Consultants working to end poverty

Beyond Armed Conflict and Emergency: the Role of Education and Training in Tackling Urban Violence

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By Jovana Carapic, and Luisa Phebo, Conflict, Violence, Education and Training (CVET) Programme, NORRAG.

Urban spaces are going to be the locus of future armed conflict and organized violence. The signs are inescapable.

One reason for this is that the nature of armed conflict is changing. Traditionally conceptualized as conflict between or within states, the number and intensity (in terms of battle deaths) of armed conflict has decreased since 1990. Although armed conflict is not going to disappear – as illustrated by the recent events in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine – evidence suggests that it is no longer necessarily the most important source of insecurity affecting the majority of individuals around the globe. Instead, ‘everyday’ forms of lethal (often armed) violence in non-conflict settings accounts for the highest proportion of insecurity.

There has also been a change in where organized violence occurs. Although historically armed conflicts tend to…

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Filed under: Development

Amrita Narlikar becomes President of GIGA in Hamburg

The Board of Trustees of the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies/Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien has installed Dr Amrita Narlikar from the University of Cambridge to lead the institute as its new president. Her term is set to begin on 1 October 2014. She has also been appointed by the President of the University of Hamburg (UHH) as Professor in the Department of Economics and Social Sciences of that institution.

“I am delighted and honoured to have been offered the positions,” said Narlikar. “The GIGA is already an international institute of world renown. It has the empirical expertise to understand the visions and policy perspectives of the non-Western world, and how they impact upon global governance, and is thus probably the only research institute of its kind. This analytic advantage is especially important in the context of the changing balance of power that we are seeing today. I look forward to the opportunity to harness its tremendous potential and further enhance the GIGA’s international presence and impact, in collaboration with GIGA colleagues and university colleagues across several relevant disciplines. I am especially excited at the prospect of collaborating with the German policy community, and look forward to deep and constructive engagement with the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the German Federal Foreign Office. I must add here that Hamburg holds a special attraction for me because of its unique history and my own research on international trade.”

Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier congratulated Amrita Narlikar on her selection as the GIGA’s new president, saying, “With her selection, an excellent scholar with noteworthy international expertise will lead the research institute. For 50 years the GIGA has been making significant contributions to the formulation of German foreign policy. At the same time, the institute has established itself as an outstanding location for internationally oriented social science research, and one that also attracts highly qualified young academics from around the world. I look forward to continuing the positive collaboration between the Federal Foreign Office and the GIGA, and to expanding it further with the new president in the future. I wish Dr Amrita Narlikar great success in leading the GIGA.”

Hamburg’s Deputy Mayor and Senator of Science and Research, Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, said of the appointment: “The Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is extraordinarily pleased that we have jointly managed to secure Dr. Amrita Narlikar as the future president of the GIGA. Amrita Narlikar is a world-class researcher who is internationally renowned in the area of International Relations.” Her academic profile fits exceptionally well with the GIGA, which studies the most important global issues of our time, said Stapelfeldt. “Dr Narlikar’s move to the GIGA will strengthen the GIGA’s position as an independent, federally and state-funded research institute; holds potential for multifaceted collaboration within the academic metropolis of Hamburg; and underscores Hamburg’s internationalism.”

Focus on New Rising Powers

Amrita Narlikar joins the GIGA from the University of Cambridge, where she is the founding director of the renowned Centre for Rising Powers and a Reader in International Political Economy. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford.

Narlikar’s research expertise lies in the areas of rising powers (particularly India), multilateral negotiations, and international trade. Her agenda lends itself directly to insights for policy and practice. For example, her work on the World Trade Organization has offered coalition strategies for developing countries, and also directions for reforming the institution. Her research on international negotiations offers ways in which the West can negotiate more constructively with the rising powers.

Due to the global relevance of her work, Narlikar is often asked to lend her expertise to international organizations and in international negotiations. She served on the first Warwick Commission on the Reform of the Multilateral Trading System, has given expert testimony to the European Parliament, and is currently a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals. She was invited to guest-edit a special issue of the Chatham House journal International Affairs, on Negotiating the Rise of New Powers, which generated a great deal of interest from scholars and practitioners.

Amrita Narlikar has received many accolades for her work, including several prestigious research grants and prizes, and is an active member of numerous international research teams. She has written or edited nine impactful books, and has also had her research published in leading international journals and prominent edited collections. Her most recent works include Bargaining with a Rising India and The Oxford Handbook on the World Trade Organization. Narlikar serves as referee for numerous international journals, top-league university presses, and several major funding bodies.

From India to Cambridge

Narlikar grew up in India, graduating with a B.A. (Hons) from St Stephen’s College and an M.A. from the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi in 1996. She was subsequently awarded scholarships to study International Relations at Balliol College Oxford, where she received her M.Phil. in 1998 and her D.Phil. in 2000, both in International Relations. Prior to arriving in Cambridge as University Lecturer, she was a Junior Research Fellow at St John’s, Oxford, and held a permanent lectureship at the University of Exeter. She has also held a Visiting Fellowship at Yale University and a Visiting Professorship at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Additional Information

Dr Amrita Narlikar’s website at the University of Cambridge:
Centre for Rising Powers website:
GIGA website:


Filed under: Asia, Development, Economy, Germany, Global, News, Research, ,

New online resource highlights tools for value chain analysis

Ensuring that small-scale farmers and producers enjoy a bigger piece of the financial pie is the aim of a new web resource on agricultural development.

The Value Chains Knowledge Clearinghouse, led by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, is based on the concept of Value Chains Development (VCD). The approach seeks to build new or strengthen existing commercial ties between two or more actors, such as businesses and consumers. Several NGOs, donors, and governments have adopted VCD as a key element of their rural poverty reduction strategies.

The growing interest in VCD has led to a proliferation of tools for value chain analysis, the results of which inform the design of VCD initiatives. However, recent research has pointed to important gaps in the coverage of these tools, such as gender equity and impact assessment. The Clearinghouse provides a comprehensive and accessible repository of research methods and best practices surrounding value chain performance that can be used by all CGIAR research programs and partners.

At the same time, the Clearinghouse addresses the interests of users beyond the CGIAR family. Generalists, farmers, private actors, development practitioners, and researchers will find tools and good practices selected for them, instructions on application of the tools, a calendar of events, and a network for communications.

A key theme of the portal is linking small producers to markets. Millions of people participate in agricultural value chains as producers, small-scale traders, processors, retailers, and consumers. Yet these actors often receive a disproportionately small share of the final cost of many of the products that are sold to consumers. Improving the performance of value chains therefore stands to benefit large numbers of people.

The Clearinghouse also will help practitioners and specialists:

  • Identify key constraints and opportunities in value chains;
  • Evaluate opportunities for upgrading value chains;
  • Optimize and prioritize investment in institutional arrangements and value chain infrastructure;
  • Improve equity and reduce poverty in developing countries through improved market access, technical innovation, information, and improved efficiency to reduce marketing margins and increase farm gate prices;
  • Expand labor opportunities for women and the landless and boost the incomes of rural households;
  • Promote risk-coping mechanisms for farmers; and
  • Increase the quality of farmers’ products, thereby improving food security.

More Information


Source: IFPRI

Filed under: Economy, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Rural Economies, Technology, Trade, Value Chains

Time to make sure young people help to rewrite the rules of development

Originally posted on Effective Development Co-operation Blog:


By Mark Nowottny, Policy and Practice Director, Restless Development

It’s not always immediately obvious why young people should care about effective development co-operation. Even for those in development circles, it has been the inclusive and broad-based process of shaping the next Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the “whatof development – that has perhaps most captured the imagination.

But there’s a provocative argument going around. It goes something like this: over past months, the development community has been transfixed with and channelled its energy into shaping the SDGs, with each actor lobbying hard for specific causes like gender, disability, or inequality. But now that the shape of the Goals is starting to emerge in the latest results from the Open Working Group, it’s looking possible that history will judge the biggest changes to have come not in what the world wants by way of development, but on how it delivers it.

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The post-2015 development agenda An innovative process for a conservative outcome?

Originally posted on European Parliamentary Research Service:

A tree impression

© / Fotolia

Fruit of two different but increasingly converging processes, the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is set to become the universal framework guiding global and national efforts to support human development in conjunction with environmental durability, from 2016. As the final stage in negotiations approaches, the post-2015 agenda is taking shape in a novel institutional setting, characterised not only by its twin-channels – with Rio+20 state-driven and post-2015 UN-led tracks – but also by its highly participative nature. Indeed the process has ensured large space for public participation and opportunities for input from stakeholders.

The broad reactions to the shape the agenda is taking, expressed as the main outcome documents are published, show that the results may not satisfy those who were expecting a truly transformative shift in the way the international community faces global challenges. According to commentators the working documents do not address the roots of…

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From Government to Governance: Reflections on Global Education Governance and the Global South

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By Barbara Trudell, SIL Africa.

globeGovernment is a funny thing. Sometimes it stands as the defender and protector of the vulnerable, and sometimes it is the perpetrator of all manner of injustices. We expect marvels from the state, and at the same time we find all kinds of ways to belittle it.

Where education is concerned, it’s no different. Poor exam results? Blame the government. Under-resourced and under-motivated teachers? it’s the government’s fault. I‘m told that in the UK, one can even blame the government for the weather!

Having said that, it has always seemed to me that the provision of education really is the state’s role. Curriculum content is supposed to reflect and reproduce national identity and values; the formal education experience is supposed to build well informed and productive national citizens. That is not how it always turns out, of course, and in fact the language development organization…

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Poverty in USA: Then and Now

Many things contribute to the poverty rate in America: education, minimum wage and housing, just to name a few. The first reliable poverty rate was documented in 1959. How much have things changed since the 1960s?

Poverty in America
More at

Filed under: Crisis, Economy, Employment, Global, Latin America, Poverty

What about Good Global Governance and Education?

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:


I’ll have an education and some good governance please, but I don’t know which comes first

What is the link between education and good governance? This was an issue addressed by the recent Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/14 (p.170-177), but was also the subject of an interesting session the day before the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) pledging day.

Drawing heavily on the recent Brookings Paper, the discussion at the GPE event was around the issue of whether investment in universal (primary) education can strengthen good governance, or whether good governance leads to universal (primary) education? Rebecca Winthrop of Brookings presented the findings on behalf of the authors, with the bottom line being that they found a stronger relationship from universal education to good governance than from good governance to universal education. The Brookings team note the caveat that ‘not all universal education is…

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GIGA Dossier: New Approaches in the Social Sciences

This year the GIGA celebrated its fiftieth anniversary by hosting an international conference that brought together leading scholars in the field of formal institutions and adaptive processes. The conference goal was to help establish the added value of comparative area studies (CAS). The inherent claim of CAS is that many social science disciplines would profit from the consistent application of systematic comparison and context sensitivity; most schools within these disciplines currently only use one at the expense of the other.

A multimedia dossier now provides an overview of the conference’s main findings – and of new approaches in the social sciences.


Adapting Institutions: A Comparative Area Studies Perspective

Institutions should regulate social life and prepare society for challenges. However, at times these functions remain promises rather than reality. An international conference organized by the GIGA examined the various roles of institutions using comparative methods.



Watch the videos of the conference on theGIGA You Tube channel


1. Welcome notes from Detlef Nolte and Andreas Mehler of the GIGA.


2. Opening Lecture: “Hybridity” of Contemporary Democratic Regimes in a Cross-regional Perspective – Laurence Whitehead, Oxford, Nuffield College

Video: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

3. CAS Award ceremony for the best article in the field of comparative area studies | The winners of this year’s award were Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy Power (all from Oxford University) for their article in Democratization:Rethinking the ‘Presidentialism Debate’: Conceptualizing Coalitional Politics in Cross-regional Perspective”.


4. Panel Discussion: What Can Comparative Area Studies Do for the Study of Institutional Change?

Discussants: Ariel Ahram, Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Andreas Mehler, Claudia Pragua from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Laurence Whitehead

Videos: Part 1 | Part 2


The West Has Had Its Day

Social scientists have to let go of old views of the world in order to understand global power relations. Affluence is in no way a necessary precondition for democracy, and federalism is not a panacea, writes Andreas Mehler and recommends comparative area studies to learn more about other perspectives.


Filed under: Development, Germany, Global, Research

The United Nations has opened up a global vote for a better world #globalvote

The vote aims to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so that global leaders can hear people’s voices as they make major decisions in the coming months.

Get your voice heard. Vote today!

Filed under: Development

When Elephants marry: Booz & Company belongs now to PwC as Strategy&

PwC ( is pleased to announce today the successful completion of its combination with Booz & Company. With the granting of all regulatory approvals for Booz & Company to join PwC, it is now officially part of the PwC Network. All closing conditions for the deal have been met.

Marking this occasion, Booz & Company has changed its name to Strategy& (pronounced Strategy and). This new name, which will be used alongside the PwC name and brand, reflects the strength in strategy consulting that Booz & Company brings to the PwC Network and the benefits this deal will bring to all clients and stakeholders. After a short grace period, Booz & Company can’t legally continue to use the Booz name following the change in ownership.

 Welcoming the Strategy& team to the PwC Network, Dennis Nally, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, says: “Today signifies an important step for PwC, our clients and stakeholders. Businesses are navigating unprecedented, disruptive threats and organisations increasingly want the right strategy and the ability to execute it. Together PwC and Strategy& meet this need – delivering superior value to our clients and stakeholders, attracting premium talent and helping businesses around the world build their capabilities on a global scale.

“This combination of PwC and Strategy& will see PwC lead the way in changing the landscape of the global consulting business,” adds Nally.

Suresh Kana, PwC Africa Senior Partner, says: “The addition of Strategy& increases the pool of talented people within the PwC Network. Strategy& deploys the best industry experts suited to a strategic challenge, on a global scale. Tapping into these global resources will enable PwC Africa to assist our stakeholders in solving important problems.”

“We are delighted to be joining PwC, the leading professional services network in the world, as it enables us to offer both our clients and our people a bigger, broader and better opportunity to connect strategy to impact,” says Cesare Mainardi, CEO of Strategy&.

“Strategy& brings a 100-year heritage of practical strategy advice to PwC’s broad and deep portfolio of expert advisory services. On day one, we can meet clients’ needs for a full menu of strategy-through-execution services, and a single point of access in delivering results. We have the footprint, the scale, the resources, and the proven capabilities to help global enterprises every step of the way from strategy to outcomes. It’s an exciting prospect,” adds Mainardi.

PwC Strategy&’s Board of Directors will be chaired by Tony Poulter, a PwC partner and global consulting leader.  Cesare Mainardi will be CEO of Strategy&.   He has been the CEO of Booz & Company for the past two years.

Source:APO (African Press Organization)

Filed under: Development, , ,

The world needs new leadership not from those whose lives have been easy, but from those whose lives have been hard.

Originally posted on DannyQuah:

Malaysia finds itself more and more in international news headlines. No one needs to tell ordinary Malaysians how their daily lives fill to overflowing with myriad concerns and challenges. The nation’s political leadership is challenged and changed with lively ongoing debate. Malaysia’s people unite in the face of adversity and national tragedy, and in national sporting triumph. Increased international competition and a global consciousness in its people; finite oil and gas and other rapidly-depleting natural resources; a promise of ever greater national unity that many feel has failed: there is no room for political and economic complacency.

If the world were a democracy, this is where  decisions would be made on matters of global significance.    (Idea from <A HREF="">Kenneth Myers, 2013</A>.)

If the world were a democracy, this is where decisions would be made on matters of global significance. (Idea from Kenneth Myers, 2013 .)

Malaysia’s stock of talented and hardworking people want their economy and their fellow citizens to succeed. But they struggle daily in circumstances they consider unfair and unjust. This is…

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Transforming Academia: From Silo to Vehicle for Social Change

Originally posted on Organizations and Social Change:

By Stephan Manning.

There has been a lot of talk about the alienating nature of academic work. Nick Kristof argues in his recent New York Times article that academic research is increasingly irrelevant for public debates and that public intellectuals have become a dying species. Academics are increasingly driven by the pressure to publish rather than by curiosity and the need to better understand the world we live in, as Suhaib Riaz points out in his recent blog. In a nutshell, academia has become a silo in which peer recognition counts the most, whereas making a broader impact is seen as a distraction. Given the enormity of unsolved social and environmental problems facing our planet, we need to re-embed academia into society and turn it into a vehicle for social change. But how?

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The Filter – by ECDPM – gives you the most relevant international cooperation news

The Filter at gives you the most relevant international cooperation news in relation to European Union external action, African governance and food security initiatives, economic governance, trade, and regional integration.

Over 500 sources are scanned daily to help busy policy-makers stay up to date. Online, the Filter is a completely searchable library, organised by topic. It includes insight and analysis from our own experts to put the stories into context.

How can you receive it? Sign up via the box on the home page and get it direct into your email inbox, through RSS feeds, or via social media. – See more at:

The European Centre for Development Policy Management is an independent foundation which was established in 1986 in order to monitor and support development cooperation between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

ECDPM is a “think and do tank”. The main goal today is to broker effective development partnerships between the EU and the Global South, particularly Africa. – See more at:

Filed under: ACP, Africa, Caribbean, Cooperation, Development, Development Results, Europe, European Union, MDGs, News, Publications, Research, Web 2.0

Education for ‘Global Citizenship’: Beyond the ‘Fuzzword’

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By Sobhi Tawil,UNESCO.

unescoThe notion of ‘global citizenship’ has recently gained prominence in international development discourse through the recently-adopted United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative. Indeed, among the three priority areas outlined in this global initiative, the third aims to ‘foster global citizenship’.

Making sense of ‘fuzzwords”

The notion of ‘global citizenship’, however, remains very broad, if not contested, and consequently difficult to operationalize in education. First of all, it is unclear whether the very notion of ‘global citizenship’ is a metaphor, a contradiction of terms, or an oxymoron (Davies, 2006). What does ‘global citizenship’ possibly imply both from a legal perspective, as well as from that of collective identity, sense of belonging, and of civic engagement? Moreover, when applied to education, the notion of ‘global citizenship’ implies a certain degree of confusion. Is education for ‘global citizenship’ merely an expression of a fundamental purpose…

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Why the European Parliament elections matter for international development

Originally posted on European development cooperation:

VotingElections to the European Parliament will take place in May this year. Yet, an oddity of the European elections is that they are out of synch with the main policy and budgetary processes of the EU. Does this suggest that the role of the new Parliament is limited; that all that is left is the job of holding the executive to account for the implementation of decisions taken by others? Have the Parliament’s guns been spiked?

In this blog, Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas argue that rather than being powerless, the new MEPs have an opportunity to exert influence in various subtle ways.  They also set out a series of questions on international development that can be asked of all political party manifestos.

Read the recent manifestos from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the Socialists & Democrats (PES) and the European People’s Party (EPP), and

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Hype cycle for development ideas: 2014 edition

Karsten Weitzenegger:

Dave Algoso analyses trends in development cooperation with a technology assessment tool. Thanks Dave, this enlightens me.

Originally posted on Find What Works:

The “hype cycle” is a wonderful conceptual framework for understanding how technologies move from initial invention to widespread application. The basic path is simple:  whenever a new technology comes along, it usually gets hyped to the point of inflating expectations about how much it will revolutionize your life, then reality will sink in and we’ll all be disillusioned by the unfulfilled promises, after which it finally rises to a level of productivity.

Visually, it looks like this:



The technology firm behind the concept, Gartner, releases annual reports covering over 2,000 technologies in multiple industries. Most of the report is proprietary (read: expensive) but a summary graphic does a nice job of placing various technologies along the cycle. E.g. “consumer 3D printing” has gotten so much hype that it’s about to slide down the trough of disillusionment, while “speech recognition” has just crossed into the plateau of…

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CGAP: What We Learned about the Poor and their Money in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire

Did you know that low-income people living in Côte d’Ivoire are more likely to save than those in Senegal? Or that the reverse is true when it comes to borrowing?

