From the Editor's Desk (December 2011)

Tony Addison

With the end of the year fast approaching, we bring you the last Angle of 2011. Here in Helsinki, the shortest day of the year is nearly upon us when we will have six hours of daylight. In the Finnish arctic the sun does not rise, the polar night lasting 51 days. Little snow yet—perhaps the consequence of climate change—but the Finnish winter is still in its earliest stage.

This month’s Angle leads with climate change, in a piece by Denmark’s Minister of Development Co-operation, Christian Friis Bach and Channing Arndt, based on their recent UNU-WIDER working paper ‘Foreign Assistance in a Climate-Constrained World’.

The ‘Arab Spring’ has certainly been one of the biggest and most unexpected events of 2011. In this Angle, Jane Harrigan discusses the political economy of aid to the region, while Peter Burnell assesses experience in international democracy support, in Africa and elsewhere. Do check out their recent working papers, as well as others from our ReCom programme.

The Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness generated much debate on the future of aid. In this Angle, Peter Heller maps out potential future scenarios for aid, including the role of new aid donors, and how aid might respond (or not) to the challenges now upon us. Bangladesh has been a large aid recipient, and has made considerable progress in many areas; Lucy Scott returns with part 2 of her article on Bangladesh, part 1 having appeared in the November Angle.

Finally, we turn to poverty reduction, contrasting the experiences of Mozambique and Vietnam, in an article by Channing Arndt, Andres Garcia, Finn Tarp, and James Thurlow. Both countries are fascinating cases of how development change occurs.

This Angle contains only a small sample of UNU-WIDER’s activity. For more turn, to our working paper series in which Alisa DiCaprio assesses the state of social protection and labour rights in Cambodia, Klaus Deininger, Songqing Jin, and Vandana Yadav examine human capital accumulation and land reform in West Bengal, and Adam Szirmai assesses the role of manufacturing in development. These are just three highlights from our recent working papers.

UNU-WIDER recently held a very successful conference in Nairobi with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) on the macroeconomics of aid under our ReCom programme. This explored the issue of how we design a better macro-economic framework for aid, and country experiences to date. We will bring you a summary of the meeting in the next Angle.

Angle returns in January, with news from our ReCom programme, and other developments in UNU-WIDER’s work. Happy holidays, and see you in 2012.

Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director of UNU-WIDER, and editor of the WIDER Angle.

WIDER Angle newsletter
December 2011
ISSN 1238-9544