From the Editor's Desk (August 2013)

22 August 2013
Tony Addison

Angle returns from its Nordic summer break, to bring you more news and results from UNU-WIDER’s programme. Coming up in September is  the WIDER Annual Lecture, given this year by President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari, on 'Egalitarian principles – the foundation for sustainable peace'. September also sees our big conference on 'Inclusive Growth in Africa: Measurement, Causes and Consequences', continuing the Africa theme after our highly successful conference 'Learning to Compete: Industrial Policy and Development in Africa (L2C)', held earlier this year in June.

This month’s Angle includes a report on the L2C conference by Roger Williamson of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University. We had a very vibrant and active debate on what the ‘new’ industrial policy might consist of in Africa. This was greatly helped along by all the African participants at the meeting, ranging from the most senior to early career researchers. If you missed the conference, you can see some videos of the sessions here. 

Our staff article this month is by Han Ei Chew who recently joined the UNU-WIDER team. Han’s interest is in all things digital, and their implications for development and poverty reduction. In his article for Angle he asks whether those promoting information technology for development sometimes get too enthusiastic and ignore the larger picture of how technology should fit with other development drivers.

In GuestAngle, we welcome Patrick Gregory of the BBC, who discusses the role of parliamentary broadcasting in strengthening democracy. Patrick’s article fits well with UNU-WIDER’s work on aid and governance. And Roger Williamson reports on the L2C conference as already mentioned.

With nearly 80 working papers having been published so far in 2013, our latest crop includes three new ones emerging from our ReCom – Research and Communication on Foreign Aid programme. Una Okonkwo Osili discusses non-traditional aid and gender, while Axel Dreher, Kai Gehring, and Stephan Klasen take a hard look at gender inequality and aid. Rachel M. Gisselquist and Miguel Niño-Zarazúa assess the issues raised by using randomized control trials applied to see what works in aid and governance. Other UNU-WIDER working papers over the summer include such topics as aid and the social sectors; renewable energy in southern Africa; and the food price crisis. You can view and freely download them all here.

ResearchAngle this month has two briefs: global poverty, aid and middle-income countries, based on papers by Andy Sumner (coming out of ReCom); and building a capable Afghan state, by Frauke de Weijer on (also from ReCom). I do urge you to read the excellent short briefs on our research; they are a fast and easy way to catch up on our work on aid under ReCom. More are available at

This month’s VideoAngle, is an interview by Roger Williamson with David Malone, the new Rector of UNU, who was in Helsinki in June to attend the UNU-WIDER Board Meeting, and our L2C conference. You can view all of our videos online here. We have been developing quite a collection of visual media, and thanks go especially to Anu Laakso, our digital content designer, who does the hard work of getting the videos into good shape for you to watch.

With a busy and productive time ahead, Angle returns in September to report on our annual lecture by President Ahtisaari and our conference on Inclusive Growth in Africa. By then the trees in Helsinki will have started turning to their glorious autumn colours. Have a good autumn if you are in the northern hemisphere, and a good spring if you are in the southern.

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

WIDERAngle newsletter
August 2013
ISSN 1238-9544