31 October 2013
October finds Angle in New York, for our event on ‘Fragility and Aid–What Works?’ at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN. Just before that we were in Copenhagen for the ReCom results meeting on ‘Challenges in Fragility and Governance’. At both meetings we met a wide range of people working on the crucial area of fragility, with a keen interest in how the international community can help. This led to some lively discussions and perhaps more consensus on what can work in often highly difficult political and economic environments.
Children have been at the centre of recent global efforts to improve well-being conditions in developing countries. Since 1990—the year when Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) began to be monitored, and which called for a two-thirds reduction in the under-five mortality rates by 2015—developing countries have made important strides towards reducing child mortality. Over the last 20 years, child mortality rates have fallen considerably, from 87 deaths per 1,000 live births
to 51. In absolute terms, this means a reduction from 12 to 6.9 million in the number of children dying every year (Unicef 2012). Full article
Despite many successful transitions towards peace and multiparty electoral systems there are still 47 fragile states and economies in the world according to the OECD. Around 1.5 billion people are affected by conflict and political instability. Most of them live on the African continent. Aid organizations are increasingly focusing their efforts on these people, but they are facing all kinds of challenges related to the very nature of fragile states, of which some are chronically weak—others are in conflict, while some are recovering from conflict. Full article
The UNU-WIDER meeting held last week in New York on the topic of fragility and aid argued forcefully that you cannot ‘fix’ failed states as you would a broken window. Drawing on over 80 papers from the governance and fragility theme of the ReCom—Research and Communication on Foreign Aid project, it combined conceptual approaches and illuminating case study material to show the range and complexity of the challenges faced in fragile states and situations. The meeting, held at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, was designed to bring UNU-WIDER research findings to the UN New York community. Full article
David Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, and Michael Woolcock
How do popular renderings of development issues compare with those encountered in detailed academic books or aid agency reports? This is a question that we and our collaborators explore in a new book entitled Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television and Social Media (Routledge 2013). Drawing on a wide variety of examples—ranging from the analysis of specific initiatives such as the World Bank’s 1 World Manga project, or a comprehensive examination of the blogs and tweets relating to the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Summit, for instance— this volume offers a number of insights into the critical importance of taking popular representations of development seriously. Full article
Kosovo and East Timor both experienced regional peace enforcement operations to end violent conflict in 1999, followed by massive operations in which they essentially became trustees of international actors. However, while the state and economy are gradually becoming stronger in East Timor, Kosovo continues to be plagued by high unemployment, low growth, corruption, and organized crime.
Without a certain level of safety, stability and integrity in the political and societal environment, even the best planned, implemented and evaluated aid programmes can be undermined. An effective domestic security system is therefore a pertinent component of any attempt to encourage development.
Despite increased awareness of the critical importance of a secure environment, the impact of reform and amelioration attempts in African policing systems remain disappointing. In light of this situation, this study seeks to answer three basic sets of questions. First, what is the general context of (in)security in African states and how can foreign aid and local efforts be combined to implement effective reforms? Second, which lessons can be applied from past experiences of policing reforms in African and beyond? And, finally, how important are policing improvements to overall economic development?
17 October 2013
James Foster describes the importance of moving beyond income poverty as a way of assessing 'who is poor?' and 'how poor?'. Multidimensional poverty includes dimensions such as education, health, living conditions, and sanitation. Latin and Central American governments (initially Mexico) pushed for effective measurement, and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was taken up by UNDP in the Human Development Report. Full interview and video.