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  • Author: Fiona Blyth, Mireille Affa'a Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The International Peace Institute convened a roundtable discussion on "Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea: Assessing the Threats, Preparing the Response" on June 6, 2013, in New York. The meeting aimed to help develop a better understanding of the peace and security challenges facing the Gulf of Guinea by examining the multifaceted threats to the stability of the region; considering national, regional, and international responses to these threats; and providing practical policy recommendations with a view to strengthening regional and international responses.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Adam Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The UN Security Council mandates peacekeeping operations in some of the poorest, most conflict-prone areas of the world. These locations are often also extremely remote and nearly inaccessible. In this context, engineering is one of the most critical elements to the functioning of a UN peace operation; yet, it may be the least critically analyzed aspect of peacekeeping. During the start-up phase of a mission, engineers design, prepare, and build the camps that allow the mission to exist. Very little can be achieved in peacekeeping without sanitary and secure camps with electricity and passable roads or functional air strips. When there are engineering gaps coupled with major logistical challenges (as in the UN Mission in South Sudan), key elements of the mandate, such as the protection of civilians or support to the extension of state authority, become much more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to fulfill. During the mission consolidation phase, engineers can play a central role in the peacebuilding support tasks of a mission, working with the host country, UN agencies, and others to build capacity and deliver peace dividends.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Peace Studies, Science and Technology, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Christian J. Meyer
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We argue that survey-based median household consumption expenditure (or income) per capita be incorporated into standard development indicators, as a simple, robust, and durable indicator of typical individual material well-being in a country. Using household survey data available for low- and middle-income countries from the World Bank's PovcalNet tool, we show that as a measure of income-related well-being, it is far superior to the commonly used GDP per capita as well as survey-based measures at the mean. We also argue that survey-based median measures are "distributionaware", i.e. when used as the denominator of various widely available indicators such as mean consumption expenditure per capita they provide a "good-enough" indicator of consumption (or income) inequality. Finally, as a post-2015 indicator of progress at the country-level in promoting shared development and reducing inequality, we propose that the rate of increase in median consumption per capita after taxes and transfers exceed the rate of increase in average consumption in the same period.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Poverty, World Bank
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Jonah Busch, Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We have constructed a comprehensive database of 117 spatially explicit econometric studies of deforestation published in peer-reviewed academic journals from 1996-2013. We present a metaanalysis of what drives deforestation and what stops it, based on the signs and significance of 5909 coefficients in 554 multivariate analyses. We find that forests are more likely to be cleared where economic returns to agriculture and pasture are higher, either due to more favorable climatological and topographic conditions, or due to lower costs of clearing forest and transporting products to market. Timber activity, land tenure security, and community demographics do not show a consistent association with either higher or lower deforestation. Population is consistently associated with greater deforestation, and poverty is consistently associated with lower deforestation, but in both cases endogeneity makes a causal link difficult to infer. Promising approaches for stopping deforestation include reducing the intrusion of road networks into remote forested areas; targeting protected areas to regions where forests face higher threat; tying rural income support to the maintenance of forest resources through payments for ecosystem services; and insulating the forest frontier from the price effects of demand for agricultural commodities.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Rohinton Medhora, David Malone
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The familiar world of international organizations principally devoted to development has been upended by two phenomena. First is the emergence of sustained economic success in the developing world (mostly in Asia, but increasingly also in Africa and, in a less spectacular way, Latin America) amid compelling, continuing need among the world's poor. Second, the slow-moving, serious financial and economic crisis of the industrialized world since 2008 has reordered priorities in many of their capitals toward domestic spending and away from costly international projects.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: David Steven
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: You asked me, as an independent expert, to contribute to the General Assembly Thematic Debate on 'Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies.' Since receiving your request, I have completed a review of the deliberations of the Open Working Group on this issue and of other relevant contributions to the post-2015 development agenda. I have also consulted informally with representatives of member states, UN agencies, and other stakeholders. While I have found widespread support for the need to foster peaceful, non-violent, and inclusive societies, there is some disagreement as to how this objective can be achieved within the context of the post-2015 development agenda. Rather than repeat material contained in existing reports on stable and peaceful societies, I thought it would be more useful to offer some reflections on the sources of agreement between member states, and the potential to move towards consensus in areas where they disagree. This will, I hope, help all those participating in the thematic debate respond to your challenge to identify concrete ways in which peace and stability can underpin an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future.
  • Topic: Development, Peacekeeping, Border Control
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: David Steven, Alejandra Kubitschek Bujones
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In October 2013, Ambassadors from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries in the United Nations (GRULAC), their key negotiators from respective capitals, civil society representatives, and UN System agencies from the region held a retreat on the Post-2015 Agenda.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Latin America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Barry Carin
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: African countries are currently engaged at the United Nations (UN) to determine the post-2015 framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The post-2015 goals matter because they will guide the priorities of UN agencies, the multilateral development banks, bilateral development assistance and civil society organizations. It is in Africa's interests to ensure the post-2015 framework is congruent with African priorities. African Union negotiators must take a strategic approach in the current process to select the post-2015 development goals.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Gabriel Demombynes, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The lack of reliable development statistics for many poor countries has led the U.N. to call for a “data revolution” (United Nations, 2013). One fairly narrow but widespread interpretation of this revolution is for international aid donors to fund a coordinated wave of household surveys across the developing world, tracking progress on a new round of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. We use data from the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) to show (i) the supply of household surveys has accelerated dramatically over the past 30 years and that (ii) demand for survey data appears to be higher in democracies and more aid-dependent countries. We also show that given existing international survey programs, the cost to international aid donors of filling remaining survey gaps is manageable--on the order of $300 million per year. We argue that any aid-financed expansion of household surveys should be complemented with (a) increased access to data through open data protocols, and (b) simultaneous support for the broader statistical system, including routine administrative data systems.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, United Nations