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  • Author: John McArthur
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: To what extent have developing countries' patterns in reducing under-5 mortality rates (U5MR) changed since the advent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? This paper investigates that question across multiple time horizons, with attention to the fact that countries' progress had already begun to accelerate during the late 1990s compared to the early 1990s. The paper gives special consideration to countries the MDGs were primarily intended to support, including initially “Off Track” and low-income countries. Although only 21 percent of originally Off Track countries and 34 percent of originally low-income countries are now on a path to achieve the MDG target by 2015, at least 80 percent of each group has seen accelerated progress since 2001. Approximately 90 percent of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have accelerated. Most importantly, regression analysis indicates that cross-country trends since 2000 differ considerably from previous decades. The years since the launch of the MDGs include the first extended period in at least four decades during which rates of U5MR decline have not been negatively correlated with U5MR levels. Compared to a conservative counterfactual trend from 1996 to 2001, at least 7.5 million additional children's lives are estimated to have been saved between 2002 and 2013. The results suggest that much of the greatest structural progress has been achieved by countries not likely to achieve the formal MDG targets, even if their progress might be linked to the pursuit of those targets. Implications are considered for setting U5MR targets through to 2030.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anna van der Vleuten
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Research Center (SFB) 700
  • Abstract: As early as 1992, the Treaty of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) already included a commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law as governance standards in its member states, but it was in 2001 that SADC significantly broadened its efforts at governance transfer. SADC focuses in particular on standards related to gender, (socioeconomic) human rights, and (electoral) democracy, which are promoted and protected through various instruments including military interventions and sanctions in the framework of security cooperation. While the rule of law and good governance have also gained a more prominent place on the agenda since 2001, standards and instruments are less developed. Overall, there is a significant gap between the prescription of standards and policies on the one hand and the implementation of measures on the other. The suspension of the SADC Tribunal in 2010 following its rulings on human rights issues clearly shows the limits of SADC as an active promoter vis-à-vis its member states.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Maghreb is in motion. Political changes underway across North Africa have created opportunities for more representative and transparent governance. Debates over the nature of authority and the role of the state that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago now shape political discourse. And yet, doubts remain.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The effects of organized labor on regime change in developing countries are not clear‐cut. Optimists argue that union agitation is conducive to both democratic transition and consolidation processes. Pessimists hold that unions will support any regime that is conducive to their demands. Accordingly, unions may support regime transitions; however, once their economic interests are under threat, they will jeopardize the subsequent consolidation process. Systematic studies on the effects of organized labor on regime change in sub‐ Saharan Africa are sparse and largely confined to the (pre)transition phase. This article examines the role of organized labor in Niger between 1990 and 2010. Given the high number of regime breakdowns during the period, a longitudinal study of Nigerien labor enables a critical examination of motives and actions of organized labor toward different regime types. In contrast to other recent findings on African unionism, the article confirms the pessimistic view.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a-Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: After the severe twin crises that nearly brought Mali to its knees in January 2012, the country is gradually recovering from their debilitating consequences. In August 2013, Mali successfully elected its new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, thus putting an end to an eighteen-month-long transitional government that was put in place following the March 2012 coup. Even though the violence has abated and renewed hope seems to be in the air, the structural causes of the Malian conflict are still stubbornly present and their consequences are still being felt by neighboring Sahel countries that suffer from similar underlying ills. The situation in Mali and other concerned states in the region generated a renewed interest in the Sahel-Sahara region and in efforts to stabilize this region. This prompted the International Peace Institute, the Executive Secretariat of the Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel-Saharan Areas of Niger (SDS Sahel Niger), and the Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel Sahara (Centre 4S) to convene an international seminar on security and development in the Sahel-Sahara on February 15 and 16, 2013, in Niamey, Niger.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Economics, Peace Studies, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Gabriel Demombynes
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Millennium Villages Project is a high profile, multi-country development project that has aimed to serve as a model for ending rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The project became the subject of controversy when the methodological basis of early claims of success was questioned. The lively ensuing debate offers lessons on three recent mini-revolutions that have swept the field of development economics: the rising standards of evidence for measuring impact, the “open data” movement, and the growing role of the blogosphere in research debates.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: J. Stephen Morrison
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the past decade, there has been a steep and historic expansion of U.S. health engagement in Africa, principally through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI). U.S. commitments to global health, of which over 70 percent is directed to Africa, rose from $1.7 billion in FY2001 to $8.9 billion in FY2012.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Matt Bryden
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia marked a milestone in September 2012 with the establishment of a new federal government that has since won the support and recognition of the international community. After more than 20 years of conflict, crisis, and statelessness and 12 years of ineffectual transitional authorities, the Somali federal government (SFG) has been widely welcomed as Somalia's first “post-transition” government. It has been greeted with such a groundswell of optimism that many observers, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have drawn parallels with the “Arab Spring” that has transformed parts of the Middle East. It is tempting to imagine that Somalia is finally on the path to recovery.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Development, Islam, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The situation in Sudan’s forgotten East – without deadly conflict since the 2006 Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) – stands in contrast to the fighting besetting the country’s other peripheries. But this peace is increasingly fragile. Seven years after the ESPA’s signing, the conflict’s root causes remain and in some respects are more acute, due to the failure to implement many of the agreement’s core provisions. Mirroring elsewhere in the country, with no sign of genuine efforts by Khartoum to address the situation, conflict could erupt in the East again and lead to further national fragmentation. All ESPA stakeholders urgently need to reconvene and address the deteriorating situation; the leading sign atories need publicly to concede that the promises of the original agreement have not met expectations and reach a consensus on remedial measures.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Development, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Elisabeth King
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates the efforts of one international development intervention — the Kokoyah Millennium Villages Project (KMVP) — to improve welfare and build social cohesion in post-conflict Liberia. This study is based on a preliminary analysis of survey data from a quasi- experimental, difference-in-differences (DID) research design, and shows that social cohesion was already higher than anticipated before the project began. Despite operational challenges with implementation of the KMVP, complaints about the project, and lack of improved perceptions of welfare, there is evidence that the KMVP had positive effects on some measures of social cohesion and no evidence of adverse effects, yet no changes on some factors that may be important to contribute to development. This paper demonstrates that DID measures and quasi-experimental designs that use appropriate comparison groups can yield important insights in social science research conducted in complex and changing contexts such as a post-civil war setting. This paper seeks to foster a conversation about the many relationships between development and social cohesion (particularly in post-conflict contexts), the possibilities and challenges for researchers in studying these relationships and the importance of doing so for intended beneficiaries on the ground.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Development, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia