Social Protection For The Poor Too

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By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) - “Social security” and “social protection” feature increasingly in the global policy atmosphere these days. The two terms encapsulate the idea that people should be able to have a basic income and access to health care and education, and that includes those who are poor or jobless.

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Faith Based Organizations Keen To Influence UN Development Agenda

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By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BANGKOK (IDN) - 2015 is expected to become a watershed year for shaping the global development agenda with the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development models and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) frameworks, all coming up for review at major UN conferences during the year.

Thus, the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference On Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) that concluded in the Thai capital on June 26 gave a taste of things to come with a lot of emphasis given to discussion on community based solutions.

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Aid To Sub-Sahara Expected To Decline

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By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) - While the trend of rise in international development assistance, which increased by 6.1 percent in real terms in 2013, is expected to continue in 2014 and stabilize thereafter, the declining share of aid for sub-Saharan countries, which need it most, looks likely to continue, according to an annual survey of donor spending plans by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Development aid reached the highest level ever recorded in real terms in 2013 despite continued pressure on budgets in OECD countries since the global economic crisis, says the DAC report. Donors provided a total of USD 134.8 billion in net official development assistance (ODA), marking a rebound after two years of falling volumes, as a number of governments stepped up their spending on foreign aid.

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Financing Aid in a New Era

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By Jon Lomøy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN | OECD) - By the end of 2015, when the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) come to term, the international community is expected to approve a new sustainable development agenda. All indications are that this will be a unique and universal agenda, focusing on the eradication of extreme poverty, but also addressing broader environmental, economic and social sustainability challenges. Finding the means to finance this broad agenda, and to make that financing work to produce maximum results without duplication or gaps, will be a challenge.

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Where ‘North’ And ‘South’ Learn From Each Other

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By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) - The Cuba missile crisis was moving towards a peak when President John F. Kennedy proposed in May 1961 the creation of a Development Centre at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to bridge the industrialised nations and the developing world. The Centre has meanwhile developed into a forum not only for South-South but also South-North and North-South cooperation, enabling the industrialised countries “to learn from, and maybe import, some of the policy experiences of the South”, says its director Mario Pezzini.

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A ‘New Deal’ Dream For Development Cooperation

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By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) - “What does it mean to live on US$1.25 a day?” asks GCAP’s Michael Switow, and points to photographer Stefen Chow and economist Lin Hui-Yi’s interesting approach to answering this question. In their photo essay they shows how much food an individual at the poverty line can buy. In Brazil, for example, where the poverty line is US$1.23/day, someone could buy one pineapple. In Switzerland, the poverty line is much higher at more than US$10 per day, but this still only buys two sausages or one bunch of romaine lettuce.

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Implications Of Scottish Independence For Development Cooperation

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By James Mackie* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) - While the debate on Scottish independence is heating up prior to the referendum in September 2014, it is important to consider what implications an independent Scotland would have for UK and European development aid. While the UK aid would undoubtedly be affected, this new donor country would need to make an effort to minimize the effect on further aid fragmentation.

Scottish independence would lead to more fragmentation of European development cooperation and a major reduction in Department for International Development (DFID) programmes as a result of an estimated GBP 1 billion cut in its budget, yet neither of these two outcomes are really dealt with in two recent reports on what a Yes vote in the 2014 Scottish referendum would mean for development cooperation.

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Local Knowledge Vital For Global Experts

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By Pranab Bardhan* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERKELEY (IDN |Yale Global) - For quite some time the economic development profession has gone global in a rather grandiose way. Those quick with pronouncements on global development issues get the maximum attention, rise to the top of the profession, and may even get to hobnob with international celebrities and philanthro-capitalists.

The premium has been on finding global patterns in fighting poverty – in promoting comprehensive development strategies meant for a broad range of countries, with the Washington Consensus or alternatively the so-called Beijing Consensus – and pronouncing overarching policy judgments on the hot issues of the day on a global scale, including austerity or stimulus, free trade, capital flows, global inequality, migration, intellectual property rights, the development NGO movement and the like.

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‘We Can, And Must, End Poverty’

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By Erik Solheim* | IDN-InDepth NewsDocument

While the international community has learned much about what works in terms of reducing poverty, and the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day, it is far from achieving the overarching MDG goal of eradicating extreme poverty. Subsequently, "getting to zero" remains a challenge in the face of the intractable difficulties of reaching those mired in extreme poverty, says the OECD Development Co-operation Report (DCR) 2013, which explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to reduce poverty. But Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian Minister of International Development, and current Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, insists in an Editorial to the Report that ‘We Can, And Must, End Poverty’.

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Sweden Commended For Global Development Aid

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By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – At a time when international development cooperation does not draw public focus, a new report highlights Sweden’s significant contribution to assisting countries in need of money they cannot afford to muster on capital markets. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden provided USD 5.24 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2012. This amounted to 0.99 percent of its gross national income (GNI) – in excess of the United Nations’ target of 0.7 percent of GNI.

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'De-Colonize Development Goals'

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By Manuel Montes* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

GENEVA (IDN) - The big attraction of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or at least the first seven of these, was their near universal acceptability. It mobilized both resources and politics, nationally and internationally, in pursuit of reducing poverty, hunger, gender inequality, malnutrition and disease.

Since they were introduced, the excitement over the MDGs fully occupied the space for development thinking.  The MDG discourse – in international agencies and in national settings – appears to have crowded out the basic idea that development is about economic transformation.

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