These are just two lessons we learned after completing two surveys of low-income individuals in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire aimed at determining how people manage and approach money. The survey responses, combined with individual interviews, illustrate the rationale behind many common financial behaviors in these countries and help us pinpoint areas where there may be unmet demand for financial services. The research also aimed to understand the perceptions and uses of newer types of financial products, such as agents and mobile wallets.

Several patterns emerged from the survey results, which our researchers used to segment the respondents into categories. Pairing these categories with individual profiles of clients helps us get a better understanding of who these individuals are and the challenges they face in their every day financial lives.

For example, one person we met during this process was Babacar, a farmer in Senegal. His main motivation when it comes to money is building a house for his children. He never borrows, because, as he told our researchers, “If you owe someone, the person may bother you at any time for repayment of his money. That is unacceptable to me.”

You can read the Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire studies in their entirety at

Filed under: Africa, Microfinance, Publications, ,

How to make failure a stepping stone to success | IFAD Webstream

IFAD invites us to the conference Webstream:
How to make failure a stepping stone to success

Date: 29 October 2013, Time: 10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m. Rome, Italy

This IFAD event that aims to challenge the common thinking around failure – and to raise awareness about how learning from failure is a key to success. The event will benefit from the insights and experience of renowned personalities such as Tim Harford, Aleem Walji, Dave Snowdenand Ashley Good.

That adds to a discussion we had here on LinkedIn:

Filed under: Cooperation, Crisis, Development, Methods, Seminars

24 October 2013 | Cooperation for Development

Happy World Development Information Day!

Your Newsletter on International Cooperation for Sustainable Development is ready at

I invite you to my International Development Newsroom at You can even get this information delivered by e-mail using Feedburner:

I recently updated the Development Research Crawler at Search the leading development research institutes and libraries here with a query for your keywords. All this is done standing on the shoulders of Google.

Filed under: Development, Global, News, Research

Responsible Development in a Polycentric World: Inequality, Citizenship and the Middle Classes #ResponsibleDev| EADI General Conference, 23 – 26 June 2014, Bonn, Germany

As a member of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), I’m registered for the 14th EADI General Conference, 23 – 26 June 2014, in Bonn, Germany and will tweet using #ResponsibleDev

The EADI General Conference is a major European event devoted to a topical theme which attracts more than 400 researchers active in development research and global change issues. It is a European forum for academic exchange, reflection and debate.

The four-day conference offers a wide range of Working Group Sessions and Panels organised by various international institutes. In addition to the Dudley-Seers-Lecture which will mark the official opening of the conference, each day a plenary lecture with a different thematic focus will provide valuable insights into cutting-edge development research.

Researchers on development issues are invited to present papers for the EADI General Conference under the Working Group sessions. Call for Papers:

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Filed under: Cooperation, Development, Europe, European Union, Germany, News, Poverty

Risk management can be a powerful instrument for development | World Development Report 2014

The latest World Development Report (WDR), Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development, analyzes risk at many levels and forms and is rich with examples, ranging from job loss and disease to financial crises and natural disasters—often highlighting the costly consequences of mismanaged risk. The 147 banking crises that have struck 116 countries in the past 40 years, for instance, have led to large declines in output and employment.


A key message from the WDR 2014 is that risk management can be a powerful tool for development and has the potential to bring about security and future prosperity to people in the developing world. Effective risk management approaches can not only protect the poor – they can also unlock opportunities for better development outcomes. For example, farmers in Ghana and India – among other countries – who have rainfall insurance have increased their investments in fertilizer, seeds, and other inputs. More: | Download English Report


The past 25 years have witnessed unprecedented changes around the world—many of them for the better. Across the continents, many countries have embarked on a path of international integration, economic reform, technological modernization, and democratic participation. As a result, economies that had been stagnant for decades are growing, people whose families had suffered deprivation for generations are escaping poverty, and hundreds of millions are enjoying the benefits of improved living standards and scientific and cultural sharing across nations. As the world changes, a host of opportunities arise constantly.

With them, however, appear old and new risks, from the possibility of job loss and disease to the potential for social unrest and environmental damage. If ignored, these risks can turn into crises that reverse hard-won gains and endanger the social and economic reforms that produced these gains.

The World Development Report 2014 (WDR 2014), Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development, contends that the solution is not to reject change in order to avoid risk but to prepare for the opportunities and risks that change entails. Managing risks responsibly and effectively has the potential to bring about security and a means of progress for people in developing countries and beyond. Although individuals’ own efforts, initiative, and responsibility are essential for managing risk, their success will be limited without a supportive social environment—especially when risks are large or systemic in nature.

The WDR 2014 argues that people can successfully confront risks that are beyond their means by sharing their risk management with others. This can be done through naturally occurring social and economic systems that enable people to overcome the obstacles that individuals and groups face, including lack of resources and information, cognitive and behavioral failures, missing markets and public goods, and social externalities and exclusion. These systems—from the household and the community to the state and the international community—have the potential to support people’s risk management in different yet complementary ways.

The Report focuses on some of the most pressing questions policy makers are asking. What role should the state take in helping people manage risks? When should this role consist of direct interventions, and when should it consist of providing an enabling environment? How can governments improve their own risk management, and what happens when they fail or lack capacity, as in many fragile and conflict-affected states? Through what mechanisms can risk management be mainstreamed into the development agenda? And how can collective action failures to manage systemic risks be addressed, especially those with irreversible consequences? The WDR 2014 provides policy makers with insights and recommendations to address these difficult questions. It should serve to guide the dialogue, operations, and contributions from key development actors—from civil society and national governments to the donor community and international development organizations.

Filed under: Banking, Development, Development Results, Economy, Environment, Governance

Weitzenegger's Monitoring and Evaluation Reading List by email

Get my Monitoring and Evaluation Reading List delivered by email using Feedburner: This is the content today:


See also

Filed under: Content, Evaluation, News, Publications

Alliance for Affordable Internet launches to stimulate global policy reform to lower access costs to users


ABUJA, Nigeria, October 7, 2013/ — Today, a diverse group of private and public sector players came together to launch the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI –, a coalition to lead policy and regulatory reform and spur action to drive down artificially high internet prices in developing countries. By advocating for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets, A4AI aims to help access prices fall to below 5% of monthly income worldwide, a target set by the UN Broadband Commission. Reaching this goal can help to connect the two-thirds of the world that is presently not connected to the internet (source: ITU) and make universal access a reality.

A4AI’s 30+ members reach across boundaries of geography, industry, and organisation type and include governments, companies, and civil society organisations from both developed and developing countries. Members share a belief that that policy reform, underpinned by robust research and genuine knowledge-sharing, is one of the best ways to unlock rapid gains in internet penetration rates. The Alliance was initiated by the World Wide Web Foundation (, and its honorary chairperson is DrBitangeNdemo, the immediate former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communications, who is widely regarded as the father of Broadband in Kenya.

A4AI has a strong focus on action and announced the following plans today at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation’s Annual Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, witnessed by communications ministers, policy makers and industry leaders from around the globe:

  • The Alliance will begin in-country engagements with three to four States by the end of 2013, expanding to at least twelve countries by the end of 2015.
  • Members have committed to a set of policy best practices (enclosed) that will guide advocacy work at the international level. Key policy levers to drive prices down include allowing innovative allocation of spectrum, promoting infrastructure sharing, and increasing transparency and public participation in regulatory decisions.
  • A4AI will produce an annual ‘Affordability Report’, with the first edition being unveiled in December 2013.

Commenting, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation said:

“The reason for the Alliance is simple – the majority of the world’s people are still not online, usually because they can’t afford to be. In Mozambique, for example, a recent study showed that using just 1GB of data can cost well over two months wages for the average citizen.

“The result of high prices is a widening digital divide that slows progress in vital areas such as health, education and science. Yet with the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue. The real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies and regulations that keep prices unaffordable. The Alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost.”

DrBitangeNdemo, honorary chairperson of A4AI, added:

“In Kenya, we saw the number of internet users more than double in a single year after we liberalised markets. Now we need to spark the same revolution on broadband costs and access, not only in my country but around the world. To achieve this, we will use our combined voices, leadership and expertise to press for fair, competitive and socially responsible markets.”

Quotes from Global Sponsors of A4AI

Jennifer Haroon, Access Principal at Google, said:

“Nearly two out of every three people don’t have access to the Internet – this is a massive challenge that can’t easily be solved by a single solution or player. The world needs technical innovation and vision to bring more people online, but we also need a strong policy foundation that allows new ideas to flourish. By working alongside Alliance partners, we can help lay the groundwork needed to drive innovation and bring the power of the Internet to more people.”

Ory Okolloh, director of investments, Omidyar Network, added:

“The lack of affordable internet access in emerging markets is a key barrier to large-scale innovation, which in turn stifles social and economic advancement. Omidyar Network is delighted to help lead the formation of the Alliance for Affordable Internet to address this problem. The Alliance has the potential to help millions of people in the developing world come online, unlocking opportunities for them to access information and services that can meaningfully improve their lives.”

Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID said:

“The growing digital divide is a global issue that can only be tackled collaboratively, and we are thrilled to be working with the diverse and committed group of the Alliance for Affordable Internet to enable even the most remote and impoverished communities to access the wealth of knowledge and connection that exists in the digital world.”

Professor Tim Unwin, Secretary General, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation:

“In a world where information sharing and communication is increasingly dominated by the internet, it is essential that everyone should have access to it at prices they can afford. The rapid expansion of all types of ICTs is nevertheless currently leading to ever-greater inequalities in the world, and so the creation of the Alliance for Affordable Internet is timely and important. By working together in carefully crafted partnerships, we can seek to redress this balance and turn rhetoric into reality.”

Download the Full List of Alliance Members:

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the World Wide Web Foundation.

Affordability Facts and Figures

(All from ITU report ICT Facts and Figures 2013 ( unless otherwise cited)

● In the developing world, 31% of the population is online, compared with 77% in the developed world.

● 90% of the 1.1 billion households not connected to the Internet are in the developing world.

● In Africa, 16% of people are using the Internet – only half the penetration rate of Asia and the Pacific.

● Between 2009 and 2013, Internet penetration in households has grown fastest in Africa, with annual growth of 27%, followed by 15% annual growth in Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States and the CIS.

● The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where 16% fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only 2% fewer women than men in the developed world. A recent report from Intel ( suggests that women are 43% less likely to have access to the internet in sub-Saharan Africa, 33% in South Asia, and 34% in Middle East and North Africa.

● In Africa, less than 10% of fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions offer speeds of at least 2 Mbit/s. This is also the case of several countries in Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and some Arab States.

● Over the past five years, fixed-broadband prices as a share of GNI per capita dropped by 82%. By 2012, fixed- broadband prices represented 1.7% of monthly GNI p.c. in developed countries. In developing countries, fixed- broadband services remain expensive, accounting for 30.1% of average monthly incomes.

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) ( is a global coalition committed to driving down the cost of internet access in less developed countries.

A4AI focuses on creating the conditions for open, efficient and competitive broadband markets via policy and regulatory reform. Through a combination of advocacy, research and knowledge-sharing, the Alliance aims to facilitate the achievement of the UN Broadband Commission target of entry-level broadband services priced at less than 5% of average monthly income. In doing so, A4AI will help to connect the two-thirds of people in developing countries who cannot access the internet.

A4AI members are drawn from both developed and less developed countries and include public, private and not-for-profit organizations. The World Wide Web Foundation (, founded by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, initiated the Alliance. Global sponsors are Google, Omidyar Networks, USAID and the UK DFID and the Alliance has more than 30 members.

For more, please visit:

SOURCE: World Wide Web Foundation

Filed under: Africa, Economy, News, Technology, Web 2.0

UN General Assembly Special Event to Follow Up on Efforts on MDGs

A Special Event to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals will be held on 25 September 2013. The President of the General Assembly will draw up a list of representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, as well as other relevant civil society organizations, academic institutions, youth groups and private sector representatives.

The event will be broadcast live and on archive video at and here.

For a list of events related to the post-2015 agenda occurring during the beginning of the 68th session of the General Assembly please click here.

Filed under: Development, Development Results, MDGs, News

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