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Papers, presentations, reports, articles, and videos available on the event websites: 


Fragility and Aid - What Works?

25 October 2013, New York, USA 

© UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino 

Inclusive Growth in Africa: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences

20-21 September 2013, Helsinki, Finland

© UN Photo/Arne Hoel


WIDER Annual Lecture 17: 'Egalitarian principles – the foundation for sustainable peace' given by President Martti Ahtisaari

19 September 2013, Helsinki, Finland

© Allison Kwesell / World Bank



Learning to Compete: Industrial Development and Policy in Africa

24-25 June 2013, Helsinki, Finland

© UN Photo/Kibae Park


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© UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

ReCom results meeting: Challenges in Fragility and Governance

Copenhagen, Denmark, 23 October 2013


See videos, presentations, research briefs and much more:

ReCom results meeting: Aid and Our Changing Environment

ReCom results meeting: Aid and our changing environment


ReCom results meeting: Aid and the Social Sectors

ReCom results meeting: Aid and the Social Sectors


For more research findings from the ReCom- project go here.

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Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the Impact of Foreign Aid


Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the Impact of Foreign Aid

Edited by Danielle Resnick and Nicolas van de Walle

Despite impressive economic growth rates over the last decade, foreign aid still plays a significant role in Africa's political economies. This book asks when, why, and how foreign aid has facilitated, or hindered, democratization in sub-Saharan Africa. Instead of looking at foreign aid as a monolithic resource, the book examines the disparate impacts of aid specifically intended for development outcomes and aid explicitly aimed at democracy promotion. Careful attention is also given to examining the role of various aid modalities, including general budget support, and the influence of non-traditional donors. In doing so, the authors use a combination of cross-country quantitative analyses and in-depth case studies of Benin, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia based on recent interviews with donors, government officials, and civil society organizations. Unlike other work on aid and democracy, the book carefully considers how foreign aid affects various elements of the democratization process, including transitions to multiparty systems and democratic consolidation. Read more.

Also available as: eBook  


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Publications search

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External announcements


HUMLOG Institute 5th anniversary
Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute,
Hanken School of Economics,
Helsinki, Finland
26 November, 2013




Please visit:

The Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists (AAAWE)


Please visit:

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

The Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists (AAAWE)

© UNU-WIDER/Alexander Zach

UNU-WIDER Staff and Board, 2014

The WIDERAngle editorial team:

Executive Editor - Tony Addison 
Managing Editor - Annett Victorero 
Copy Editor - Lorraine Telfer-Taivainen 
Editor - James Stewart 
Web administration and digital content - Anu Laakso and Elli Keränen
Assistant - Martin Maingi 



From the Editor’s Desk

Tony Addison

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.
Full article

WIDER Angle October 2013: www.wider.unu.edu
The opening session of the ‘Fragility and Aid- What works?’ event in New York 25 October 2013. From the left: David Malone, Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary-General of the UN; Tony Addison, Chief Economist and Deputy Director of UNU-WIDER; Rachel Gisselquist, Research Fellow, UNU-WIDER.


Tackling the main causes of child mortality in developing countries: Evidence from non-clinical interventions

Miguel Niño-Zarazúa

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

The Many Shades of Fragility

Carl-Gustav Lindén

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

Getting into a State?

Roger Williamson

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


What can we learn from popular representations of development?

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


Neotrusteeship in post-conflict states – lessons from Kosovo and East Timor

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.
Full article

Policing reforms in African states – exploring the link to economic development

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? Full article


Multidimensional poverty: measurement and implications – an interview with James Foster

17 October 2013

Roger Williamson

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.



Global Social Policy Forum: New Directions for Social Policy – towards socially sustainable development, Helsinki, Finland
4 November 2013

Panel Discussion: Foreign Aid and Democracy in Africa, Washington DC, USA, 6 November 2013

Public lecture: Global personal economic inequality and population dynamics by Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, Helsinki, Finland,
19 November 2013



© UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino
The UNU and UNU-WIDER event on ‘Fragility and Aid - What Works?’ on 25 October 2013, at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, New York, NY, USA.

UNU-WIDER Seminar: Fragility and Aid: What Works? New York, USA
25 October 2013

ReCom results meeting: Challenges in Fragility and Governance, Copenhagen, Denmark 23 October 2013

Research presentation: Aid, Growth and Poverty post-2015, Seoul, South Korea 8 October 2013

Guest lecture: Global Water Issues and Economic Development by Aziz Karimov, 2 October 2013

Evaluation process of the Swedish Research Council for economy-related social science disciplines
Stockholm, Sweden, 26 September 2013 

Annual Lecture 17 

WIDER Annual Lecture 17: Egalitarian principles – the foundation for sustainable peace, given by President Martti Ahtisaari
Helsinki, Finland, 19 September 2013

WIDER Development Conference: Inclusive Growth in Africa: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences

Helsinki, Finland, 20-21 September 2013 


Book: Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the Impact of Foreign Aid

Book edited by Danielle Resnick and Nicolas van de Walle

Book: Falling Inequality in Latin America: Policy Changes and Lessons
Book edited by Giovanni Andrea Cornia

UNU-WIDER Special Issue: Entrepreneurship and Conflict Journal of Conflict Resolution
Edited by Tilman Brück, Wim Naudé and Philip Verwimp

Book: Achieving Development Success: Strategies and Lessons from the Developing World
Edited by Augustin K. Fosu

Book: Pathways to Industrialization in the Twenty-First Century: New Challenges and Emerging Paradigms
Edited by Adam Szirmai, Wim Naudé, and Ludovico Alcorta

Book: Development Success: Historical Accounts from More Advanced Countries
Edited by Augustin K. Fosu

Journal: Review of Development Economics Special Issue: Climate Change and Economic Development
Guest Editors: Channing Arndt, Paul Chinowsky, Ken Strzepek, Finn Tarp, and James Thurlow

Book: The Role of Elites in Economic Development
Edited by the late Alice H. Amsden, Alisa DiCaprio, and James A. Robinson

Journal Article: The Political Economy of Green Growth: Cases from Southern Africa 
Danielle Resnick, Finn Tarp, and James Thurlow

Policy briefs

Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the Impact of Foreign Aid
Danielle Resnick  07/2013

Business and the Barrel of a Gun: Understanding Entrepreneurship and Violent Conflict in Developing Countries
Wim Naudé, Tilman Brück and Philip Verwimp 04/2013

Achieving Development Success: Strategies and Lessons from the Developing World
Augustin Kwasi Fosu 03/2013

Industrial Policy for Development
Wim Naudé and Adam Szirmai 02/2013

Development Success: Historical Accounts from More Advanced Countries
Augustin Kwasi Fosu 01/2013

WIDER Working Papers 2013

Another look at foreign aid
Gustav Ranis October WP/2013/119

Determinants of foreign aid in family planning: How relevant is the Mexico City Policy?
Elizabeth Asiedu, Malokele Nanivazo, and Mwanza Nkusu October WP/2013/118

Explaining positive deviance in public sector reforms in development
Matt Andrews October WP/2013/117

International aid to southern Europe in the early post-war period: The cases of Greece and Italy
Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos October WP/2013/116

Social transfer programmes and school enrolment in Malawi: A micro-simulation
Malokele Nanivazo October WP/2013/115

Liberia’s gender-sensitive police reform: Starting from scratch? Improving representation and responsiveness
Laura Bacon October WP/2013/114

Impact assessment of the Facilitadores Judiciales programme in Nicaragua
Maurits Barendrecht, Margot Kokke, Martin Gramatikov, Robert Porter, Morly Frishman, Andrea Morales October WP/2013/113

The National Solidarity Programme: Assessing the effects of community-driven development in Afghanistan
Andrew Beath, Fotini Christia, and Ruben Enikolopov October WP/2013/112

Overcoming the limits of institutional reform in Uganda
Matt Andrews and Lawrence Bategeka October WP/2013/111

Trends and patterns of land use change and international aid in sub-Saharan Africa
Nkonya, Ephraim October WP/2013/110

Foreign aid and sustainable forestry
Pekka E. Kauppi October WP/2013/109

Intervention, aid, and institution-building in Iraq and Afghanistan: A review and critique of comparative lessons
Jonathan Monten October WP/2013/108

Land, environment and climate: Contributing to the global public good
Thomas W. Hertel October WP/2013/107

The political economy dimensions of macroeconomic management of aid in Ghana
Robert Darko Osei, Freda Asem, and George Domfe
October WP/2013/106

Multiple pathways to gender-sensitive budget support in the education sector: Analysing the effectiveness of sex-disaggregated indicators in performance assessment frameworks and gender working groups in (education) budget support to Sub-Saharan Africa countries
Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg October WP/2013/105

Foreign aid and the failure of state building in Haiti under the Duvaliers, Aristide, Préval, and Martelly
Terry F. Buss October WP/2013/104

Foreign aid and mobilization of growth factors in sub-Saharan Africa
Douzounet Mallaye and Yogo Thierry Urbain October WP/2013/103

Foreign aid, resource rents and institution-building in Mozambique and Angola
Helena Pérez Niño, and Philippe Le Billon October WP/2013/102

A timeseries analysis of the impact of foreign aid on central government’s fiscal budget in Uganda
Thomas Bwire, Oliver Morrissey, and Tim Lloyd October WP/2013/101

Foreign aid and sustainable fisheries management in sub-Saharan Africa
Wisdom Akpalu October WP/2013/100

A review of external assistance and aid effectiveness for maternal and child health: Challenges and opportunities
Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, and Samia Aleem October WP/2013/099

Agricultural commodity price shocks and their effect on growth in sub-Saharan Africa
Tony Addison and Atanu Ghoshray October WP/2013/098

Ordinal multidimensional inequality
Christoffer Sonne-Schmidt, Finn Tarp, and Lars Peter Østerdal October WP/2013/097

The World Bank’s health projects in Timor-Leste: The political economy of effective aid
Andrew Rosser and Sharna Bremner September WP/2013/095

Foreign aid, public sector and private consumption: A cointegrated vector autoregressive approach
Thomas Bwire, Oliver Morrissey, and Tim Lloyd
September WP/2013/094

Foreign aid and sustainable energy
Luis Gomez-Echeverri September WP/2013/093

Who really leads development?
Matt Andrews September WP/2013/092

How do governments become great? Ten cases, two competing explanations, one large research agenda
Matt Andrews September WP/2013/091

The real exchange rate, foreign aid and macroeconomic transmission mechanisms in Tanzania and Ghana
Katarina Juselius, Adbulaziz Reshid, and Finn Tarp
September WP/2013/090

Consociational settlements and reconstruction: Bosnia in comparative perspective, 1995-present
Sherrill Stroschein September WP/2013/089

Universal access to drinking water: the role of aid
Robert Bain, Rolf Luyendijk and Jamie Bartram
September WP/2013/088

What do we know about non-clinical interventions for preventable and treatable childhood diseases in developing countries?
Maureen Seguin and Miguel Niño-Zarazúa September WP/2013/087

Children’s endowment, schooling, and work in Ethiopia
Seife Dendir September WP/2013/086

Aid and development in Taiwan, South Korea, and South Vietnam
Kevin Gray September WP/2013/085

Foreign aid for capacity-building to address climate change: Insights and applications
David Victor September WP/2013/084

Aid, accountability, and institution-building in Ethiopia: A comparative analysis of donor practice
Berhanu Abegaz September WP/2013/083

A graphical approximation to generalization: Definitions and diagrams
Fernando Martel García and Leonard Wantchekon
September WP/2013/082

Foreign aid and sustainable agriculture in Africa
Siddig Umbadda, and Ismail Elgizouli September WP/2013/081

Delivering good aid in hard places: The Yemen social fund for development approach
Lamis Al-Iryani, Alain de Janvry, and Elisabeth Sadoulet
September WP/2013/080

Gesture politics or real commitment? Gender inequality and the allocation of aid
Axel Dreher, Kai Gehring, and Stephan Klasen August WP/2013/079

The rise and fall of decentralization in contemporary Uganda
Elliott Green August WP/2013/078

What can experiments tell us about how to improve governance?
Rachel M. Gisselquist and Miguel Niño-Zarazúa
August WP/2013/077

Non-traditional aid and gender equity: Evidence from million dollar donations
Una Okonkwo Osili August WP/2013/076

The progressivity and regressivity of aid to the social sectors
Bob Baulch and Le Vi An Tam August WP/2013/075


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