From the Editor’s Desk (October 2013)

31 October 2013

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.

A report of each event can be found in this Angle. Roger Williamson of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, delineates the main discussions at the ‘Fragility and Aid– What Works?’ event in New York. The meeting had a series of presentations on all the main dimensions of fragility, including that by Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock on building state capabilities, resulting from their work under ReCom. UNU’s Rector, David Malone, also participated and moderated the first session. We thank in particular the UNU office in New York and Germany’s UN mission for helping to make this meeting a success.

Also in this issue of Angle, Carl-Gustav Lindén of UNU-WIDER reports from the Copenhagen ReCom results meeting on ‘Challenges in Fragility and Governance’, which was organized by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), with UNU-WIDER participation.

If all of this has not satisfied your need for more information and debate on governance and fragility, then check out the roundtable on the new UNU-WIDER book by Danielle Resnick and Nicholas van der Walle, Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the Impact of Foreign Aid, published in our Oxford University Press book series. This will be held in Washington DC on 6 November.

Angle’s staff article this month is by Miguel Niño-Zarazúa who leads our work on aid and the social sectors under ReCom. Miguel discusses what has happened in the crucial area of childhood diseases. 

In GuestAngle, we welcome  David Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, and Michael Woolcock on ‘What can we learn from popular representations of development?’, which introduces their exciting new book. Michael was with us in New York recently for our fragility meeting.

Our working papers have hit 119 so far this year, with yet more in the pipeline. Our latest batch includes several from our ReCom programme. Amongst the latest crop, Matt Andrews looks at public sector reform; Malokele Nanivazo at social transfer programmes and school enrolment in Malawi; Laura Bacon on Liberia’s gender sensitive police reform; Andrew Beath, Fotini Christia, and Ruben Enikolopov on community-driven development in Afghanistan; Ephraim Nkonya, Jawoo Koo, Edward Kato, and Zhe Guo on aid and land use change in Africa; Pekka Kauppi looks at aid and sustainable forestry; Maureen Seguin and Miguel Niño-Zarazúa focus on action in the area of childhood diseases. You can view and download them all here.

ResearchAngle this month has two summaries: Neotrusteeship in fragile situations: lessons from Kosovo and East Timor based on the WWP by Lise Howard; and Policing reforms in African states: exploring the link to economic development based on the WWP by Otwin Marenin. These excellent summaries offer a rapid way to catch up on our work on aid under ReCom. More are available here.

This month’s VideoAngle, is an interview by Roger Williamson with James Foster of George Washington University on multidimensional poverty and inclusive growth. It is always a pleasure to have James back with us at UNU-WIDER. Roger’s interview with Martin Ravallion of Georgetown University is also online. Both interviews are from our highly successful September 2013 conference on inclusive growth in Africa. You can view all of our videos online here. 

As I head for Helsinki from New York, we reflect back on a very busy and successful year. But it’s not over yet, and we have more events and publications before the year’s end. Angle returns in November, with more news and views.

Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, UNU-WIDER.

WIDERAngle newsletter
October 2013
ISSN 1238-9544