic outlook on challenges under the umbrella of water security. It highlights the main challenges to be addressed, the role water security plays in policy agendas, and possible options for addressing water security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: David M. Malone, Rohinton P. Medhora
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Notions of development have varied over time, and so an account of the international organizations concerned with its advancement must be accordingly elastic. The roots of international organizations concerned with development lie in two aspects of global inter-connectedness. The first is the propagation and management of a nascent technology for the global good. Thus were born the International Telegraph Union (ITU, now the International Telecommunication Union) in 1865 and the General Postal Union (GPU, now the Universal Postal Union) in 1874.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, International Organization, Post Colonialism
  • Author: David M. Malone, Poorvi Chitalkar
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The UN Security Council, largely handicapped by the Cold War until the late 1980s, has become considerably more proactive over the last twenty-five years. The results are mixed. One constant for the Council since 1980 is that it has been at grips with conflicts involving Iraq — conflicts with Iraq's neighbours and also internal strife prior to and particularly since 2003. Every instrument at the Council's disposal, including all the coercive ones, have been invoked at one time or another against authorities in Iraq or to assist them. After a promising beginning in helping to end the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), and in mandating the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Baghdad had sought to annex in 1990, the Council's silent tolerance of intrusive international humanitarian activities in Iraq's Kurdish provinces as of 1991 was ground-breaking. Nevertheless, the Council's post-war strategy for Iraq outlined in Resolution 687 of 1991 wound up over-reaching, involved serious unintended consequences arising from an overzealous sanctions regime (and a related humanitarian program the UN did not possess the administrative machinery to oversee effectively), and eventually sundered relations among the Permanent Five (P-5) members of the Council through a series of fractious episodes from 1988 to 2003. This working paper outlines a three-decade span of Security Council resolutions, actions and impasses on Iraq, investigating closely the period of diplomatic confrontation in 2002–2003 culminating in unilateral military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power by the US, the UK and a very few others without a mandate from the Council to do so. The UN was subsequently mostly side-lined in and on Iraq. The paper considers damage to perceptions of the Council legitimacy stemming from the events of 2002–2003 and assesses its evolving approach to international security in Iraq and beyond since then.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Some states lack the capability and/or the willingness to progressively promote the shared development of their citizens and are particularly vulnerable to external shocks and internal conflicts. They have been described as "fragile states". The poor governance and lack of state capabilities in around 45 fragile states pose a threat to global security and development. Effective international partnerships are necessary to pull them out of low-development–high-conflict traps. The "New Deal on Fragile States" announced on 30 November 2011 at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan by the g7+ (see "The International Dialogue on Peace-building and State-building and the g7+" Box) is the most recent initiative to foster such partnerships.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Political Economy, Terrorism, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State