From the Editor's Desk (May 2013)
9 May 2013
With May ending, we head into a very busy June for UNU-WIDER (and midsummer). Next week we are back in Stockholm at Sida for the ReCom results meeting on ‘Aid, climate change, and the environment’. Later this month the Learning to Compete conference—on industrial policy in Africa'—will be held in Helsinki, as will our Board meeting. Plus, lots more publication, for your summer (northern hemisphere) reading.
Lant Pritchett’s Folk and the Formula: Fact and Fiction in Development, his WIDER annual lecture, is gathering a lot of downloads. You can also still see Lant’s lecture online, including the juggling, here. Tseday Jemaneh Mekasha and Finn Tarp’s paper in the Journal of Development Studies ‘Aid and growth: what meta-analysis reveals’ was also published recently. Do also check the growth and employment section of the ReCom website where there are many more papers on aid’s growth impact. Rachel Gisselquist’s ‘Ethnic divisions and public goods provision, revisited’ in Ethnic and Racial Studies, is now out as well. You can see more of Rachel’s work under the governance and fragile states section of the ReCom website.
The most recent crop of working papers cover topics as diverse as: poverty mapping in Mozambique; fisheries management in Ghana; aid effectiveness in education and health; infrastructure and climate change; food price policy; urbanization and green growth; employment generation in Africa; aid for agriculture and rural development; anti-poverty transfer programmes; experimental methodologies in development economics; and much more.
Debate about the development agenda after 2015 is reaching a crescendo. Our May GuestAngle continues with reflections on the MDG post-2015 development agenda. We welcome Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, who urges the international development community to finish the job it started back in 2000, with further commitment to poverty reduction going hand-in-hand with action on sustainability. Previous contributions in the Angle series on the MDGs can be viewed here. They include Norway’s Minister of International Development, Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, Christian Friis Bach, Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation, and Heidi Hautala, Finland’s Minister for International Development.
See also recent articles by Finn Tarp, UNU-WIDER’s director, as well as Rachel Gisselquist a UNU-WIDER research fellow, working on aid, governance and fragility under ReCom. In Angle last month, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa and I reflected on lessons learnt from the ReCom results meeting on ‘Aid and the social sectors’ in Stockholm in March.
The difference between uncertainty and risk is central to the economics of climate change. In this Angle, UNU-WIDER’s Carl-Gustav Lindén highlights the distinction ahead of our Stockholm ReCom meeting on ‘Aid, climate change and the environment’ on 4 June. There is still time to register to come to the event at Sida, or watch it live via webcast. Carl-Gustav also links uncertainty and risk more broadly to the inadequacy of development data, citing Jeff Round’s paper for ReCom on aid to statistics in Africa over the years.
ResearchAngle this month has a climate change focus, with three summaries on capacity-building programmes in the climate change area, foreign assistance and the climate change challenge, and the likely costs of climate change to Vietnam. More can be viewed on the ReCom web site.
Do also visit our YouTube channel. We aim to video all our public seminars, lectures and event’s so there is a lot of interesting material for everyone.
With the daylight heading for 19 hours in Helsinki—and sleep requiring heavy curtains to block out the light—the Baltic glistens outside UNU-WIDER’s building, and we look forward to next month’s meetings as well as midsummer’s festivities. Angle returns in June.
Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, UNU-WIDER