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?
25 July 2014 • 14:31 0
29 June 2014 • 23:27 0
Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:
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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3 June 2014 • 09:46 0
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.
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
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
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.
8 May 2014 • 18:27 0
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! http://vote.myworld2015.org/
3 April 2014 • 11:26 0
PwC (http://www.pwc.com) 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)
31 March 2014 • 11:58 0
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.
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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22 February 2014 • 22:07 1
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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13 February 2014 • 14:10 0
The Filter at thefilter.ecdpm.org 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: http://thefilter.ecdpm.org/#sthash.1dZFyLfJ.dpuf
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: http://www.ecdpm.org
4 February 2014 • 20:31 0
Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:
By Sobhi Tawil,UNESCO.
The 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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30 January 2014 • 09:35 0
Originally posted on European development cooperation:
Elections 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.
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7 January 2014 • 12:46 0
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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30 October 2013 • 10:05 0
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.”
28 October 2013 • 11:43 0
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: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Lets-make-success-failures-Unsuccessful-788017.S.264615511
24 October 2013 • 09:51 0
Happy World Development Information Day! http://www.un.org/en/events/devinfoday/
Your Newsletter on International Cooperation for Sustainable Development is ready at http://newsletter.weitzenegger.de
I recently updated the Development Research Crawler at http://research.weitzenegger.de. 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.
15 October 2013 • 11:00 0
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: http://www.gc2014.org/call-for-papers/
14 October 2013 • 14:44 0
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: http://go.worldbank.org/OSAT4FHFP0 | 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.
14 October 2013 • 10:51 0
7 October 2013 • 10:00 0
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 – http://www.a4ai.org), 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 (http://www.webfoundation.org), 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:
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: http://www.apo-mail.org/131007.pdf
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 (http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/ICTFactsFigures2013.pdf) 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 (http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2013/01/10/intel-announces-groundbreaking-women-and-the-web-report-with-un-women-and-state-department) 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) (http://www.a4ai.org) 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 (http://www.webfoundation.org), 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: http://www.a4ai.org.
SOURCE: World Wide Web Foundation
24 September 2013 • 19:31 0
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 http://webtv.un.org 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.
20 September 2013 • 10:10 0
World leaders will make history this month at the UN. To get you started on what’s happening at the 68th session of the General Assembly, here are some quick links.
This year’s theme is “Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.”
The UN is gearing up for more major events, including high-level events on:
To discover more about upcoming events at the UN and view exclusive behind-the-scenes content, take a look at some of the UN social media outlets.
13 September 2013 • 11:35 0
Your Newsletter for this month on International Cooperation for Sustainable Development is ready at
My Website http://en.weitzenegger.de is becoming a popular knowledge portal for international cooperation practitioners. It aims at facilitating access to relevant information and peer to peer knowledge exchange.
I recently updated the Development Research Crawler at http://research.weitzenegger.de. Search the leading development research institutes and libraries here with a query for your keywords.
The Website offers you some more Google-based search engines at http://search.weitzenegger.de related to international cooperation and development. The results come from carefully selected sites, which have proven excellence in their specific field.
There is also a selection of international business tools, at http://tools.weitzenegger.de which you might need when linking across borders.
I plan to update the DOCON Directory of Consulting Firms active in International Development Cooperation http://www.docon.info soon. There is a company directory for African consulting firms coming up. Please help by registering your preferred African consultants and local partners in this free directory.
Very popular is the International Development Job Market at http://jobmarket.weitzenegger.de. It aggregates current job postings by our clients and give access to archived job offers.
This free service is offered by Karsten Weitzenegger Consulting, a member of AGEG Consultants eG, as a knowledge sharing tool for fellow cooperation professionals.
Karsten Weitzenegger provides consulting, training and evaluation services for good governance and economic development actions. Let me know directly if you need my services in the near future.
4 September 2013 • 13:15 0
Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:
By Manzoor Ahmed, BRAC University.
An old idea highlighted by the Faure Commission in the 1970s, has gained new relevance in the context of the knowledge economy and the information society. In a typical human life cycle in today’s world, the traditional apportioning of time for building the foundation of knowledge and competencies, and acquiring the intellectual and technical tools of learning to the first quarter of life, has to be complemented by lifelong learning in a learning society; where all participate in and contribute to learning throughout life.
Experience and progress so far based on the restrictive view of education in the MDGs and its limited scope in EFA point to the need to rethink development as human capability enhancement. This conceptualisation emphasises people’s agency, empowerment, ability to make and exercise choices – lending momentum to promoting human rights, human dignity and just societies. The discourse on…
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2 September 2013 • 22:20 0
Water shortages and floods illustrate the risks posed by too little, or too much, water. By 2050 more than 40% of the world’s population will live under severe water stress and nearly 20% could be exposed to floods. The economic value of assets at risk from floods is expected to be about USD 45 trillion by 2050. Water pollution is also increasing, adding to uncertainty about future water availability.
These water risks are exacerbated by climate change. Governments must manage them, so they do not jeopardise growing populations and cities, economic growth and food or energy security.
“Instead of just reacting to water crises, governments mustassess, target and manage water risks proactively”, urged OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. ”We have been forewarned – there is no doubt these risks are increasing. We must now arm ourselves with risk management strategies that will prevent water shortages and pollution and protect against the droughts and floods that are endangering human lives, ecosystems and economies.”
OECD’s new report Water Security for Better Lives sets out a pioneering risk-based approach to water security and proposes practical steps to implement it.
The report notes that water security is ultimately about establishing an acceptable level of water risk by weighing the costs of improving water security against the expected benefits, and ensuring that responses are proportional to the magnitude of the risk. Flexibility is important, allowing acceptable levels of risk to be adjusted to changing situations. For instance, New York City is reassessing its flood protection level following Hurricane Sandy and investing billions to avoid future disasters.
Using this risk-based approach, another new OECD report Water and Climate Change Adaptation: Policies to Navigate Uncharted Waters reviews countries’ initiatives to adapt water management to climate change. It reveals that nearly all countries project increasing water risks due to climate change, with extreme events (floods and/or droughts) cited as a primary concern by 32 countries and 23 saying water shortage is a key issue.
About half the countries surveyed noted that climate change impacts on water supply and sanitation are a key concern, with a similar number highlighting concerns about the impacts on water quality. Though countries are building the evidence base to inform decisions about water risks, faced with the impacts of climate change, they should do more to better target and manage them.
Besides their obvious relevance for policy makers in the fields of water and of climate change, these two publications will be key OECD contributions to the Stockholm World Water Week taking place from 1-6 September.
To receive a copy of “Water Security for Better Lives” and“Water and Climate Change Adaptation: Policies to Navigate Uncharted Waters” journalists should contact the OECD Media Division or call +33 45 24 97 00. The results of the survey of initiatives by OECD countries to adapt water policies to climate change are available on line at http://www.oecd.org/env/resources/waterandclimatechange.htm.
29 August 2013 • 13:36 0
Bangkok 28 August 2013 – Ministers and high-level representatives from Asia and the Pacific have adopted the ‘Bangkok Declaration of the Asia-Pacific region on the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015’ as the key outcome document of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Dialogue: From the Millennium Development Goals to the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015, convened by the Royal Government of Thailand with the support of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The Bangkok Declaration emphasized that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should be “holistic, inclusive, equitable, people-centred and universal”, and should aim to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development. The Declaration also recommended that the Agenda should “address all forms of inequalities and the factors underpinning them”. Additionally, it proposed a strengthened global partnership and enhanced implementation of the agreed-upon development goals. Finally the Ministers expressed their desire to see an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process that involves civil society, private sector and other stakeholders.
The Ministerial Dialogue, held from 27-29 August, marked the first regional Ministerial-level event to discuss the United Nations post-2015 development agenda following the release of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons. Joined by representatives from civil society, the private sector, as well as international organizations and UN agencies, participants reflected on key lessons learnt from the Millennium Development Goals process, and shared Asia-Pacific perspectives on transformative shifts required to advance sustainable and inclusive development across the region post-2015.
With the spotlight during the Dialogue placed repeatedly on poverty reduction and sustainable development challenges, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, emphasized the importance of building sustainable economic prosperity for both people and planet: “Now is the opportunity for the Asia-Pacific region to lead on sustainable development – economic, social, and environmental – and to contribute to the shaping of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Reinforcing this, Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, ESCAP Deputy Executive Secretary stressed in his closing remarks: “It has become clear that economic growth alone is not enough. For long-term prosperity and sustainability, we need transformative shifts.”
As outlined in the report of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons, the five transformative shifts are: leave no one behind; put sustainable development at the core of the development agenda; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build peace and effective, open and accountable public institutions and; forge a new global partnership.
Reflecting this, in proposing goals to meet the broad and numerous development challenges in the region, delegations stressed the need for inclusivity, and argued that poverty reduction and education must remain at the core of global development objectives. In addition, they proposed that the post-2015 framework should incorporate goals to ensure universal access to health care and education, promotion of disaster risk reduction and preparedness, and that it should also be supportive of climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability. In particular, they stressed the critical need to ensure gender equality and promote women’s empowerment as a fundamental precondition and central component of sustainable development.
The Declaration will be shared as a key regional input to global processes that are shaping the post-2015 development agenda with the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals at the General Assembly in September 2013. The OWG is mandated by the Rio+20 Outcome document “The Future We Want” to prepare a proposal on Sustainable Development Goals for consideration by the United Nations General Assembly at its 69th session in 2014.
For more information, please go to: UN ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, http://www.unescap.org
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As development co-operation faces ever increasing pressures to demonstrate results, donors and partner governments need credible, timely evidence to inform their programmes and improve performance. Evaluation has a critical role to play in providing such evidence. New methodologies and ways of working are being developed to better understand what works, why and under what circumstances and improve mutual accountability.
The 12 Lessons on Evaluating Development Activities are aimed at strengthening evaluation for better learning and decision-making and will be a particular interest to countries and agencies working to strengthen their development evaluation activities.
The strategic framework for learning and accountability
Lesson 1: Base development policy decisions on evidence
Lesson 2: Make learning part of the culture of development co-operation
Lesson 3: Define a clear role for evaluation
Delivering evaluations effectively
Lesson 4: Match ambitions with adequate resources
Lesson 5: Strengthen programme design and management systems
Lesson 6: Ask the right questions and be realistic about expected results
Lesson 7: Choose the right evaluation tools
Lesson 8: Work together
Lesson 9: Help strengthen partner country capacities and use them
Strengthening the culture of learning
Lesson 10: Act on evaluation findings
Lesson 11: Communicate evaluation results effectively
Lesson 12: Evaluate the evaluators
References and further reading
Read the full report at http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews