June finds UNU-WIDER in Hanoi for our conference in collaboration with the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM). The theme is ‘Institutional Reforms for Transformation, Inclusion, and Sustainability’. As well as researchers and policy makers from Asia, we have a large contingent joining us from Africa and Latin America. How to achieve more inclusive growth, how to effectively diversify economies, and how to do all this without damaging the environment, are the foci of the conference. We always like conferences where we share ideas and experiences across regions and countries, and this is in our DNA as an Institute. Good ideas need to travel. Full article
Two WIDER working papers this year (one published and a second forthcoming) look at evels of multidimensional poverty—that is severe deprivation of basic human needs, and lack of capabilities affecting a person’s wellbeing within the population, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The overall goal of these studies is to shed light on the welfare of the Congolese population, particularly children and women (forthcoming). This article provides an overview of the key findings and implications of this research. Full article
Professor Channing Arndt is a US citizen who recently started as a Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER. He was especially attracted by the exciting work environment, the research programme, and the opportunity to work with people in developing countries. He has previously worked as an economist in countries of the global South and lived for many years in Mozambique and Morocco. He has also been a professor at a number of universities, including Purdue University in the USA, and continues his work with the University of Copenhagen.
In the first part of his interview with Carl-Gustav Lindén (CGL) Channing Arndt (CA) explains in more depth what brings him to Helsinki, Finland. Full article
The proportion of people having access to water increased from 77 per cent in 1990 to 83 per cent in 2002, and the proportion of those with access to sanitation increased from 49 per cent in 1990 to 58 per cent in 2002. The number of people provided with improved water between 1990 and 2000 was US$991 million, and those provided with sanitation was US$955.85 million. During the same period the total amount of aid to the water and sanitation sector for these countries was estimated to be US$11.14 billion. Thus it cost approximately US$5.88 per person to provide access to water or sanitation. How effective has this aid been and how could it be more effective in the future? Full article
Years of conflict have severely damaged social and economic opportunities in Afghanistan by severing ties between villages and the central, provincial, and district governments, offering little opportunity for representative or participatory governments. In addition, local governance in Afghan villages has often been dominated by village elders, thus offering little opportunity for representative or participatory decision-making. Afghan culture also has entrenched a limited social and political role for women.
The National Solidarity Programme (NSP), a community-driven development approach, has been undertaken to try and address this situation. The projects benefit communities by providing better targeted and more efficient development programmes in the short term, and encouraging sustained participation in the longer term through local representative institutions. How well has this approach worked in Afghanistan? Full article
In January of 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was brokered in Southern Sudan, ending years of protracted civil conflict. With the assistance of foreign aid to facilitate institutional development and capacity-building, local leaders set about constructing a system which would eventually be used to govern the independent state of South Sudan.
2005 was also a significant year for the international donor community, as the traditional approach to international aid was re-evaluated, and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness officially adopted. Donor activities in South Sudan were some of the first to be, at least on paper, based on the five Paris principles, and as such make for an interesting case study of how well the principles are implemented in practice. Full article
In this interview Dr Margaret McMillan outlines the theory of structural transformation, which analyzes the underlying structure of the economy by employment shares in agriculture, manufacturing and the service sector. The aspiration in development is to move workers out of low productivity activities, largely in the agriculture sector, into higher productivity activities, preferably manufacturing.