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  • Author: Neha Narula
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: We often spend a lot of time talking about the regulatory aspects of what a digital currency might look like, or the economic aspects. But if we take a look at the largest companies, the most influential on our ways of life, they’re tech companies. Technology is incredibly important and influences what we can do with policy and what kinds of functionality we can even enable. So, what I hope to tell you today is a little bit about how I’m seeing the technology development of digital currency.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Monetary Policy, Digital Currency
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Brian Levy, Alan Hirsch, Vinothan Naidoo, Musa Nxele
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: South Africa's economic and social imbalances can no longer be swept under the rug. The country has three choices: muddle through, endure another surge of ethnopopulism, or pursue inclusive development. South Africa was one of the 1990s iconic cases of democratization. Yet starting in the mid-2000s, the country began to experience a disruptive collision between its strong political institutions and massive economic inequality. The collision intensified across the 2010s, resulting in economic stagnation and increasing threats to institutional integrity. Understanding why this collision occurred and worsened over time is relevant not just for other middle-income countries but also many higher-income democracies wrestling with similar tensions between a declining tolerance for high or rising inequality and institutions that seemed strong in the past but find their legitimacy increasingly being questioned. Ideally, ideas, institutions, and growth all reinforce one another in a virtuous developmental spiral. Ideas offer hope by encouraging cooperation and the pursuit of opportunities for win-win gains. Institutions assure that the bargains underpinning cooperation will be monitored and enforced. Together, ideas and institutions provide credible commitment, which fuels economic growth. However, such a benign scenario does not reckon with the ways in which persistent high inequality, accompanied by unresolved tensions between the distribution of economic and political power, can both put pressure on institutions and quickly change hope into anger. The result can be a cascading set of pressures and an accelerating downward spiral. For the first fifteen years of democracy, South Africa enjoyed the advantages of both effective institutions and a shared willingness of stakeholders believed in the power of cooperation. This enabled the country to move beyond counterproductive conflict and pursue win-win outcomes. Growth began to accelerate, which created new opportunities for expanding the middle class. Increased fiscal space made it possible to broaden access to public services and to social grants, which reduced absolute poverty. There were, however, some stark limitations in what was achieved. Gains for the poorest did little to alter their difficult economic and social realities. Less than a quarter of the total population, including essentially all white South Africans, enjoyed a standard of living that was middle class or better. There was ample reason for the majority of South Africans to feel that, notwithstanding the promises of mutual benefit, the deck remained stacked against them. This increased the vulnerability of South Africa’s political settlement.
  • Topic: Development, Inequality, Institutions
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Africa
  • 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: Lauren Clark
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Despite positive trends in electrification and gender equality in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the last two decades, the region lags behind the rest of the world in both dimensions. Recent economic assessments of the efficiency of pursuing universal electrification in SSA show the costs outweigh the benefits. This paper argues that, in the context of SSA, gains in women’s empowerment may strengthen the case for electricity expansion, but are not captured in standard cost-benefit analyses. The paper reviews existing literature to identify four channels through which positive externalities and equity gains may arise from electrification: (1) alleviating time poverty, (2) expanding labor market opportunities (“economic empowerment”), (3) improving maternal health and women’s safety, and (4) changing social norms. Findings indicate that electrification can alleviate women’s time poverty, create opportunities for women and girls to enter the labor force or focus on school, decrease exposure to harmful indoor air pollutants, improve maternal health, reduce exposure to and acceptance of gender-based violence, and change social norms through access to information. Expanding electricity access using renewable energy sources (“sustainable electrification”) presents additional opportunities to enhance women’s economic power by mainstreaming gender in the industry’s development. Falling costs of renewable technologies may also shift traditional cost-benefit analyses of electrification. Based on these findings, the paper recommends that policies continue to promote universal electricity access by prioritizing sustainable technologies that can support high-power household appliances, and integrating gender into every stage of the electrification process.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Women, Services, Electricity
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Gilles Carbonnier
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Illicit financial flows significantly erode the tax base of resource-rich developing countries, which do not have the means to invest in public health, education, and sustainable development. In this column, the author presents the latest research findings and policy implications and discusses some of the most promising avenues to effectively curb illicit financial flows, strengthening the nexus between trade and tax governance.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Human Rights, Financial Crimes, Trade, Development Aid, Sustainability, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Patrice C. McMahon, Lukasz W. Niparko
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although LGBTQI+ activists in Poland are under attack from the Law and Justice government’s conservative agenda, domestic activists are finding ways to resist and persist.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Political Activism, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Francesca Ghiretti
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The debate on technological development and the unfolding fourth technological revolution tends to neglect the role of the EU, relegating it to follower status. The leadership positions are occupied by the US and China, who compete with one another for technological supremacy. Yet, despite lagging behind in some areas, the EU is better placed than is often assumed and still stands a chance of guaranteeing the delivery of a technological revolution that is not only environmentally but also socially sustainable. This is critical in proposing a model of technological development alternative to that of China, in particular, and especially in such sectors as artificial intelligence, supercomputing and digital skills.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, European Union
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Bernard Bashaasha, Rikke Broegaard, Michael Byaruhanga, Evelyne Lazaro, Festo Maro, Khamaldin Mutabazi, Teddy Nakanwagi, David Tumusiime
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This DIIS Working Paper describes the design of a questionnaire survey developed and implemented in order to trace the development outcomes of foreign agricultural investments in six research locations in Tanzania and Uganda. The questionnaire survey was conducted as part of the Agricultural Investors as Development Actors (henceforward AIDA) research programme which, in particular, focuses on development outcomes in terms of employment, migration, food security and wider dynamic economic effects, such as access to technology, infrastructure and markets; land markets and perceived security of land tenure; and water access and security of tenure. The working paper which serves as a methodological reference document describes the approach which was employed for drawing six independent samples of 400 respondents each, as well as the approach developed for computing a foreign agricultural investment exposure index and for computing a locally informed household poverty index.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment, Poverty, Water, Food, Governance, Inequality, Investment, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recommendations: The US, South Korea, Japan, and the EU can pool resources to level the playing field with China and offer new finance options for developing countries seeking to upgrade their communications and technology infrastructure. The US should look to the India and Vietnam model and help other nations develop domestic capacities that lower dependencies on Huawei and other foreign tech providers over time. Open RAN is no silver bullet to compete with China. Its potential will only be fully realized in the mid and long run, after high integration costs, security gaps, and other problems are worked out.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Politics, Science and Technology, Power Politics, Economy, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Fana Gebresenbet
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: How can we explain the large gap between national legal and policy commitments to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) and the reality and practice of GBV in Ethiopia? Hitherto explanations mainly centre on the conflict between and social and official norms, and the stubbornness of the former. In this new DIIS Working Paper, Fana Gebresenbet tries to go beyond this dichotomy to examine what happens in the ‘in-between spaces’. While the stubbornness of social norms only brings home to us the slow pace of change, it does not tell us what guides the emerging practices that contribute towards change. Instead, ‘practical norms’ are used here as an analytical tool to examine what happens as we move along the continuum from social to official norms. This helps us capture why routinised, coordinated and socially acceptable new practices occur before the major social norms change. This work is part of GLOW (Global Norms and Violence Against Women in Ethiopia), a research programme financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by DIIS.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Organization, Poverty, Children, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Adam Moe Fejerskov, Maria-Louise Clausen, Sarah Seddig
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The use of emerging technology in humanitarian settings carries significant risks. The complexity of these risks entails a need to understand and imagine risks beyond those commonly associated with a particular technology, field, or implementing organization. Recommendations: Apply an extensive interpretation of what risks may look like, where, when, for whom, and how they might occur. The indiscernible nature of risks related to technology use means identifying or imagining these moves beyond existing organizational experiences. Recognize that technology-related risks can emerge across the data chain and are not only relevant for engineering or operational staff.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Migration, Poverty, Science and Technology, Capitalism, Inequality, Conflict, Borders, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marie Ladekjær Gravesen, Mikkel Funder
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to climate- and development-related challenges have recently gained attention in development cooperation. Among other, approaches that fall under the NbS umbrella include Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), Ecosystem-based Mitigation (EbM) and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). This new DIIS Working Paper focuses on nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation, EbA. It provides an overview of selected lessons learnt from EbA in the context of development cooperation, with a particular emphasis on the opportunities and risks regarding poverty alleviation and rights. It generates learning for Danish development cooperation, including future programming under Denmark’s 2021 development strategy, in which NbS approaches are emphasised. However, the paper can also be read as a general discussion of experiences with EbA in the development context. The three-legged EbA approach focuses on human well-being, ecosystem management, and climate change adaptation. EbA has already been applied to a range of ecosystems, including the restoration of mangroves to shield them against storm and sea-level rises, the management of watersheds to protect against droughts and flooding, the management of rangelands to inhibit desertification and land degradation, and more sustainably managed fisheries and forestry to tackle food insecurity. EbA thus not only addresses the restoration of already degraded ecosystems, but also the sustainable use, management, and conservation of intact ecosystems. The paper provides a conceptual overview of EbA in relation to NbS, outlines the potential in using EbA approaches, and describes the landscape of the institutions and agencies that fund, promote and implement EbA. The paper then provides a synthesis of lessons learned from PES and REDD+ schemes that are of relevance to EbA. For instance, it is emphasised that many REDD+ measures have effectively existed as project islands that were not anchored in national or subnational planning and governance mechanisms. As a result, the conservation activities and socioeconomic benefits were often not effectively integrated or scaled up beyond small project sites. If comprehensively implemented, the EbA approach builds on these experiences by insuring full inclusion of stakeholders from all relevant sectors, as well as demanding full integration in existing policies, planning and governance practices from the ministry levels to sub-national governments. Among the final recommendations and possible entry points for Danish development cooperation, the paper highlights that the support must have a strong focus on ensuring that EbA is pro-poor (i.e. supports poverty alleviation) and rights-based (i.e. supports the rights of local resource users). Experience from EbA and related efforts show that EbA is not automatically pro-poor or supportive of local rights to natural resources and ecosystem services. In particular, there is insufficient attention to and knowledge of rights issues in EbA. Therefore, Danish development cooperation should help lead the way in ensuring that EbA takes a rights-based approach and supports poverty alleviation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Natural Resources, Water, Food, Governance, Inequality, Investment, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Neil Anthony Webster
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Social protection programmes in Nepal have increased significantly in the past two decades, but are they the programmes for change that they claim to be? Do the social transfers involved help in reducing forms of inequality or do they reproduce existing hierarchies and dominant social and economic interests? Are the changes introduced sustainable and if so, for whom? This Working Paper takes up the experiences in Nepal with its complex caste and ethnic structures. It considers the possibility that these programmes might be reproducing existing social hierarchies and thereby run counter to the aims and objectives that they are designed to pursue.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Inequality, Ethnicity, Caste, Society
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Mikkel Funder, Esbern Friis-Hanse
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Evaluation of Danish Support to Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries has just come out. But what knowledge does it build on and what fundamental questions does it explore? This Preparatory Study, commissioned by the EVAL Department of Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019, lays the groundwork for the evaluation. It sought to help define the scope of the evaluation; identify potential country case studies, case projects and evaluation themes; and point out overarching issues and questions to be addressed in the evaluation. To do so, the study provides overviews of all Danish climate change adaptation-related Official Development Assistance (ODA) from 2008 to 2018 and of adaptation support through the Danish Climate Envelope, which provides Fast Start Finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. The study also includes an analysis of trends and gaps in the Climate Envelope. These, and other outputs from the study, are now available in this DIIS Working Paper. The paper’s analysis and findings continue to have relevance for discussions of how we approach climate change, particularly adaptation, in Danish development assistance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Mohamed Aden Hassan, Sahra Ahmed Koshin, Peter Albrecht, Mark Bradbury, Fatima Dahir Mohamed, Abdirahman Edle Ali, Karuti Kanyinga, Nauja Kleist, George Michuki, Ahmed Musa, Jethro Norman, Obadia Okinda
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Diaspora humanitarianism is characterised by rapid mobilisation and engagement that is built upon social networks, affective motivations, informal delivery and accountability mechanisms. This has implications for how it fits into the broader international humanitarian system. KEY TAKEAWAYS: ​​■ Diaspora humanitarianism grows out of transnational connections that link diaspora groups with their families and homelands. This relational and affective dimension enables rapid mobilisation and delivery to hard-to-reach areas. ■ Remittances to conflict-affected countries surpass official humanitarian aid six times, blurring boundaries between short-term emergency relief and long-term development. ■ Accountability practices tend to be informal and trust-based, structured around reputation. Overall coordination with formal political or humanitarian systems is usually absent.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Poverty, Diaspora, Inequality, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peer Schouten
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Horn of Africa and the Sahel are among the most fragile regions in the world: poor, lacking basic infrastructure and state presence across much of their respective territories, and both form hotbeds of conflict and political instability compounded by climate change. This DIIS Working Paper focuses on identifying evolving notions of fragility that could strengthen Danish stabilisation efforts in the Horn and Sahel. It foregrounds notions of fragility that move away from a focus on strong state institutions towards the adaptive capacities of populations in the hinterlands of the Horn and the Sahel to deal with conflict and climate variability. The paper gives an overview of this rapidly evolving field and distils key insights, challenges and future options by exploring the question, how can we support people in the Sahel and Horn to re-establish their responsibility for their respective territories and the management of their natural resources? The paper addresses this question by exploring the implications of recent climate change and livelihoods research on how we approach fragility and, by extension, stabilisation. On the basis of such research, the Working Paper advocates a move away from a sector-based understanding of fragility towards a way of working that is more in line with contextual realities, alongside the ‘comprehensive approach’ to stabilisation that Denmark promotes. The key message is that, programmatically, Danish stabilisation efforts across both regions could benefit from a more explicit focus on supporting the variability that dominant livelihood strategies require and that need to be considered if sustainable security and development outcomes are to be achieved. Failing to do this will only serve to marginalise key communities and may drive them further into the arms of radical groups.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Climate Change, Democratization, Development, Environment, Radicalization, Fragile States, Violence, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Denmark, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Mikkel Funder, Holle Wlokas, Karen Holm Olsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Renewable energy is key to combatting climate change, but it is critical to ensure a just energy transition that benefits all. Denmark’s development cooperation supports the growth of large-scale renewable energy schemes in several countries, but what is good for recipient governments and Danish exports is not automatically good for the poor. In recent years large-scale wind- and solar schemes in developing countries have increasingly met with local resistance from communities who do not feel they benefit from such projects. How can Denmark help ensure that renewable energy projects contribute to community development in the areas where projects are situated? This policy brief provides lessons learnt and associated recommendations from one particular attempt to address this issue, namely South Africa’s efforts to incorporate community development as a criteria in the auction schemes through which renewable energy is procured. This policy is implemented through the nationwide REIPPP programme, which is among the few of its kind globally. While South Africa’s REIPPPP is not perfect and still developing, the programme does exemplify the basic principle that governments can build requirements for privately owned wind- and solar projects into procurement schemes. Requirements to finance community development, support Community Trusts, and allocate shares to communities are thus examples of approaches that could be developed and adapted elsewhere. In addition, the South African programme includes scoring and - performance criteria in the tendering and monitoring process that align with South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment policy. The South African experience also, however, illustrates how public, private and community interests may differ in terms of what community development is and how it should be supported. This highlights the importance of developing democratic and inclusive structures for debating and decision-making on the use and allocation of benefits from large-scale renewable energy projects. Drawing on the lessons from South Africa and other similar schemes, the policy brief recommends that Danish development cooperation should: Support the incorporation of community benefits in regulatory frameworks for public procurement of private renewable energy generation Support development of practice frameworks for community engagement in the renewable energy sector Support community co-ownership of renewable energy generation and democratic governance of benefit sharing arrangements The policy brief is the result of collaborative research between DIIS, Stellenbosch University and the UNEP DTU Partnership. It forms part of the wider TENTRANS project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and administered by Danida Fellowship Centre.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Natural Resources, Inequality, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, Ole Winckler Andersen
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Development assistance for new renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly being used to mobilise additional private capital. Recipient countries do not always share the priorities of donors. Realism and long-term support are key. RECOMMENDATIONS: Continue funding, but also acknowledge different interests and objectives, in order to move new renewable energy to scale. Balance the support for market development with support to government entities. Support longer-term capacity-building to ensure energy sector sustainability in recipient countries. Adopt flexible approaches and ensure independent advice to governments and institutions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Foreign Aid, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Denmark, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Gabriella Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The upcoming EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling 2021-2025, like its predecessor, suggests that the prevention of and the fight against migrant smuggling will continue to be at the centre of a strong and comprehensive European approach to migration management. However, to be effective, the Action Plan must rely on the growing evidence-base concerning the structure and organization of migrant smuggling, as well as rethink the way smuggling research and analysis is produced. Doing otherwise may seriously impact the Action Plan’s implementation and outcomes. Recommendations: Demand that gender, race and class perspectives are present in smuggling and counter-smuggling research and analyses in ways that identify the wider impact of EU actions on communities in countries of origin, transit and destination and within the EU. Include the perspectives of third-country, junior and female researchers, scholars and policy analysts, and involve stakeholders and informants beyond those typically reached out to during research, policy making or knowledge generating processes. Create an open access database that includes examples of smuggling caselaw and legislation that showcase the impact of EU law enforcement agencies’ counter-smuggling efforts in transit, destination and origin countries and within the EU to demonstrate clear efforts towards transparency and accountability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Migration, Borders, Risk
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Martin Chorzempa, Adnan Mazarei
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 shock has exacerbated the struggles of many emerging-market and developing economies (EMDEs) to repay their external debt. One of the most urgent challenges relates to debt owed to China, whose lending spree under its Belt and Road Initiative and other programs has played an outsized role in what amounts to a crisis for many countries. The scope of the problem is striking. China is owed more than $100 billion, or 57 percent of all debt owed to official creditors by the countries that need help the most. China is not a member of the Paris Club of official creditors, which coordinates, within a multilateral framework, the resolution of general sovereign illiquidity or unsustainable external debt of EMDEs. There is an urgent need to put in place more effective, long-term solutions to help durably lower the risks of prolonged debt difficulties in EMDEs. These problems could be partly addressed by creating creditor committees to coordinate debt relief with China. The Group of Twenty (G20) has taken some steps to include creditor committees in the context of the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), but only for low-income countries that qualify for the DSSI and only for official creditors. To better address debt distress, it needs to extend the approach, especially to middle-income debtor countries.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Emerging Markets, G20
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The Joseph Biden Administration has rather famously committed to convene a Summit for Democracy, likely later in 2021 or early in 2022. The Summit has become, as some diplomats have suggested, “the talk of the town,” not only in Washington but also in multiple other national capitals. A cottage industry has sprung up debating the who, the what and the where. More focus is needed on the why — which, in turn, ought to shape the how. To my mind, albeit one preoccupied for over a quarter of a century with human rights and democracy, the why is rather straightforward. The alternatives — bending to the rise of authoritarians, or leaving unaddressed the weakened liberal international order that the United States originally helped create —are not in our or our allies’ national interest. Many democracies are experiencing intense challenges on multiple levels. Chief among these is the global pandemic, which revealed deep socioeconomic inequities in societies that have long been labeled “developed,” when in fact these democracies have not been delivering to many communities. Freedom House has now recorded 15 straight years of decline globally in democracy. The crises at home have been widely broadcast: the new Congress came under physical attack January 6 after a U.S. President attempted, as part of a protracted effort, to overturn the 2020 election and prohibit the peaceful transfer of power. How then the Summit for Democracy can help repair and revive democracy here and among our allies needs more consideration and detail. Numerous factors roll up to a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and refresh exactly how we advance democracy at home and abroad. New approaches, themes and methods can help revitalize strategy and policy. Such new approaches need to connect and account for domestic shortcomings and link progress at home to efforts abroad. In doing so, post-pandemic democracy promotion needs to reflect a comprehensive focus on rights that includes socioeconomic issues and sustainable development (e.g., democracies must deliver dignity). The Biden Administration ought to consider labeling the Summit “Democracies Deliver Dignity and Development” or the 4Ds Summit. The Summit can provide the road map for these new approaches while being informed and shaped by extensive consultations at home and abroad. Finally, new methods should include data-driven, human-centered design shaping foreign assistance as well as elevating local voices. Internationally, that would be a significant change to the dominant modalities, largely Congress-driven, supporting specific types of institution building, such as central election commissions. Such work will undoubtedly continue, given support in Congress and among the U.S.-based NGOs that receive the funding (notwithstanding the damaged credibility of our democracy). At a minimum though, demonstrably demand-driven assistance ought to supplement this older business model in order to better deliver to populations, listening and responding to the multitude of needs.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Authoritarianism, Democracy, NGOs
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Lilian Tauber
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: By committing to long-term investments in Jordan’s communities through support for social enterprises, the United States can contribute to the country’s stability and economic growth. In Jordan, one of the United States’ most reliable allies in the Middle East, economic volatility is a major threat to stability and has led to recurrent protests since 2011. High youth unemployment rates and a large refugee population contribute to its economic woes and political tensions, all of which are now exacerbated in the Covid-19 pandemic. The United States can support Jordan’s recovery from the pandemic through long-term investment in social entrepreneurship. The country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is in a developing stage, with most resources focused on short-term funding and training, so a shift in U.S. aid to longer-term support can make a significant difference. Increasing funds and providing multi-year mentorship and operational support to select social enterprises (SEs) will allow them to become powerful forces for positive change and civic engagement in their communities.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Economy, Investment
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan, United States of America
  • Author: Stein Sundstol Eriksen
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2017–2018, NUPI (the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs) headed a project where political economy analyses were undertaken in eleven of Norway’s partner countries. These analyses were published as eleven separate reports. The reports focused on power relations and political developments in the partner countries, but they also analyzed the nature of governance. After the publication of the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators for 2019, the MFA approached NUPI and requested that we summarize the findings of this report for Norway’s eleven partner countries and assess these findings in light of the political economy analyses. We were also asked to investigate whether there were any connections between the nature and quality of governance on the one hand, and the nature of social policies and the human rights situation on the other. This report presents the findings of this assessment of the governance scores in the light of the above-mentioned political economy analyses. The report is structured as follows: Firstly, after briefly describing the governance indictors used by the World Bank, we summarize the eleven countries’ scores on the various governance indicators. Secondly, we assess the evolution of governance in the eleven countries, by comparing the scores in the 2019 report with those from 2011. Thirdly, we summarize the findings of the political economy analyses of the eleven countries and discuss how they fit with the governance scores. Finally, we present the eleven countries’ expenditure on social policies, as reported in the ILOs World Social Protection Report, and the human rights situation for the partner countries, and then describe how these findings relate to the governance scores.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Governance, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Norway
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the strategies and plans, policy-making institutions, process and problems in China’s techno-industrial development. Although it has made noticeable progress in some areas in the past two decades, China still lags behind in most core technology and advanced manufacturing fields, such as high-end chips. There have been several real breakthroughs in the semiconductor sector by private companies such as HiSilicon and rapid advancement in frontier technologies — artificial intelligence, fifth-generation wireless communication network technology, big data, blockchain and the Internet of Things — by private companies such as Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu; however, state-sponsored technological innovation and breakthroughs have been crippled by the existing problems in China’s science and technology research system and a campaign-style catch-up strategy that rewards bureaucrats on short-term goals, as well as by weak links between academic research and industry and a swing between the market-oriented approach for technology acquisitions and indigenous innovation for technology breakthroughs. A case study of China’s semiconductor industry demonstrates both the problems and progress in China’s techno-industrial development, as well as the implications for the country's prospects of evolving into a technological powerhouse.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Industry, 5G
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Elizabeth Chen
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A new study published February 8 by the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (MPS, 中华人民共和国公安部, zhonghua renmin gongheguo gongan bu) reported that there were 10.035 million registered births in 2020, down from 11.79 million in 2019. This represents a 15 percent decrease following the coronavirus pandemic (Guancha.cn, February 8). Althou­gh the number of registered births—that is, newborns recorded in the household registration hukou (户口) system—is not the same as China’s official birth rate, the decline has concerned analysts that a long-forewarned demographic crisis may be approaching faster than expected.National birth and population figures for the previous year are usually released in January but have been delayed until April this year as China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) compiles its decennial census. In the meantime, data released by some provinces and cities in January has appeared to confirm the implications of the MPS study. Data released from the capital city of Guangdong province—which saw the highest number of births per province in 2019—showed that birth rates in Guangzhou were down by 17 percent year-on-year and mirrored broader trends across the rest of the province. In Zhejiang, China’s wealthiest province, the cities of Wenzhou and Taizhou reported that new births in 2020 fell by 19 percent and 33 percent respectively compared to 2019 (SCMP, February 2).
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Aging, Population Growth
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ryan Lasnick
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This report analyses the size, scale and persistence of national development banks and offers ten clear observations and conclusions of the role of NDBs for the achievement of sustainable development globally. The Executive Summary can be found here. This report analyzes NDBs top down and bottom up. Top down, it includes the most recent data on the number of NDBs along with their total assets and annual disbursements. Bottom up, we conduct systematic case studies of various development bank ecosystems, including those of India, Brazil, China, South Africa, Germany and the US, to begin analyzing their role in the national development bank economy.
  • Topic: Development, Sustainability, Banking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Takahiro Tsuchiya
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: "Economic security" has been gathering attention in recent years. The main reasons for this are (1) neo-globalization, (2) the achievement of objectives by major powers using the "economic statecraft"1 approach, and (3) the development of "game-changing" and other emerging technologies. In particular, there has been a heightened sense of international concern about China's attempts to coerce, demand obedience, or persuade other countries by acquiring/securing technologies (resorting to economic espionage if necessary) and human resources and by leveraging its economic power.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Xi Jinping, Economic Security
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Pauline Weil
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Despite tensions over China’s discriminatory business practices, China’s trade continues to thrive, and the country has taken over from the United States as the first destination for foreign investment. American and European businesses continue to be engaged in China’s large and growing market, even amid a trade war between China and the United States. Drawing on surveys of companies and international comparisons, we show that – contrary to the prevailing narrative – China’s business practices have improved significantly in recent years. China’s business environment is today generally more favourable than that in other large countries at similar levels of development and, in some though certainly not all aspects, is in line with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average. Differences over geopolitics and human rights must be addressed, but it is clear that trade and investment agreements conditioned on accelerated reforms in China would yield substantial dividends. The benefits of such deals would accrue not only to foreign investors in China and exporters to China, but also to consumers and importers in the European Union and, especially, in the US, where punitive tariffs on China remain in effect. Critical aspects in the negotiations would include better access for American and European investors to China’s market for services and improved enforcement of rules and regulations in China. As in many middle-income countries, uneven enforcement of the law (rather than the law itself) remains a critical problem in China.
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Business , Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Theo Rauch, Michael Brüntrup
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: There is a widely held consensus that it will not be possible to feed the world without the help of the smallholders of Africa, Latin America and Asia, who number up to 570 million farms or 2 billion people. Given the sheer size of this figure alone, the sustainable development of smallholder farming will be key to achieving a range of other sustainability goals.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Global South
  • Author: Katharina Krings, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: While blockchain technology (BT) has gained a great deal of publicity for its use in cryptocurrencies, another area of BT application has emerged away from the public eye, namely supply chains. Due to the increasing fragmentation and globalisation of supply chains in recent years, many products have to pass through countless production steps worldwide (from raw material extraction to the point of sale). Ensuring the quality and sustainability of production in preceding steps is a major challenge for many firms and thus, ultimately, also for the consumer. BT offers potential for achieving significant progress on this front. Put simply, the blockchain makes it possible to verify data decentralised within a network, store it in a tamper-proof and traceable format and make it accessible to all members of a network.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Cryptocurrencies, Sustainability, Blockchain
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniele Malerba
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: To avoid catastrophic effects on natural and human systems, bold action needs to be taken rapidly to mitigate climate change. Despite this urgency, the currently implemented and planned climate mitigation policies are not sufficient to meet the global targets set in Paris in 2015. One reason for their current inadequate rollout is their perceived negative distributional effects: by increasing the price of goods, climate mitigation policies may increase both poverty and inequality. In addition, they may disrupt labour markets and increase unemployment, especially in sectors and areas dependent on fossil fuels. As a result, public protests in many countries have so far blocked or delayed the implementation of climate policies.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Policy Implementation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mario Negre
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: With inequality reduction now being officially and broadly recognised as a key development objective with its own Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 10), there is a need for simple, economical and quick methodologies with which to focus on this area and assess progress. This paper presents such a methodology, which allows a rough assessment of the potential impacts of development cooperation on income, consumption and wealth inequality. This is important, as a rigorous causal analysis of the contribution development cooperation makes to reducing a partner country’s inequality is complex and costly. First, the relative contribution of targeted development cooperation programmes and projects to the economies of partner countries tends to be small (though admittedly not in all cases). Second, a myriad of factors contribute to changes in inequality in any given country, and assessing the impact of all of them is a complex, imprecise, time-consuming and resource-intensive exercise.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Pablo Yanguas
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Development practitioners learn, their organisations not so much. In this paper, Pablo Yanguas finds little evidence for the “learning hypothesis” that knowledge makes development agencies more effective. As we near 2030, the role of M&E, research, and adaptive approaches may need to be reassessed.
  • Topic: Development, Management
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy memorandum analyses the extent to which climate change is integrated in the Uganda National Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year 2021/2022. This will inform policy and the final budgetary appropriations for climate change interventions in key National Development Plan III Programmes.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Budget
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Existing investigations of the impact of school feeding programmes on educational out- comes have provided mixed evidence of success. In this chapter, I investigate a potential explanation for this lack of consensus in the literature. I argue that the prevailing food security situation at the time and place of the programme's evaluation plays a major role. I study the case of rural Malawi. I use an instrumental variable approach and propensity score matching to estimate the impact of school feeding on primary school enrolment and retention rates. I focus on villages with overlapping characteristics. I estimate that school feeding has increased enrolments by 7 percentage points on average, but the im- pact on retention rates has been relatively limited. However, when I distinguish between food-secure and food-insecure areas, not only do I finnd a larger impact on enrolments in food-insecure areas, but I also uncover a significant increase of around 2 percentage points in the retention rate of students in these same areas. Across the board, impacts are not significant in food-secure areas. I conclude that school feeding programmes bear an impact on education as long as they also intervene to relax a binding food constraint.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Food, Food Security, Nutrition
  • Political Geography: Malawi
  • Author: Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: The goal of health financing is main to promote financial access to preventive and curative care by making funds available and setting the right financial incentive to healthcare providers.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Health Care Policy, Finance
  • Political Geography: Ghana
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief developed by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) explores the opportunities offered by factoring which provides a solution to address the financing gap for Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) to support Africa’s structural transformation particularly in trade development as part of the African Continental Free trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The aim of the Policy Brief is to examine the capacity imperatives for the development and use of factoring as an innovative trade financing tool to advance the AfCFTA. The Policy Brief notes that Africa performance in the factoring market needs to improve significantly based on a number of key indicators – such as share in global factoring, including international factoring, innovation such as reverse factoring, number of factoring companies, turn-over per factoring companies and factoring GDP penetration. The Policy Brief also highlights that Africa’s factoring volume of about US$27 billion representing a share representing a share of 0.84% in the global factoring market of approximately US$3,300 billion a year in 2019 is extremely low. It therefore argues that Africa needs a coordinated approach to capacity development to successfully develop and use factoring.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Trade, Banking
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
  • Abstract: This occasional paper is about factoring, known as the selling or transferring of accounts receivable to secure funds that are immediately available. The process provides a solution to address the financing gap for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to support trade development as part of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and Africa’s structural transformation agenda. The study is based on an extensive review of the literature and an analysis of secondary data from FCI database and other materials collected on factoring to identify key issues, trend, progress, drivers, and barriers affecting factoring in leading African countries. The paper shows that factoring represents an alternative source of financing for African businesses to increase intra-African trade under the AfCFTA. Other findings include low Africa’s share in global factoring and growth rate in factoring, and low factoring GDP penetration rates of leading African countries. The paper notes that Africa’s performance in the factoring market needs to improve significantly based on a number of key indicators. However, factoring activities are projected to reach US$50 billion by 2025 in Africa with a number of small-sized factoring companies emerging in other African countries. For this to be achieved, a coordinated approach to capacity development is needed to address the barriers identified.
  • Topic: Development, Finance, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Carolyn Logan, Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Sanny, Kangwook Han
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set ambitious targets for countries and societies to improve lives and livelihoods around the world. While the expectations of meeting these goals largely fall on governments, it is widely recognized that joint efforts by citizens and their governments will be needed to achieve the best outcomes. Citizen action takes place in many forms and forums, including organizing and working together on shared goals, providing mutual support and assistance, campaigning or advocating for shared needs, and engaging with governments, making demands on them, and holding them to account. While some citizens may become involved in a formal capacity, such as through paid employment in nongovernmental advocacy or service organizations and through employment with governments or other service providers, large numbers will – and must – be engaged in a voluntary capacity. Understanding the nature of this voluntary engagement is a key goal of this analysis. Advocates of volunteerism in Africa have been plagued by a lack of data on who engages in voluntary service, how much they contribute, in what formats, and what the outcomes are. Only a handful of governments have collected data on this topic. Yet our ability to foster and build support for volunteerism is partly dependent on how well we understand the ways people are already engaging every day in these critical but uncompensated contributions in pursuit of the public good. Afrobarometer data can help to fill this void. Although Afrobarometer has not collected data with the explicit aim of studying volunteerism, for more than 20 years it has captured extensive, nationally representative data on respondents’ levels of political and civic participation (much of which can be classed as volunteerism) across seven rounds of surveys in 38 countries. This includes membership in religious and civic organizations and participation in individual and collective efforts to engage with leaders and to voice community needs. In particular, in addition to membership in associations, Afrobarometer tracks the contact of respondents with political and community leaders, their attendance at community meetings, and their efforts to join with others to address issues or express their views. These kinds of civic engagement are the cornerstone of volunteerism to solve problems and improve lives. Understanding who engages, under what circumstances, and why provides a foundation on which to more effectively promote civic engagement and volunteerism in pursuit of the SDGs and other development objectives. This paper explores Afrobarometer data on civic engagement with four main goals: specify how Afrobarometer indicators of civic engagement link to core understandings of volunteerism and its various typologies; map profiles and patterns of the people who engage in volunteerism, especially at the country level; model voluntary civic engagement to identify the key factors and contexts that facilitate or inhibit it at both the individual and country levels; and use these profiles and models to identify entry points for activists who want to foster or support voluntary civic engagement. Our analysis identifies several factors that shape voluntary civic engagement, from socio- demographic ones such as education and wealth to citizens’ socio-political engagement, their personal sense of efficacy, and their overall trust in their governments. Country contexts are important, as we see wide cross-country differences in levels of volunteerism. Among other aspects, wealthier countries, on average, report less volunteerism, while democracies report more. We have found evidence that confronting unmet needs – whether one’s own or those of others – is a major motivating factor of voluntary engagement. These findings suggest a number of opportunities and entry points for increasing citizen engagement. The paper is organized in four parts. Part A begins with a discussion of knowledge on volunteerism and participation, highlighting the lack of evidence and data sources on Africa and how civic engagement intersects with volunteerism. Part B develops descriptive profiles of the participants in voluntary civic engagement. Part C explores key driving factors at the individual and country levels. The final section presents recommendations for acting on these findings.
  • Topic: Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability, Civic Engagement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Andrew Songa
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) declared 2020 the year of "Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa's Development." The motivation for this theme was to provide impetus for activities to advance the 2013 Solemn Declaration to realise a conflict-free Africa by 2020. This policy paper argues that the AU and its member states must maintain fidelity to the noble objectives of the Solemn Declaration and utilise the extended 10-year period for the AU Master Roadmap on Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by the Year 2020 to ensure that actionable programmes which further peace, security and justice are achieved. A lot of normative progress has been achieved in the last decade, as the 2019 adoption of the AU Transitional Justice Policy indicates, yet the persistent challenge lies in the effective implementation of these instruments at the regional, national and local levels.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Peace, Reconciliation , African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Joseph Olusegun Adebayo, Blessing Makwambeni
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Many low and middle-income countries have either implemented or considered conditional or unconditional cash transfers to poor households as a means of alleviating poverty. Evidence from pilot schemes in many developed and developing economies, including those in Africa, suggests that cash transfers do not only alleviate poverty; they also promote social cohesion and reduce the propensity for violent responses. For example, studies have shown a direct impact of cash transfers on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). In some studies, the rate of IPV (including emotional violence) was significantly reduced when one of the partners was a beneficiary of cash transfer. However, there are limited studies on the potential of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) for stemming gang violence. Our study contributes to filling this gap. We examine here the possibilities of conditional cash transfers for stemming intractable gang-related violence in the Cape Flats.
  • Topic: Development, Violence, Gangs, Cash
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Petar Jolakoski, Branimir Jovanovic, Joana Madjoska, Viktor Stojkoski, Dragan Tevdovski
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: If firm profits rise to a level far above than what would have been earned in a competitive economy, this might give the firms market power, which might in turn influence the activity of the government. In this paper, we perform a detailed empirical study on the potential effects of firm profits and markups on government size and effectiveness. Using data on 30 European countries for a period of 17 years and an instrumental variables approach, we find that there exists a robust relationship between firm gains and the activity of the state, in the sense that higher firm profits reduce government size and effectiveness. Even in a group of developed countries, such as the European countries, firm power may affect state activity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Political Economy, Profit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Louis Caudron
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: On 18 December 2020, the European Commission welcomed the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Member States allocating €79.5 billion to a new Neighbourhood, Development Cooperation and International Cooperation Instrument (NDCI) for the period 2021- 2027. Since its creation, the European Union has been a major player in public aid granted by rich countries to developing countries. The European Development Fund (EDF) was launched by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and for decades provided aid to the former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). The eleventh EDF, covering the period 2014- 2020 with a budget of €30.5 billion, will be replaced by the NDICI (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument). The Union and its Member States are the world's largest donor of official development assistance. Their contribution of €74.4 billion in 2018 represents more than half of the OECD countries’ Official Development Assistance ($150 billion in 2018).
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Education, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Jacob N. Shapiro, Natalie Thompson, Alicia Wanless
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Research on influence operations requires effective collaboration across industry and academia. Federally funded research and development centers provide a compelling model for multi-stakeholder collaboration among those working to counter influence operations. Research on influence operations requires effective collaboration across industry and academia. Social media platforms are on the front lines of combating influence operations and possess a wealth of unique data and insights. Academics have rigorous training in research methods and relevant theories, and their independence lends credibility to their findings. The skills and knowledge of both groups are critical to answering important questions about influence operations and ultimately finding more effective ways to counter them. Despite shared interest in studying and addressing influence operations, existing institutions do not provide the proper structures and incentives for cross-sector collaboration. Friction between industry and academia has stymied collaboration on a range of important questions such as how influence operations spread, what effects they have, and what impact potential interventions could have. Present arrangements for research collaboration remain ad hoc, small-scale, and nonstandard across platforms and academic institutions. Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) provide a compelling model for multi-stakeholder collaboration among those working to counter influence operations. Federally funded research institutions—such as the RAND Corporation, the Institute for Defense Analyses, or the MITRE Corporation—have hosted successful cross-sector collaboration between the federal government and academic institutions for more than seventy years. Academic and industry researchers should seek funding and create an analogous institution so the influence operations research community can further collaborative research on shared interests that cannot be addressed with existing models. Drawing from such models, industry would be a primary funder, but governments and philanthropic donors could also contribute to encourage independence and balance.
  • Topic: Development, Academia, Influence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth R. Nugent
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The economic decline of the Muslim world and the rise of Western Europe has long captured the attention of scholars across disciplines. Explanations largely focus either on Islam, whether its financial institutions or the essence of its teachings, or on Western colonialism as the culprit. In Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment, Ahmet T. Kuru puts forward a new explanation rooted in class relations. He takes issue with existing approaches, convincingly demonstrating the intellectual and economic vibrancy of the Muslim world between the eighth and twelfth centuries, undermining arguments about Islam’s incompatibility with progress, and asserting that colonialism occurred too late to explain multiple political and socioeconomic crises. Instead, Kuru identifies the eleventh century as a critical juncture when the Muslim world witnessed the emergence of alliances between Islamic scholars (ulema; singular alim) and the military. These alliances persisted through path dependence and gradually hindered intellectual and economic creativity by marginalizing independent intellectual and bourgeois classes in the Muslim world. In turn, the absence of these classes led to the persistence of authoritarianism and the well-documented underdevelopment in the contemporary period.
  • Topic: Development, Islam, History, Authoritarianism, Book Review, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Rachel M. Gisselquist, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Building knowledge about migration governance and policy in the Global South is a priority for research and policy. Migration is a defining feature of our time and one closely linked with processes of economic and political development. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 10.7 prioritizes the facilitation of ‘orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies’. What exactly constitutes ‘well-managed’ migration policies remains a point of some discussion.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global South
  • Author: Bethuel Kinyanjui Kinuthia
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the government input subsidy—the National Agriculture Input Voucher—on farmers’ production and welfare in Tanzania as well as the factors that influence agricultural production in the country. The analysis is based on the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture for 2008–13. The study uses panel fixed effects and difference-in-difference and propensity score matching methods to examine the two objectives. The results show that the input subsidy programme resulted in an initial increase in maize and rice production but not in the long run and only in a few regions. In addition, there was a decrease in total production in the southern region and the programme had little effect on farmers’ welfare. The results show that this programme only partly met the expected outcomes in Tanzania due to mistargeting, inaccurate identification of households, and poor implementation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Welfare, Farming, Subsidies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Huma Saeed
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Afghanistan’s presidential election took place on September 28, 2019, with less than 2 million people participating out of 9.7 million registered voters. Taking into consideration Afghanistan’s total population of 35 million, the turnout was a historic low—a problem further amplified by the fact that the government poured a huge amount of financial and human resources into election preparation. The main explanation for such low turnout is twofold. On the one hand, security threats such as suicide attacks or gun violence—which reached their peak during the presidential election campaigns—deterred many people from going to polling stations. On the other hand, Afghans have become wary about determining their own political fate because, for decades, regional and international powers have steered the political wheel in Afghanistan, rather the people. After four months, election results have still not been announced, leading to further speculation and anxiety among a population which has already been the victim of four decades of violent conflict in the country. This anxiety is further exacerbated by the ongoing “peace” negotiations with the Taliban. Afghan people have learned from experience that, even in the best-case scenario of the election results or peace negotiations, they cannot hope for new justice measures to heal their wounds. As demonstrated by the experience of Afghanistan and other countries, peace and security will not last without addressing the people’s demands for justice.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Politics, Elections, Taliban, Justice
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Jeff Bachman
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Transnational solidarity movements have typically flowed from a central point located in the West, particularly in the United States, to the East and the Global South. Shadi Mokhtari describes this phenomenon as the “traditional West-to-East flow of human rights mobilizations and discourses.” Viewed individually, this phenomenon is not problematic in all cases. However, as Mokhtari argues, this one-directional flow of human rights politics precludes non-Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from weighing in on human rights violations committed in the United States. Human rights violations in the United States are typically experienced by marginalized communities, from the mass incarceration and disenfranchisement of African-Americans to the detention and ill-treatment of immigrants, migrants, and refugees. For a truly global human rights movement to emerge—one that is not grounded in Western paternalism and perceived moral superiority—this must change.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Post Colonialism, Immigration, Refugees, NGOs, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Sergio Martinez, Mauricio Garita
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Central America is a region in the Americas with potential for higher economic growth. For the regional economy to grow in a sustainable manner in the years ahead, policymakers must act on three fronts: economic diversification, workforce upskilling, and intra-regional cooperation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Income Inequality, Economic Growth, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Brahma Chellaney
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While the international attention remains on China’s recidivist activities in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where it continues to incrementally expand its strategic footprint, Beijing is also quietly focusing its attention on the waters of rivers that originate in the resource-rich, Chinese-controlled territory of Tibet.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Science and Technology, Territorial Disputes, Water, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Tibet
  • Author: Tim Glawion
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Central African Republic (CAR) could be a case of hope. After years of violence, the main armed groups and the government signed a peace agreement last year. At the end of 2020, elections are set to take place that could strengthen the democratic credentials of the country and grant its institutions the legitimacy needed to rebuild the state. As surveys have shown the populace is tired of the armed groups scattered (and fighting) throughout the country and demand the return of the state. The state is building up its army and deploying troops across a growing part of the country’s territory with the help of international actors. However, the restoration of state authority in the CAR remains unlikely. The state’s history is one of neglect, meaning there remains little to be “restored” and much to be built in the first place. Whether the state is willing and able to live up to the population’s demands is questionable. The military approach to state authority restoration and the integration of armed actors risks marginalizing the calls for an emphasis on public services. Locals hope for the return of the state—and one that is robust and caring. The reality of a militarized and inefficient state would shatter these hopes.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Governance, State, Society
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central African Republic
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? In August 2019, India unilaterally revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status, redrew its internal boundaries, and scrapped Kashmiris’ exclusive rights to immovable property and access to government jobs. To quell potential protests, the authorities ordered an unprecedented crackdown, which included detaining almost all local politicians and a months-long communications blackout. Why did it happen? Revocation of the Indian constitution’s Article 370, which gave Kashmir its previous status, had been on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda for decades. Emboldened by its landslide win of a second term in May 2019, the government ordered the state’s overhaul soon afterward, without consulting Kashmiri politicians or society. Why does it matter? New Delhi claimed that its bold move would help bring peace and development to the region after three decades of conflict. One year later, its reforms, coupled with heavy-handed counter-insurgency tactics, have only exacerbated Kashmiri alienation and raised tensions with Pakistan. Kashmir’s youth continues to join militant ranks. What should be done? While New Delhi appears unlikely to reverse course, its international allies should strongly encourage it to restore Kashmiri statehood, free detained politicians and end security forces’ abuses against civilians. Pakistan’s partners should push harder for it to stop backing anti-India jihadists. Both countries should abide by their 2003 Kashmir ceasefire.
  • Topic: Development, Territorial Disputes, Crisis Management, Peace, Autonomy, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Miguel Angel Santos
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Loreto es un lugar de contrastes. Es el departamento más grande del Perú, pero se encuentra entre los de menor densidad poblacional. Su capital, Iquitos, está más cerca de los estados fronterizos de Brasil y Colombia que de las capitales de sus regiones vecinas en el Perú - San Martín y Ucayali. Sólo se puede llegar a Iquitos por vía aérea o fluvial, lo que la convierte en una de las mayores ciudades del mundo sin acceso por carretera. Desde la fundación del departamento, la economía de Loreto ha dependido de la explotación de recursos naturales, desde el boom del caucho a finales del siglo XIX y principios del XX hasta la extracción petrolera y explotación de recursos forestales que predomina en nuestros días. Este modelo ha traído consigo daños ambientales significativos y ha producido un patrón de crecimiento lento y volátil, que ha abierto una brecha cada vez más amplia entre la economía de la región y la del resto del país. Entre 1980 y 2018, Loreto creció a una tasa promedio compuesta anual cuatro veces menor a la del resto del Perú. Es decir, mientras el resto del Perú triplicó el tamaño de su economía, la de Loreto creció algo menos que un tercio. En la última década (2008-2018), la región también se ha venido distanciando de sus pares amazónicos en el país (Ucayali, San Martín y Madre de Dios), que han crecido a una tasa promedio anual cinco veces mayor. En este período, el ingreso promedio por habitante en Loreto ha pasado de ser tres cuartas partes del promedio nacional en 2008 a menos de la mitad para 2018. Además del rezago económico - o quizás como consecuencia de él -, Loreto también se ubica entre los departamentos con peores indicadores de desarrollo social, anemia y desnutrición infantil del Perú. En este contexto, el Laboratorio de Crecimiento de la Universidad de Harvard se asoció con la Fundación Gordon and Betty Moore para desarrollar una investigación que proporcionara insumos y recomendaciones de política para acelerar el desarrollo de la región y generar prosperidad de forma sostenible.
  • Topic: Development, Natural Resources, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: South America, Peru
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Miguel Angel Santos
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Loreto es un lugar de contrastes. Es el departamento más grande del Perú, pero se encuentra entre los de menor densidad poblacional. Su capital, Iquitos, está más cerca de los estados fronterizos de Brasil y Colombia que de las capitales de sus regiones vecinas en el Perú - San Martín y Ucayali. Sólo se puede llegar a Iquitos por vía aérea o fluvial, lo que la convierte en una de las mayores ciudades del mundo sin acceso por carretera. Desde la fundación del departamento, la economía de Loreto ha dependido de la explotación de recursos naturales, desde el boom del caucho a finales del siglo XIX y principios del XX hasta la extracción petrolera y explotación de recursos forestales que predomina en nuestros días. Este modelo ha traído consigo daños ambientales significativos y ha producido un patrón de crecimiento lento y volátil, que ha abierto una brecha cada vez más amplia entre la economía de la región y la del resto del país. Entre 1980 y 2018, Loreto creció a una tasa promedio compuesta anual cuatro veces menor a la del resto del Perú. Es decir, mientras el resto del Perú triplicó el tamaño de su economía, la de Loreto creció algo menos que un tercio. En la última década (2008-2018), la región también se ha venido distanciando de sus pares amazónicos en el país (Ucayali, San Martín y Madre de Dios), que han crecido a una tasa promedio anual cinco veces mayor. En este período, el ingreso promedio por habitante en Loreto ha pasado de ser tres cuartas partes del promedio nacional en 2008 a menos de la mitad para 2018. Además del rezago económico - o quizás como consecuencia de él -, Loreto también se ubica entre los departamentos con peores indicadores de desarrollo social, anemia y desnutrición infantil del Perú. En este contexto, el Laboratorio de Crecimiento de la Universidad de Harvard se asoció con la Fundación Gordon and Betty Moore para desarrollar una investigación que proporcionara insumos y recomendaciones de política para acelerar el desarrollo de la región y generar prosperidad de forma sostenible.
  • Topic: Development, Natural Resources, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: South America, Peru
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Miguel Angel Santos
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: El Laboratorio de Crecimiento de la Universidad de Harvard, bajo el auspicio de la Fundación Gordon and Betty Moore, ha desarrollado esta investigación para identificar las capacidades productivas existentes en Loreto y las actividades económicas con potencial para liderar la transformación estructural de su economía. Este reporte forma parte de una investigación más amplia – Transformación estructural y restricciones limitantes a la prosperidad en Loreto, Perú – que busca aportar insumos para el desarrollo de políticas públicas a escala nacional y regional que contribuyan a promover el desarrollo productivo y la prosperidad de la región, tomando en cuenta sus características particulares.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Diversification, Economic Complexity
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Douglas Barrios, Daniela Muhaj, Sehar Noor
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: What does it take for a sub-national unit to become an autonomous engine of growth? This issue is particularly relevant to large cities, as they tend to display larger and more complex know-how agglomerations and may have access to a broader set of policy tools. To approximate an answer to this question, specific to the case of Buenos Aires, Harvard’s Growth Lab engaged in a research project from December 2018 to June 2019, collaborating with the Center for Evidence-based Evaluation of Policies (CEPE) of Universidad Torcuato di Tella, and the Development Unit of the Secretary of Finance of the City of Buenos Aires. Together, we have developed a research agenda that seeks to provide inputs for a policy plan aimed at decoupling Buenos Aires’s growth trajectory from the rest of Argentina’s.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Cities
  • Political Geography: Argentina
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Ulrich Schetter
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, we develop a heterogeneous agent general equilibrium framework to analyze optimal joint policies of a lockdown and transfer payments in times of a pandemic. In our model, the effectiveness of a lockdown in mitigating the pandemic depends on endogenous compliance. A more stringent lockdown deepens the recession which implies that poorer parts of society find it harder to subsist. This reduces their compliance with the lockdown, and may cause deprivation of the very poor, giving rise to an excruciating trade-off between saving lives from the pandemic and from deprivation. Lump-sum transfers help mitigate this trade-off. We identify and discuss key trade-offs involved and provide comparative statics for optimal policy. We show that, ceteris paribus, the optimal lockdown is stricter for more severe pandemics and in richer countries. We then consider a government borrowing constraint and show that limited fiscal space lowers the optimal lockdown and welfare, and increases the aggregate death burden during the pandemic. We finally discuss distributional consequences and the political economy of fighting a pandemic.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Political Economy, Inequality, Economic Growth, Fiscal Policy, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniele Fattibene
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stands at a crossroads. While Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have progressively entered the political discourse and agendas of numerous states, without long-term financial investments, building a more just and sustainable future will remain little more than a rhetorical embellishment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Jin Liangxiang
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Middle East and Gulf region face three drivers of tension and instability: those caused by the US’s erratic and unilateral policies, those tied to economic underdevelopment and those linked to growing competition among regional actors. China is and will be facing economic challenges stemming from the Middle East and will face growing calls to assume more active roles in the region, roles which however often go beyond its capabilities or interests. China’s approach to regional security can be categorised as promoting political solutions to disputes, contributing to economic development and providing security resources within the UN framework. China backs regional efforts to achieve peace and security via dialogue, also including extra-regional actors involved in the Middle East. China is sympathetic to Russia’s vision for regional security cooperation, and would support the convening of an international conference on Middle East security issues that includes specific roles for regional and external actors.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Gulf Nations
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Mikkel Funder, Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Esbern Friis-Hanse, Marie Ladekjær Gravesen
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change has a severe impact on the livelihoods and economies of developing countries and will constrain achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals on virtually all fronts. While efforts to reduce emissions are obviously vital, it is equally critical that societies adapt to the already ongoing impact of climate change. Integrating climate change adaptation broadly into development cooperation is therefore a pressing issue and has never been more relevant. Discussion of the relationship between climate change adaptation and development and how to ‘mainstream’ adaptation into development support is not new. However, uncertainty persists regarding the ways and extent to which adaptation should be addressed as part of broader development efforts. This new DIIS Report seeks to address the integration of adaptation and development, with a particular focus on Denmark’s development cooperation. The report discusses the linkages between adaptation and development, examines the approaches of selected development actors, and discusses selected trends in Denmark’s funding to climate change adaptation. The report concludes that despite challenges there are currently good opportunities and a growing momentum among key actors towards finally integrating adaptation and development. Denmark should take a global leading role in this by making climate action a main aim in development cooperation, and by adopting approaches that address climate change and development in an integrated manner from the outset of policy development and -programming.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Peer Schouten
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Pastoralism is the key to climate change adaptation in African drylands, but it is threatened by conflicts with farmers, regional insecurity and violent extremism. Stabilisation and development efforts should place pastoralism at the centre by strengthening pastoral livelihoods and should include herders as peacebuilding and development partners. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Strengthen pastoralist capacities to cope with risk and variability by boosting inclusive and equitable resource governance in new development programmes. ■ Include pastoralists as potential peace-builders in conflict resolution efforts. ■ Support dialogue between pastoralists and local and national governments in order to prevent the further marginalisation of vulnerable pastoralist groups.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Democratization, Development, Environment, Migration, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict, Investment, Peace, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Adam Moe Fejerskov, Meron Zeleke
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Every year, several hundred thousand migrants return to Ethiopia, where they struggle to integrate back into society. They must deal with the traumatic events of their journeys while also facing social stigma and exclusion. KEY FINDINGS ■ All Ethiopian migrants using irregular routes have experienced or witnessed violence and trauma ■ Sexual violence and abuse are widespread among Ethiopian male migrants yet taboo, and psychosocial support should address the vulnerabilities of men ■ Livelihood interventions should address the problem of social stigma ■ Re-integration is difficult as social positions and relationships will never be as they were before migration
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Border Control, Fragile States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Mikkel Funder, Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Esben Friis-Hansen, Marie Ladekjær Gravesen
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The world needs resilient societies. In order to achieve this, adaptation to climate change is key. Denmark’s development cooperation should take a leading role in the integration of climate change adaptation and development. DENMARK SHOULD ■ Develop a clear overall strategy for support to climate action, giving equal attention to climate change mitigation and adaptation ■ Adopt an ambitious approach to integrating climate change adaptation across supported sectors, rather than relying on “add-on” mainstreaming ■ Strengthen the engagement with development partners in the integration of adaptation and development
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Adam Moe Fejerskov, Dane Fetterer
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Danish civil-society organisations have initiated a multitude of tech and innovation projects in recent years. Now is the time to focus efforts on clear strategic objectives in order to generate tangible impacts. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Strategically align innovation work around the core priorities of the organisation, rather than pursuing a shotgun approach that chases disparate innovations across a field of interests. ■ Expand the scope of innovation beyond radical technology to include operational approaches, methodologies and theories of change as well. ■ Localize innovation by involving local partners and beneficiaries not just in needs assessments but in innovating solutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Nina Nyberg Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Shock mobilities are sudden human movements made in response to acute disruptions, such as the present COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike planned migration, shock mobility encompasses various degrees of forced migration or can be categorized as reactive migration caused by a crisis situation. Forced migration often starts with shock mobility, but shock mobility does not always lead to protracted forced migration. FUTURE IMPLICATIONS ■ Shock mobilities may affect broader socioeconomic relations in the future. Five manifestations of shock mobilities as ‘link moments’ provide clues as to how. ■ How shock mobilities will be received and internalized in the years ahead is uncertain. They could yield significant impacts on state-citizen relations, as well as on relations between different populations. ■ The ‘shocks’ give us a glimpse into the world we are entering. Tomorrow’s normality will grow out of today’s disruption. Therefore, a better understanding of ongoing shock mobilities will help us analyse potential problems for decades to come.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Fragile States, Conflict, Risk, Peace, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dereje Feyissa
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Violence against Women (VAW) is among the human rights violations that women face globally every day. The roots of VAW lie in historically unequal power relations between men and women and pervasive discrimination against women in both the public and private spheres. VAW is a global phenomenon that is not limited to certain cultures or countries. However, the form it takes is context-specific. In Ethiopia VAW is pervasive, occurring at three levels as identified by the UN: family; community; and the state. Despite policy pronouncements and the implementation of some practical measures, VAW is still prevalent in Ethiopia. This new Working Paper by Dereje Feyissa, adjunct associate professor, Addis Ababa University, offers a political interpretation to explain the gap between policy and practice on VAW in Ethiopia. Specifically, it argues that the gap between policy and practice lies in the type of regime in Ethiopia, which has undermined the political will and limited the space for gender activism. Historically, this has been evident ideologically (the Marxist frame of the ‘women question’ and the vanguardism connected with it), but also in respect to political legitimacy (ethnic federalism and the priority given to cultural rights), entrenched authoritarianism and the limited space available for gender activism by women’s right groups. The Working Paper is published as part of the international research programme GLOW – Global Norms and Violence Against Women in Ethiopia – financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Organization, Poverty, Women, Inequality, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Boukary Sangaré, Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: As world attention focuses on Central Mali’s conflict hot spots, more than 50,000 of the country’s 311,193 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled to Mali’s southern cities, including the capital Bamako. The inhuman conditions in the informal IDP camps manifest an overall failure to protect civilians despite the presence of more than 25,000 foreign soldiers, 13,000 of whom are UN peace keepers. To support peacekeeping efforts, long-term development investment must be complemented with short-term assistance to provide protection, food and shelter to Mali’s most vulnerable victims of war. RECOMMENDATIONS: Mali needs to develop and implement a national strategy that respects the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to make free, informed and voluntary choices of settlement. Long-term development assistance must be complemented with flexible, immediate and short-term assistance to the most vulnerable IDPs. Access to accommodation, jobs and health facilities is needed to avoid precarious survival strategies, such as street begging, child marriage and survival sex.
