20 Oct 2016 12:52:42 GMT
Efforts to give a pro-nutrition focus to agriculture to address the problem of undernutrition in developing countries have predominantly focused on boosting production and/or consumption of nutritious foods by farm households. While this is clearly appropriate in countries where a large proportion of the poor have agriculture as their main source of livelihood, as in South Asia, it is increasingly recognised that a majority of the poor derive some or all of their food through markets. These might include individuals in producer households that are not self-sufficient in food for some or all of the year, rural non-farm and landless households and urban households. This requires that attention is given to the functioning of the agri-food value chains through which food is produced, processed, stored and distributed, and how this can be improved. In particular, when the task at hand is to improve the nutrition status of poor and vulnerable sections of the population, consumption of nutritious food and diets by them becomes the focus of attention.
A strand of work under the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) research programme consortium addresses the question: What public and private actions are needed to strengthen the impacts of agri-food value chains on nutrition in the region? This report is on the India country review of agri-food value chains. India was ranked 55th among 76 countries in 2014 on the Global Hunger Index. Undernutrition is a pervasive problem in the country.
This review examined 40 agri-food value chain interventions under three categories: naturally nutrient-dense food, foods of increased nutritional value and food distribution. All these interventions aimed to, or have potential to, increase the consumption of nutrient-dense foods or increase their supply to post-farm gate poor populations in general and specifically to women and children. This review has provided a descriptive overview of the actors and activities involved in these interventions. It makes an evaluation of the extent to which such interventions address nutrition issues in a value chain mode.
It is hoped that this desk review and analysis will serve as a guide to an understanding of the agri-food value chain landscape in India. Drawing from the review, three agri-food value chains are being taken up for detailed case study to examine their potential to deliver nutrient-dense foods to low income populations. These are:
20 Oct 2016 09:54:32 GMT
Like in other countries in the South Asian region, malnutrition is a serious problem in Afghanistan: the latest national statistics confirm high rates of stunting among vulnerable groups such as children under the age of five (nationally 40 per cent and in certain provinces over 70 per cent). While there are multiple causes of malnutrition, undernutrition and lack of dietary diversity are significant causes and point to the need to address micronutrient deficiencies rather than generalised food insecurity.
More research on policies and policy formulation is needed to explore the nature of the linkages between diverse stakeholders in agriculture and nutrition policies, policy and project processes, and the mechanisms of intersectoral coordination. A crucial policy question is: what are the pathways and incentives needed to ensure that agriculture can have an impact on nutrition? The objectives of the research reported in this Working Paper were to identify the interrelationships among key organisations in agriculture and nutrition, evaluate the local evidence base linking agriculture to nutrition, and understand the perceptions of decision makers about policy making and implementation, and the capacities for improving nutrition through the agri-food system.
Findings concern agriculture and nutrition linkages already existing within the policy environment, how such policies operate in practice at central and provincial levels, the political economy and policy-making process, and gaps and opportunities for leveraging agriculture for nutrition in Afghanistan.
Areas of suggested policy response are:
18 Oct 2016 04:20:28 GMT
The transition to renewables cuts across the entire urban energy landscape, from buildings, to transport, to industry and power. It means integrating energy supply and demand between different sectors, through smart technologies, rigorous planning and holistic decision-making.
Cities today have the opportunity and the means to provide sustainable services and quality of life to their citizens. Urban areas account for more than half the world’s population, as well as 65% of global energy demand and 70% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Cities, therefore, need to take action to meet the rising needs of their populations while maintaining a healthy living environment, combatting poverty and avoiding catastrophic climate change.
While the potential for renewables is high, it varies greatly depending on each city’s characteristics. Population density, growth prospects and demand profiles in cold versus hot climates all shape the opportunities to introduce renewables, including the vast growth potential for uses in urban buildings
and transport. Accordingly, deployment strategies must be tailored to technology options and enabling policy frameworks for each city.
Priority action areas for renewable energy in cities:
18 Oct 2016 03:49:41 GMT
Reflecting the growing momentum for carbon pricing worldwide, the 2016 edition of the State and Trends of Carbon Pricing report targets the wide audience of public and private stakeholders engaged in carbon pricing design and implementation. This report also provides critical input for negotiators involved in implementation of the Paris Agreement at the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Marrakesh.
As in the previous editions, the report provides an up-to-date overview of existing and emerging carbon
pricing instruments around the world, including national and subnational initiatives. Furthermore, it gives an
overview of current corporate carbon pricing initiatives.
Another key focus of the report is on the importance of aligning carbon pricing with the broader policy
landscape. The analysis provides lessons for policymakers on how to maximize synergies between climate
mitigation and other related policies, while managing potential tensions and tradeoffs.
This year’s report provides new modelling analysis to demonstrate the crucial benefits that an international
carbon market established under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement could provide in reducing the costs to
countries of achieving their emission reduction targets. An international carbon market could thus enable
greater ambition in taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with the 2°C
climate stabilisation goal.
18 Oct 2016 02:17:34 GMT
Annual economic losses and fatalities caused by natural disasters are subject to large fluctuations and are strongly linked to extreme events such as the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, cyclone Nargis in 2008 or the Haiti earthquake of 2010 (CRED, 2015). However, there is a clear trend of increasing economic and human losses over the last 40 years.
