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  • Author: Kelly Campbell, Linda Bishai, Jacki Wilson
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Sudan's upcoming elections in 2009 raise hopes and concerns for the country's future. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005 between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan is scheduled to hold national and state level elections in 2009. (Elections are to take place for president of the Government of National Unity, president of the Government of Southern Sudan, members of the National Assembly and the South Sudan Legislative Assembly, and governors and state legislatures in all of Sudan's 25 states.) However, delays in each phase of electoral preparation — including the passage of the electoral law, the appointment of the nine National Election Commission members responsible for overseeing elections, and the census — have raised doubts about whether the elections will be held within the timeframe outlined in the CPA.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Author: Peter McCawley
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: What is the problem? In addition to the current Global Financial Crisis (GFC), there is a second global crisis: long-term mass poverty in the third world. While the rich world worries about a repeat of the Great Depression, today more than a billion people in Asia live in conditions of bitter poverty which are much worse than those of the 1930s. As a result of the GFC, poverty in developing Asia is now likely to increase.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Joel Negin, Jolyon Ford
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Zimbabwe's long night is by no means over. Nearly a year after the violent and disputed March 2008 elections, and months after the September signing of a 'Global Political Agreement' with the ruling ZANU-PF party, the main faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) agreed in February to take part in a coalition government in which its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, became Prime Minister. The state apparatus in Zimbabwe is currently shared uneasily by reformers and reactionaries with each of the MDC and ZANU-PF having half of the cabinet seats. Hardline ZANU-PF elements remain in government and control the security services, and a quiet but intense power struggle continues.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Foreign Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Access to medicines poses a critical challenge in developing countries, largely because prices are high, and new or adapted medicines and vaccines to address diseases of the developing world are lacking. More than 5 million people in low and middle income countries still lack access to the anti-retroviral medicines needed to treat HIV and AIDS. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have unleashed a new epidemic of suffering across the developing world. Pandemics are a serious threat in rich and poor countries alike, but while rich countries can stockpile medicines, these are often unaffordable for poor countries. Most people in developing countries pay for medicines out-of-pocket, so even a slight price increase can mean that life-saving medicines are unaffordable.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Third World
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: An international financing mechanism, intervening for market impact to scale up access to treatment of HIV and AIDS, TB, and malaria in developing countries.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty
  • Author: Steve Jennings, John Magrath
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The timing of rain, and intra-seasonal rainfall patterns are critical to smallholder farmers in developing countries. Seasonality influences farmers' decisions about when to cultivate and sow and harvest. It ultimately contributes to the success or failure of their crops. Worryingly, therefore, farmers are reporting that both the timing of rainy seasons and the pattern of rains within seasons are changing. These perceptions of change are striking in that they are geographically widespread and because the changes are described in remarkably consistent terms. In this paper, we relate the perceptions of farmers from several regions(East Asia, South Asia, Southern and East Africa, and Latin America) of how seasons are changing, and in some cases, how once distinct seasons appear to be disappearing altogether, and the impacts that these changes are having. We then go on to ask two critical questions. Firstly, do meteorological observations support farmers' perceptions of changing seasonality? Secondly, to what extent are these changes consistent with predictions from climate models? We conclude that changing seasonality may be one of the major impacts of climate change faced by smallholder farmers in developing countries over the next few decades. Indeed, this may already be the case. Yet it is relatively unexplored in the literature. We also suggest some of the key adaptation responses that might help farmers cope with these changes.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Arabella Fraser
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Harnessing Agriculture for Development is the result of a process of research and consultation conducted within Oxfam International from the end of 2007 to mid 2008, before the full impact of the current financial crisis was felt across the developing world. It is being published at a time when we face a particularly uncertain and unstable future, with heightened perceptions of risk, but when we also have a unique opportunity to generate the kinds of policy change required to achieve a new global balance.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Food
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change affects poor people first and worst. It is a major obstacle to development and poverty alleviation, as well as a serious threat to business supply chains and markets in developing countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Poverty
  • Author: Anna Marriott
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: User fees for health care are a life or death issue for millions of people in poor countries. Too poor to pay, women and children are paying with their lives. For those who do pay, over 100 million are pushed into poverty each year. This month will witness a global opportunity for world leaders to really make a difference to poor people by backing the expansion of free health care in a number of countries. The opportunity marks a true test of leaders' commitment to save lives and accelerate progress towards health care for all in our lifetime. The question is, will they pass it?
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This weekend the finance ministers of the G20 nations will meet in London. Whilst the rich world feels that the worst of the economic crisis may be behind it, the poorest countries are being hit hardest, with those living on the margins of the global economy paying for the bankers' folly with their lives.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Health, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, London
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Multilateralism is central to the global effort to overcome poverty and inequality. All countries stand to benefit from the stability and confidence that a rules-based global trade system can provide. Developing countries stand to benefit most, as they lack the economic and political power to pursue their demands outside such a system.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Third World
  • Author: Paul A. David, Can Huang, Luc Soete, Adriaan van Zon
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The current economic crisis has tended to sap the policy momentum that had developed during 2006 and 2007 behind public R programmes and institutional initiatives to expand the portfolio of affordable technological means of controlling global warming. This is unfortunate, since the international negotiations about concerted actions among the leading industrial countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have so far proceeded very slowly – too slowly, considering both the global nature of the problem and the size of the stakes involved. The initial “bargaining” stance taken by some important players, notably Japan and the United States, was in some respects disappointing in that it appears to fall far short of the EU member countries' endorsement in December 2008 of the package of EC directives designed to activate its “20-20-20” renewable energy strategy – a 20 per cent reduction of GHG emissions, and 20 per cent of energy consumption from renewable sources, by the year 2020. While there have been more promising developments recently, in the convergence towards that target in some of the legislation introduced in the US Congress, and the Obama administration's issuance of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory directives requiring the use of the latest emissions control technologies on new and retrofitted electricity power plants, the outcome of the Copenhagen conference in December 2009 remains uncomfortably uncertain.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Bolivia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change for six basic reasons: It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and suffers from one of the worst patterns of inequality. Low-income groups in developing countries are the most exposed to climate change impacts. It is the country in South America with the highest percentage of indigenous people, where much of the poverty and inequality is concentrated. It is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, with a wide variety of ecosystems that are vulnerable to different impacts from climate change. More than half of the country is Amazonian, with high levels of deforestation which adds to the vulnerability to flooding. Located in a climatically volatile region, it is one of the countries in the world most affected by 'natural' disasters in recent years. It is home to about twenty per cent of the world's tropical glaciers, which are retreating more quickly than predicted by many experts.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Bolivia, Amazon Basin
  • Author: Kate Raworth
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Copenhagen was a unique opportunity to turn the world's course away from climate disaster, towards a safe future for all of us on this small planet. Massive global public mobilization demanded it. But leaders of the major powers negotiated for their national interests, instead of safeguarding our shared destiny.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Poverty, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Laza Kekic
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The global economic and financial crisis has had a major impact on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. After declining in 2008 by 17% to US$1.73trn from US$2.09trn in 2007—the high point of a four- year long boom in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M) and FDI—global FDI inflows are forecast to plunge by 44% to less than US$1trn in 2009. The big drop in 2009 is occurring despite the improvements in the global economy in recent months. A notable feature of trends in 2009 is that, for the first time ever, emerging markets are set to attract more FDI inflows than the developed world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Just over a year ago, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from India seemed to be on a path of rapid and sustained growth. Its annual average growth of 98% during 2004–07 had been unprecedented , much ahead of OFDI growth from other emerging markets like China (74%), Malaysia (70%), Russia (53%), and the Republic of Korea (51%), although from a much lower base. Much of this recent growth had been fuelled by large-scale overseas acquisitions, however, and it faltered when the global financial crisis that started in late 2007 made financing acquisitions harder.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Malaysia, India, Korea
  • Author: Gert Bruche
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With some delay, the internationalization of business R is following the globalization of production. Starting on a small scale during the 1970s and 1980s, the emergence of globally distributed R networks of multinational enterprises (MNEs) accelerated rapidly in the 1990s. The “globalization of innovation” was facilitated and driven by a complex set of factors, including changes in trade and investment governance, improved intellectual property rights through TRIPS, the growing ease and falling cost of communicating and traveling around the globe, and the concomitant vertical industry specialization and unbundling of value chains. The growing and sustained level of cross-border M was one major direct driver, often having the effect that merged firms inherited multiple R sites in a number of countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: A. Terry Rambo
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia faces enormous challenges in managing its agricultural and environmental resources, from global warming to biodiversity loss. But chances for effectively addressing these issues may be hampered by the wide acceptance of four basic assumptions that guide the way we think about problems of managing agriculture and the environment. These assumptions form an interlinked system of thought that privileges the traditional and local over the modern and cosmopolitan. When taken to an extreme they lead to the view that traditional farmers are always right and that modern science is the cause, rather than a possible cure, of the serious environmental problems associated with agricultural development in Southeast Asia. Although when first proposed these assumptions were a radical alternative to the conventional thinking, in recent years they have themselves become the new conventional wisdom.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Manju Kedia Shah, Alan Gelb
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Why has the private sector failed to thrive in much of sub-Saharan Africa? Drawing on a unique set of enterprise surveys, we identify inadequate infrastructure (especially unreliable electricity and poor quality roads) and burdensome regulations as the biggest obstacles to doing business. We find as well that the private sector in many countries is dominated by ethnic minorities, which inhibits competition and lowers demand for a better business environment. Solutions include investing in infrastructure, providing risk guarantees, and reforming regulations to lower the cost of doing business, as well as increasing access to education for would-be entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) ranks 22 of the world's richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond standard comparisons of foreign aid volumes, the CDI quantifies a range of rich-country policies that affect poor people in developing countries: Quantity and quality of foreign aid Openness to developing-country exports Policies that encourage investment Migration policies Environmental policies Security policies Support for creation and dissemination of new technologies Scores on each component are scaled so that an average score in 2008, the reference year, equals 5.0. A country's final score is the average of those for each component. The CDI adjusts for size in order to compare how well countries are living up to their potential to help.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Poverty, Third World, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Author: John Whalley, Sean Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The United Nations climate change negotiations currently underway and now seemingly likely to conclude only six to 12 months after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosted meeting at Copenhagen in December 2009, are beset by a series of obstacles, the most fundamental of which reflect the North-South divide, largely between the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD economies. In this brief we argue that movement across this divide is the single most important element in a successful conclusion to the negotiation. Current obstacles reflect asymmetries between developing and developed countries both in terms of growth in carbon emissions — and hence the costs of reducing emissions proportionately relative to some base date level, but also in terms of historical emissions as a source of damage. These are compounded by the imprecision of the negotiating mandate — a lack of a clear definition of the basic principles involved, particularly in the case of the original UNFCCC principle of common yet differentiated responsibilities, which accepts but does not clearly delineate differentiated responsibilities for developing and developed countries on climate change. Significant movement in the negotiating position of either side (or both) is likely a necessity for a climate deal to be reached even in post-Copenhagen negotiations. However, the recent unilateral commitment by China to reduce emissions by 40-45 percent per unit of GDP from a 2005 base year by 2020 is a positive first step.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Third World
  • Political Geography: China, United Nations
  • Author: Nazery Khalid, Ibrahim Hj Mohamed, Rakish Suppiah
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Maritime Institute of Malaysia
  • Abstract: The proposal to build a bridge across the Straits o f Malacca will have significant impacts on the shipping, environment and trade dynamics in the sea lane. This commentary discusses the potential repercussions of this megaproject from th e maritime perspective.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sabine Kurtenbach
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Conflict and violence have become an important context for development cooperation during the last decade. Donors not only have to cope with the consequences of conflict in their day-to-day work on the ground, but also need to develop strategies in the fields of early warning and prevention, as well as instruments for conflict analysis and conflic-sensitive approaches for cooperation. At the same time, external actors have been important supporters for many peace processes aiming at the termination of armed conflicts and violence. When wars or armed conflicts end (or at least when violence on the ground decreases) the hope for sustainable peacebuilding grows. UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon pointed out the importance of the immediate post-conflict/post-war period in a report to the Security Council on June 11, 2009: “The immediate post-conflict period offers a window of opportunity to provide basic security, deliver peace dividends, shore up and build confidence in the political process, and strengthen core national capacity to lead peacebuilding efforts.” This gives a first impression of the many challenges internal and external actors face; at the same time experiences on the ground show that liberal peacebuilding conceived as a profound transformation process is a difficult endeavour.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Development, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Koen Vlassenroot
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: In the pursuit of security and development in Africa, more and more reference is being made to the concept of fragile states. This paper explores the meaning of this concept and considers the attention that is being paid to it as a consequence of integrating security and development into the policy of the major donor countries. In an African context state fragility is a cause of numerous conflicts, but also a major focal point of peace processes and donor interventions. This paper is intended to be a warning against a too narrow focus on security in the process of combating fragility. It pleads for an integrated policy, based on the pursuit of sustainable development and emphasises the strengthening of the authority and power of the state and the promotion of local economic and social development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Economics, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa