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  • Author: Elvir Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Iran's international standing is currently under slow, but significant change due to the recently signed nuclear deal with the global powers group of "P5+1". The South Caucasus region will be one of the primary influenced regions by such a sharp turn in the history of Iran. Turning back to the recent history of Iran's foreign policy towards the South Caucasus, it can be seen that Tehran has found itself in unpleasant situation and unprepared to build up effective ties with the countries because of certain objective reasons. Emerged regional conflicts suddenly after the collapse of the Soviet Union between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in Georgia with its two breakaway territories caused more difficulties for Iran's foreign policy towards the region. The targets put in the beginning for integration into the region has ended up with a defensive and limited position for Iran in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Boyan Boyanov
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: After Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test on the 5th of January 2016 and declared it a successful experiment with a hydrogen bomb, the international community resumed its appeals for finding a definitive solution to the issue with North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. What impresses is the routine of the international response following the North Korean habitual act of defying the nuclear nonproliferation system: diplomatic condemnation mostly coming from the United States, South Korea, Japan, and, in a far more restrained manner – from China. When Pyongyang launched a satellite in space two days later, Seoul responded by shutting down the Kaesong industrial complex – a mutually beneficial industrial zone where South Korean companies employ North Korean labor1 . Even this seemingly harsh action does not constitute a precedent. At that time it was not very demanding to foretell the execution of consequential U.S. – South Korea military drills to display the U.S. resolution to be constantly involved in whatever is happening on the Korean Peninsula and to dismay the latest great leader of the North.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Aparna Sharma
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Speaking at a recent summit, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to India as a bright spot in the global economy. India’s rapid domestic growth and growing integration with global trade, technology and financial flows support his assertion; yet, all this is not translating into peak progress in South Asia, to which New Delhi avowedly assigns high priority. Despite India climbing nine positions in the Ease of Doing Business index (164 to 155 - out of 180 countries), its ranking vis-a-vis facilitating border trade (133) remains unchanged since the last five years. In the absence of timely reforms to bolster food security in South Asia, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and administrative measures for trade facilitation have emerged as the biggest concern to South Asia’s food trade. 86 percent of South Asia’s food trade remains crippled with non-standard implementation of SPS and TBT measures.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vitaliy Kravchuk, Malgorzata McKenzie, Mykola Ryzhenkov
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: This is the first report of the project on vulnerable sectors in the Eastern Partnership (EP) countries. Its aim is to provide a macroeconomic setting for future structural reports. It also provides a toolkit for the sectoral reports in the sense that it offers a set of macroeconomic points of reference.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rachel Silverman, Mead Over, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Founded in 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) is one of the world’s largest multilateral health funders, disbursing $3–$4 billion a year across 100-plus countries. Many of these countries rely on Global Fund monies to finance their respective disease responses—and for their citizens, the efficient and effective use of Global Fund monies can be the difference between life and death. Many researchers and policymakers have hypothesized that models tying grant payments to achieved and verified results—referred to in this report as next generation financing models—offer an opportunity for the Global Fund to push forward its strategic interests and accelerate the impact of its investments. Free from year-to-year disbursement pressure (like government agencies) and rigid allocation policies (like the World Bank’s International Development Association), the Global Fund is also uniquely equipped to push forward innovative financing models. But despite interest, the how of new grant designs remains a challenge. Realizing their potential requires technical know-how and careful, strategic decisionmaking that responds to specific country and epidemiological contexts—all with little evidence or experience to guide the way. This report thus addresses the how of next generation financing models—that is, the concrete steps needed to change the basis of payment from expenses to something else: outputs, outcomes, or impact. For example, when and why is changing the basis of payment a good idea? What are the right indicators and results to purchase from grantees? How much and how should grantees be remunerated for their achievements? How can the Global Fund verify that the basis of payment is sound—that the reported results are accurate and reliable and represent real progress against disease control goals? And what is needed to protect communities against coercion or other human rights abuses, ensuring that these new incentives do not drive unintended consequences?
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most money and responsibility for health in large federal countries like India rests with subnational governments — states, provinces, districts, and municipalities. The policies and spending at the subnational level affect the pace, scale, and equity of health improvements in countries that account for much of the world’s disease burden: India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Fiscal transfers between levels of government can — but do not always — play an important role in turning money into outcomes at the subnational level. Well designed, transfers can help put states on a level financial playing field by equalizing spending across states and adjusting allocations for the health risks of each state’s population. Transfers can increase accountability and create incentives for greater spending or effectiveness in service delivery. But transfers are rarely designed with attention to their desired outcomes. To get to better outcomes, international experience suggests that transfers need to be reexamined and reformed along three dimensions. First, central government’s allocation of national revenues to subnational governments should respond to needs and population size. Second, transfers should generate incentives to improve subnational governments’ spending quality and performance on outcomes. Third, independent systems to monitor, evaluate, and provide feedback data on subnational performance can generate greater accountability to the central government, parliaments, and legislatures as well as to citizens. These insights are seemingly simple and suggestive, but each country starts from its own unique history that requires careful technical analysis and political savvy to define reforms with genuine potential to improve health.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Hospitals are central to building and maintaining healthy populations around the world. They serve as the first point of care for many, offer access to specialized care, act as loci for medical education and research, and influence standards for national health systems at large. Yet despite their centrality within health systems, hospitals have been sidelined to the periphery of the global health agenda as scarce financial resources, technical expertise, and political will instead focus on the expansion of accessible primary care. As a result, many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries have failed to evolve and modernize, both in operations and infrastructure, while the knowledge base on hospital effectiveness and efficiency remains small and inadequate. In turn, the standard of care and efficiency achieved by these hospitals has stagnated. The gap in treatment capacity and quality between wealthier and poorer countries—and between hospitals serving wealthier and poorer populations—is widening, just as emerging economies are poised to expand the range and depth of healthcare through universal health coverage.
  • Topic: World Health Organization, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Russian World special
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: A. Kortunov, A. Frolov
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The U.S. foreign policy today has fallen on hard times. The world is entering a new era with a lot of totally new challenges, including untraditional challenges that the U.S. leadership is faced with. In some instances, Washington manages to fit into ongoing processes while in others, the situation starts to follow a different scenario and then this policy, which is based on a number of important and fundamental principles, begins to founder.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: D. Malysheva
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: ON JULY 26, 2015, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on board the frigate Admiral of the Soviet Navy Gorshkov endorsed a new version of the Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation, the basic document that specifies Russia’s naval and maritime policy. This version added the Mediterranean to the areas of the national maritime policy (the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific zones) and specified that Russia’s naval pres- ence there is aimed at “turning it into the zone of military-political sta- bility and good-neighborly relations.”1 This is not fortuitous: The region is one of the main zones of Russia’s politics and international coopera- tion. Time has come to sort out regional developments, varied interests of the states involved and the problems they have to cope with. In other words, we should arrive at a clear idea about the region’s importance for the Russian Federation.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia