From the Editor's Desk (March 2013)

Tony Addison

This month saw UNU-WIDER in Stockholm for the ReCom results meeting on ‘aid and the social sectors’, which took place at Sida on 13 March. We had a very good turnout for the meeting, with as many people joining us onsite and online for the video cast. You can see the videos and the results of the meeting here and read the report from the event written by Susanna Wasielewski Ahlfors.

The working paper series includes papers that provided the background research for the ReCom aid and social sector results meeting: see P.B. Anand on aid for water and sanitation, Kassandra Birchler and Katharina Michaelowa on aid and education, and Iara Costa Leite, Bianca Suyama and Melissa Pomeroy on Africa-Brazil co-operation in social protection (to name only three papers). There are also briefing papers that summarize the main findings of the aid and social sector work so far.

In our March Angle we continue with the series on the MDG post-2015 development agenda. Rachel Gisselquist of UNU-WIDER, who researches governance and fragility leads the MDG debate off this month highlighting the key issue of inequality. In GuestAngle, Christian Friis Bach, Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation, discusses the post-MDG agenda and how progress can be sustained in a world of development cooperation that is changing fast. We began the series of the MDGs in the February Angle with an introduction to the issues by Finn Tarp, UNU-WIDER’s director as well as a reflection by Heidi Hautala, Finland’s Minister for International Development, with special emphasis on human rights and democracy. Our second GuestAngle by Jamie Bleck and Kristin Michelitch takes us into the related territory of human development and fragile states with a special focus on Mali, which is unfortunately much in the news.

Some thirty WIDER working papers have now appeared this year, and we have already mentioned some of those on aid and the social sectors under ReCom. More papers from our project on the Political Economy of Food Price Policy are coming out and the latest are: Kenneth Baltzer on the transmission of the 2007-08 world food price spike into domestic prices; Shane Bryan examines the very wide range of policy responses; while Jonathan Makau Nzuma provides a case study of Kenya, and Ephraim Chirwa and Blessings Chinsinga discuss Malawi. There is a good spread of topics and authors, with the latest batch covering subjects including: conflict’s effects on entrepreneurship; the gender dimensions of World Bank programmes; aid for agriculture and rural development; measuring governance performance in Africa; and aid and poverty.

UNU-WIDER launched Augustin Fosu’s two new books Development Success: Strategies and Lessons from More Advanced Countries and the Developing World, and Achieving Development Success: Strategies and Lessons from the Developing World (both Oxford University Press for UNU-WIDER), on 18th March  at the annual conference for the Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford. And April will see the launch at the London School of Economics of Pathways to Industrialization in the Twenty-First Century: New Challenges and Emerging Paradigms, edited by Adam Szirmai, Wim Naudé, and Ludovico Alcorta (Oxford University Press for UNU-WIDER). This public event is in collaboration with UNIDO, UNU-MERIT, and the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science; here for more details and registration link.

We also saw the very recent publication of a special issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution, on entrepreneurship and conflict, edited by Tilman Brück, Wim Naudé, and Philip Verwimp.

Our VIDEOAngle for February is an interview was conducted at the ReCom results meeting in Stockholm. Carl-Gustav Lindén asks researchers presenting at the event about their take on the results based aid agenda. If you haven’t seen last month’s VIDEOAngle interview with Andy McKay of the University of Sussex on growth and poverty you can still catch these at: UNU-WIDER Video series.

Policy makers in the social sectors take note: ResearchAngle this month, includes briefing papers on ‘Education aid: a way forward’; ‘Healthcare: Barriers to effective aid’; and ‘Principled aid: ways to attain MDG4 and MDG5’. These policy briefs are products of the ReCom programme: there are many more summaries, as well as links to the research papers behind the policy briefs, on the ReCom site.

Towards spring? © UNU-WIDER
Towards spring? © UNU-WIDER

Preparations are now well underway for the UNU-WIDER 24 June conference ‘Learning to Compete: Industrial Development and Policy in Africa’. We received many applications to attend (please note the Call for Papers is now over). The Call for Papers on work on the gender dimensions of aid has been extended and those wishing to apply for a PhD internship at UNU-WIDER, please note the deadline is very soon: end of March.

Now with many more hours of sunlight the snowy days are drawing to a close, though temperatures can still go below zero overnight. Angle returns in April, hopefully with spring in full force.

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

WIDERAngle newsletter
March 2013
ISSN 1238-9544