From the Editor’s Desk (February 2015)

February found UNU-WIDER busy sending out Calls for Papers on topics ranging from social protection to clean energy to discrimination and affirmative action. You can find them here. There are more to come. One way to get regular updates on all our publications and opportunities is to follow UNU-WIDER on twitter @UNUWIDER. I’m now busy tweeting away on @TonysAngle as well. So sign up, and join us in the global development conversation. 

2015 is a big year for action on climate change with the COP21 coming up in Paris towards the end of the year. In this issue of Angle Channing Arndt, a senior research fellow at UNU-WIDER, discusses where we stand on climate policy, and the economic implications of climate change for developing countries. UNU-WIDER has done a lot of work on this topic over the last five years, especially on climate’s impact on African economies, with more to come, especially on energy transitions in Africa

In GUESTAngle this month we are pleased to welcome Lawrence Haddad, a senior research fellow at IFPRI. Lawrence makes a convincing case for embedding nutrition into the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. In a year of intensifying debate around the new development goals, Lawrence’s argument is sure to generate much interest. Even in growing and middle-income countries, child malnutrition is rife, while obesity is a problem in the developed world, and increasingly in developing countries as well. 

The concern for nutrition resonates with recently concluded research on food policy, which was undertaken by Cornell University and UNU-WIDER, led by Professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen. In RESEARCHAngle we present material from the recent project on the political economy of food price policy. This looked at a series of countries and how they responded to the global spike in food prices around 2008. The first week of March sees a launch of the new book on this topic, edited by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, in Delhi; details can be found here. The study itself is here.

In VIDEOAngle we have an interview with UNU-WIDER director Finn Tarp. The interview was conducted at the Uongozi Institute in Dar es Salaam for ITV Tanzania. Finn reflects on the African development scene, the role of aid, and the role of research in informing policy. Finn and I recently co-edited a special issue of the journal World Development, on aid policy and the macroeconomic management of aid. The issue is open access and you can find it here. The work results from our ReCom programme on foreign aid, which covered many aspects of the impact of aid.

UNU-WIDER is now 30 years old. Much has changed over that time in global development, for good and bad. If you missed last month’s article reflecting on UNU-WIDER’s anniversary you can find it here. Our YouTube channel is a good way to get a flavour of the work we do, as it contains videos of the conferences as well as interviews with many ‘Widerians’, old and new.

The UNU-WIDER working paper series continues to be full of activity. The series has become a large one and contains material on everything from poverty reduction to climate change to development finance (to name just some of the recent topics). Inequality is always a strong theme of UNU-WIDER’s work as well and you can find the World Income Inequality Database (WIID) if you want to look at the numbers for yourself.

We are back in late March with the next issue of Angle. The Finnish winter continues (without much snow though), and we look forward to the spring. Summer starts officially on 1st May so there is some time to go yet before the warmer weather returns.