  • Topic: Development, Displacement, Crisis Management, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, Ole Winckler Andersen, Henning Nøhr
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Development assistance plays an important role in the development of energy sectors in sub-Saharan African countries and it is increasingly being used to promote new renewable energy like solar and wind. The relationship between aid and domestic African priorities is however complex and outcomes are not always as donors had intended. By way of collecting experiences from a number of different approaches in different African country contexts a new DIIS Working Paper analyses recent trends in development assistance for new renewable energy. Overall, the paper demonstrates a shift to promoting market-led approaches that aim at mobilising private capital for power-sector investments. Whereas more capital has indeed been mobilised for new renewable energy projects the paper suggests that more support is needed if a transition to cleaner energy and universal access to energy services are to be achieved. Furthermore, the promotion of market-led approaches poses not only opportunities, but also a number of challenges to governments and donors. Clean energy and decarbonisation are often less of a priority among key decision-makers in African countries than they are for western donors. The paper argues that it is important to recognise these different interests and to be realistic about how to bridge them. Furthermore, despite improvements in recent years the capacity to plan, procure and integrate renewable energy in power systems remains a challenge in many countries. This points to the importance of ensuring a balance between support for market development and support for capacity-building of government entities. Needs are likely to differ from one country to another and change as renewable technologies develop. The constant adaption of approaches is therefore crucial.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Ana González, Euijin Jung
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: By refusing to fill vacancies in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body—the top body that hears appeals and rules on trade disputes—the Trump administration has paralyzed the key component of the dispute settlement system. No nation or group of nations has more at stake in salvaging this system than the world’s big emerging-market economies: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, and Thailand, among others. These countries have actively and successfully used the dispute settlement system to defend their commercial interests abroad and resolve inevitable trade conflicts. The authors suggest that even though the developing countries did not create the Appellate Body crisis, they may hold a key to unlock it. The Trump administration has also focused its ire on a longstanding WTO practice of giving these economies latitude to seek “special and differential treatment” in trade negotiations because of their developing-country status. The largest developing economies, which have a significant stake in preserving a two-step, rules-based mechanism for resolving trade disputes, could play a role in driving a potential bargain to save the appeals mechanism. They could unite to give up that special status in return for a US commitment to end its boycott of the nomination of Appellate Body members.
  • Topic: Development, Government, World Trade Organization, Developing World, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Brazil, North America, Mexico, Thailand, United States of America
  • 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: Fabio Bulfone
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The Great Recession renewed calls for a return of state activism in support of the European economy. The widespread nationalization of ailing companies and the growing activism of national development banks led many to celebrate the reappearance of industrial policy. By reviewing the evolution of the goals, protagonists, and policy instru- ments of industrial policy since the postwar period, this paper shows how state intervention never ceased to be a crucial engine of growth across the EU. It argues that the decline of the Fordist wage-led production regime marked a turning point in the political economy of industrial policy with the transition from inward-looking to open-market forms of state in- tervention. The main features of open-market industrial policy are then discussed referring to the cases of the internationalization of national champions in public service sectors and the proliferation across the EU of industrial clusters. Finally, the paper reviews postcrisis in- stances of state intervention and highlights how, rather than breaking with past tendencies, the Great Recession further accelerated the shift towards open-market industrial policy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Integration, Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Priscilla Clapp
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Developing countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America are grappling with how to deal with China's rising economic influence—particularly the multibillion-dollar development projects financed through China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Myanmar, however, appears to be approaching foreign investment proposals with considerable caution. This report examines the framework the country is developing to promote transparency and accountability and to reserve for itself the authority to weigh the economic, social, and environmental impacts of major projects proposed by international investors, including China.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Economy, Conflict, Investment, Peace
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Sadaf Lakhani, Rahmatullah Amiri
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Forced displacement affects over 70 million people worldwide and is among the most pressing humanitarian and development challenges today. This report attempts to ascertain whether a relationship exists between displacement in Afghanistan and vulnerability to recruitment to violence by militant organizations. The report leverages an understanding of this relationship to provide recommendations to government, international donors, and others working with Afghanistan’s displaced populations to formulate more effective policies and programs.
  • Topic: Development, Taliban, Violent Extremism, Radicalization, Displacement, Violence, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia
  • Author: Matt Ferchen
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The outsized ambitions and scale of the China-Venezuela political and financial relationship in the twenty-first century have meant that its failures and disappointments have been correspondingly large. This report explores how the nations came to be involved, how each side has responded to Venezuela’s extended economic and political crisis, and the implications for the future of the bilateral relationship and for China’s aspirations to be a leader and agent of international development.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Development, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South America, Venezuela
  • Author: Bertil Lintner
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: After seven decades of civil war and five failed peace efforts, Burma is no closer than before to reaching an agreement that would bring an end to its many conflicts. Analysis of those previous attempts shows that they all foundered on immutable attitudes on both sides. This report suggests that the peace process needs a fresh start, learning from the past and seeking to resolve underlying political disparities while prioritizing community interests and sustainable development.
  • Topic: Development, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Burma, Myanmar
  • Author: Khyber Farahi, Scott Guggenheim
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Even if the warring parties in Afghanistan manage to secure a still-elusive agreement on resolving the current conflict, significant economic challenges remain for the country, which will require continued assistance and support for core government functions. This report, based on an examination of Afghanistan’s recent development performance, provides a framework for how the Afghan government and its donor partners can more effectively deliver equitable development going forward.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Corinne Graff
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Global Fragility Act (GFA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 2019, requires the State Department, USAID, and other agencies to put in place for the first time a comprehensive strategy to address state fragility, violent conflict, and extremism, relying on best practices that are key to more effective and integrated U.S. policy. This report focuses on six key themes in the legislation, drawing on the expertise of leading peacebuilding and development experts to help generate practical solutions for advancing the GFA.
  • Topic: Development, Fragile States, Pandemic, USAID, Resilience, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Diego Benitez
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: USIP implemented its Initiative to Measure Peace and Conflict (IMPACT) program first in the Central African Republic and later in Colombia, where it worked directly with peacebuilding organizations to gauge their collective impact on fostering reconciliation in the wake of the 2016 peace accord between the government and FARC rebels. Drawing on the challenges encountered and lessons learned, this report provides suggestions for how future iterations of the IMPACT approach can help policymakers, donors, and practitioners achieve greater and more cost-effective results from the peacebuilding projects they support.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Education, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • Author: Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s role as an international development actor is growing, with real and increasing potential to impact Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). On some issues, Chinese initiatives align well with Norwegian interests, but China’s approach to development also diverges on some key practices and norms. While Chinese international efforts meet mixed reactions, Norway should stake out its own course for when and how to engage with China over SDGs.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Norway, Asia
  • Author: Jakub M. Godzimirski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This policy brief presents the main findings of a project on Russian approaches to technological challenges, and the implications for security developments in the High North. It begins by examining the Russian debate on the technological challenges identified as posing a threat to national security by the country’s policymakers. Next, it explores how these challenges have been dealt with by Russia in the post-2014 context, paying special attention to developments in the field of military technology and how President Putin has taken advantage of these to address questions of strategic balance. Finally, the brief sets out the strategic implications for Norway, as NATO’s representative in this northern corner and Russia’s direct neighbour.
  • Topic: Development, Military Affairs, Vladimir Putin
  • Political Geography: Russia, Norway
  • Author: Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of income inequality in Latin America over the long run, comparing them with explanations of why the whole region is unequal. I first show how land inequality can account for differences between Latin America and other parts of the world but how it does not explain within-region differences. Using qualitative comparative analysis, I then consider how political institution and actors interact with the economic structure (i.e., type of export specialization) and with the ethnic composition of the population. The paper has several findings. A low indigenous/afrodescendant population is a necessary condition for relatively low inequality. I identify two sufficient-condition paths, both of which include the role of democracy, political equality, and a small indigenous and afrodescendant population. The first path also includes a favorable export specialization, while the second one includes the presence of leftist presidents instead. The paper calls for more explicit comparisons between our analytical models for the whole region and our explanations of between-country differences. Hopefully, the paper can also trigger more research on how the interactions between ethnicity, politics, and the export structure shape inequality in Latin America.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Race, Social Movement, Democracy, Inequality, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Tijan L. Bah, Catia Batista
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Irregular migration to Europe by sea, though risky, remains one of the most popular migration options for many sub-Saharan Africans. This study examines the determinants of irregular migration from West Africa to Europe. We implemented an incentivized lab-in-thefield experiment in rural Gambia, the country with the region’s highest rate of irregular migration to Europe. Male youths aged 15 to 25 were given hypothetical scenarios regarding the probability of dying en route to Europe and of gaining legal residence status after successful arrival. According to the data we collected, potential migrants overestimate both the risk of dying en route to Europe and the probability of obtaining legal residency status. In this context, our experimental results show that providing potential migrants with official numbers on the probability of getting a legal residence permit decreases their likelihood of migration by 2.88 percentage points (pp), while information on the death risk of migrating increases their likelihood of migration by 2.29 pp—although the official numbers should be regarded as a lower bound to actual mortality. Follow-up data collected one year after the experiment show that the migration decisions reported in the lab experiment correlate well with actual migration decisions and intentions. Overall, our study indicates that the migration decisions of potential migrants are likely to respond to relevant information.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Migration, Internet, Economic Growth, Borders, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Gambia
  • Author: Steven E. Finkel, Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Michael Neureiter, Chris A. Belasco
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper updates our earlier work on the impact of US foreign assistance on democratic outcomes in recipient countries using newly available USAID Foreign Aid Explorer data covering the 2001–2014 period, as well as new outcome measures derived from Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) data. Building on the theoretical and empirical framework established in our previous study and in subsequent work in the field, we estimate: a) the effect of overall USAID Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) expenditures on general indices of democracy, b) changes in the effects of DRG expenditures after 2001, and c) the conditions that moderate the impact of DRG funding at the country level in the contemporary era. We find that the effect of DRG expenditures decreased dramatically in the 2002–2014 period, relative to the modest effect shown in the previous study for the period immediately following the end of the Cold War. However, DRG aid remains effective in the current era under favorable conditions. Further analysis demonstrates important conditional effects related to patterns of DRG investment, such that aid has greater impact when levels of security assistance are low (indicating competing priorities) and when prior DRG investment is low (indicating diminishing returns). In addition, DRG is more effective at intermediate levels of democratization and less so in contexts of democratic backsliding.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Globalization, Governance, Democracy, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel R. Russel, Blake Berger
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, is a massive international infrastructure program involving nearly 140 countries with over an estimated $1 trillion in projects related to energy, transportation, digital networks, and trade. Chinese leaders frame the BRI as “win-win” cooperation focused solely on development and connectivity. Beijing has gone to great lengths to minimize BRI’s links to the People’s Liberation Army and to downplay the initiative’s geostrategic overtones. Nevertheless, many governments have become worried about ulterior motives behind BRI projects, many of which have dual-use commercial-military capabilities and are increasingly connected to Chinese digital technologies and networks and satellite systems. The Asia Society Policy Institute’s – Weaponizing the Belt and Road Initiative – examines key BRI projects in the Indo-Pacific and explores relevant Chinese doctrine, the involvement of the People’s Liberation Army with BRI, and assesses the potential military and geostrategic advantages to China from BRI ports and other projects. This project is led by ASPI Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy Daniel Russel, with support from ASPI Senior Program Officer Blake Berger. The project and the report benefitted from advisement from experts and officials in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Vietnam, China, and the United States as well as to the expert advisory group whose distinguished members generously shared their time and wisdom to support this effort.
  • Topic: Development, Geopolitics, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Noeleen Heyzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: With Vietnam, the ASEAN Chair, and Indonesia in the UN Security Council, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda has advanced in ASEAN. However, new issues need to be addressed in its implementation given the changing peace, security and development landscape.
  • Topic: Security, Development, United Nations, Peace, UN Security Council, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • 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: Siautu Alefaio
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Of all the earth’s regions, the Pacific is one of the most prone to natural disasters. Climate-related disasters such as floods, droughts, and tropical cyclones make the headlines, along with other natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. These may be accompanied by crises in public health. Today, many Pacific Island countries rely heavily on government relief and international aid when they face a disaster. Traditional sources of resilience can still play an important role, however, both within local communities and within the broader diaspora of Pacific communities in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, and the US. A better understanding of Pacific cultures from within and a better recognition of the role of the Pacific diaspora and of churches in Pacific communities would also help improve development efforts and disaster response.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: Australia, New Zealand, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Jonathan Pryke
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In an atmosphere of heightened geostrategic competition, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has raised questions about the risk of debt problems in less-developed countries. Such risks are especially worrying for the small and fragile economies of the Pacific. A close look at the evidence suggests that China has not been engaged in debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific, at least not so far. Nonetheless, if future Chinese lending continues on a business-as-usual basis, serious problems of debt sustainability will arise, and concerns about quality and corruption are valid.There have been recent signs that both China and Pacific Island governments recognize the need for reform. China needs to adopt formal lending rules similar to those of the multilateral development banks, providing more favorable terms to countries at greater risk of debt distress. Alternative approaches might include replacing or partially replacing EXIM loans with the interest-free loans and grants that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce already provides.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: This report explores the trade, investment, business, diplomacy, security, education,and people-to-people connections between the United States and the five countries of mainland Southeast Asia referred to as the Mekong region. Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are bound together and geographically defined by the Mekong River, which has historically provided a rich, natural bounty of fish, agricultural productivity, physical connectivity, and key environmental services to more than 60 million people living in the river basin. The Mekong’s importance has only grown as the region’s social, economic, and diplomatic ties export the river’s bounty to the rest of the world. As the region develops, urbanization, infrastructure development, and climate change—among other changes—are all impacting the river, its resources, and the millions who depend on the mighty Mekong. This publication was produced in partnership with the Stimson Center Southeast Asia Program.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Laos, Myanmar, United States of America
  • Author: Christian Lara, Gabriel Delsol
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In 2017, the UN launched a system-wide effort to support the implementation of the sustaining peace agenda in Burkina Faso. Since then, a rapidly deteriorating security situation and an imminent humanitarian crisis have forced the UN, the Burkinabe government, and their partners to recalibrate their efforts. This ongoing recalibration, together with the changes resulting from the UN development system reforms, makes this an opportune moment to assess the state of efforts to sustain peace in Burkina Faso. This paper examines the implementation of the UN’s peacebuilding and sustaining peace framework in Burkina Faso, looking at what has been done and what is still needed. It focuses on the four issue areas highlighted in the secretary-general’s 2018 report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace: operational and policy coherence; leadership at the UN country level; partnerships with local and regional actors; and international support. Burkina Faso provides lessons for how the UN’s sustaining peace efforts can respond to growing needs without a change in mandate. Continued support for the UN resident coordinator in Burkina Faso is necessary to ensure that these efforts are part of a holistic approach to the crisis, together with local, national, and regional partners. Such support could underpin Burkina Faso’s status as a buffer against spreading insecurity in the Sahel and make the country a model for the implementation of the sustaining peace agenda in conflict-prone settings without UN missions.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace, Sustainability, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Lesley Connolly, Jimena Leiva Roesch
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: On January 1, 2019, a far-reaching reform of the UN development system went into effect. This was referred to by the deputy secretary-general as “the most ambitious reform of the United Nations development system in decades.” While this reform has only briefly been in place, questions have already arisen about its implementation and implications. This issue brief aims to contribute to the understanding of this ongoing reform and its significance. It provides a detailed overview of the UN development system reform at the headquarters, regional, and country levels, highlighting why it was undertaken and identifying some of the political and bureaucratic complexities it entails. The report concludes that more than a year into the reform of the UN development system, significant progress has been made, but it is too early to assess the reform’s long-term impact. What is clear, however, is that bringing about change of this scope will require the UN to adapt not only its structure but also its way of working.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mamadou Bodian, Aurélien Tobie, Myriam Marending
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since 2015 Mali’s central regions of Mopti and Ségou have become insecure hotspots at the confluence of interconnected challenges in terms of governance, development and security. Although international interventions involving a full range of actors and sectors are being increasingly reoriented towards these regions, the sustainability of the responses depends on their ability to draw on the needs and priorities of local communities. This SIPRI Insights is based on a study that combines both quantitative and qualitative data to provide an evidence-based analysis of local perspectives in Mopti and Ségou. It highlights how the people there understand and respond to the governance, development and security challenges they face.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Mali, Africa
  • Author: Nan Tian, Diego Lopes da Silva
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Official development assistance (ODA) plays an important and complementary role in promoting development in low- and middle-income states. Previous research in the literature has shown that ODA can have unintended con­sequences by enabling recipient states to shift ‘freed-up’ resources away from activities now funded by ODA to other spending categories. This literature has argued that the ‘freed-up’ resources could be funding military spending. This SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security queries these con­clusions and contributes to the debate by placing the relation­ship between ODA and military spending in context. The results show that, for low-income states, armed conflict is a major explanatory factor in determin­ing the positive association between increases in ODA and increases in military spending. While the existence of armed conflict drives both higher military spending and the need for higher levels of ODA, peace helps to lower military spending and states’ reliance on external aid.
  • Topic: Development, Military Spending, Conflict, Peace, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jiayi Zhou, Lisa Marie Dellmuth, Kevin M. Adams, Tina-Simone Neset, Nina von Uexkull
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Assessing the prospects for Zero Hunger—Sustainable Development Goal 2—requires an understanding of food security that goes beyond developmental or humanitarian issues, to include linkages with geopolitics. Geopolitical challenges cut across areas such as natural resources, trade, armed conflict and climate change where unilateralism and zero-sum approaches to security directly hamper efforts to eradicate hunger and undermine the frameworks that govern those efforts. The report provides an overview of how geopolitics interacts with these areas. Competition for agricultural resources can be both a cause and a consequence of geopolitical rivalry. International trade, while essential for food security, also creates vulnerabilities through supply disruptions—sometimes politically motivated. Armed conflict is a driver of food insecurity, which can itself feed into social unrest and violence. Climate change interacts with all three phenomena, reshaping both the physical landscape and political calculus. These overlapping linkages require further integrated policy engagement and analysis.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Trade and Finance, Governance, Food Security, Geopolitics, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: José Francisco Alvarado Cóbar
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In order to have a more nuanced understanding of inclusive peace processes, it is important to understand how civil society can connect to formal peace negotiations. The Colombian peace negotiation process is highly regarded as one of the most inclusive processes; involving civil society groups from diverse backgrounds, including both women’s and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) groups. But how do these groups leverage influence among the main conflict actors, and what specific challenges and opportunities do they face? This paper applies a conflict resolution and negotiation framework to assess the involvement of women’s and LGBTI groups in the most recent Colombian peace negotiation process. In doing so, the suggested framework provides a practical application of conflict resolution and negotiation strategies that can further complement discussions on inclusion of marginalized groups in other peace negotiation processes.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Gender Issues, Governance, Women, Negotiation, LGBT+, Peace
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • Author: Malin Mobjörk, Florian Krampe, Kheira Tarif
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Policymakers are increasingly concerned with the climate-related security risks—the adverse effects of climate change on peace and security. This SIPRI Policy Brief outlines four interrelated pathways between climate change and conflict: (a) livelihoods, (b) migration and mobility, (c) armed group tactics, and (d) elite exploitation. These illustrate the relationship between short- and long-term environmental changes linked to climate change; their impact on the root causes and dynamics of violent conflict; and the critical role of human action, reaction and inaction in mediating violent outcomes. As a policymaking tool, pathways help to identify and navigate the political space for mitigating violent conflict. They can support decision makers in navigating these complex relationships in conflict-affected and climate-exposed regions by integrating local context into analyses of the security and conflict risks of climate change. Pathways also help to facilitate policy planning in areas such as livelihoods, mobility, resource management and governance.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Development, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Chen
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chinese state news organization Xinhua announced on November 23 that nine provinces in Guizhou had been lifted out of absolute poverty, marking the removal of all counties from China’s national list of most impoverished counties (Xinhua, November 24). About a week later, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping announced that China had achieved the goal of eradicating absolute poverty and becoming a “moderately prosperous society” (小康社会, xiaokang shehui) before the end of 2020 (China Daily, December 2; Xinhua, December 4).[1] This heralded a wave of triumphal propaganda. Xi stressed the “critical importance of continuously advancing global poverty reduction” during his remarks at the G20 Riyadh Leader’s Summit on November 22, and held up China’s imminent achievement of eliminating absolute poverty ten years ahead of the deadline set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a model for global emulation (Xinhua, November 23). Chinese official media frequently cited the praise of foreign experts, who were quoted as saying that China’s achievement “gave a hope to the developing countries” and represented a “great historic accomplishment” amid the COVID-19 pandemic (Xinhua, November 25, Xinhua, December 8) On December 14, Xi sent a letter of congratulations to the International Forum on Sharing Poverty Reduction Experience that said, “China stands ready to work with all countries in promoting the process of international poverty reduction and building a community with a shared future for mankind” (China Daily, December 14).
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Xi Jinping, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia