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  • Author: Jamie Boex, Ammar A. Malik, Devanne Brookins, Ben Edwards
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Cities are engines of economic growth that provide spaces for social transformation and political inclusion. Their ability to deliver widely accessible and efficiently functioning public services drives productivity and sustains development. We design and apply an assessment framework to 42 cities in 14 African and Asian countries to better understand the functional, administrative, and political dimensions determining the quality and coverage of water, sanitation, and solid waste collection services. We find that urban local governments are constrained in their authority and discretion to deliver basic public services. Reforming intergovernmental institutional structures to better match responsibilities is essential for realizing cities’ full economic potential.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Governance, International Development, Economic growth, Urban, Sanitation, Services, Cities
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: H. Elizabeth Peters, Nan Marie Astone, Ammar A. Malik, Fenohasina Rakotondrazaka Maret, Caroline Heller
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Besides human rights protection and social welfare improvement, fostering female participation in the economy can stimulate growth with human capital accumulation and enhance the competitiveness of businesses. But women face many barriers to participating in the labor market, particularly in high productivity sectors, due to limited investments in education, time burdens from care responsibilities, legal prohibitions to land ownership, and sexual harassment and violence. We find evidence that improving access to infrastructure and public services, reforms in inheritance laws, family friendly workplace policies, and reduction in levels of violence can significantly improve women’s economic empowerment.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, International Development, Economic growth, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Benjamin Edwards, Solomon Greene, G. Thomas Kingsley
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: As the global population grows increasingly urbanized, city governments will assume ever-greater responsibility for addressing the challenges of poverty, inequality, and environmental sustainability. To meet these challenges effectively, city leaders must base their efforts on good data and reliable evidence. This paper develops a framework for understanding the conditions under which city leaders access, analyze, and apply data to solve problems. We also suggest how the new UN Sustainable Development Goals can help overcome the institutional constraints and competing incentives that cities face in using data to drive decisionmaking for sustainable development.
  • Topic: Urbanization, Sustainable Development Goals, International Development, Cities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Jameson Boex, Benjamin Edwards
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: This paper provides a general framework for understanding the political economy and fiscal determinants of sanitation service provision by urban local governments. The paper will address several questions: what do we expect to influence spending on local sanitation? Do different fiscal instruments have an impact on expenditure levels? Do increased local revenues lead to increased expenditures over the long term? What role do different stakeholders play in determining expenditure levels? The paper first looks at the role of political factors in constraining local expenditure decisions, then turns to a review of the fiscal determinants of service delivery expenditures.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Governance, Urban, Sanitation, Services, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus