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  • Author: Shyama V. Ramani, Ajay Thutupalli, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Veena Ravichandran, Tamás Medovarszki
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy need business engagements with other women (and men) that offer 'spaces' for dialogue to learn and build business capabilities. While formalization of entrepreneurial activity is favourable under some circumstances, it can be detrimental under others, necessitating a case-by-case evaluation. Many top-down actions for women's empowerment in the informal sector are only effective in gender-neutral economic development programmes. In this Policy Brief, we argue that although policy interventions may be favourable, they are neither necessary nor sufficient for change, as successful women role models are often the best agents for sweeping change.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David M. Malone, Rohinton P. Medhora
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Notions of development have varied over time, and so an account of the international organizations concerned with its advancement must be accordingly elastic. The roots of international organizations concerned with development lie in two aspects of global inter-connectedness. The first is the propagation and management of a nascent technology for the global good. Thus were born the International Telegraph Union (ITU, now the International Telecommunication Union) in 1865 and the General Postal Union (GPU, now the Universal Postal Union) in 1874.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, International Organization, Post Colonialism
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Madoka Futamura
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Countries under transition from war to peace or from an authoritarian to a democratic regime face fundamental political and social transformations and difficulties in emerging from a problematic past. The transition presents challenges but also opportunities for countries to reconsider their death penalty policies. It is in such a context that some countries abolish, retain or even actively resort to the death penalty to tackle transitional needs. Those who are working for abolition of the death penalty need to go beyond the human rights approach and take a more holistic approach to understand the fragile and complex local situation and needs in which the death penalty becomes a highly political issue.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Human Rights, Political Economy, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nadia Bergamini, Robert Blasiak, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Kaoru Ichikawa, Dunja Mijatovic, Fumiko Nakao, Suneetha M. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The following policy report constitutes an important supplement to a set of 20 indicators for resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) that was developed over the course of joint collaboration between Bioversity International and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). The indicators were disseminated widely in pamphlet form for the first time in March 2012. Subsequently, a need was identified for sharing a more in-depth overview of the considerations that went into creating this list of indicators as well as the outcomes of initial field-testing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Sociology
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Some states lack the capability and/or the willingness to progressively promote the shared development of their citizens and are particularly vulnerable to external shocks and internal conflicts. They have been described as "fragile states". The poor governance and lack of state capabilities in around 45 fragile states pose a threat to global security and development. Effective international partnerships are necessary to pull them out of low-development–high-conflict traps. The "New Deal on Fragile States" announced on 30 November 2011 at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan by the g7+ (see "The International Dialogue on Peace-building and State-building and the g7+" Box) is the most recent initiative to foster such partnerships.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Political Economy, Terrorism, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State
  • Author: Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study presents recent global evidence on the transformation of economic growth to poverty reduction in developing countries, with emphasis on the role of income inequality. The focus is on the period since the early/mid-1990s when growth in these countries as a group has been relatively strong, surpassing that of the advanced economies. Both regional and country-specific data are analysed for the US$1.25 andUS$2.50 level poverty headcount ratios using the most recent World Bank data. The study finds that on average income growth has been the major driving force behind both the declines and increases in poverty. The study, however, documents substantial regional and country differences that are masked by this 'average' dominant growth story. While in the majority of countries growth was the major factor behind falling...
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter Warr
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Thailand's development strategy has been strongly market-oriented and open to trade and investment flows with the rest of the world. Since the late 1950s, its growth performance has been outstanding. Poverty incidence has declined dramatically, but economic inequality has increased. Economic progress has been reflected in very significant improvement in non-economic indicators of well-being such as life expectancy, infant and maternal morality, and literacy. Nevertheless, the performance of the education system is chronically poor. Environmental problems and institutional failures in resource management are ongoing. Reform is needed in several areas, including political and corporate governance, regulation of industry, and in the education and health systems.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Emerging Markets, Poverty, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Samuel Kobina Annim
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the combined effect of interest rates and poverty levels of microfinance clients on loan size. Cross section data on 2,691 clients and non-clients households from Ghana is used to test the hypothesis of loan price inelasticity. Quantile regression and variants of least squares methods that explore endogeneity are employed. We find the expected inverse relationship only for the 20th to 40th quantile range. The semi-elasticity of loan amount responsiveness to a unit change in interest rate is more than proportionate and significant for the poorest group only. Market segmentation based on poverty level is suggested in targeting and sustaining microfinance clients.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Jones
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The recent financial crisis has rekindled interest in the foreign aid supply behaviour of bilateral donors. Using the latest data covering the period 1960-2009, this paper examines how such behaviour is related to domestic factors. Based on a simple empirical model, a distinction is made between long-run supply trends and short-run dynamics, which motivates use of error correction methods. Panel econometric techniques are employed that are consistent in the presence of parameter heterogeneity and cross-section dependence. Results support the error correction framework, but point to very substantial heterogeneity between countries. There is also good evidence that donor behaviour continues to evolve over time. As such, past trends in aid supplies are unlikely to provide a good guide to those of the future.
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues for a more systemic engagement with Latin American cities, contending it is necessary to reconsider their unity in order to nuance the 'fractured cities' perspective that has widely come to epitomise the contemporary urban moment in the region. It begins by offering an overview of regional urban development trends, before exploring how the underlying imaginary of the city has critically shifted over the past half century. Focusing in particular on the way that slums and shantytowns have been conceived, it traces how the predominant conception of the Latin American city moved from a notion of unity to a perception of fragmentation, highlighting how this had critically negative ramifications for urban development agendas, and concludes with a call for a renewed vision of Latin American urban life.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Konstantin M. Wacker
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper first shows that important economic arguments in favor of the Prebisch- Singer hypothesis of falling terms of trade of developing countries have implicitly relied on the role of multinational corporations and foreign direct investment. As of yet, the relationship between the latter and terms of trade has not been empirically investigated. In order to start closing this gap in research, data on 111 developing countries between 1980 and 2008 is analyzed using panel data methods. The empirical results suggest that there is no reason to believe multinationals' activities were responsible for a possible decrease of the developing countries' net barter terms of trade. On the contrary, foreign direct investment seems to play a positive role for developing countries' terms of trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Electoral coalitions are becoming increasingly popular among opposition parties in Africa because they offer many advantages with respect to reducing party fragmentation and increasing incumbent turnovers. At the same time, however, they are often comprised of parties that are defined predominantly by their leaders' personalities and exhibit little differentiation in terms of their policy orientation. Based on a dataset spanning all opposition coalitions since 2000 in Africa's electoral democracies, this paper demonstrates not only that coalitions rarely defeat incumbents but also that they are only competitive when major opposition parties are involved. More significantly, the paper highlights that in many countries, a sizeable share of total electoral volatility is due to fluctuations in voting for opposition parties that have belonged to coalitions. The paper argues that such volatility reflects the inability of coalition members to build loyal constituency bases over time, which is critical for party development and broader consolidation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Abdelrasaq Na-Allah
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent developments in policy initiatives as well as some current practical events have combined to put the spotlight on the issue of industrial embeddedness in sub-Saharan Africa. Though extant research documents some stylized facts, as determinants of its manifestations, their relevance to realities in the sub-continent, have until now been overlooked. Yet, it is difficult to ignore the fact that its constituent economies possess some peculiar attributes with potentially significant implications for embeddedness behaviour. Using data for the country of Lesotho, a probit model is estimated to ascertain the veracity of some of the widely acclaimed explanatory factors. We find, as we argue, that among all, the issue of supply potentials appears the most important.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Onyeiwu
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the innovative capabilities and absorptive capacities of African countries, and investigates whether they have played significant roles in the region's slow and episodic economic growth. Results from cross-country regressions covering 31 Sub-Saharan African countries suggest that growth in Africa is not simply a question of capital accumulation, fertility rates, aid dependency, and stable macroeconomic environment. It is also about strengthening the capacity of African countries to assimilate and effectively use knowledge and technology. Contrary to the views held by many analysts, the growth of African economies does not depend so much on their ability to innovate, but rather on their capacity to absorb and effectively use new technologies. Beyond technological issues, the paper confirms the stylized facts that the size of the government and political stability are important for the growth performance of African countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Philip Abbott, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Vietnam has been among the most successful East Asian economies, especially in weathering the external shocks of recent globalization crises—the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the 2008-09 great recession, financial crisis and collapse of global trade. Its success contradicts its characterization as an example of export-led growth and highlights the role of the state, particularly in maintaining and influencing investment. Examination of economic performance and policy responses shows rising dependence on foreign finance around each crisis, and actions by the government to counteract that dependence and bolster the domestic economy while continuing to restructure the economy toward greater emphasis on the private sector. Growth, employment and poverty alleviation have been maintained at the expense of renewed inflation, larger budget deficits, and currency depreciation. The 'stop-go' nature of present …
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: J.W. Sanders, Ukachukwu Ndukwu
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Reasoning about a distributed system that exhibits a combination of probabilistic and temporal behaviour does not seem to be easy with current techniques. The reason is the interaction between probability and abstraction, made worse by remote synchronisation. In this paper the recently proposed language ptsc (for probability, time and shared-variable concurrency) is extended by constructs for interleaving and local block. Both enhance a designer's ability to modularise a design; the latter also permits a design to be compared with its more abstract specification, by concealing appropriately chosen design variables. Laws of the extended language are studied and applied in a case study consisting of a faulty register-transfer-level design.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Organization, United Nations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hanneke Van Lavieren, John Burt, David A. Feary, Geórgenes H. Cavalcante, Elise Marquis, Lisa Benedetti, Charles Trick, Björn Kjerfve, Peter F. Sale
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Like many other places in the world, the coastal region of the Persian Gulf (also known as the Arabian Gulf, and hereafter referred to as 'the Gulf') faces continuous environmental degradation. The unprecedented rate and scale of development that has occurred poses numerous environmental challenges and may be the greatest threat facing the Gulf's marine communities in the coming decades as urban populations along it's shores continue to grow. Some Gulf countries have already developed more than 40% of their coastline during the last 20 years. Pressure on coastal ecosystems is especially high in the smaller Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, where residents either live entirely, or almost entirely within 100 km of the coast. Development has led to loss and severe degradation of important natural habitats, including mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Coastal 'mega-projects' including artificial islands, waterfront cities, ports, marinas and man-made waterways have sometimes been poorly conceived from an environmental perspective, leading to severe pressure on natural environments. Because development has taken place so rapidly there has not been enough time to develop adequate regulatory, technical, and monitoring capacity to guide this growth appropriately. Present trends suggest that development will not be accompanied by appropriately sophisticated policies and mechanisms for minimizing and mitigating deleterious impacts on the environment.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Arabia