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  • Author: Janvier Mwisha-Kasiwa
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Health is both a direct component of human well-being and a form of human capital that increases an individual’s capabilities and opportunities to generate income and reduces vulnerability. It is argued that these two views are complementary, and both can be used to justify increased investment in health in developing countries. Therefore, investment in child health constitutes a potential mechanism to end the intergenerational transmission of poverty. This paper examines the empirical impact of household economic well-being on child health, and the gender differences in effects using the Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2014. A series of econometric tools are used; the control function approach appears to be the most appropriate strategy as it simultaneously removes structural parameters from endogeneity, the sample selection and heterogeneity of the unobservable variables. Results suggest a significant positive effect of household economic well-being on child health. However, the magnitude of the effect varies by gender of household head; children from households headed by males appear healthier compared to those from female-headed households. In the context of DR Congo, female-headed households often have a single parent, therefore, the economic well-being effect on child health in the male sub-sample can be considered to include the unobserved contribution of women. These results have implications for public interventions that enable women to participate in paid labour market activities as a means of improving household economic well-being, which in turn could improve child health.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Health, Health Care Policy, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Lassana Cissokho
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the productivity effects of power outages on manufacturing Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Senegal, using a panel data on manufacturing firms. Productivity is estimated using stochastic frontier models, and power outages measured by their frequency or their duration. We controlled for firms owning a generator as well. The main results are drawn from random effects in a linear panel model. Nonetheless, the results remain consistent to the robustness checks using different models: a double-sided truncated data model and a generalized linear model, and different productivity measures: data envelopment analysis. We find that power outages have negative significant effects on the productivity of SMEs; for example, the manufacturing sector lost up to around 11.6% of the actual productivity due to power outages in 2011, and small firms appear to be affected more than medium ones, 5% against 4.3%. Further, firms with a generator were successful in countering the adverse effect of power outages on productivity. Besides, another outstanding result is the significant positive effect of access to credit on productivity. At last, it appears that productivity increases with firms’ size.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Economic structure, Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: Africa, Senegal
  • Author: Eme Dada
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The objective of this policy brief is to inform the Ministers of Trade and Investment of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) countries about the importance of the linkage between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade for developing countries. FDI is considered an important means of promoting export of the host countries. This is true of inward FDI, which comes for efficiency reasons. Conversely, there is concern that large flows of outward FDI results in a decline in the host country’s exports and loss of jobs. This in turn assumes that the exports of the source country will fall as FDI substitutes for trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Gambia
  • Author: Susanna B. Hecht
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: The dramatic Amazon fires images of Au-gust 2019 triggered a geopolitical outcry. Brazilian President Bolsonaro, however, unflinchingly continues to support his destructive model of Amazonian development. This article recalls the extent of the disaster and delves into the reasons behind such disdain for environmental concerns.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Benjamin Barton
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Research Institute, University of Nottingham
  • Abstract: As China’s President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy programme, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become one of the world’s most active infrastructure development drivers. The BRI is helping to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure development in emerging markets across the world. This policy is unlikely to change due to the importance that the Chinese government attributes to the BRI, with it now being formally enshrined into the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitution. For the UK, the BRI stakes are high; it matters both domestically and internationally. It is impacting the wellbeing of countries that are of strategic importance to the UK. It also contributes to the emerging geopolitical rivalry on infrastructure financing. The government should explore bilateral and multilateral venues to seek to cooperate with China on the BRI by developing a UK BRI strategy post-Brexit.
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure, Geopolitics, Brexit, Multilateralism, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, United Kingdom, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Even before the current conflict, Yemen’s public finances suffered from an overdependence on energy exports, one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world, and chronic budget and balance of payments deficits. The government’s consistent operating deficits were funded through domestic debt instruments – drawing investment away from the private sector – borrowing from its own central bank, and foreign loans. Meanwhile, current (or recurring) expenditures dominated government spending relative to capital investments, indicating the state’s poor track record in development initiatives.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Tax Systems, Exports, Economic Development , Capital Controls
  • Political Geography: Asia, Yemen, West Asia
  • Author: Jessica Larsen, Christine Nissen
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Danish Peace and Stabilisation Fund is a prime example of how to combine civilian and military instruments to address conflicts in fragile states. However, there is still room for stepping up synergies of the military-civilian balance in Denmark’s comprehensive conflict management. Recommendations ■ Increase the frequency of formal feedback between the field and the strategic level of the PSF to avoid loss of knowledge. ■ Synergies between civilian and military instruments should take place through complimentary-but-separate interventions. ■ Take PSF instruments into account when planning Denmark’s broader engagement in conflicts to ensure a more comprehensive security policy effort.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Democratization, Development, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Violence, Peace, Police, Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Neil Webster
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Policy Brief presents the findings and recommendations from a new study of social mobilisation activities in Nepal. The study suggests that the new local government bodies can make a significant difference in bringing better and more inclusive public services and in enabling stronger local economic development. Increased government budgets, better human resources and not least new local elections have changed the conditions for the population. But locally elected representatives need to engage more with citizens and citizens need to engage more with local government. The study suggests that recent experiences with social mobilisation and local governance in Nepal offer important lessons for leaving no one behind in the new context. This policy brief presents the case made by the study, its core findings and the recommendations these give rise to.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Governance, Inequality
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Mona Christophersen, Svein Erik Stave
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last five years Myanmar has gone through fundamental changes as it transitions toward peace and democracy. This transformation provides Myanmar with a unique opportunity to build a peaceful and inclusive society and advance on the path to sustainable development and sustaining peace. Yet at the same time, Myanmar remains submerged in conflict and lacks national consensus on the future of the state. Achieving the 2030 Agenda in Myanmar will therefore require an inclusive and conflict-sensitive approach that takes into account the views not only of the central government but also of ethnic-minority groups. Based on an eighteen-day field study in Myanmar in 2017, this paper examines the country’s progress toward sustainable development and sustaining peace from these divergent perspectives. This paper, co-funded by the Fafo Research Foundation, is part of the International Peace Institute’s (IPI) SDGs4Peace project, which seeks to understand how the 2030 Agenda is being rooted at the national and local levels and to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The project focuses on five case studies: the Gambia, Greece, Guatemala, Lebanon, and Myanmar. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda provides each of these countries an opportunity not only to buttress existing aspirations but also to build new partnerships that transcend traditional approaches.
  • Topic: Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Zach Vertin
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In 2013, the world’s newest nation—the Republic of South Sudan—descended into civil war. External actors moved quickly to convene peace talks under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), leading to a comprehensive peace deal in August 2015. But the agreement unraveled just a year later, before it could be implemented, and the war metastasized. This paper examines the IGAD-led peace process for South Sudan from 2013 to 2015. Viewed through a prism of mediation best practice, it is a critical assessment of the attempt to negotiate a settlement of the conflict and a distillation of lessons learned. While singular conclusions are hard to draw, the paper concludes that the process may have helped to slow South Sudan’s civil war and provided a platform to confront the fundamental changes required to transform state and society. But inherent flaws meant the peace deal lacked the political will, broad national ownership, and implementing authorities necessary to make it stick. As IGAD member states and international partners now attempt to “revitalize” the peace process, they would be wise to evaluate, and build upon, its lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Treaties and Agreements, Peace, Mediation
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan