From The Editor's Desk (December 2012)

Tony Addison

This year has rushed by at speed. For UNU-WIDER it’s been a year of big successes. We will have published some 110 working papers by the end of December, up from 96 in 2011 (go here for the latest list). Recent working papers cover the topics of intergenerational mobility in India, food price policy in Zambia, training and enterprise development, vulnerability in the Latin American middle class, aid and investment in statistics in Africa and many more. Books published in 2012 include Development Success: Historical Accounts from More Advanced Economies, edited by Augustin Kwasi Fosu; The Role of Elites in Economic Development, edited by (the now late) Alice Amsden, Alisa DiCaprio, and James Robinson; Latin American Urban Development into the 21st Century: Towards a Renewed Perspective on the City, edited by Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall, and Ravi Kanbur; and Economies in Transition: The Long-Run View, edited by Gérard Roland. While special journal issues this year include the Journal of Economic Inequality: Measuring Poverty over Time, with guest editors Luc Christiaensen and Tony Shorrocks; and the Review of Development Economics: Economic Development under Climate Change with guest editors Channing Arndt, Paul Chinowsky, Ken Strzepek, Finn Tarp, and James Thurlow.

Winter view from our balcony.

The VIDEOAngle of this month is an interview with our own Danielle Resnick, who tells us about the ‘Foreign Aid and Democracy in Africa’ project’s logic and findings. A video of Kaushik Basu’s seminar at UNU-WIDER last month is now online. Kaushik is the World Bank’s new Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. You can read his 2003 WIDER Annual Lecture on global labour standards and local freedoms here. The video of Lant Pritchett’s WIDER annual lecture from this year is getting a lot of attention, as our other recent videos from the aid and employment seminar and the UNU-WIDER interview series. UNU-WIDER’s climate change and development conference in September is still being talked about. If you are just back from the climate change conference in Doha you can refresh yourself with some videos from the UNU-WIDER conference, and read about the work of UNU-WIDER on development under climate change here.

Our featured article this month in Angle is by Malokele Nanivazo, UNU-WIDER Fellow, and Lucy Scott on gender mainstreaming in the Nordic development agencies. This comes out of the aid and gender theme of the ReCom research programme and presents an interesting analysis of the mainstreaming efforts of some of the aid agencies most committed to gender equality.

Our GUESTAngle slot continues to be a popular read. This month we have David Richards of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut on the relationship between human rights and development. David was one of the speakers at our ReCom results meeting on Democracy and Fragility at Sida in Stockholm in May. If you haven’t had time yet to read Duncan Green’s GUESTAngle in November go here.

ReCom-Research and Communication on Foreign Aid goes from strength to strength. We now have some 68 working papers out from the project. Next year we will be stepping up our activity on the aid and gender as well as the aid and social sector themes of ReCom, and continuing to publish work on the growth and employment, climate change and environment, and governance and fragility themes as well. You can read more about ReCom at And why not sign up for our ReCom newsletter on the front page of that paper to keep up with the latest research on development assistance.

RESEARCHAngle this month features two summaries prepared by James Stewart. The first is on Sirkku Hellsten’s paper on transitional justice and gender, and the implications for aid. This is a paper that will appeal to the many of you out there who are working on the ethics of development. The second RESEARCHAngle is one for all you macroeconomists out there: John Hudson on aid volatility across sectors, a major issue in the macroeconomics of managing development aid. Both papers come out of ReCom project, and the summaries link to the papers themselves, which appear in our working paper series.

And so, as we close the year, I can look out of my window at the deep snow that now sits on the UNU-WIDER terrace, and forward to exciting events in 2013. These include our ‘L2C-Learning to Compete: Industrial Development and Policy in Africa’ conference 24-25 June, which has a call for papers now out, and our ReCom results meetings on aid and the social sectors, aid and environment and climate change, and aid and gender (watch the ReCom web site for the dates and how to sign up). Angle returns in the New Year: season’s greetings to all!

Season's Greetings from the Director and Staff of UNU-WIDER. Working on research and communication for the development, and poverty reduction. © Tuuli Levit

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

WIDERAngle newsletter
December 2012
ISSN 1238-9544