William Easterly, an academic economist and author of 'The White Man’s Burden' has a new book out. It is called 'The Tyranny of Experts', subtitled 'Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor', and it’s published by Basic Books. "It’s an odd jumble of a book", according to Geoff Lamb, Managing Director of Public Policy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. See Lamb's review of Easterly's book at: http://bit.ly/bookreviewtyrannyofexperts
By Leandro Prados de la Escosura Substantial gains in world human development have been achieved since 1870, but research shows that the main improvement actually occurred between the First World War and 1970. Across-the-board advances took place in life expectancy and education between 1920 and 1950, a phase during which there was a major backlash against economic globalization. This is evidence of a development puzzle: economic growth and human development do not always go hand in hand. Between 1913 and 1970 the absolute gap between most countries in the OECD and the rest of the world widened, with different regions experiencing mixed success in catching up. Since the 1970s the performance of developing regions has varied greatly. Despite initial successes in lifting human development, the socialist experiments of the 20th century failed to sustain momentum and then (with the exception of Cuba) stagnated and fell behind prior to the socialist model’s ultimate demise. Education has been the driving force behind the limited catching-up of developing regions in terms of long-term human development. In terms of life expectancy,these regions achieved significant gains only during the first (early-life) health transition. Since 1970, while most OECD countries have experienced a second (later-life) health transition, all developing regions have fallen behind. Weblink: http://bit.ly/1q7htDI
It is a central premise of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that trade drives growth and development. By liberalizing trade, countries benefit not only from increased access to technology and consumer goods but also from the chance to find new markets and connect to global value chains. But why do some countries seem to benefit more – and more quickly – than others? That is the question that this book tries to answer. http://bit.ly/wtoglobalmarkets
The IBRD, core of the World Bank, 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.The paper argues that this is unlikely to occur in the absence of serious changes in the Bank’s financial structure and lending practices. This paper seeks to outline the internal and external constraints to capital and gearing, and examines why such constraints have arisen. Subsequently, the paper examines some options that could overcome these constraints. http://bit.ly/WBstructure
This 11th EFA Global Monitoring Report provides a timely update on progress that countries are making towards the global education goals that were agreed in 2000. It also makes a powerful case for placing education at the heart of the global development agenda after 2015. http://bit.ly/UNESCOeducation
The 48 diverse nations characterised as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face some of the world’s greatest development challenges, from poverty to climate change. LDCs are counting on the global development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals post-2015 to help them meet those challenges. But the jury is out on how to shape global goals and targets with the priorities of LDCs in mind. This paper scans perspectives from a range of sources to identify areas of converging and contentious opinion. By laying these perspectives on the table, the paper aims to help LDC negotiators clarify their own positions and identify issues where they can increase their collective bargaining power in post-2015 debates through joint negotiation. http://bit.ly/LDCPost2015
The three worlds used to be capitalist, communist, and the rest. Now they are the West, the failed states, and the emerging challengers. But that's still too simple a view. A small and declining number of developing countries are charity cases. And none are competitors with us in a zero-sum game. Rather than dividing most of the planet into two threatening classes, we need to see states of the developing world as vital partners—both in strengthening the global economy and in preserving the global environment.
‘Problem-driven political economy analysis’ holds considerable promise to help development practitioners identify what policies and strategies are most likely to succeed in addressing difficult and persistent development challenges. This publication is the result of a systematic effort to take stock of what the World Bank has learned from efforts to mainstream this approach. The eight cases presented are good practice examples that illustrate and reflect on what the Bank has been able to achieve in this area. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the specific development challenge that prompted and drove the analysis. These challenges include a mining resource boom in Mongolia, a subsidy reform in Morocco, an electricity sector reform in the Dominican Republic, an electricity and telecommunications reform in Zambia, the development of inclusive commercial agriculture in Ghana, an infrastructure provision at subnational levels in Sierra Leone, a local infrastructure provision in Papua New Guinea, and a local roads and health provision in the Philippines. Summarizing the key findings and feasible policy recommendations proposed by the analysis, each chapter provides examples of how donors can adapt to existing political economy conditions or expand the space for reform in the countries and sectors where they work.
Quote: "To recognize both the differences and the synergy between international cooperation in support of GPG provision and development cooperation is of high practical-political relevance. It helps us to spot cases in which GPGs and development are at odds with each other, leading to increased costs of achieving desired goals. A solution could be: development-proofing of GPGs and GPG-proofing of development."
During the past decade, an increasing number of studies have made the case that levels of violence around the world have declined. The most encouraging data from the modern era come from the post–World War II years. This period includes the dramatic decline in the number and deadliness of international wars since the end of World War II and the reversal of the decades-long increase in civil war numbers that followed the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. What are the chances that these positive changes will be sustained? No one really knows. There are too many future unknowns to make predictions with any degree of confidence. The case for pessimism about the global security future is well rehearsed and has considerable support within the research community. Major sources of concern include the possibility of outbreaks of nuclear terrorism, a massive transnational upsurge of lethal Islamist radicalism, or wars triggered by mass droughts and population movements driven by climate change. Weblink: http://bit.ly/1g39MtI
Boston Consulting Group’s 2013 Global Readiness Survey found that only nine percent of multinationals’ top executives were based in emerging markets. Some corporations appear more ready and able than others to embrace these new economic realities, but it depends on which side of the Atlantic they are on. According to 2012 estimates from Morgan Stanley, companies headquartered in Europe generated just over 30 percent of their revenue from emerging markets, but U.S. companies got less than ten percent of their revenue from them. Corporate goals and management structures, which are similar among European and American firms, do not explain the difference. In fact, trends suggest that much of the wide transatlantic gap is a product of history -- and of colonialism in particular. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140776/bhaskar-chakravorti-jianwei-dong-kate-fedosova/colonialisms-enduring-dividends
A joint paper by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), co-funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and part of the IDS project ‘The Governance of Service Delivery.' This paper is focused on the question: Why do the governments of low income countries not raise more tax revenues? Two different but complementary approaches are used to answer it. The first approach is comparisons: among countries today, and within countries over time. The second approach to answering the central question of this paper is to examine the potential benefits of reforms in tax policy and administration. http://bit.ly/ictdtaxrevLICs
Switzerland is doing great work in development, but could achieve much more by using its unique conditions and expertise to lead and leverage other countries. An exclusive opinion by Erik Solheim, chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. http://bit.ly/OECDSWISS
The Netherlands and other European countries need to make more of their membership of the ADB. The authors of this report argue for more engagement with the Bank, both on practical matters as well as for strategic purposes. http://bit.ly/ADBEUR
Since 1992, the United Nations has included a focus on peacebuilding as part of the international effort to assist states recovering from conflict. This paper argues that peacebuilding programming has prioritised order above other social values, which has resulted in an emphasis on building robust state structures as the way to instil stability within a society. This trend exposes the concept and practice of peacebuilding to a range of dilemmas, particularly around the role of violence in state formation and the problematics of statehood in Africa. Due to the inherent contradictions between peacebuilding and statebuilding, the former conceptually fails to provide a framework for prioritising interventions. This creates blindness to the conflicts that are caused by prioritising the control of complexity through the tools of the state. http://bit.ly/isspeacebuildingdilemmasAfrica
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have much to contribute to forging a new global agreement on development to replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. But there is a significant risk that LDC positions and perspectives will get insufficient attention as the post-2015 negotiations move forward. Individual LDC negotiating power is weak, but as a group they can be powerful. This paper, prepared by an independent group of experienced development practitioners from LDCs, explores global development issues of most relevance to LDCs and offers suggestions on common positions that would help LDCs assure that their development objectives are effectively incorporated into the post-2015 framework and goals. http://bit.ly/LDCperspectiveIIED
The raison d’etre of the ACP Group is the promotion of the gradual integration of ACP states into the world economy in ways which contribute to the eradication of poverty and the promotion of sustainable development. Agriculture is central to most ACP countries’ economies, and an increasingly stringent EU agricultural product quality policy together with the proliferation of both official and private product standards are currently worsening the ACP Group’s access to the EU market. Preventing the emergence of these new barriers to trade represents an important area of common interest for ACP Group members, and offers a potential rationale for future concertation as a group with the EU. The paper also puts forward additional issues that could form the base of continued ACP solidarity, such as cotton issues at the WTO and the penetration of non-traditional export markets.
The Development Co-operation Report is OECD/DAC’s key annual reference document for analysis and statistics on trends in international development co-operation. It is the most important source of information on ODA flows and contains profiles of the DAC donors. The 2013 report’s analytical part explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to end poverty. The world has probably already met the MDG target of halving the share of the population living in extreme poverty (USD 1.25 per day). As the United Nations and its partners shape a new global framework to take the place of the MDGs in 2015, they face the urgent challenge of ending poverty once and for all. As the DAC’s Development Co-operation Report makes clear, this will take more than business as usual. Ending poverty requires political will and leadership. Ending poverty is a political issue: it cannot be realised without empowerment. Inclusion needs to be an integral part of each and every policy. ‘Getting to zero’ is not enough, staying there will require an additional effort. More detailed knowledge of (especially the non-income dimensions of) poverty, its dynamics and inequality will be required. For the full report: http://bit.ly/dev_report2013
Are the world’s governments ready to implement a broad and ambitious post 2015 agenda? So far, the signs are not hopeful. Analysts have started to write about a ‘G Zero’ world in which “no single power or bloc of powers will accept the costs and risks that accompany global leadership”. This paper sketches some of the key potential elements of a post-2015 Global Partnership, in the four areas of financing and investment, trade and the global economy, scarcity and sustainability, and science, technology, and data. In the end, the outlook on globalisation, sustainability, and the future of the 21st century appears to be held in tentative balance between two alternative scenarios: one of intensifying zero-sum competition – a scenario that would be disastrous for the world’s poor – and one of increasing cooperation in a revitalised, rules-based order. The question of which of these two paradigms ultimately wins out will depend partly on ideas and thought leadership, partly on their advocates’ capacity to self-organise into coalitions, and partly on readiness to take immediate advantage of the moments of political opportunity that often accompany shocks and crises. For the full report: http://bit.ly/19UKNJ1.
Quote: "Results from studies also showed that all growth is not equal in terms of reducing poverty and improving human development outcomes, thereby drawing attention to the issue of equity in opportunities and the need for more inclusive growth processes to accelerate poverty reduction." Progress in global poverty reduction has not only led to more ambitious goals, but also to new demands for better data.
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