There are several reasons for this trend. Firstly, a rising world population leads to the increased settlement of socially disadvantaged segments of the population in high-risk areas such as riverine flood plains or areas with high probability of landslides. Secondly, human-induced climate change leads to an increased frequency of hydro-metrological extreme events. These combined effects produce a growing number of disasters due to natural hazards.
The objective of this paper is the development of a structured synthesis of available case studies to create generalised statements about the economic efficiency of DRR. Furthermore, the goal is to present results specifically for different hazard types to allow for a comparison of DRR across all hazards.
Key results include:
18 Oct 2016 01:57:13 GMT
In adopting the goals of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the international communit y took responsibility for building a sustainable future. But meeting the goals of eradicating hunger and poverty by 2030, while addressing the threat of climate change, will require a profound transformation of food and agriculture systems worldwide.
The effects of climate change on agricultural production and livelihoods are expected to intensify over time, and to vary across countries and regions. Beyond 2030, the negative impacts of climate change on the productivity of crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry will become increasingly severe in all regions.
Policymakers must recognize the need to manage trade-offs, and set out concrete measures for better aligning multiple objectives and incentive structures. For example, the gender equity trade-offs of planned actions need to be systematically analysed – a shift to more resilient intercropping systems has sometimes cost women their control over specific crops. One area with a large potential for policy realignment is the redesign of agricultural support measures in a way that facilitates, rather than impedes, the transition to sustainable agriculture. In 2015, developed and major developing ountries spent more than US$560 billion on agricultural production support, including subsidies on inputs and direct payments to farmers. Some measures, such as input subsidies, may induce inefficient use of agrochemicals and increase the emissions intensity of production. Making support conditional upon the adoption of practices that lower emissions and conserve natural resources is one way of aligning agricultural development and climate goals.
Policies on nutrition, food consumption, food price support, natural resources management, infrastructure development, energy and so on, may similarly need to be re-set. To address trade-offs, the process must ensure greater inclusiveness and transparency in decision-making, as well as incentives that provide long-term public and collective benefits.
More climate finance needs to flow to agriculture to fund the investment cost associated with the required large-scale transformation of its sectors and the development of climate-smart food production systems.
14 Oct 2016 10:00:08 GMT
Fisheries play a crucial role in supporting livelihoods and food security in Ghana. While there is a sizable industrial fishing fleet, more than two-thirds of Ghana’s total marine fish catch is accounted for by artisanal fishers. These fishers now share Ghana’s marine domain with the country’s emerging oil sector, an industry that has raised hopes of a significant economic boost for the country while at the same time eliciting concerns around potential environmental and social impacts.
This paper explores the relationship between Ghana’s oil and gas sector and the artisanal fishery sector, highlighting areas where greater co-operation may support improved trust between stakeholders and contribute to the long-term sustainability of Ghana’s artisanal fisheries.
The current debate focuses on minimising negative impacts of the oil sector, but the paper argues for a more constructive engagement that would see effective partnerships addressing the broad set of stressors and challenges currently facing the artisanal fisheries sector. Increasingly, stakeholders are accepting that the oil sector is not the most important threat to the long-term sustainability of Ghana’s small-scale fisheries. However, more needs to be done to explore opportunities through which the oil sector, together with government authorities and other stakeholders, can support artisanal fisheries in addressing the core challenges facing the sector. These challenges include fleet overcapacity, the widespread use of illegal fishing gears, climate change, pollution, a lack of research to inform fisheries management decision-making, and a lack of marine protected areas to support stock recovery.
14 Oct 2016 04:00:19 GMT
Children’s vulnerability to climate change can be understood as an intersection of three axes. The first is exposure; the extent to which children live in a physical location that is vulnerable to drought, floods, extreme weather events and sea level rise. Recent estimates by UNICEF indicate that 160 million children live in drought-prone areas, and half a billion more live in zones at risk to high floods and severe storms.
The second axis is socio-economic, with vulnerability to hazards due to a lack of resources, poverty and marginalization. Families without adequate incomes and assets, protective infrastructure and housing, access to basic services, and inadequate nutrition and clean water, face the greatest risk in a changing climate. The third axis is time, today’s children and future generations will bear the brunt of environmental impacts, creating an inter-generational injustice without precedent. All children fall somewhere along these three axes, but it is the children who live in greatest poverty and in the most exposed places that face the greatest risks. More than just passive victims, these young people, often with the support of their caregivers and communities, also represent agents of change and have consistently demonstrated the capacity to devise local solutions, participate in global conversations and contribute to a safe and sustainable future.
This brief argues that:
14 Oct 2016 03:48:04 GMT
Over the last fifteen years many African countries have experienced a ‘mining takeoff’. Mining activities have bifurcated into two sectors: large-scale, capital-intensive production generating the bulk of the exported minerals, and small-scale, labour-intensive artisanal mining, which, at present, is catalyzing far greater immediate primary, secondary and tertiary employment opportunities for unskilled African labourers. Youth residing in mining settlements, have a large vested interest in the current and future development of mining.
Focusing on Tanzania as typical of the emerging ‘new mineralizing Africa’, this paper, examines youth’s role in mining based on recent fieldwork in the country’s northwestern gold fields. Youth’s current involvement in mining as full-fledged, as opposed to part-time, miners is distinguished. The attitudes of secondary school students towards mining as a form of employment and its impact on economic and social life in mining communities are discussed within the context of the uneasy transitions from an agrarian to a mining-based country, from rural to urban lifestyles, and the growing scope and power of foreign-directed, capital-intensive, corporate mining relative to local labourintensive artisanal mining.
14 Oct 2016 03:42:58 GMT
The expansion of mobile phone use in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly over the last five years, has been remarkable in terms of speed of adoption, spatial penetration and, not least, the fact that this is an essentially spontaneous development firmly embedded in private sector activity. Country-level adoption and usage rates suggest that, in many countries, mobile phone use, even in poor households, is rapidly becoming an everyday part of life. Much of this use is based on shared access, rather than ownership, but for millions of very poor children and young people1 the mobile phone is now perceived as an essential requisite: an object of desire and a symbol of success.
This paper we examine mobile phone use by young people across 24 sites in three countries, Ghana, Malawi and South Africa, drawing on intensive qualitative and survey research, and relate this to issues of gendered physical mobility.
Findings point to significant variations between the three study countries and between urban and rural locations within them. There is also, of course, variation within individual sites, since the circumstances of young people living in one neighbourhood can differ quite substantially, depending not only on gender and age but also on factors such as family structure and socio-economic circumstances.
Nonetheless, some trends can be discerned from this socio-spatial analysis which build on findings from earlier (often single site or single country) studies in Africa: in particular, the growing importance of phones as urban-rural connectors, enhancing resource flows and young people’s construction of network capital, and concerns about their less positive aspects, not least the potential for encouraging or supporting illicit activities such as robbery or possibly dangerous underage sexual liaisons.
14 Oct 2016 03:32:57 GMT
Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven. Inequalities in child health are large and effective interventions rarely reach the most in need. Little is known about how to reduce these inequalities.
This paper describes and explains the equity impact of a women’s group intervention in India that strongly reduced the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) in a cluster-randomised trial. The authors conducted secondary analyses of the trial data, obtained through prospective surveillance of a population of 228 186. The intervention effects were estimated separately, through random effects logistic regression, for the most and less socio-economically marginalised groups.
Among the most marginalised, the NMR was 59% lower in intervention than in control clusters in years 2 and 3 (70%, year 3); among the less marginalised, the NMR was 36% lower (35%, year 3). The intervention effect was stronger among the most than among the less marginalised (P-value for difference = 0.028, years 2-3; P-value for difference = 0.009, year 3).
The stronger effect was concentrated in winter, particularly for early NMR. There was no effect on the use of health-care services in either group, and improvements in home care were comparable. Participatory community interventions can substantially reduce socio-economic inequalities in neonatal mortality and contribute to an equitable achievement of the unfinished MDG agenda.
14 Oct 2016 03:22:41 GMT
Improving children and young people’s (CYP) wellbeing, and recognising the role they can play in creating a more sustainable world will be critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This timely report provides insights into how ESRC-DFID funded research has provided new knowledge that can inform and strengthen policy making in relation to CYP issues and help meet global development ambitions.
Key research findings:
14 Oct 2016 03:12:58 GMT
This report synthesises insights on children and young people (CYP) from research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. It identifies the major contributions the scheme has made to knowledge on CYP in low- and middle-income countries and on effective policies for promoting CYP wellbeing. It situates learning from scheme-funded research within the wider field of CYP-oriented international development research and reflects on the ways in which findings relate to contemporary
development policy agendas for CYP. The report is based on a thorough review of all available documentation and outputs related to the 126 grants funded at the start of the review period and on conversations and interviews with current grant-holders.
13 Oct 2016 12:39:27 GMT
The Disaster Management Reference Handbook Series is intended to provide decision makers, planners, responders and disaster management practitioners with an overview of the disaster management structure, policies, laws, and plans for each country covered in the series. Natural and man-made threats most likely to affect the country are discussed. The handbooks also provide basic country background information, including cultural, demographic, geographic, infrastructure and other relevant data.
Conditions such as poverty, water and sanitation, vulnerable groups and other humanitarian issues are included. A basic overview of the health situation in the country and disease surveillance is also covered. The handbooks include information on key national entities involved in disaster management, disaster response and preparation, and the military’s role in disaster relief. Information on United Nation agencies, international NGOs, major local NGOs, and key U.S. agencies and programs in the country, are also provided.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) comprises 29 atolls and five low-lying islands, including the atolls Bikini, Ebetem Kwajalein, Ebeye Enewetak, Majuro, Rongelap, and Utirik. Twenty-two of the atolls and four islands are inhabited.
RMI faces numerous development challenges with geographical, social and economic factors contributing to high levels of vulnerability, and climate change is expected to exacerbate existing challenges. Current progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) varies. Most progress has been made in addressing water issues and education and awareness on DRR. Progress has been weakest in relation to creating an enabling environment for improved DRM; mainstream DRM in planning, decision making, budgetary
processes at the national and local levels; and implementing and enforcing building codes and zoning. Currently DRR is not specified in national budgeting expenditures and RMI faces the challenge of limited technical and financial resources across ministries. The integration of DRR and disaster management (DM) into sustainable development policies, planning and programming needs further strengthening. The level of awareness amongst all national and local
level stakeholders and decision makers that DRR and DRM are key development issues also needs to be improved. Little progress has been made in developing local plans for emergency response. Although Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are working with outer island communities, there is a lack of a coordinated approach to disaster preparedness and response.
13 Oct 2016 10:55:24 GMT
The period 1996 to 2015 saw 7,056 disasters recorded worldwide by EM-DAT, the Emergency Events Database. The frequency of geophysical disasters (primarily earthquakes, including tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions) remained broadly constant throughout this period but there was a sustained rise in climate- and weather-related events (floods, storms and heatwaves in particular) which accounted for the majority of disaster deaths in most years.
Of the 1.35 million people killed by natural hazards over the past 20 years, more than half died in earthquakes, with the remainder due to weather- and climate-related hazards. The overwhelming majority of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. The poorest nations paid the highest price in terms of the numbers killed per disaster and per 100,000 population.
The global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted by all UN member States in March 2015, sets a target for a substantial reduction in global disaster mortality; the statistics in this report point towards several major conclusions with implications for achieving this target:
13 Oct 2016 04:20:13 GMT
The development literature in the recent past has brought out the stark differences in the social and economic status of Dalits and Adivasis as compared to other social groups in India. Most of these studies tended to focus on the correlates of group identity, material deprivation and poverty of these groups to their development deficit.
Dominant discussions in public health in India have often tended to sideline the questions of discrimination while examining the gap in health status among social groups mainly due to the over influence of more visible issues such as unbalanced resource allocation and spending, poor coverage of services, infrastructure lacuna, human resource shortage, affordability and issues of governance. Whilst not many, there, are evidences that discrimination and resulting deprivation have an impact on health of the people in the Indian context.
The paper examines whether the dalit castes are adequately represented in the health service system in rural India in the context of the already established caste based discrimination in service delivery. Drawing from official data, the paper shows an overall domination of non-dalits in healthcare services. The paper presents two scenarios to understand it further. Fist is the similarities in health disparities between Scheduled Castes (SCs) and non-SC/Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Bihar and Tamil Nadu, which have huge presence of non SC/STs in significant positions of healthcare delivery. Second is the case of Andhra Pradesh (undivided), which has less intergroup disparities and better distribution of health personnel from dalit castes at all levels of health services. These cases confirm the persistence of unfavourable environments for dalits with the domination of non-dalits in health services.
13 Oct 2016 04:15:34 GMT
This paper presents a case study from Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda, examining and deepening an understanding of direct incomes and costs of conservation for local people close to protected areas. In the early 1990s, collaborative arrangements were introduced to Mount Elgon National Park to improve people-park relations and enhance rural livelihoods after a period of violent evictions and severe resource access restrictions. In areas with such arrangements – including resource access agreements, Taungya farming, and beekeeping schemes – we observe a marginal increase in annual incomes for involved households. Other incomes accrue from tourism revenue sharing schemes, a community revolving fund, and payments for carbon sequestration. However, these incomes are economically marginal (1.2% of household income), unevenly distributed and instrumentally used to reward compliance with park regulations. They do not necessarily accrue to those incurring costs due to eviction and exclusion, crop raiding, resource access restrictions and conflicts. By contrast, costs constitute at least 20.5 % of total household incomes, making it difficult to see how conservation, poverty alleviation and development can be locally reconciled if local populations continue to bear the economic brunt of conservation. We recommend a shift in policy towards donor and state responsibility for compensating costs on a relevant scale. Such a shift would be an important step towards a more substantive rights-based model of conservation, and would enhance the legitimacy of protected area management in the context of both extreme poverty and natural resource dependence.
13 Oct 2016 03:54:02 GMT
This article explores the entry and spread of IWRM in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It traces how the idea of IWRM was promoted and sustained throughout the region by mapping key events, actors and networks that were involved in promoting the approach. It highlights the importance of regional networks in promoting IWRM and shows how regional dynamics, playing out at the interface between the global and local levels, influenced the adoption/adaptation and spread of IWRM. The article finds that the idea of IWRM 'hit the ground running' in SADC due to several contributing factors. These include: historical political connections between the member countries; historically rooted well-established channels and connections with bilateral and multilateral donors; the success of networks such as the Global Water Partnership and WaterNet whose mandate was to promote the concept; and the fact that two-thirds of the region’s population live in transboundary basins with IWRM providing a suitable hook for transboundary cooperation, often inspired by European models. The article further argues that IWRM thrived because of strong donor agendas that were adapted by key SADC actors to suit strategic interests. It thus provided a platform for complex politically charged negotiations to reconcile apparently divergent goals such as infrastructure vs management and regional vs national interests. The practice of IWRM in the region is very much shaped by a conflation of regional, national and donor interests and has now acquired a life of its own, despite changing donor priorities.
13 Oct 2016 02:13:55 GMT
DFID funds research in order to contribute to its overarching goal of poverty reduction. We fund some research which aims to produce new products or technologies that directly improve the lives of poor people. Other research produces knowledge and will only have an impact if it is understood and used to inform decisions. Research uptake includes all the activities that facilitate and contribute to the use of research evidence by policy-makers, practitioners and other development actors. Research uptake activities aim to:
This guidance aims to support DFID-funded research programmes as they develop and implement their research uptake strategy. Research programmes which are part-funded by DFID should consult with their DFID programme manager to determine which part(s) apply to them.
11 Oct 2016 10:53:22 GMT
Mental health is a critically important issue in global health today, and yet does not receive due policy attention. Mental illness will likely affect one in four people within their lifetime and neuropsychiatric conditions now account for 13% of the global burden of disease - with 70% of that burden in low- and middle-income countries. Despite this, mental health has not yet achieved the policy influence that would be proportionate to its burden.
This report applies several theoretical approaches to analyse mental health as a policy issue and the particular challenges it faces. It also applies other supporting analytical approaches regarding the tractability of a policy issue and for assessing the effectiveness of global health networks.
The report focusses on mental health at a global level, but highlights the need for more detailed analysis at a more local level, given that policy traction is highly dependent on local context, actors and systems of decision-making.
11 Oct 2016 10:44:46 GMT
In 2015 the world took a huge step forward by including mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set the global agenda for the next three decades. Now that they have been agreed, the world is looking to how the SDGs will be funded and how progress towards achieving them will be measured. Mental health is severely underfunded. Despite the huge burden it places on global health, it receives a fraction of the funding of other diseases.
Reporting of mental health spending by country governments and donors is inconsistent, and tracking of spending all but non-existent (as it is often
rolled into general health budgets).
This report provides an overview of who is currently funding mental health and who isn’t, but could be. It is a synthesis of research previously conducted in this field and analyses both existing and new funders. It highlights how little information there is on what donors are spending on mental health globally, what types of activities are funded and why funding mental health delivers a variety of benefits, and it suggests how to frame the issue to encourage more investment.
11 Oct 2016 10:21:25 GMT
More than 700 million women in the world today were married before their 18th birthday and one in three of those women was married before age 15. Child marriage can trigger a cycle of disadvantage across every part of a girl’s life.
Maternal mortality is the second leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15–19 years old (after suicide). An estimated 70,000 adolescent girls die each year from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Every year 2.5 million girls under 16 give birth.
Aside from child marriage and inadequate sexual and reproductive helath care, this report highlights further barriers to girls' equality, including gender-based violence, trafficking, economic exclusion when household resources are limited and boys are prioritised, education and learning gaps, and gender issues arising from conflict and disasters.
This report identifies the three specific Guarantees to Girls that governments must make - fair finance, equal treatment and accountability - that governments must make to reach excluded children.
11 Oct 2016 04:29:29 GMT
The Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013–2020, endorsed by the World Health Organization, provides a roadmap and a menu of policy options for Member States and other stakeholders to take coordinated and coherent action to reduce mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and exposure to risk factors.
To address the increasing number of requests from Member States for guidance on how to design fiscal policies on diet, WHO convened a technical meeting of global experts in fiscal policies on 5–6 May 2015 in Geneva. The main objectives of the meeting were to review evidence and existing guidance, discuss country case studies and provide considerations with regards to the scope, design and implementation of effective fiscal policies on diet. The meeting consisted of presentations and discussions during plenary and in working groups on the evidence, country experiences and technical aspects of policy design and implementation.
It was concluded that there is reasonable and increasing evidence that appropriately designed taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages would result in proportional reductions in consumption, especially if aimed at raising the retail price by 20% or more. There is similar strong evidence that subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables that reduce prices by 10–30% are effective in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Greater effects on the net energy intake and weight may be accomplished by combining subsidies on fruit and vegetables and taxation of target foods and beverages. Vulnerable populations, including low-income consumers, are most price-responsive and, in terms of health, benefit most from changes in the relative prices of foods and beverages.
Consistent with the evidence on tobacco taxes, specific excise taxes – as opposed to sales or other taxes – based on a percentage of retail price, are likely to be most effective. In countries with strong tax administration, taxes that are calculated based on nutrient content can have greater impact. A proper situation analysis, good political advocacy, appropriate objective setting and evaluation, should be part of the multidisciplinary development and implementation of such policies.
There are evidence gaps that could be addressed, with more countries developing and implementing such fiscal policies. Lack of standards or criteria for determining exactly what to tax is a challenge experienced by countries and the development of a nutrient profile model for designing and implementing fiscal policies was recommended. In addition, there was a call for a manual on developing and implementing fiscal policies for diet.
It is recommended that:
11 Oct 2016 02:21:46 GMT
The Cat Ba National Park area (Vietnam) with its tropical forest is recognized as being part of the world biodiversity conservation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is a well-known destination for tourists, with around 500,000 travelers per year. This area has been the site for many research projects; however, no project has been carried out for forest fire susceptibility assessment. Thus, protection of the forest including fire prevention is one of the main concerns of the local authorities. This work aims to produce a tropical forest fire susceptibility map for the Cat Ba National Park area, which may be helpful for the local authorities in forest fire protection management. To obtain this purpose, first, historical forest fires and related factors were collected from various sources to construct a GIS database. Then, a forest fire susceptibility model was developed using Kernel logistic regression. The quality of the model was assessed using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, area under the ROC curve (AUC), and five statistical evaluation measures. The usability of the resulting model is further compared with a benchmark model, the support vector machine (SVM). The results show that the Kernel logistic regression model has a high level of performance in both the training and validation dataset, with a prediction capability of 92.2%. Since the Kernel logistic regression model outperforms the benchmark model, we conclude that the proposed model is a promising alternative tool that should also be considered for forest fire susceptibility mapping in other areas. The results of this study are useful for the local authorities in forest planning and management.
11 Oct 2016 01:47:17 GMT
Sense of ownership is often advocated as an argument for local participation within the epistemic development and nature conservation communities. Stakeholder participation in initiating, designing or implementing institutions is claimed to establish a sense of ownership among the stakeholders and subsequently improve the intended outcomes of the given institution. Theoretical and empirical justi cations of the hypothesis remain scarce. A better understanding of the effects of local participation can motivate more extensive and stronger participation of local stakeholders and improve institutional performance. This paper applies theories from psychology and behavioral economics to better understand sense of ownership. The empirical investigation is a framed fi eld experiment, in the context of tropical forest conservation and payments for environmental services in Tanzania. The results lend little support to the hypothesis in this context. The participation treatment in the experiment is weak, and a possible explanation is that sense of ownership is sensitive to the form of participation.
10 Oct 2016 12:11:32 GMT
This paper was published by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to inform the round table talks on ‘the importance of housing, land and property (HLP) rights in humanitarian response’ held in Geneva.
The NRC and IFRC are the global focal point agencies within the HLP Area of Responsibility under the Global Protection Cluster, a collaboration between NGOs, UN agencies, and academic institutions. The statement of the Global Protection Cluster provides the basis for this paper to develop a deeper understanding of how a human rights framework, specifically the right to adequate housing, can inform responses to disasters and conflict and promote protection within humanitarian operations. This paper aims to present that HLP rights is a cross-sectoral issue, and although this manifestation is acknowledged by some, it still represents a barrier to operations.
Assistance for this report was provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA).
10 Oct 2016 11:41:35 GMT
By providing a first-hand account of development projects and business activities that have caused displacement across India, this report documents and analyses the scale, process and impacts of this phenomenon. It contributes to the existing body of evidence on this type of displacement and aims to raise awareness among policy-makers, business elites, academics, NGOs and operational decision-makers at the national and international level.
The report examines nine cases of displacement caused by development in the states of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala and the national capital territory of Delhi. They reveal failed regulation, inadequate enforcement and harm to communities that extend to other cases elsewhere in India. They show that land acquisitions have pushed people aside with no regard for their rights or needs for decades. They are the result of government indifference and a failure to monitor the human rights impacts of projects and establish accountability mechanisms to address them.
The case studies for this report contribute to the global evidence base on displacement caused by development. The detrimental impacts of development projects in India highlight the need to address the issue in key policy agendas and discussions. Despite IDPs’ awareness of their rights and resistance to their eviction and displacement, they will not escape poverty without significant external support and systemic changes to social and economic policies.
Global development agendas should ensure that while development projects may alleviate poverty for some, they should not at the same time create new poor or heighten the existing economic vulnerabilities of those evicted. Neglecting those evicted and displaced would undermine the achievement of global development goals. The timescale for planning and implementing projects provides ample opportunity to avoid or minimise displacement, and to put measures in place to ensure that those who are displaced achieve durable solutions.
07 Oct 2016 12:10:31 GMT
It is well recognized that if livelihoods and food security of farmers are to be improved in the face of climate change challenges, adaptation measures at massive scale will be needed. This will require an enabling environment to catalyse the positive behavioural changes that will be needed to move towards climate resilient food systems.
This working paper synthesizes knowledge within CGIAR on adaptation measures in agricultural systems, for the benefit of parties and observers preparing submissions to the UNFCCC SBSTA. Experience from CGIAR and partners indicate that adaptation measures covering policy, technological, financial, institutional, and research interventions are being tested and applied in agricultural systems in low-income and middle-income countries. Lessons include the need to ensure context-specificity when designing adaptation measures, engaging farmers in decision-making, and combining indigenous and scientific knowledge. Adaptation measures in agricultural systems are able to generate various added benefits in addition to adaptation benefits. These include enhanced food security, environmental benefits including mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, and positive outcomes for gender and social inclusion. However, good design and implementation of these measures is important, for which capacity enhancement and technology transfer are essential functions.
07 Oct 2016 11:59:17 GMT
This paper synthesizes knowledge within CGIAR and its partners on agricultural practices and technologies to enhance food security, resilience and productivity in a sustainable manner.
A number of agricultural practices and technologies which contribute to these objectives were identified and assessed to generate four key lessons.
Firstly, agricultural practices and technologies do not necessarily have universal applicability, they will have to be selected, tailored and applied as appropriate for the context, including agro-ecological zones, farming systems as well as cultural and socio-economic context.
Secondly, strong mechanisms for capacity enhancement and technology transfer are prerequisites for success of interventions.
Thirdly, suitable sources of funding are required to support implementation and scaling up efforts.
Lastly, many agricultural practices and technologies have the potential to achieve co-benefits for environmental health and climate change mitigation.
In contexts where mitigation is feasible, managing for multiple outcomes can help countries and smallholder farmers adopt low carbon development pathways.
07 Oct 2016 11:50:50 GMT
In 2014 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), as part of its mandate to consider issues related to agriculture, invited submissions from parties and observers, covering four topics, in 2015 and 2016. Of the two topics for consideration in 2016, one relates to “Identification of adaptation measures, taking into account the diversity of the agricultural systems, indigenous knowledge systems and the differences in scale as well as possible co-benefits and sharing experiences in research and development and on the ground activities, including socioeconomic, environmental and gender aspects”.
This info note provides a brief overview of key adaptation measures in agriculture. A twinned info note considers agricultural practices and technologies, which are one sub-set of adaptation measures.
07 Oct 2016 11:36:17 GMT
In 2014 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), as part of its mandate to consider issues related to agriculture, decided to invite submissions from parties and observers, covering four topics, in 2015 and 2016. Of the two topics for consideration in 2016, one relates to ‘identification and assessment of agricultural practices and technologies to enhance productivity in a sustainable manner, food security and resilience, considering the differences in agro-ecological zones and farming systems, such as different grassland and cropland practices and systems’.
07 Oct 2016 10:49:45 GMT
Climate change is one of the most fundamental challenges of our time. The extraordinary growth of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in China represents the single greatest obstacle to global climate change efforts in the coming decades. Meanwhile, China suffers from the adverse consequences of climate change. It has been recognized that two factors may increase climate change risks: (a) the increase in GHG emissions, which will increase the frequency and intensity of climate hazards; and (b) the increase of value-at-risk, such as the increased concentration of the world’s population and property in vulnerable areas.
Therefore, mitigation of climate change risk involves not only human intervention to reduce GHG emissions but also prevention of potential losses caused by climate hazards. Among many solutions to risk mitigation, insurance has received increased attention due to its expertise in risk management and regulatory function in influencing policyholders’ behavior. This Article examines the ability of two types of insurance—liability insurance and catastrophe insurance—to regulate and thus help mitigate climate change risks, and considers the potential lessons for China.
In the context of climate change risk management, either private insurance or the state can play a crucial role in mitigating risks. The discussion of liability insurance and catastrophe insurance in this paper makes clear that catastrophe insurance is a much more feasible method of regulating climate change risks.
In addition, to take advantage of the state’s compulsory power, this article proposes a feasible solution marrying the merits of both state and private insurance. Compulsory catastrophe-insurance-based private-public partnership will not only enhance mitigation of value-at-risk but also provide the victims with sufficient financial protections for climate hazards that are not eliminated. This hybrid mechanism has become a prototype for developing catastrophe insurance in several countries. It should be developed as soon as possible in China to cope with the increasing risks of climate change.
07 Oct 2016 10:29:36 GMT
07 Oct 2016 10:10:18 GMT
07 Oct 2016 03:42:44 GMT
07 Oct 2016 02:29:01 GMTGender, climate change and adaptive capacity are intricately linked. Poor and marginalised women and men face multiple and complex challenges. Climate change further exacerbates these challenges and threatens to erode development gains made to date. Unequal distribution of resources and power imbalances are both the root cause of poverty and also impact on a person’s capacity to adapt. Adaptation interventions are often based on the belief that women’s role in the home makes them critical agents of change and, thus, a focus for adaptation interventions. But many women do not have decision-making power within the home or over all household resources, let alone over valued livelihood resources and may not be able to keep or manage their own earnings. Even in some female-headed households, social stigma may prevent many women from being treated as economic or social equals, despite their sole management of their livelihoods. These barriers tend not to be addressed by climate change adaptation programmes, which can inadvertently entrench gender inequality and even increase women’s workloads. This learning brief synthesises lessons drawn from CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa (ALP), which has been supporting vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa to adapt to the impacts of climate change since 2010. It is based on evidence and practical experience in implementing community based adaptation (CBA), about gender dynamics and the ways in which CBA can increase adaptive capacity and promote gender equality. It identifies the factors shaping gender dynamics and adaptive capacity and gives examples of how to integrate gender into CBA approaches as well as outlining knowledge gaps and recommendations for policy and practice. Recommendations for policy and practice include:tackle the gender dimensions of livelihoods: they are context-specific and addressing them in appropriate ways demands context-specific action. Gender-sensitive analysis, policy and planning is critical to thisinclude gender equality in climate change policy goals and strategiesnational and sub-national adaptation planning needs to be led by affected communities, and be based on an understanding of the gendered nature of climate change impacts as well as adaptation initiatives themselves so as not to further entrench inequality. Gender-equitable participatory actions will bring more gender balance into initiativesstrengthen interdepartmental work between women’s departments and climate change departmentspower imbalance and access to decision-making in the home, community and country must be recognised and addressed in the global responseapproach efforts to address adaptive capacity and gender equality not as an issue for women alone, but as an issue that is critical for the advancement of everyone in society; it is an indispensable part of achieving social justiceinvest in improving women’s economic empowerment in the face of climate change to address the way resources and labour are distributed and valued in the economyprogrammes need appropriate timeframes and adequate resources i[...]
07 Oct 2016 02:14:07 GMT
Few studies of agrarian transition examine what farmers themselves feel about farming. Are they cultivating out of choice or a lack of options? What distinguishes farmers who like farming from t hose who do not: their personal and household characteristics and endowments? The local ecology and regional economy? Or a mix of these and other factors?
Understanding farmer satisfaction is important not only for assessing citizen well - being but also for agricultural productivity, since occupational satisfaction can affect a farmerâs i ncentive to invest and reveal production constraints. Using a unique all - India data set which asked farmers â do you like farming? â this paper provides answers and policy pointers, contributing a little - studied dimension to debates on the smallholderâs future and subjective well - being.
07 Oct 2016 01:56:16 GMT
Climate Change has gained global attention due to its adverse impact on agriculture. Cocoa production in Ghana is also under threat following climate change. This study, therefore, examined farmers’ perception on climate variability and its effect on adaptation strategies in the Suaman district of Western Region, Ghana. It involved 240 cocoa farmers. The study estimated Heckman’s treatment effect model that corrected the presence of selectivity bias in the sample.
From the result, 69.5% of the farmers perceived an increase in the average temperature while 22.5% perceived an increase in the average rainfall over the years. The factors that significantly influenced farmers’ perceptions were farm size, farm management training, household size and farmer-based organization (FBO) membership.
