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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
By Deepak Nayyar, South Centre* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
GENEVA (IDN) - The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) began life a decade ago. There were three dimensions to the significance of the MDGs. It was an explicit recognition of the reality that a large proportion of people in the world were deprived and poor.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BERLIN / MONTEVIDEO (IDN) - All that glitters is not gold would appear to be the core of critique the Social Watch, a network of civil society organizations in over 80 countries, has launched against the United Nations High Level Panel's suggestions of new development goals to replace the MDGs.
In a document titled 'A New Global Partnership' the panel claims that, in preparing it, it "heard voices (...) from over 5000 civil society organizations working in about 120 countries" and "also consulted the chief executive officers of 250 companies in 30 countries, with annual revenues exceeding $8 trillion".
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - A modern-day Damocles' sword is hanging over 49 of the world's poorest and most vulnerable courtiers spanning across Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Unless the U.S. and the 27-nation European Union change their minds, the least developed countries (LDCs) will be forced to abide by the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – much to their detriment.