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Africa’s future trade relations link to the Global South

One of the themes at this year’s African Development Forum, an UN ECA event, was new forms of partnership. The idea is to move away from development assistance and adapting to the realities of today. Global economic trends reflect the ongoing geopolitical and economic rebalancing in favour of developing and emerging economies, particularly Brazil, China and India, all of which call for stronger South-South partnerships.

Prior the economic crisis, Africa’s share of trade with other emerging markets was a mere 30%. Today that has gone up to nearer 50%, and by 2020, on current trends that could be as much as 70%.

At the opening the session, Inyang Ebong-Harstrup, Deputy Director of UN Office for South-South Cooperation said, “I believe there is a deep sense that south-south should be the foundation for Africa.”

According to the ECA report, in Africa, for example, developing countries’ exports and imports have increased in just 15 years from 26 to 43 per cent, and from 33 to 50 per cent respectively. Furthermore, foreign direct investment from the five emerging economies known as the BRICS countries – Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa – reached 25 per cent of total foreign direct investment in Africa in 2010 and continues to increase. There is, moreover, considerable scope to further strengthen Africa’s engagement with its southern trade partners in ways that promote structural reform while avoiding the so-called “primary commodity trap” or a “race to the bottom” by countries seeking to attract foreign investment.

Dr. Nkosana Moyo, Founder and Executive Chair, Mandela Institute for Development Studies, South Africa, said, “We have to look within and act together. It is true that economic indicators show us that Africa is rising but it would be good to find correlation between indicators and activities. I believe, the world is excited about us because we have resources and we have our markets.” He cautioned, “But we should not become a dumping ground for other peoples’ goods”

Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, Director of IDEP, seconded Dr Moyo’s sentiments, “For too long our continent has been engaged in partnerships that are unfavourable to us. It’s true that things are changing but we need to understand and learn to partner in such a manner that we do not lose out in our deals. I strongly believe that no one is going to come to Africa to develop us. We have to do it for ourselves.”

On a positive note, Symerre Grey Johnson, NEPAD, pointed out that African countries were already coming together to form positive partnerships as in the case of Agricultural trust funds wherein the main contributions have come from Angola and Equatorial Guinea.”

Speakers agreed that intra-trade among African countries is very low. Last year, it stood at 7 per cent. The level of intra-trade among African countries compares unfavorably with other regions of the world. Intra-trade among the EU-27 is around 70 per cent, 52 per cent for Asian countries, 50 per cent for North American countries and 26 per cent for South American countries.

Ebong-Harstrup stressed that for a strong foundation in partnerships it is essential to have constructive partnerships within the continent. She said, “We can’t grow without trade between African countries? Why didn’t the three African countries got together to deal with Ebola? We need to finance our development without looking to the North.”

The ECA advises that new partnerships must also take into account the increasing complexity of development finance. New actors have emerged, including development partners from the global South and private philanthropic foundations, and innovative assistance modalities. While traditional donors still tend to allocate most of their aid budgets to initiatives promoting social development, southern development partners tend to focus on infrastructure projects and productive sectors.

Source: African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UNECA.

Filed under: ACP, Africa, Cooperation, Crisis, Economy, Trade, Value Chains, WTO

Taxes, not Aid: Africa Must Generate Resources

Africa is growing at a steady rate and is on the path to sustainable long-term growth, opening up a number of investment opportunities. In fact, one-third of Africa’s countries have GDP growth rates of more than 6%. However, as discussed at the ECA’s Ninth African Development Forum, the resources required for Africa’s sustainable development will not come from aid. Africa must look within, generating financial resources from its own economies.

Speakers agreed that a major impediment to domestic resource mobilisation is the existence of thousands of African SMEs which continue to operate within the informal sector and are not paying taxes. The informal economy accounts for 20 to 40 per cent of the countries’ wealth and about 70 per cent of the African population works in the informal sector. Therefore, the formalisation of the informal sector is crucial for domestic resource mobilisation.

Kaba Nialé, Minister of Economy and Finance, Côte d’Ivoire, said, “Domestic resource mobilisation is important to sustain the current economic growth of the African continent.” She agreed that many African countries have recognised that they need to improve the capacity to generate revenue internally in order to have a sustainable economic growth.

“It is well known that African governments have a weak capacity to collect taxes. Although tax revenues are the largest source of domestic resources, many African countries have a tax-to-GDP ratio below 10 per cent,” she pointed out.

It was noted that though the African continent excessively relies on export of natural resources, they only receive 3 to 5 % of natural resources revenues. Subsequently, over the last decade, more than $ 500 billion has been lost through capital flight. Experts agreed that this is the result of weak regulatory regimes, but also of the investors’ perception that there are limited options in those countries.

Machiko Nissanke, Professor of Economics, SOAS, and Aeneas Chapinga Chuma, Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, ILO, underscored, what is missing is not liquidity but financial intermediaries to channel this capital into productive investment.

Remittance flows in African countries

Experts also looked into ways to mobilise funds and discussed remittances. Dr Esman M. Nyamongo, Central Bank of Kenya, said, “Remittance, in particular in the last two decades, has overtaken traditional sources of external flows. Additionally, studies exploring the impact of remittance flow in the region have unearthed a number of positive outcomes. For instance, the majority of remittance money is channelled into the public sector departments such as education and health.

Furthermore, due to the sheer magnitude of these flows, remittance can even support a country’s exchange rate and even introduce macro-economic stability.

Remittance flows in African countries average around 3-5% of their GDP, however this figure is considerably higher in Lesotho where it constitutes 25% of the nation’s GDP. The remittance flows are having a considerably impact on the bank sector and stock market development. Faiza Feki, Central Bank of Tunisia, highlighted, “Some 88% of Tunisia’s funds are transfers from Europe and 9% are from the Arab countries.”

Undeniably, remittance flows are making a fundamental impact on African countries’ economic eco-system. The question that now emerges: How can governments convert short-term remittance flows into long-term investments? Some believe the solution lies with diaspora bonds. These bonds are designed specifically to target the diaspora and entice them into funding governmental projects. Essentially, these bonds are good conduits for converting remittance flows into long-term investments.

The World Bank estimates that Africa’s diaspora remittances soared to $40bn in 2012 and they have the potential to grow to $200bn over the next decade. Added to this is the potential that can be realised by addressing the losses to the continent through illicit financial flows.

Aly Abou-Sabaa, Vice-President in charge of Agriculture, Human Development and Governance, African Development Bank, pointed out that tax collection in Africa over the last ten years has significantly improved, and that there are very encouraging examples of African countries that successfully took steps to bring in reforms to increase internal capacity for resource collection.

Source: Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UNECA.

Filed under: Africa, Crisis, Development, Economy, Employment, Governance, Human Capacity, Remittances, Trade,

Learning and Working in the Informal Economy – What do we Know and What Should we Do? A German perspective

Karsten Weitzenegger:

In order to systematise existing theoretical and practical knowledge on learning and working in the informal economy, the BMZ recently commissioned the GIZ to develop an online platform bringing together the results of academic research and experiences from practitioners. This toolkit is now available in English at http://www.giz.de/toolkit-informal-economy.

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By Léna Krichewsky, The Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg.

toolkitThe share of self-employed workers and employees without regular work contracts is rising globally, reaching over 70% of the workforce in African countries like the Ivory Coast, Mali or Zambia, and over 60% in Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua or Paraguay. The problems associated with informality – poverty, precarious work conditions, gender inequalities and social as well as economic marginalization, among others – are not new and have been described and analysed for over 40 years by numerous economists and social scientists. By asking “Is informal normal?”, the OECD has, however, been challenging our perspective on the phenomenon, prompting us to reconsider what we already know about the causes and consequences of informal employment and how we deal with it.

Taking the example of German development cooperation policy in Vocational Education and Training (VET), changing perspectives on the informal economy can be observed to…

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Filed under: Development

Africa Must Invent its Own Economic Model

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By Albert Damantang Camara, Minister of Technical Education, Vocational Training, Employment and Labour, Guinea.

AfricaAbidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) hosted the Third Ministerial Conference of the Inter-country Quality Node on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (ICQN/TVSD) from 22nd to 23rd July 2014.

[La version originale de ce blog a été écrit en français et apparaît ci-dessous]

Like previous events of its type, the Ministerial Conference aimed to ‘think about and take resolute action on the type of socio-economic measures required and promote the type of skills which should be developed to allow young Africans to gain access to jobs and thus earn a decent living while doing all they can to create wealth in their countries’.

A major decision to emerge from the conference was the adoption of a work programme to encourage inter-country cooperation, investment in training and the implementation of the education-training continuum.

One key question has yet to be…

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Dr. Gro Harlem Brundltand ‘s Mahbub ul Haq Lecture

Yesterday, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the first woman Prime Minister of Norway and currently Deputy Chair of The Elders, received UNDP’s Mahbub ul Haq Award for her for outstanding contribution to ‪#‎HumanDevelopment‬.

Mahbub ul Haq Lecture by Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland from Human Development Report Office on Vimeo.

New York, 25 September 2014 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) presented the Mahbub ul Haq Award for Human Development to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the first woman Prime Minister of Norway and currently Deputy Chair of The Elders, at a ceremony in New York today. The award is given to an eminent personality who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and contributions to furthering the cause of human development world-wide.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and the Director of the Human Development Report Office, Selim Jahan, presented the award to Dr. Brundtland. Following the award ceremony, Dr. Bruntland delivered the Mahbub Ul Haq Lecture on human development.

The Mahbub ul Haq Award was instituted in 2002 to commemorate the intellectual leadership of the late Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, in articulating the notion of human development, conceptualized by Professor Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Filed under: Development

Shaping the 2016-2020 Global Evaluation Agenda | Webinar summary

Global multi-stakeholder consultative processes to frame the future priorities of the global evaluation community

Global consultation for evaluation agenda 2016-2020 was successfully started with a webinar held on 3rd September 2014. Please see the recording of the webinar if you missed it.

The consultation was initiated online on 8th September facilitated thankfully by Mona Fetouh and Ellen Vinkey from UNEG. Please join the online consultation on EvalPartners LinkedIn group.

Filed under: Evaluation,

The Post-2015 EFA Agenda: UNESCO and the New Global Education Network

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By Maren Elfert, University of British Columbia.

CaptureThe run-up to the next round of Education for All (EFA) and development goals lends itself to a reflection about the political-economic underpinnings of the discussion about the future of EFA. The report of the high-level panel of eminent persons on the post-2015 development agenda emphasizes the role of the private sector. The document points out that “the massive investments that will be needed for infrastructure in developing countries [will require] …new ways of using aid and other public funds to mobilise private capital” (p. 3). It further stresses the role of “private philanthropists” and the importance of business “as an essential partner that can drive economic growth”, because “large firms have the money and expertise to build the infrastructure that will allow all people to connect to the modern economy” (p. 11). Also “social impact investors” are mentioned, whose “efforts can be…

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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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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:
www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Staff_and_Students/dr-amrita-narlikar
Centre for Rising Powers website: www.crp.polis.cam.ac.uk/
GIGA website: www.giga-hamburg.de

 

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:

RestlessDevQuote

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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Filed under: Development

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

Originally posted on European Parliamentary Research Service:

A tree impression

© M.studio / 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
Source: SocialWorkDegreeCenter.com
More at http://www.socialworkdegreecenter.com

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

What about Good Global Governance and Education?

Originally posted on NORRAG NEWSBite:

By NORRAG.

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.


CONFERENCE REPORT

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.

Link: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/news/adapting-institutions-a-comparative-area-studies-perspective


CONFERENCE VIDEOS

Watch the videos of the conference on theGIGA You Tube channel

Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCikgNaig8Ilf1EWkfe9pz6w

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

Video

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”.

Video

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


ESSAY

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.

Link: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/news/the-west-has-had-its-day

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! http://vote.myworld2015.org/

Filed under: Development

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

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)

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

Filed under: Development

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 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

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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Filed under: Development

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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Filed under: Development

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:

Gartner_Hype_Cycle

(Source.)

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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Filed under: Development

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 CGAP.org.

Filed under: Africa, Microfinance, Publications, ,

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Karsten Weitzenegger
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