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  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: • A multinational joint task force consisting of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger has driven Boko Haram from key territorial strongholds in northeastern Nigeria; on June 18, the Chadian military conducted airstrikes against six Boko Haram bases in Nigeria • But the terror group continues to launch deadly, near-daily attacks throughout the region—including on June 15 with twin suicide bombings in Chad—using guerrilla tactics rather than conventional warfare • Nigeria’s newly-inaugurated president, Muhammadu Buhari, has moved quickly to support regional counter-Boko Haram efforts, insisting on Nigerian leadership in the task force and pledging $100 million in financial support • Despite the nascent successes of the joint task force, Islamic State gains in North Africa and, in particular, Libya, could impact the flow of weapons and fighters into Nigeria; Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March of this year.
  • Topic: Development, Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Thomas Lassourd
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: This briefing note is an effort to help frame the main tradeoffs and assess four potential funding models for the newly created national oil company of Uganda. It is based on NRGI’s international experience and understanding of the local context. Uganda’s national oil company will have a critical role. It is expected to professionally manage all aspects of state participation in the sector and act as a center of expertise for the government. It is also expected to play a strong role as a minority equity partner in the USD 4.3 billion Hoima refinery project and potentially in a USD 4 billion export pipeline. Under all possible funding options, strong audit and reporting processes should be required, as well as parliamentary oversight. The chosen funding model will also need to balance the needs of the national oil company with national development needs in Uganda. Funding model options can be adapted to meet Uganda’s unique situation. NRGI is at the disposal of Uganda’s government and parliament to discuss these models.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Princeton N. Lyman, Jon Temin, Susan Stigant
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Ongoing negotiations to end the South Sudan crisis cannot simply return the country to the previous status quo. For lasting peace, the negotiating parties and mediators will need to reach beyond national political elites and those bearing arms and invite active involvement of the international community. South Sudan needs to build national cohesion and address fundamental issues of governance, democracy, and human rights. Restarting the stalled constitution-making process presents an opportunity to achieve these objectives. Following negotiations, a broad-based, inclusive, interim government that includes a degree of joint South Sudanese-international community administration and management should govern and ensure preparations for new elections.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Power Politics, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: DAVID JAKINDA OTIENO
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Foreign land leases could help developing countries to acquire foreign direct investments (FDIs), including technical expertise and income necessary for economic transformation. A lack of local stakeholder consultation and involvement in the design of land leases leads to the rejection or disruption of such leases by local communities and wastes investors' resources due to disruptions. Local public stakeholders in Kenya are willing to accept and participate in leases, provided they include certain provisions: that leases do not exceed 15 years; are renewable subject to mutual negotiations; offer formal employment to landowners' household members; and provide adequate monetary compensation for the leased land. Effective and transparent management of land leases requires the formation of management committees comprising local stakeholders such as youth, women and land experts. To enhance lease transparency, regular consultative meetings should be held, negotiation records must be shared with local community members and landowners should receive direct payment, rather than being paid through intermediaries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Nicolas Vercken, Surendrini Wijeyaratne
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 2013 elections helped to restore constitutional order in Mali and marked the start of a period of hope for peace, stability and development. The challenge is now to respond to the Malian people's desire for improved governance.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bessma Momani, Samantha St. Amand
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Securing CBI has become best practice in global governance. Both the political and economic literatures suggest that CBI facilitates price stability, promotes transparency to citizens and provides accountability toward the public good. CBI is also credited with protecting the economic and financial system from the trappings of regulatory capture. In addition, a number of scholars have argued that CBI is correlated with positive policy outcomes, including balanced long- term economic growth, stable financial markets and a reduced likelihood of publicly funded financial institution bailouts. Moreover, some have suggested that CBI is important for fostering a healthy liberal democracy. As global markets have become increasingly integrated and interdependent, securing CBI is also considered a domestic, regional and global public good.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Monetary Policy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Alex Ezeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Despite improvements in censuses and household surveys, the building blocks of national statistical systems in sub-Saharan Africa remain weak. Measurement of fundamentals such as births and deaths, growth and poverty, taxes and trade, land and the environment, and sickness, schooling, and safety is shaky at best. The challenges are fourfold: (1) national statistics offices have limited independence and unstable budgets, (2) misaligned incentives encourage the production of inaccurate data, (3) donor priorities dominate national priorities, and (4) access to and usability of data are limited. The Data for African Development Working Group's recommendations for reaping the benefits of a data revolution in Africa fall into three categories: (1) fund more and fund differently, (2) build institutions that can produce accurate, unbiased data, and (3) prioritize the core attributes of data building blocks.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Hayley Mackinnon
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Between 1991 and 2009, more than 2.5 million Somali citizens fled their homeland to Ethiopia, Djibouti and, most notably, Kenya, following the collapse of the Somalian government of Siad Barre. This led to violent clashes between various factional clan groups, and fighting to control land and resources ensued. This resulted in the displacement, starvation and slaughter of thousands of civilians, leading to a crisis that prompted international intervention during the 1990s.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Ethiopia
  • Author: Esbern Friis-Hansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Social accountability as a tool for development planning is gaining foothold in international donor circles. It is concerned with the responsibility and responsiveness of state authorities, as well as the ability of citizens to make claims and hold those who exercise power to account for their actions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Jon Temin, Princeton N. Lyman, Ph.D.
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Sudan urgently needs to embark on a national dialogue and reform process that is led by Sudanese and supported by the international community. The process should be broadly inclusive, involving elements of the current regime, Islamists, and all armed and unarmed opposition groups. Any meaningful process will be lengthy, likely requiring years to complete. If a genuine, inclusive process is underway, elections in 2015 may need to be delayed. The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel has a critical role to play in advocating for and guiding such a process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Durant les neuf derniers mois, ce qui restait de l'Etat centrafricain s'est effondré avec de graves conséquences humanitaires (400 000 personnes sont déplacées et presque la moitié de la population a besoin d'aide humanitaire). Le gouvernement de transition et la force de sécurité régionale ont été incapables de freiner la chute dans l'anarchie aussi bien en zone rurale qu'en zone urbaine et notamment à Bangui. Après plusieurs mois de passivité et à la suite de tueries, la communauté internationale a pris conscience des conséquences de la faillite de la RCA. Malheureusement, la détérioration de la situation est bien plus rapide que la mobilisation internationale et Bangui est au bord de l'explosion. Dans l'immédiat, le Conseil de sécurité devrait fournir un mandat sous chapitre 7 à la Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine (Misca) épaulée par les forces françaises pour rétablir l'ordre dans Bangui dans un premier temps puis se déployer dans d'autres villes. Par la suite, la réconciliation religieuse devrait être privilégiée et des mesures de stabilisation devraient être appliquées.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kevin Ummel
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: South Africa and many other countries hope to aggressively expand wind and solar power (WSP) in the coming decades. This presents significant challenges for power system planning. Success hinges largely on the question of how and where to deploy WSP technologies. Well-designed deployment strategies can take advantage of natural variability in resources across space and time to help minimize costs, maximize benefits, and ensure reliability.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Eric Munoz
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of interest in investing in agriculture. In 2003, heads of state from across Africa committed to allocate at least 10 per cent of their national budgets on an annual basis to agriculture and, through their commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), to reduce poverty through agriculture-led growth.1 More recently, at the 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, world leaders responded to the global spike in food prices by pledging to provide $22bn over three years to promote food security in developing countries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Demographics, Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Puntland is the first of Somalia's federal units to attempt transition from clan-based representation to directly-elected government, but poor preparations and last-minute cancellation of local elections in July underline the challenges of reconciling competing clan interests with a democratic constitution. Cancellation pragmatically averted violence, but societal tensions remain unaddressed. The presidential vote by a clan-selected parliament in January 2014 will thus be fraught. Weak political and judicial institutions will struggle to mediate, risking involvement by partisan arms of the state. Direct elections are no panacea for reducing the conflict risks, but hard-won incremental progress on the constitution and local democratisation must not be abandoned. The cancelled ballot's lessons should be instructive for promised elections in the rest of Somalia. Better technical preparations matter, but Puntland's experience shows that donors and other international actors also need to be heedful of local political realities, including support of elites, robustness of institutions and viability of electoral districts.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Touko Piiparinen
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Last March the UN Security Council authorised the so-called Intervention Brigade to undertake 'targeted offensive operations' against illegal armed groups operating in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Brigade, which undertook its first operations in August, differs from traditional UN peacekeeping in terms of its robust mandate and mobility. The UN has simultaneously adopted a new technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the DRC, which represents the first-ever use of UAVs as a part of UN peacekeeping. UAVs will be deployed in the DRC at the end of November, and start operating in early December The Intervention Brigade and UAVs have been hailed as a turning point in UN peacekeeping. However, they should not be perceived as completely new or standalone instruments of UN conflict management. They could instead be best understood as a continuum and extension of the long held state building doctrine applied by the UN. These new instruments enable the UN to perform one of its key functions of state building and protection of civilians, namely controlling and policing the whole territory of a state where an intervention has been undertaken more effectively than before. The lessons learned from the UN peace operation in the DRC indicate that the UN state building doctrine remains self-contradictory on account of the tendency of UN state building missions to spill over into wars and the mismatch between the ambitious goals set for state building and the chronic lack of resources. The Intervention Brigade and UAVs can potentially help the UN to resolve that mismatch by enhancing the UN's state building and protection capacities. However, they cannot resolve the other major disadvantage of state building, namely collateral damage inflicted in state building wars, and may even aggravate that problem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Science and Technology, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Violent conflict and the power of armed nonstate actors remain defining priorities in 21 st century Africa. Organized violence has killed millions and displaced many more, leaving them to run the gauntlet of violence, disease, and malnutrition. Such violence has also traumatized a generation of children and young adults, broken bonds of trust and authority structures among and across local communities, shattered education and healthcare systems, disrupted transportation routes and infrastructure, and done untold damage to the continent's ecology from its land and waterways to its flora and fauna. In financial terms, the direct and indirect cost of conflicts in Africa since 2000 has been estimated to be nearly $900 billion. The twin policy challenges are to promote conflict resolution processes and to identify who can stand up to armed nonstate actors when the host government's security forces prove inadequate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nikia Clarke
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Energy investments and infrastructure contracts remain prominent in China's Africa engagement. However, investment in manufacturing makes up a significant proportion of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI). Its characteristics–large numbers of smaller transactions by privately owned small and medium-sized firms–make these flows difficult to assess or control. However, China and African governments have an interest in effectively channeling this type of FDI.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The next six months will be crucial for Somalia. The international community is taking a renewed interest in the country; the mandate of the feeble and dysfunctional Transitional Federal Government (TFG) expires in a half-year; and emboldened troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Kenya and Ethiopia are keen to deal the weakened (though still potent) extremist Islamist movement Al-Shabaab further defeats. This confluence of factors presents the best chance in years for peace and stability in the south and centre of the country. To achieve that, however, requires regional and wider international unity of purpose and an agreement on basic principles; otherwise spoilers could undermine all peacebuilding efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Islam, Terrorism, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Debbie Hillier, Benedict Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 2011 crisis in the Horn of Africa has been the most severe emergency of its kind this century. More than 13 million people are still affected, with hundreds of thousands placed at risk of starvation. One estimate suggests that 50,000–100,000 people have died. This crisis unfolded despite having been predicted. Although brought on by drought, it was human factors which turned the crisis into a deadly emergency.
  • Topic: Development, Non-Governmental Organization, United Nations, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: OECD donors, international organisations and non-governmental organisations are increasingly cooperating with China in Africa. This policy brief offers recommendations for policy-makers on how to lay the groundwork for such cooperation. It also stresses that the involvement of African partners is critical in fully realizing the benefits such cooperation can provide for sustainable development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Benjamin Leo, Ross Thuotte
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In recent years, the World Bank Group has made increasingly strong and explicit commitments to fragile and conflict-affected states, putting them at the top of the development policy agenda. These commitments are promising, but give rise to significant operational challenges for the various arms of the World Bank Group, including the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The bank also faces steady pressure from shareholders to scale up involvement in fragile states while also improving absorptive capacity and project effectiveness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Pinar Tank
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The end of the cold war and the bipolar world order heralded an era of transition for global governance. Twenty years on there is still no consensus on the status of the distribution and exercise of power in today's multipolar world. What is clear, however, is the rise of new powers seeking a global political role comparable with their increased economic clout. Often referred to as the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – to which second-tier powers such as Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico can be added, these states are called “rising powers” or “new powers” because of their rapid economic development, and expanding political and cultural influence.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Sarah Cruickshank, Samantha Grills
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Meningitis epidemics are a major concern in the 25-country area from Senegal to Ethiopia known as the “meningitis belt.” A communicable disease, meningitis affects large portions of the population, causes high rates of death and disability, and worsens the plight of families and communities in a region marked by extreme poverty. MenAfriVac™ is the least expensive and longest lasting meningitis vaccine created to date, and is the best medicinal tool currently available to the global health community to combat this serious disease. Developed through a partnership between the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), an international non-governmental organization, and the World Health Organization (WHO), MenAfriVac™ targets the strain of bacterial meningitis responsible for the vast majority of outbreaks in the region. This vaccine is currently being widely distributed through Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger — and gradually expanding into other high-risk countries — and has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives if funding can be secured and appropriate strategies implemented.
  • Topic: Development, Infectious Diseases, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Christopher Opio
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The importance of providing clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to rural inhabitants of developing countries is widely recognized. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly, for instance, declared 2008 the International Year of Sanitation, and the World Bank has been increasing financial assistance to developing countries in support of water supply and sanitation improvements (Cho, Ogwang and Opio, 2010).
  • Topic: Development, Non-Governmental Organization, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Recent progress in controlling malaria is a major development success. Thanks to external aid and domestic financing the proportion of children in sub - Saharan Africa sleeping under a bed net has increased from 2 per cent to 39 per cent in the last 10 years. This has brought down the number of malaria deaths dramatically in many countries, such as Namibia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Senegal and Zambia, where deaths have been cut by between 25 and 50 per cent.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infectious Diseases
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Senegal, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia
  • Author: Kate Geary
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Today, stories of communities driven from their lands, often at the barrel of a gun, left destitute and unable to feed their families, have become all too familiar . As the scale and pace of large - scale land acquisitions increases globally, evidence is mounting that the land rush is out of control and that the price being paid by affected communities is unacceptably high. A huge amount of land has been sold off or leased out globally in the past decade: an area eight times the size of the UK. In poor countries , foreign investors bought up an area of land the size of London every six days between 2000 and 2010. Commercial interest in land could accelerate once again as recent food price spikes motivate rich countries to secure their own food supplies and make land a more secure and attractive option for investors and speculators. The 2008 boom in food prices is widely recognized as having triggered a surge in investor interest in land : from mid - 2008 – 2009 reported agricultural land deals by foreign investors in developing countries rocketed by around 200 per cent .
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: France Bourgouin
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Donors and NGOs are missing an opportunity: they should be helping to turn large-scale commercial mining activities into sustainable development for poor countries that are rich in minerals. Instead of shying away, they should engage their development expertise and technical assistance and join forces with mining companies and local governments. This would help increase the spill-over of economic gains into local societies in a just and sustainable manner.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Harry G. Broadman
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The dramatic increase in recent years of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in sub-Saharan Africa by firms from Asia—notably China and India—has become an emotionally charged issue. This is not surprising, since the resulting greater integration into international markets is exposing African firms and workers to greater competition, an inevitable by-product of development in today's globalized economy. Most assessments of this topic, with few exceptions, have relied on anecdotes and subjective judgments. Meaningful policy recommendations require systematic, objective analysis.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Ken Davies
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The 48 least-developed countries (LDCs), most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and a few in Asia, need foreign direct investment (FDI) to help meet their development targets. The FDI they now receive, although inadequate, is enough to demonstrate that investors see potential in them. It is therefore realistic for LDCs to seek more FDI, but they need to enhance their investment environments to attract it in the much greater quantities required. Donors can help by targeting official development assistance (ODA) on investment in human capital and supporting governance improvements. Meanwhile, LDCs should establish effective investment promotion agencies (IPAs).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Good governance and free elections are often described as preconditions for growth and poverty alleviation. But recent research tells a different story. Although elections motivate political elites to be responsive to popular demands the effects are ambiguous. This has implications for how donors should support policy initiatives in the productive sectors.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The regional development banks (RDBs) are multilateral financial institutions that provide financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries within their regions. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The term RDB usually refers to four institutions:
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008–09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding. The IMF, which only a few years ago was losing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion in 2009. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America have asked to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a oncein- a-generation occurrence.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ethiopia
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are multilateral agencies. The term typically refers to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides financing and policy advice to member nations experiencing economic difficulties, and the multilateral development banks (MDBs), which provide financing and technical support for development projects and economic reform in low- and middle-income countries. The term MDB is usually understood to mean the World Bank and four smaller regional development banks: African Development Bank (AfDB). Asian Development Bank (ADB). European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Successful implementation of t anzania's land reform is being held back by a scarcity of resources and a lack of coherence within the land administration system. ordinary men and women in the villages are losing out, not experiencing any improvement in tenure security. Urgent support is needed to enable village authorities to carry out their task.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Julie Flint
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The response to the renewed war in Sudan's Nuba Mountains has been driven largely by a human rights and humanitarian crisis. The crisis will continue indefinitely without a political agreement that acknowledges the Nuba rebellion is self-sustaining and reflects a wider malaise within the new Republic of Sudan. With Sudan facing financial collapse, economic normalization must be part of negotiations with Khartoum to end the war in the Nuba Mountains and promote democratization throughout Sudan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Human Rights, War, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Aid flows provide developing countries with an important source of financing that can be used to help build schools, staff hospitals, construct roads and provide clean water. In 2010, aid totalled more than US$ 128 billion, one-fifth of which went to Africa.Yet aid, also known as official development assistance (ODA), has not always been effective at achieving results with the inputs provided. Corruption and mismanagement result from low levels of transparency, accountability and integrity by donor and partner countries.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Karolina Werner
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European Union is the world's biggest humanitarian and development aid donor. In 2010 alone, the EU committed more than €11 billion to external aid. Africa was the largest recipient with 38% of official development aid, 33% of which was specifically dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Caribbean
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The current Polish Development Cooperation system has been under gradual construction since 2004. Fortunately, recent reforms have raised the probability it eventually will evolve as a strong and important tool for Poland's external relations. Moreover, these positive changes are taking place at a very crucial moment in history when unprecedented turmoil in the Arab world has exposed the weaknesses of the European development policy and while Poland is holding the presidency of the EU Council. The convergence of these factors further strengthens the need for a swift finalization of improvements in its development cooperation system if Poland wants to play a more critical role internationally and prove its usefulness in assisting other countries to meet their political and economic aspirations. A development policy that is better-resourced and more balanced (geographically and thematically) would provide Poland with a credible tool of soft power and would strengthen the brand of Polish solidarity.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Karol Kujawa
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For several months, we have witnessed rapid change in the countries of North Africa. Researchers and politicians have raised questions about the future of Arab countries once the revolution has run its course. Will the new authorities attempt to build a theocratic state or will they follow the example of Turkey and implement democratic reforms? The latter choice is becoming increasingly popular in the Arab world. This article will address the key questions that come up in connection with Turkey and Arab countries, including: the source of Turkey's popularity in the Arab world, what do they have in common, what divides them and, finally, whether Turkey could become a model for Arab countries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Berenika Stefanska
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 9 July 2011, South Sudan will declare its independence from the Republic of Sudan. The independence comes after 22 years of civil war, which ended in 2005 thanks to an internationally brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The treaty was signed by President Omar al-Bashir and the late John Garang, head of the rebel Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM). It included provisions for a referendum in January 2011 in the 10 southern states to determine their political future. People in the south voted overwhelmingly (98.7%) for independence. The result of the referendum was recognised by the northern ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Most countries already have stated their intention to recognise the Republic of South Sudan.
  • Topic: Development, Natural Resources, Governance, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Katie Malouf Bous
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Remarkable progress has been made in the last ten years toward achieving the education-related Millennium Development Goals. Many more girls are in school and enrolment rates are on the rise, due to higher-quality aid and to political commitment in developing countries. However, these achievements could be derailed by the global economic crisis, newly falling aid levels, and educational challenges. With 72 million children still out of school, the world's poorest countries urgently need a global financing initiative that can deliver the resources to scale up to Education For All.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Emile LeBrun
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Eastern Equatoria state (EES) is one of the most volatile and conflict-prone states in Southern Sudan. An epicentre of the civil war ( 1983 – 2005 ), EES saw intense fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), as well numerous armed groups supported by both sides, leaving behind a legacy of landmines and unexploded ordnance, high numbers of weapons in civilian hands, and shattered social and community relations.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In late May 2010 the African Development Bank will be asking its shareholders to approve a tripling of its capital base. In preparation for this pivotal occasion, a Center for Global Development working group evaluated the Bank and came up with three recommendations: 1) focus on promoting economic growth; 2) specialize in infrastructure; and 3) lead, but don't lend, on critical regional and global issues.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Terutomo Ozawa, Christian Bellak
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: China has developed increasingly close economic relations with Africa in its quest for oil and minerals through investment and aid. The World Ban k recently called upon China to transplant labor-intensive factories onto the continent. A question arises as to whether such an industrial relocation will be done in such a fashion to jump-start local economic development—as previously seen across East Asia and as described in the flying-geese (FG) paradigm of FD.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Steven Radelet
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There's good news out of Africa. Seventeen emerging countries are putting behind them the conflict, stagnation, and dictatorships of the past. Since the mid-1990s, these countries have defied the old negative stereotypes of poverty and failure by achieving steady economic growth, deepening democracy, improving governance, and decreasing poverty.
  • Topic: Debt, Democratization, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: For the past decade, global AIDS donors—including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), and the World Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa (the MAP)—have responded to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as an emergency. Financial and programmatic efforts have been quick, vertical, and HIV-specific. To achieve ambitious HIV/AIDS targets, AIDS donors mobilized health workers from weak and understaffed national health workforces. The shortages were the result of weak data for effective planning, inadequate capacity to train and pay health workers, and fragmentation and poor coordination across the health workforce life-cycle. Ten years and billions of dollars later, the problem still persists. The time has passed for short-term fixes to health workforce shortages. As the largest source of global health resources, AIDS donors must begin to address the long-term problems underlying the shortages and the effects of their efforts on the health workforce more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Miriam Temin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Improving adolescent girls' health and wellbeing is critical to achieving virtually all international development goals, from reducing infant and child deaths to stimulating economic growth and encouraging environmental sustainability. Governments and donors seem to recognize this, but they have yet to take the specific actions needed to genuinely invest in adolescent girls' health and, thereby, the health and wellbeing of generations to come.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Oliver Bakewell
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Today there is great interest in diasporas' role in development across Africa and much enthusiasm for identifying policies that can maximise their contribution. In this new DIIS Brief Oliver Bakewell, senior research officer at the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, raises four questions that challenge uncritical enthusiasm for diasporas' increased involvement in development: 1) Who is in the diaspora? 2) Where is the diaspora? 3) How does diaspora engagement affect accountability? And 4) What ideas of development are being used?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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
  • 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: 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
  • 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
  • Author: Sam Jones
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The current boom in global commodity prices and the expansion of Chinese interests in sub-Saharan Africa are part of a general warming of external investors to the region. This policy brief examines trends in commercial financial instruments such as equities, bonds and commercial bank lending and their impact on economic development. It reviews the nature and behaviour of these instruments in developing countries compared with more traditional development finance, such as foreign aid. This provides a foundation for analysing past and present trends in sub-Saharan Africa. It is argued that, like many other low income countries in the past, sub-Saharan Africa has received negligible inflows of external commercial financing. If anything, the region has been additionally excluded from these flows due to very weak levels of financial sector development even compared to other low income countries. At the same time, recent changes in global and domestic conditions mean that the situation is evolving rapidly. There is mounting evidence to show that many economies in sub-Saharan Africa are enjoying significantly expanded access to commercial external capital flows. Given good prospects that this trend will continue, the playing field for traditional donors is likely to alter significantly. The brief concludes by reflecting on how donors might respond to these emerging policy challenges.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Raymond Gilpin, Emily Hsu
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Improving economic management after almost two decades of violent conflict and civil unrest has been a top priority of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's reform agenda since her January 2006 inauguration. In April 2008, her administration could point to appreciable improvements in fiscal performance and economic progress, signs that the desired enhancements in economic management may have started to materialize. Many observers speculate whether these developments could be attributed to the country's multi-stakeholder Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP). If so, what lessons could be learned for other post-conflict countries? At an April 9, 2008 USIP event on the subject, the Liberian Finance Minister, the Honorable Antoinette Sayeh, reflected on GEMAP's impact, highlighted some challenges and discussed its applicability as a model for other countries. While recognizing the program's contributions, she emphasized that it is only one component of a much broader framework of reforms initiated since 2006. Sayeh also underscored the vital leadership role that President Sirleaf has played in the design and implementation of Liberia's public expenditure reform program.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper outlines urgent action necessary to address immediate challenges in Afghanistan and to avert humanitarian disaster. It does not seek to address all issues of concern but focuses on essential policy change in development and humanitarian spheres. While aid has contributed to progress in Afghanistan, especially in social and economic infrastructure – and whilst more aid is needed – the development process has to date been too centralised, top-heavy and insufficient. It is has been prescriptive and supply-driven, rather than indigenous and responding to Afghan needs. As a result millions of Afghans, particularly in rural areas, still face severe hardship comparable with sub-Saharan Africa. Conditions of persistent poverty have been a significant factor in the spread of insecurity.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Asia
  • Author: Scott Worden
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On February 18, 2008 the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) reached agreement on an accountability and reconciliation accord that would provide for prosecution in Uganda of senior LRA leaders most responsible for atrocities committed over the course of the country's 20-year long civil conflict. The agreement also provides that lower level perpetrators will be held accountable by traditional justice mechanisms indigenous to Northern Uganda, where much of the violence occurred.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Susan Hayward
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In partnership with Concordis International and the Preparatory Committee for the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC), USIP held a consultation with approximately30 members of the North American Darfur diaspora community from February 12-14, 2008.Representative of Darfur's constituencies, this group of Darfurians traveled to Washington, D.C. from throughout the U.S. and Canada in order to address a broad range of issues related to the conflict in their homeland. Through small-group brainstorming and plenary ession debates, the group developed a set of consensus recommendations aimed at creating the conditions necessary for a sustainable safe and secure environment to prevail in the troubled region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Canada
  • Author: Glenn Denning, Joel Negin
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The new Australian government has made a significant commitment to increasing its overseas development assistance (ODA) from 0.3% of gross national income (GNI) in the 2007-08 budget to 0.5% of GNI by 2015/16. This represents a return to the levels last seen in the 1970s that were eroded over the 1990s and early 2000s (Figure 1). Depending on the projected economic growth rate, some estimates foresee a tripling of ODA from the mid-2000s to 2015/16.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: John Magrath
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climatic disasters are on the increase as the Earth warms up – in line with scientific observations and computer simulations that model future climate. 2007 has been a year of climatic crises, especially floods, often of an unprecedented nature. They included Africa's worst floods in three decades, unprecedented flooding in Mexico, massive floods in South Asia and heat waves and forest fires in Europe, Australia, and California. By mid November the United Nations had launched 15 'flash appeals', the greatest ever number in one year. All but one were in response to climatic disasters.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, California, Australia
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Dix mois après le déclenchement d'un mouvement de révolte populaire contre le régime du président Lansana Conté, au pouvoir depuis 23 ans, et sept mois après la formation d'un nouveau gouvernement, la Guinée est toujours dans une incertitude totale quant à son avenir immédiat. L'état de grâce dont a bénéficié le Premier ministre Lansana Kouyaté, celui qui devait conduire le « changement » exigé par le peuple, fut de courte durée. Les fissures au sein du mouvement collectif qui a ébranlé le régime au début de l'année risquent de favoriser une reconquête du pouvoir par le clan présidentiel. Pour éviter tout retour de la violence, le Premier ministre doit impérativement convaincre les citoyens guinéens de sa détermination à oeuvrer en faveur d'une véritable transition démocratique et a besoin de recevoir à cet effet un soutien actif de la Communauté économique des États d'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) et des partenaires extérieurs, de même que de la France et des États-Unis qui ont des liens de coopération avec l'armée.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The risk that Ethiopia and Eritrea will resume their war in the next several weeks is very real. A military buildup along the common border over the past few months has reached alarming proportions. There will be no easy military solution if hostilities restart; more likely is a protracted conflict on Eritrean soil, progressive destabilisation of Ethiopia and a dramatic humanitarian crisis. To prevent this, the international community – in particular, the UN Security Council and the U.S., which is the single most influential outsider – must act immediately to give both sides the clearest possible message that no destabilising unilateral action will be tolerated. Once the immediate danger is past, efforts should be reinvigorated to ensure that the parties comply with their international law obligations, disengage on the ground and restore the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) – in a longer time frame – to develop political and economic initiatives for resolving the fundamental problems between the old foes.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Ethiopia, Eritrea
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 6 December 2006, Joseph Kabila was sworn in as the first democratically elected president since Congolese independence, concluding a landmark electoral process largely devoid of major violence or gross irregularities. Democratic governance is now expected to support peacebuilding and reconstruction. The new government has weak and barely functioning institutions, however, and the international community, which has given decisive support to the peace process, must continue to help it overcome serious security and political challenges. Immediate agenda items include to set up promptly a new structure to coordinate aid efforts, renew the United Nations Mission (MONUC) with a strong mandate and increase efforts to improve security throughout the country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Ian Johnstone, Alhaji M.S. Bah
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The inter-related conflicts and peace processes in Sudan present a monumental peacekeeping challenge. The protracted crisis in Darfur has put the African Union – and the broader international community -- to a severe test. Plans for a hybrid African Union-United Nations operation there continue, but Khartoum remains opposed. Meanwhile, implementation of the north-south peace agreement is faltering, with the UN mission struggling to keep it on track in the face of indifference from both parties and frequent hostility from the north.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The March 2007 Ouagadougou Political Accord (OPA), signed by Laurent Gbagbo, president of Côte d'Ivoire, and Guillaume Soro, leader of the Forces Nouvelles (FN) rebel movement, holds great promise for ending the current political stalemate and reuniting the country. The political crisis began in September 2002 with an attack by military officers protesting the government's decision to demobilize them; according to some, it was also, an attempted coup d'état. The uprising generated other rebel groups, which took control over the northern part of the country and ignited a civil war. Even after the brunt of the fighting ceased, the country remained divided, with northern Côte d'Ivoire devoid of public services and the state's administration. The OPA is the sixth peace agreement directed at ending the political crisis; the previous five were never fully implemented due to, among other factors, disagreements about the selection of the mediator, the absence of political will among the signatories, and the tense relationship between the government of Côte d'Ivoire and the United Nations. Blaise Compaoré, president of Burkina Faso, mediated the negotiations leading to the signing of the OPA. Burkina Faso remains the facilitator of the agreement's implementation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is among the most mineral-rich countries in Africa. During the war, those natural resources fueled the conflict, and provided illegal sources of wealth for some. Now, as the DRC undertakes the rebuilding of its economy, the management of natural resources serves as a key component in its development strategy. Properly and profitably managing natural resources in the DRC is a complex task that must take into account security issues, regulatory reform, the structure and legality of past contracts, and the political environment for change. To address these issues, the U.S. Institute of Peace organized a meeting of the Congo Peacebuilding Forum on May 17, 2007. Panelists included Rico Carisch, of the United Nations Group of Experts for the DRC, and Peter Rosenblum, of Columbia University School of Law. This briefing summarizes the main points discussed by participants at the meeting.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Julio A. Berdegué
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: A renewed focus on agriculture is emerging among donor organizations. In 2005, The World Bank published its report Agricultural Growth for the Poor. An Agenda for Development and Dfid published a policy paper entitled Growth and poverty reduction: the role of agriculture, and soon, the World Development Report 2008 entitled Agriculture for Development will be published. The key concern driving this renewed focus is the wish to increase the contribution of agriculture and agricultural growth to poverty reduction. This DIIS brief provides a short introduction to the main messages of the above documents and proposes five main elements of a strategy for supporting public policy interventions in favour of pro-poor agricultural growth.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Finn Stepputat
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This brief provides a concise overview of the problems and dilemmas that confront organizations and companies working in fragile states and presents the major guidelines, recommendations and ethical frameworks that have emerged to address these issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anthony Turton
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: It is impossible to understand the developmental constraints of Africa without grasping the significance of water resources, particularly groundwater. Southern Africa faces potentially severe groundwater shortages, which not only imperil the lives of those directly dependent on it, but also the continued development of the economic engines of the region—South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe—all of which face significant constraints on their future economic growth due to the insecurity of water supply. In addition, groundwater resources are the foundation of rural water supplies, which sustain livelihoods for the poorest of the poor communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana
  • Author: Kelly Campbell, Adams Fusheini
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On June 19-20, 2006, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), in partnership with the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), hosted a workshop entitled "Challenges to Peace and Reconstruction in Côte d'Ivoire" in Accra, Ghana. Fourteen representatives of diverse Ivoirian civil society organizations (CSOs) attended the conference, as well as representatives from the United Nations Mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and other nongovernmental organizations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Claus Aagaard
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Many countries are currently in a process of water reform, often motivated by increasing and a changing composition – and strength – of demands for fresh water. In many countries this reform process has been met with opposition from all political corners, including traditional water users such as large scale farmers and civil society organizations such as indigenous movements and environmental groups.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Matthew Smith, Alan Roe, Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: An effective state is able to mobilize revenue and spend it on infrastructure, services, and public goods that both enhance human capital and the well-being of communities (especially the poor), as well as stimulating investment and employment creation by the private sector. An effective state also manages public finance to ensure that macroeconomic balance is maintained—with policy neither too restrictive to discourage private investment and growth, nor too accommodative to create high inflation and crowd out private investment. Fiscal issues are therefore at the heart of the state's role in the development process and failure in this policy area—whether it is in taxation, public expenditures, or in managing the fiscal deficit and public debt—can quickly undermine growth and poverty reduction. Fiscal weakness can also be fatal to social peace when one or more ethnic, religious, or regional groups are taxed unfairly—or receives too little in the allocation of public spending.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Dominique Harre-Rogers
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Greater Cairo Region's population of about 19 million places it among the twenty largest cities in the world. The making of the 'polynucleated' urban region was fast. Restricted up to mid-20th century to what is now the downtown area, the medieval core and the ancient village of Gizah, the city's total built area quadrupled between 1945 and 1982 (El-Kadi 1987). With 4% annual growth in the 1960s-1970s, the city incorporated old suburbs and satellite towns (Maadi, Helwan, Heliopolis), spilled across the Nile and expanded north and west into the desert and the agricultural lands of the Nile Delta valley, swallowing several villages in the process.2 In the mid-1980s, the mega-city entered a new phase and population growth slowed significantly, falling below Egypt's national rate of growth
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Sam Gibson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa has some huge problems to reslove if it is to achieve gender equality in education, and fulfill the Millennium Development Goals related to education and gender. Conversely, the region has some of the most innovative and enterprising examples of initiative that promote gender equality in education. This paper focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and considers some of the most significant obstacles that African girls face in achieving the education that is their right. The paper then reviews the most significant initiatives–those that are 'gender-neutral' and those that have a specific focus aon gender equality–that have enabled African countries to overcome these obstacles.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jennifer Brant
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As the poorest continent on earth, Africa needs debt relief, aid, and trade to help it to alleviate poverty and achieve sustainable development. Unfortunately, unfair trade rules and supply constraints impede Africa's capacity to trade. As a result, it captures a mere one per cent of world trade.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Niger Delta, an area of dense mangrove rainforest in the southern tip of Nigeria, comprises nine of Nigeria's thirty-six states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers. The region's oil accounts for approximately 90 percent of the value of Nigeria's exports, but the Niger Delta remains one of Nigeria's least developed regions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Ninna Nyberg Sorensen
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Abstract Migration transforms not only the destiny of individual migrants but also the conditions of family members left behind, of local communities and of the wider society. Despite the fact that migratory processes are multidimensional and may generate a wide array of positive as well as negative consequences for development, remittances have lately become the single most emphasized evidence and measuring stick for the ties connecting migrants with their societies of origin.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Khairi Abaza
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 27, Hosni Mubarak will be sworn in for a fifth consecutive term as president of Egypt. Mubarak was reelected according to new electoral procedures introduced earlier this year that allowed for a competitive election between multiple candidates. The opposition, united in its calls for more democracy, criticized the reforms, claiming that they only aimed at strengthening the regime's grip on power. For his part, Mubarak pledged to introduce further political reforms during his fifth mandate. What would a reform program look like and what would its prospects be?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Egypt
  • Author: Debayani Kar, Neil Watkins
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Jubilee campaigns and debt cancellation advocates can be proud of their efforts. The Finance Ministers of the eight rich country governments as represented at the Group of 8 (G-8) have announced a deal on 100% debt cancellation of International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and African Development Fund debt for some impoverished nations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Leaders from the Western Hemisphere called on their governments at the conclusion of a Carter Center conference to implement partial public funding of campaigns and fully disclose election donations and expenditures to help restore confidence in government.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South America
  • Author: David Simon, Alexander Johnston
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shortly before he became President of the 'new South Africa' in May 1994, Nelson Mandela stressed that his country's relations with the region's poorer and weaker neighbours would be characterized by 'sensitivity and restraint'. This declaration of intent was welcome given South Africa's traditional dominance as the hegemonic power during the apartheid era and the resulting crude and at times violent exploitation of its neighbours' dependence, in varying degree, on the Republic's economy for a wide range of goods and services, for transport links and a market for employment. Indeed, South Africa's accession to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1994 offered the promise of a new deal in regional relations, with the new member acting as an 'engine of growth' and as a cooperative and enthusiastic supporter of purposeful and sustained regional integration.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Everatt
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Comparative Urban Studies Project Policy Brief Yet Another Transition? Urbanization, Class Formation, and the End of National Liberation Struggle in South Africa Presented February 8-9, 1999, at the Woodrow Wilson Center for the Comparative Urban Studies Project's Research Working Group on Urbanization, Population, the Environment, and Security funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. These policy briefs do not represent an official position of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars or the U.S. Agency for International Development. Opinions expressed are solely those of the authors. South Africa's negotiated settlement is widely hailed as a small miracle. What is the state of the miracle five years on?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa