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  • Author: Noah Coburn, Anna Larson
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: As Afghanistan prepares for presidential elections in 2014, many young people are vocal about how the system appears to limit their meaningful participation in politics. Historically, young people in Afghanistan have challenged the status quo. However, it is possible to detect a declining trend from the early twentieth century to the present in the extent to which these challenges have been able to effect change in the political system. This trend has continued despite the technology and social media available to youth today, as the older generation of political leaders continues to monopolize the available political space and act as gatekeepers to that space.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Youth Culture, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Author: Nellie Bristol
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As national incomes have risen across diverse countries—along with the burden of noncommunicable diseases—demand has intensified for quality, affordable health services. Many countries today are actively seeking to bring about universal health coverage—ensuring quality health services for all at a price that does not create undue financial pressure for individuals seeking care. The effort has stirred expanded interest and guidance from international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank, and led to new platforms for developing countries to learn from each other. While universal health coverage will provide new funding and opportunities, including for the private sector, there is a need for dynamic, transparent negotiations among all health constituents, to forge enduring, feasible arrangements that ensure quality services reach all populations and make the best use of scarce health resources. Universal health coverage will remain a work in progress for many countries for many years. It will require grappling with considerable uncertainties and risks. It also has the potential to attract greater attention to health spending, health systems, and improved equity, advances that will benefit human development more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • 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: Devesh Kapur, Arjun Raychaudhuri
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Since their inception, through 2012, the institutions comprising the World Bank group have been involved in lending nearly a trillion dollars. In this paper, we focus on the IBRD, which is the core of the World Bank. The IBRD has the potential to continue to grow and be an important player in official financial flows, supporting critical long-term development projects with large social returns, in sectors ranging from infrastructure, social sectors, or environment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Vishal Narain, Poulomi Banerjee, Pooja Anand
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Periurban areas refer to areas at the periphery of cities. They provide the land and water resources needed for urban expansion, while receiving urban wastes. This paper describes the process of periurban expansion around five major Indian cities, namely, Patna, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Chennai and Ahmedabad. These cities have expanded under the current regime of neo-liberal policies, infrastructure development and real estate growth. As spaces in transition, periurban areas around these cities have absorbed much of the migrant population. However, the cities have grown beyond the carrying capacity; this has caused the ecological foot-print of the cities to spill over into the peripheries. While conventional approaches to urban planning and rural development create a dichotomy between rural and urban areas, the concept of periurban raises questions both about the sustainability and equity dimensions of urban expansion, also raising issues of the politics of urbanization.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Migration, Labor Issues, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Patna, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Chennai, Ahmedabad
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption has become a perennial issue that has shackled political parties to a groundswell of unpopularity in Indonesia. In the run up towards the 2014 General Elections, it is envisaged that such an issue may jeopardise the electability of certain political parties. This report explores the influence of corruption cases on the elections by first highlighting the current status of competing political parties in the 2014 elections. The report then looks at the notable corruption cases that have an adverse effect on the political parties. The report concludes with four points. First, how utilising the "corruption-card" has become the new weapon of choice among political parties. Second, how the acute problem of corruption signifies that Indonesia's democratic consolidation process is far from over. Third, how shadowy affairs between political parties, their elites and the media can and should be constantly monitored. Lastly, the need to strengthen and continuous evaluation of the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) to prevent unnecessary interventions by political parties in the future.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Alan Gelb, Christian J. Meyer
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We consider economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa from the perspective of slow convergence of productivity, both across sectors and across firms within sectors. Why have "productivity enclaves", islands of high productivity in a sea of smaller low-productivity firms, not diffused more rapidly? We summarize and analyze three sets of factors: First, the poor business climate, which constrains the allocation of production factors between sectors and firms. Second, the complex political economy of business-government relations in Africa's small economies. Third, the distribution of firm capabilities. The roots of these factors lie in Africa's geography and its distinctive history, including the legacy of its colonial period on state formation and market structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anne Mette Kjær
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Ugandan economy resembles many other economies in sub-Saharan Africa in that it has a large subsistence sector, relies on a few primary commodities for export and depends on aid to finance its public services. Oil and minerals have so far not been important to the economy. However, this might change as an estimated 3.5 billion barrel oil reservoir has been discovered in Uganda's Western and Northwestern Albertine Graben. Minerals have also been found and are being sold off as concessions. If oil revenues start to be mobilized as currently planned (2016-17), significant changes in not only government finance but also in the governments' relationships with donors and in state–society relations are likely to occur. The consequences for local communities and the environment are also likely to be significant.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Oil, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Michael W. Hansen
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: If African developing countries are to benefit fully from the current boom in foreign direct investment (FDI) in extractives (i.e. mining and oil/gas), it is essential that the foreign investors foster linkages to the local economy. Traditionally, extractive FDI in Africa has been seen as the enclave economy par excellence, moving in with fully integrated value chains, extracting resources and exporting them as commodities having virtually no linkages to the local economy. However, new opportunities for promoting linkages are offered by changing business strategies of local African enterprises as well as foreign multinational corporations (MNCs). MNCs in extractives are increasingly seeking local linkages as part of their efficiency, risk, and asset-seeking strategies, and linkage programmes are becoming integral elements in many MNCs' corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. At the same time, local African enterprises are eager to, and increasingly capable of, linking up to the foreign investors in order to expand their activities and acquire technology, skills and market access. The changing strategies of MNCs and the improving capabilities of African enterprises offer new opportunities for governments and donors to mobilize extractive FDI for development goals. This paper seeks to take stock of what we know about the state of and driving forces of linkage formation in South Sahel Africa extractives based on a review of the extant literature. The paper argues that while MNCs and local enterprises by themselves will indeed produce linkages, the scope, depth and development impacts of linkages eventually depend on government intervention. Resource-rich African countries' governments are aware of this and linkage promotion is increasingly becoming a key element in their industrialization strategies. A main point of the paper is that the choice between different linkage policies and approaches should be informed by a firm understanding of the workings of the private sector as well as the political and institutional capacity of host governments to adopt and implement linkage policies and approaches.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa