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  • Author: Tanvi Nagpal, Ammar A. Malik, Matthew Eldridge, Yoori Kim, Chloe Hauenstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Meeting the Sustainable Development Goal for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030 requires utilities serving the poorest households to play critical roles. Yet these utilities are frequently unable to cover their current operational costs, much less expand access, through existing tariffs and transfers. New models and approaches are needed to identify new sources of sustainable subsidies for these utilities. Drawing on lessons from other sectors, this study explores three potential models in particular – global funds, solidarity levies, and land value capture – for raising additional resources and considers ways that funding could be pooled and delivered to incentivize improved outcomes.
  • Topic: Water, Sustainable Development Goals, International Development
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: G. Thomas Kingsley
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: In 2015, the United Nations adopted an ambitious new agenda for global development, and its proponents have called for a “data revolution” to further its goals. How to mobilize this data revolution? Much of what has been written about it so far implies only the mounting of expanded surveys to track progress under each goal. Although surveys are essential, there are good reasons to believe that surveys alone would be insufficient and probably impractical.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, International Development
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The role of local governance within global development is approaching an important inflection point. To the extent that local governments function as effective platforms for collective local decision-making and as effective mechanisms for promoting the collective interests of their constituents, local governments are ideal partners for achieving development success. Moreover, regardless of the mechanism or type of decentralization or “localization” that is ultimately chosen, in the end, we cannot ignore the vertical governance mechanisms and multilevel service delivery mechanisms that are needed to ensure the effective delivery of public services at the local level.
  • Topic: Governance, International Development, Services, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus