From the Editor's Desk (December 2013)
10 December 2013
Our November-December Angle comes amid intense activity on our ReCom—Research and Communication on Foreign Aid—programme, which is drawing to a close. We also have the last of our ReCom results meetings, on the theme ‘Aid for Gender Equality’, taking place in Copenhagen on 16 December. The ReCom website, which we have built up over the last two years, is now packed with information on the effectiveness of aid across five broad themes: growth and employment; governance and fragility; environment and climate change; the social sectors; and gender equality.
Turning to this double issue of Angle, Annett Victorero our communications associate (who also brings you each issue of Angle) reports on our November event ‘Foreign Aid and Democracy in Africa’ held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC. The panel discussion launched the new book edited by Danielle Resnick and Nicolas van de Walle Democratic Trajectories in Africa: Unraveling the Impact of Foreign Aid, published by Oxford University Press for UNU-WIDER in October. The book came out of the governance and fragility theme of ReCom. Elsewhere in Angle, Danielle has a piece on the important issue of how Africa’s growing middle class is influencing the continent’s prospects for sustaining democratization and accelerating development.
GUESTAngle this issue features a piece by a member of UNU-WIDER’s network, Simon Feeny of RMIT University, who reports on a recently completed project on household vulnerability and resilience in Melanesia. This is a region of the world that doesn’t get enough research attention, and where people are highly vulnerable (not least to climate change).
RESEARCHAngle, features four pieces in our double issue. The first three emerge from ReCom. Sam Jones and Finn Tarp discuss employment creation in Mozambique (a ReCom paper that was a background paper for last year’s World Development Report on jobs). Jonathan Monten looks at aid and institution-building in Afghanistan, and Thomas Hertel discusses the global public good of the world’s land resources. Finally Sreenivasan Subramanian (known to us all as ‘Subbu’) analyses issues around poverty and inclusive growth, in light of the World Bank’s new poverty target, and tracking the poorest 40 per cent of the population.
We have nearly 140 working papers published so far in this year, and our latest batch includes several from our ReCom programme. Amongst the latest papers are: Valpy FitzGerald on the fiscal dimensions of poverty reduction and global public goods; Arild Angelsen on REDD+ as performance-based aid (drawing on lessons from Norwegian programmes); Sokty Chhair and Luyna Ung on industrialization in Cambodia; Wilfred Nyangena on aid and the environment in Kenya; Yessengali Oskenbayev and Aziz Karimov on the natural resource curse in Kazakhstan; and Roger Grawe on innovation at the World Bank. These and many other papers can be downloaded here: 2013 Working Papers.
This month’s VIDEOAngle, is an interview by Roger Williamson with David Malone, UNU’s rector. Roger’s interviews with James Foster and Martin Ravallion, from our industrial policy and inclusive growth in Africa conferences (June and September 2013, respectively) can still be seen here.
As we leave the old year, and head into the new, it remains for me to send our best wishes to all Angle readers, and to thank the hardworking Angle team: Annett Victorero, Anu Laakso, Sherry Ruuskanen, and Lorraine Telfer-Taivainen. Angle returns in January with a special focus on ReCom.
Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, UNU-WIDER.