FeedBurner makes it easy to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.
A message from this feed's publisher:This is one of the news feeds from Eldis. You can also choose to receive the content of this feed as an email message. Or we can supply you with code to adde the feed to your own website. Visit http://www.eldis.org/go/newsfeeds for more information, or contact us at email@example.com
Tanzania faces significant development challenges. While gross domestic product growth remains relatively impressive, many sectors are growing off a small base. Both the longevity of the acceleration and the quality of the growth are in question. Tanzania’s educational outcomes remain poor, and young people are less likely to find good quality employment. A fast-growing population requires an expansion of employment opportunities, and it is not clear that these are being created. A handful of companies provide the majority of tax revenue, rendering the government reliant on foreign aid in addition to taxation. President John Magufuli’s government therefore needs to broaden the tax base and diversify the economy without undermining current foreign exchange and tax earnings. Tanzania is endowed with extensive mineral resources (and recently discovered natural gas), which could mobilise resources for development, provided the sector is well governed.
This paper examines the artisanal gold mining sector as an important employer and potential revenue generator. It also explores the negative social and environmental externalities associated with the sector. The barriers to entry for artisanal miners to formalise should be lowered, although this will not guarantee development. Most importantly, the government – in partnership with development organisations and the private sector – should roll out and ensure the uptake of inexpensive technologies (such as retorts) that will reduce negative externalities and increase potential positive economic spillover effects.
Cross-nationally, having a working mother during childhood is associated with more egalitarian attitudes among both adult men and women. However, no previous studies have explored this relationship in the Middle East and North Africa, where women’s employment rates have remained persistently low. In this paper, the authors examine the impact of having a working mother during childhood on Egyptian young people’s attitudes towards women’s roles in the public sphere, gender roles in the household, and ideals around number of children and women’s age at marriage that are related to gender roles. In order to address the potential endogeneity of mother’s work and attitudes formation, the authors use an instrumental variable approach with panel data from the Survey of Young People in Egypt 2009 and 2014 waves.
Mothers' employment is instrumented using the governorate-level female labour force participation rate and percentage of women working in the public sector in 2009. The paper finds that having a working mother during childhood led to significantly more egalitarian attitudes towards women’s roles in the public sphere among both young men and women. However, there was no effect on young people’s attitudes towards gender roles in the household. Having a working mother led to lower ideal number of children among sons, but did not have any effect on views of the ideal age of marriage for women among children of either gender.
In the Egyptian context, having a working mother during childhood thus appears to led to more egalitarian attitudes around women’s roles outside the household but not necessarily their roles inside the household. This suggests that attitudes around gender roles in the household may be more strongly socially conditioned and thus less affected by individual experience, and is also consistent with the finding from labour market research that women continue to bear the brunt of housework and childcare in Egypt even when they are employed. Thus, while having an employed mother does have some liberalizing effect on individual attitudes, broader change in attitudes around gender roles both inside and outside the home may be needed in order to foster increased female labour force participation.
Following the Panama Papers leak and numerous press reports of aggressive tax planning by Multinational enterprises (MNEs) around the world, there has been a concerted effort, notably in developed countries, to combat MNE tax avoidance and increase international cooperation in tax matters. As MNEs operate across borders they can use multi-jurisdictional tax planning, in combination with transfer pricing, to limit their tax obligations. Unfortunately, some MNEs aggressively plan an operation around these tax structures to avoid paying their fair share of tax. This is mostly legal, as MNEs generally do not breach any single tax jurisdiction’s laws. However, such practices have a negative impact on the countries in which they are operating, regardless of whether they are legal or not.
A key responsive measure to address aggressive MNE tax planning has been the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Package. Its aim is to close loopholes between various national tax authorities that allow MNEs to unjustifiably shift profits across borders. Within this, a key component, and part of the minimum BEPS action requirements, is Action 13: Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country by Country Reporting (CbCR).
Policy recommendations made by this brief:
The rise and relevance of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) cannot be overstated. BRICS constitutes the most prominent emerging economies with substantial influence on world affairs – both political and economic. While China has demonstrated its capacity to be the world leader in production and trade, India and Brazil have been steady on rapid income growth and technological development backed by mature institutions and policy environment that tend to be oriented towards long-term economic development. BRICS has become the fastest and largest emerging market economy.
This paper examines the emerging strength of BRICS in high-technology trade. We reviewed trends in high-technology trade primarily in BICS (excluding Russia). Given that China and India are leading exporters of High-tech products (HTPs) among BICS, changing patterns of intra-industry trade have been analysed at the disaggregated level for these countries. Trade denomination of Information Technology Products has been analysed as a special case to understand roles played by global trade agreements in influencing production and trade of high-technology goods. BRICS has also made significant progress in technology intensive trade in agriculture which is rarely captured in the analyses based on HTPs. The paper concludes with reflection on BRICS cooperation in global technology and trade governance for long term capacity building, industrial development and competitiveness.
Micronutrient insufficiencies are a serious public health problem among women of reproductive age in Low and Middle Income Countries including India, adversely affecting maternal health and economic productivity, and child growth and educational outcomes. Fruit and vegetables are important sources of micronutrients and consumption of these foods is lower than recommendations. Value chain analysis involves understanding how actors (farmers/ producers, wholesalers and vendors) make decisions about what produce they grow and sell. It can be employed to improve nutrition by identifying constraints to the supply and demand of healthful foods and developing interventions to address these constraints.
The University of Southampton undertook a study titled Identifying nutrition-sensitive interventions to improve maternal diet quality in rural Indian settings using value chain analysis supported by the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) consortium awarded from the Call for Proposals under LANSA’s first Responsive Window opportunity. The study aims to develop an interdisciplinary framework linking value chain activities to nutrition in rural Maharashtra.
Recommendations for future action:
The findings of this research are qualitative and hypothesis generating. In order to prioritise interventions, quantitative survey data would be useful. Recommendations for future research and interventions is to reduce supply and demand constraints. Some
suggestions for future interventions are:
Youth and employment concepts are not new to development discourse in sub-Saharan Africa but over the last decade interest has increased dramatically, becoming a much more important focus for policy, intervention and research throughout the continent (and globally).
This IDS Bulletin reflects challenges in Africa and demonstrates how political context shapes youth-related policy.The articles in the Bulletin consider the evidence on youth employment policy and interventions, the politics of youth policy, the changing nature of young people’s work, and the promotion of entrepreneurship. They are authored by the ten members of the first cohort of the Matasa Fellows Network (a joint initiative by the MasterCard Foundation and IDS), which has a particular focus on the youth employment challenge in Africa.
This new edition of REEEP’s highly successful manual Linked Open Data: The Essentials offers a solid introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD) principles, with new case studies and updated information on how to make the most of the possibilities LOD has to offer. The manual is particularly targeted at knowledge brokers working in the climte change sector, with most of the examples and case studies focused on this area, but the general principles are broadly applicable to other disciplines and sectors.
This new working paper by Andrew Scott of ODI explores the effectiveness of governing for the “water-energy-food nexus” of issues. The author looks at approaches that understand the links between sectors, recognise these in decision-making and promote integrated policy-making.
The concept of the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus has become widely used to help understand interdependencies among the three systems, and how they can be managed sustainably to meet growing demand. The water–energy–food nexus has especially been advocated to address conflicts among the sectors. However, governance in the water–energy–food nexus has not received much attention in the literature, particularly the institutions and politics governing the water–energy–food sectors.
This paper synthesises findings from CDKN-supported action research in this area. The paper draws from findings in Indonesia, Kenya and the Amazon Basin to show that the effectiveness of the horizontal (cross-sectoral) and vertical (between levels of government) coordination that is essential for a nexus approach is determined by institutional relationships, which can be influenced by political economy factors. The capacity of governing organisations to understand nexus links and to collaborate with each other is also critical.
The paper suggests that aiming for the ideal of comprehensiveness and integration in a nexus approach may be costly and impractical. Nevertheless, horizontal and vertical coordination are essential. Local-level decision-making will determine how trade-offs and synergies in the water–energy–food nexus are implemented. The capacities of local government organisations and decision-makers need to be strengthened to enhance their capacity to adopt nexus approaches and coordinate vertically.
To improve preparedness and prevention of drought risks in the agricultural and pastoral communities around Lake Fitri in Chad, Solidarités International implemented a project between 2013 and 2016 that endeavoured to strengthen their capacities for resilience. One of the activities more specifically concerned women and addressed their need to access credit in order for them to launch merchant activities: Solidarités International supported the creation of 15 Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), based on the existing tontine model and inspired by VSL Associates’ methodology. The associations are made up of between 15 and 30 members, are presided over by internal regulations drawn up by its members and run for a cycle of 9 to 12 months. Members buy shares on a weekly basis and are able to take out a loan with interest for up to three times their individual total savings.
This case study presents the VSLA methodology in more details, and attempts to shed light on the socio-economic profile of the members (does the activity incorporate the poorest households?), on how the latter use the loans granted, on whether participation in a VSLA can improve the resilience of member households, and on the determinants of success.
SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL works in the region of Kidal, in northern Mali, since 2015 to improve agro-pastoral activities through the implementation of WaSH activities. Underlying the rehabilitation of water points is the aim to reduce conflicts between different types of users: breeders and their herds and local populations for domestic uses.
The team worked to identify the good practices that had been implemented in the first phase of this project funded by OFDA, between June 2015 and September 2016. This case study provides insight on these good practices, the lessons learned as well as recommendations for future projects.
This paper examines the ubiquitous formal-informal duality of Indian economy through a case study of Arni, a Moffusil town of Northern Tamil Nadu. Arni is populated by about one lakh people; the majority of them are low castes. Informal sector dominates the economy of the town, but formal-informal linkages are strong and visible everywhere. The socio-economic life of the town is inextricably interwoven with the formal-informal duality which apparently lies at ease, unnoticed by the inhabitants and actors of the formal and the informal economy. Against the conventional wisdom, the informal economy of Arni is a crucible of innovations which are of various types. They are adoptive and adaptive, incremental and ruptural, for profit making and other uses, problem solving and solution oriented, filling the gap, and so on. Sometimes, they are meant for the promotion of collective interests and sometimes only for an individual like running the business of the family.
These innovations are, however, not confined only to the domain of the informal economy, but are also part of the formal economy. In such an economy, the formal-informal duality is transposed to the level of institutions that results in 'hybridity" of institutions. The 'hybridity of institutions' is although functional, yet not without contradictions. Finally, the study emphasizes that the informal economy of India is not stagnant or resistant to changes. It is driving India's high growth rate. Innovations of the informal economy are an important driver of this high growth rate.
Social protection has emerged as a key driver of development policy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is widely considered a ‘good thing’ that has the potential not only to alleviate poverty and vulnerability, but also to generate more transformative outcomes in terms of empowerment and social justice.
Based on an ethnographic study of the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), India's flagship social protection policy, this paper takes a critical look at what this policy's ‘success’ consists of. The study was carried out in Tamil Nadu, a state widely presented as a ‘success’ in terms of MGNREGA's implementation, and describes who participates in the scheme and how success is understood and expressed at different social and bureaucratic levels.
In terms of MGNREGA's outcomes, it concludes that the scheme is benefitting the poorest households – and Dalits and women in particular – especially in terms of providing a safety net and as a tool for poverty alleviation. But the scheme does more than that. It has also produced significant transformative outcomes for rural labourers, such as pushing up rural wage levels, enhancing low-caste workers' bargaining power in the labour market and reducing their dependency on high-caste employers. These benefits are not only substantial but also transformative in that they affect rural relations of production and contribute to the empowerment of the rural labouring poor. However, in terms of creating durable assets and promoting grassroots democracy, the scheme's outcomes are much less encouraging.
The expansion of garment manufacturing in Tiruppur has transformed the surrounding countryside as well as the town, both as garment manufacturing has spread into the countryside and through the knock-on effects of having a dynamic and relatively labour intensive industrial sector nearby. It has provided a valuable alternative to agriculture as agriculture has been running into problems. Many of the people previously employed in agriculture have moved into garment manufacturing and associated activities as the garment sector has expanded. There have been new opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as for labour, not only directly in garment and other manufacturing but in trade and services, transport, construction, et al. as well. The paper uses data collected in 2008/9, and in 1981/2 and 1996, in villages 20-30 km north west of Tiruppur to show how the expansion of the garment sector has changed the local rural economy, and how access to the new opportunities in the garment sector has been structured by gender, caste, and age.
What emerges from these data is that ‘Tiruppur’ has provided direct employment to large numbers from less well-placed households, many of whom now commute to work in Tiruppur and elsewhere. It has also pushed wages up in agriculture and other occupations, including those that are not directly related to the expansion of the garment sector. Considerably more than half of the working population is still engaged in agriculture however. Roughly half of the remainder work in the garment sector, and half in non-agricultural occupations other than garments. The paper shows that more women are now ‘housewives’ staying at home as their husbands are earning more. Labour is strongly supported by welfare measures introduced by the state – programmes such as the PDS (public distribution system) which supplies subsidised food and essential commodities, mid-day meals in school, and now also the NREGS (national rural employment guarantee scheme).
All of these state interventions have had a significant effect on the local economy. Educational provision has expanded very considerably too and is now beginning to produce returns for members of the lowest social strata as well as for those that are better off. One of the worrying factors is that women still receive very substantially lower wages than men however. Caste is still also a major source of differentiation. This is all still very much a ‘low road’ path of development which may have been appropriate in a period in which soaking up surplus labour was a priority. It is no longer appropriate in the Tiruppur region now. The tightening of the labour market might be expected to lead to some upgrading of skills and productivity. It is difficult to see the shift to higher productivity happening without substantial state support of a kind that does not seem to be on the cards. Tamil Nadu is a state that is championing a private sector-led development path – as elsewhere in India, if not more so – right now.
This briefing explores the ways in which Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies affect labour regimes and the lives of workers at manufacturing sites in the Global South. It describes workers’ reactions to these policies, and the choices they make when faced with different regimes of work. The briefing calls for a recognition by labour standard interventions of the variety of employment regimes and the diversity of the workforce, and it addresses some possible ways to improve the particular conditions of women workers and migrant workers employed in large export industries in the Global South. In particular, it points to the importance of addressing workers’ needs and vulnerabilities outside the factories and in the urban neighbourhoods where they reside.
Despite economic growth, persistent levels of absolute poverty remain across the world. Social protection is an important response to this, guaranteeing a basic level of income support. The state of Chhattisgarh, India, provides an interesting model, as government commitment and people’s action combine to buttress food security in communities with historically high levels of disadvantage. New research on wellbeing and poverty in Chhattisgarh provides an innovative perspective on these issues. Qualitative and quantitative evidence show more secure livelihoods have a broader effect on people’s confidence and experience of quaIity in life. Strong traditions of collective identity and community mobilisation constitute important resources for the achievement of rights in practice. Persistent gender inequalities remain, however, in both objective achievements and people’s subjective assessments of what they can do or be.
This article asks how labour markets are changing in the context of wider transformations in the rural economy. Drawing on evidence from two villages in southern India, which are both close to, and deeply affected by, a major textile industry cluster, the article examines local labour markets, arguing that labour market segmentation is not simply caste-based. While some Dalits from one village have gained access to jobs in export markets, the same group of Dalits from another village have not. Furthermore, different groups of Dalits have had very different experiences of accessing jobs in urban areas, and the article shows that barriers to entry are located more in the rural social economy than in the urban industry. It is argued that villages only a few miles apart have very different local labour markets because they are uniquely and variously embedded in local institutions that interact with economic transformations in contingent ways. The article shows that having an industry on your doorstep means very different things for different people.
Article preview is available free but full access will incur a charge.
This paper reports on a study with rural young people (aged 10–24 years) in Malawi and Lesotho, focusing on their opportunities to learn skills and access capital and assets to engage in income-generating activities (IGAs). Participatory group exercises and individual interviews provide many examples of how young people learn skills and start small businesses, as well as an insight into their strategic thinking about engaging in these livelihood options. Various factors, including the effects of AIDS, are shown to affect young people's prospects of succeeding in their ventures. Young people are very keen on starting IGAs, and are supported by adult members of their communities in asking for interventions to help them. We argue that expanded vocational and business training, focusing on locally appropriate types and scale of businesses, coupled with help to raise start-up capital has the potential to improve the chances of young people who are poor and/or AIDS-affected securing sustainable rural livelihoods in their futures. Since AIDS is intertwined with many other issues affecting young people's livelihoods, it is problematic to single out and target only AIDS-affected young people with interventions on skills building and IGAs. Policymakers' attitudes to vocational skills training and support for IGAs in Malawi and Lesotho are also explored, and policy recommendations made to support vulnerable rural young people in their attempts to build sustainable livelihoods.
Article preview is availabe free from the publisher. Full access will incur a charge.
The paper develops a simple, integrated methodology to project public pension cash flows and healthcare spending over the long term. The authors illustrate its features by applying it to the LAC5 (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico), where public spending pressures are expected to increase significantly over 2015-50 due to demographic trends and rising healthcare costs. The paper simulates alternative pension reforms, including the transition from a defined benefit to a defined contribution pension system and the fiscal burden of a minimum guaranteed pension under the latter. We also analyse public healthcare outlays in the LAC5, which is likewise expected to increase significantly over 2015-50 due to ageing and the so-called excess cost growth factor of healthcare services, showing that curbing the evolution of the latter (e.g., through enhanced competition in the healthcare sector) could aid in containing spending pressures. Despite its simplicity, the methodology yields projections that compare well with other approaches. It therefore provides a good benchmark for assessing alternative reform scenarios, particularly in data-constrained countries.
All in all, to tackle the negative impact of societies’ ageing on these economies’ fiscal balance, some reforms appear necessary. Argentina and Brazil might consider an increase in the retirement age and a reduction in the indexation of benefits, which appear to be very effective reforms to address the rising level of pension spending in the authors estimations, or a shift to a Defined Contribution (DC) system (either total or partial), following other Latin-American examples. More generally, governments will also have to deal with healthcare expenditure pressures associated with ageing and the rapid growth in healthcare costs stemming from technological innovation (as reflected in the so-called excess cost growth factor), requiring careful but expedient evaluation of alternative reform options.
Despite the fact that the informal economy accounts for about two thirds of GDP and 90% of employment in India , the informal economy seems absent from almost all discussions of any kind of low carbon revolution in the country. Does it play such a negligible role in pollution as many have assumed and would it be an obstacle to a low carbon revolution. This paper focuses on the sector’s own capacity to adopt the kind of technological and organisational changes that would be needed in order to innovate and asks whether and how innovation takes place in the informal economy.
This article starts with the recognition that labour has received less than its fair share of empirical and analytical attention in scholarship on global production networks. Little is known about how jobs for export markets fit into workers’ wider livelihoods strategies, or how workers react to new employment opportunities available to them. Based on evidence from the Tiruppur garment cluster in Tamil Nadu, South India, the article takes labourers, their livelihoods and their social reproduction as its starting point. It reviews relevant labour geography and GPN literature, and suggests that labour agency has been almost solely conceptualised in terms of collective forms of organised worker resistance.
The article then draws on material from South India to examine how people enter garment work as well as the multiple and everyday forms of agency they engage in. We follow a ‘horizontal’ approach that accounts for gender, age, caste and regional connections in the making and constraining of agency. Such an approach reveals how labour agency is not merely fashioned by vertically linked production networks but as much by social relations and livelihood strategies that are themselves embedded in a wider regional economy and cultural environment. The article argues that labour’s multiple and everyday forms of agency not only help to shape local developments of global capitalism but also to produce transformative effects on workers’ livelihoods, social relations and reproductive capacities.
A gendered understanding of poverty is crucial for exploring its differing impacts and this analysis provides valuable insights in a number of key areas. This evidence is a synthesis from 122 research grants awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and UK Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research since 2005.
The insights could have particular relevance as governments focus on working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that include commitments on gender equality across the board. Gender is one of four areas that the ESRC and DFID tasked four groups of researchers to look at, across the diverse projects funded through the Joint Fund. The resulting reports - children and young people; gender; with those on health; and research methods to follow - will be valuable pieces of research and rich sources of information which we all hope will be of interest to a broad range of audiences. They highlight the specific achievements and contributions of Joint Fund research - to knowledge about development issues, to methods and approaches to researching these, and to supporting social and economic impact.
The ESRA also point to spaces where more research would be valuable, issuing challenges both to researchers and funders to consider how they continue to drive, as well as respond to, evolving development agendas and changing global circumstances. A series of summaries to capture these findings and their implications for policymakers as well as for researchers also accompany the main reports, produced by the Impact Initiative.
A gendered understanding of poverty is crucial for exploring its differing impacts. Women, in particular, may be vulnerable to the effects of poverty and the causes of women’s poverty, and how poverty is experienced, may differ from men. Neither women nor men, however, are a homogenous group and how poverty is experienced depends on other intersecting issues such as age, class, ethnicity, disability etc. Issues which poverty alleviation research also needs to take into account in order to get a more nuanced picture of people’s lived experiences to help shape policy responses that are relevant and appropriate.
Since 2005, the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research has commissioned high quality social science research addressing the international development goal of reducing poverty amongst the poorest in the world. Evidence from this research has improved understandings of the gendered nature of poverty and how differing identities impact people’s lived experiences of poverty. In particular the research has provided valuable insights in a number of key areas:
The evidence report provides an assessment of 122 research grants awarded by the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research covering research in Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In recent decades, population has been aging fast in Brazil while old age pensions and healthrelated spending have increased. As the population ages, the spending trend threaten to reach unsustainable levels absent reforms. Increasing the retirement age is key, but by itself will not provide sufficient savings to close the pension system financing gap, and reforms reducing replacement rates are necessary. In the area of health, there is scope for improving expenditure efficiency by strengthening outpatient care and regional networks, and developing clinical guidelines for cost-effective treatments and drugs. Reforms are urgent, so that they can be gradual.
In February 2017, 55 people met in London for two days to share learning across different areas of innovation work, and catalyse a community of practice to accelerate innovating in international development. Participants came from government, public sector, not-for profit, philanthropic and private sector, from international development and humanitarian assistance spheres, with shared passion to make change happen.
Sessions at the event were organised around three themes:
The event discussions were rich, reflecting diverse perspectives and operational experience from many sectors around three key questions "what do we already know? What's working or not working? What do we need to tackle next?
This report summarises key lessons from the discussions.
The case for investing in nutrition is clear. Poor nutrition during the first 1,000 days - from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday - can cause life-long and irreversible damage, with consequences at the individual, community, and national level.
Programmes can become more nutrition-sensitive by:
Changes in the immediate, underlying and basic determinants of nutritional status at the community- and household-level are a logical and empirical prerequisite to reducing high levels of undernutrition in high burden countries.
This paper considers these factors directly from the perspective of community members and frontline workers interviewed in six countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In each country, in-depth interviews were conducted with mothers, other community members and health workers to understand changes in health and nutrition practices, nutrition-specific interventions, underlying drivers and nutrition-sensitive interventions, and life conditions.
Overall, the need for basic improvements in livelihood opportunities and infrastructure are solidly underscored. Nutrition-specific and -sensitive changes represented in most cases by deliberate government or NGO supported community interventions are rolling out at a mixed and uneven pace, but are having some significant impacts where solidly implemented. The synthesis presented here provides an invaluable source of information for understanding how community-level change occurred against a wider backdrop of national level progress.
the community is a critical nexus for the interventions and wider socio-economic changes that drive nutritional change
this six country community level synthesis supports wider data (this issue) on changes in underlying and basic determinants.
the performance of “nutrition-specific” community interventions is mixed and uneven
Over the past two decades, many developing countries have made impressive progress in reducing undernutrition. In this paper, the authors explore potential explanations of this success by applying consistent statistical methods to multiple rounds of Demographic Health Surveys for Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Odisha, Senegal, and Zambia.
The research finds that changes in household wealth, mother's education and access to antenatal care are the largest drivers of nutritional improvement, except for Zambia where large increases in bednet usage is the single largest factor. Other factors play a smaller role in explaining nutritional improvements with improvements in sanitation only appearing to be important in South Asia. Overall, the results point to the need for multidimensional nutritional strategies involving a broad range of nutrition-sensitive sectors.
asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries
improved sanitation is more strongly associated with height-for-age in South Asian countries
asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries
Reducing child undernutrition is gaining high priority on the international development agenda in the post-MDG agenda, both as a maker and marker of development. In this paper, the authors use data from 1970 to 2012 for 116 countries, finding that safe water access, sanitation, women’s education, gender equality, and the quantity and quality of food available in countries have been key drivers of past reductions in stunting. Income growth and governance played essential facilitating roles. Complementary to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs and policies, accelerating reductions in undernutrition in the future will require increased investment in these priority areas.
As political commitment is an essential ingredient for elevating food and nutrition security onto policy agendas, commitment metrics have proliferated. Many conflate government commitment to fight hunger with combating undernutrition. Here the authors test the hypothesis that commitment to hunger reduction is empirically different from commitment to reducing undernutrition through expert surveys in five high-burden countries: Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Findings confirm the hypothesis. The paper concludes that sensitive commitment metrics are needed to guide government and donor policies and programmatic action. Without, historically inadequate prioritisation of non-food aspects of malnutrition may persist to imperil achieving global nutrition targets.
nine key components of political commitment are identified
research uses expert perception surveys in Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zambia
commitment metrics must be sensitive to these differences to better guide policy
Can an index be constructed to assess governments’ commitment to reduce hunger? This paper argues for the need for such an index and outlines one way of constructing it. The authors use secondary data to construct the Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI) for 21 developing countries.
This paper operationalises commitment around 3 themes: legal frameworks, policies and programmes and government expenditures, to find Malawi, the Gambia, Guatemala, Brazil and Senegal heading the list, with China, Nepal, Lesotho, Zambia and Guinea Bissau coming bottom. Rankings were robust to our choices about weighting and ranking methods.
The paper demonstrates a viable method to measure political commitment and highlights the analytical importance of disentangling hunger commitment from hunger outcomes. Cross-tabulations of HRCI scores with hunger, wealth, administrative capacity and voice and accountability scores can guide action from different stakeholders (governments, civil society, donors). Finally, the authors show how primary data collection might be used to assess areas of strength and weakness in country specific commitments to reduce hunger.
the authors develop new methods to assess governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger
they construct indices of political commitment for 21 developing countries
disentangling hunger commitments from hunger outcomes sharply affects rankings