The major adaptation strategies adopted by the farmers were pesticides application, planting improved varieties, mixed planting and changing planting dates. Farmers’ perception was found to have a positive impact on their adaptation. Other factors that significantly influenced adaptation were age of cocoa farm, household size and FBO membership.
The study concluded that perceptions are essential in adapting to climate variability in the district. Training of farmers on cocoa production and other agricultural activities in relation to climate variability and its impact is highly recommended. Similarly, enhancing access to weather forecast information is important to enhance farmer’s perceptions and also effectively implement adaptation strategies such as changing planting dates.
07 Oct 2016 01:37:27 GMT
07 Oct 2016 01:19:41 GMT
With current and anticipated increases in magnitude of extreme weather events and a declining consistency in weather patterns, particularly challenging for agriculture, there has been a growing interest in weather index-based insurance (IBI) schemes in Bangladesh. A number of weather index-based insurance products have already been tested and applied across Asia and Africa, with varying degrees of success, as a mechanism to improve livelihood security by enabling vulnerable populations to transfer risk associated with climate change, extreme weather events and other hazards. In the process, these efforts have generated important new knowledge on how these schemes can be designed and implemented for optimal results.
However, the practice of index-based insurance is still limited in Bangladesh, and the experience and knowledge generated by the different stakeholders involved needs to be better communicated.
07 Oct 2016 01:03:12 GMT
06 Oct 2016 11:33:41 GMT
06 Oct 2016 11:00:07 GMT
06 Oct 2016 10:35:14 GMTClimate change (CC) poses an ongoing threat to development in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) in theHorn of Africa (HoA) (IPCC, 2012). Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been implementing development interventions in the region for many decades. The effectiveness and sustainability of suchinterventions are questionable as Africa is still lagging behind other regions of the world in achieving theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs) (United Nations, 2011). This calls for a shift in current developmentstrategies. Increased vulnerability in the region has acquired increased attention to climate change as one of the many obstacles for achieving sustainable development and increasing resilience in the ASALS. This has given rise to a new era for development agencies as they are now attempting to build resilience through mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). This brief will focus specifically on the significance of mainstreaming CCA into development interventions. Some key findings relevant to Kenya:in 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - released the Fourth Assessment Report. This section highlights some key statements and findings relevant to the Horn of Africathere is high agreement and evidence that Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions will continue to increase over the coming decadeswarming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected over the next two decadesProvided with the trends from this brief, the recommendation for Save the Children is to promote development interventions in the region using a precautionary approach to climate change. This is the only responsible and ethical choice for an organisation that is working specifically towards saving children who are the future generation.Mainstreaming climate change adaptation does not necessarily incur an increased financial burden on different sectors. It does however involve forward thinking and a shift in approach in terms of going beyond accepting what we are implementing and focusing more on how we are implementing projects. This will require the following:establishing a culture of prevention and mainstreaming DRR/CCAtaking an integrated management approach and understanding the current and future context of the region (socio-economic, environmental, and climatic)to ensure sustainability of any intervention, these must be aligned with governments and existing plansadvocate for longer term funding in project proposals where building resilience is identified as an overall objective[...]
06 Oct 2016 01:37:17 GMT
06 Oct 2016 01:18:39 GMT
The deepening of China’s engagement with Africa has also prompted the broadening of its interests on the continent. This has resulted in China’s expansion into increasingly riskier territories, which means there is a greater urgency to protect its interests from the political vagaries endemic to conflict-affected African states. This evolution marks a shift away from traditional perceptions of Chinese engagement in Africa as being limited to its economic interests, towards one where China becomes a politically interested and invested actor. This trend is paralleled by a macro-level reorientation of China’s foreign policy goals, where it envisions itself playing a stronger norm-setting role in the global arena.
This policy insights paper explores the values and imperatives that motivate China’s engagement in peace and security, human rights and human security in Africa.
China’s foray into political matters is a consequence of the growing need for it to respond to attacks on its citizens and investments on the ground, but can also be traced to grander foreign policy underpinnings associated with its desire to position itself as a norms entrepreneur in the global arena. What emerges from the interplaybetween these two factors is a dynamic foreign policy that is responsive to the political contexts of African states while guarding the sanctity of state sovereignty.
To be a successful player in promoting peace, security and human rights in Africa, China has found it necessary to develop an approach that mitigates the challenges of operating in volatile environments by increasing its engagements in multilateral organisations. In doing this, China positions itself as an important alternative to established global norms, projecting its aspirations of becoming a more responsible great power in world affairs.
04 Oct 2016 12:15:51 GMT
Many governments in developing countries are setting up non-contributory programs to assist older people, most of whom are not covered by formal pension schemes. Malawi is no stranger to the international advancement of social security and social protection. That said, further analysis on the implementation and the role of social pensions in tackling old-age poverty was needed to inform government policy and practice.
The aim of the study was to address the knowledge gap of social pension reforms in Malawi. The study examined what has been learned from the programs operating in different African countries, and highlights the key policy and budgetary issues that arise. The study has concluded that social pensions represent an important component of an institutional foundation for old-age social protection.
There are affordable options for Malawi to begin expanding a universal pension in the coming years. Various scenarios exist for universal pensions costing a fraction of GDP, which could be financed through wider efforts to increase revenue for social protection spending. Malawi could then seek to
increase the coverage and adequacy of a universal pension as more revenue can be secured, and as the economy grows.
The path chosen will depend on the political will of the government, but a potential option would be:
04 Oct 2016 12:07:53 GMT
04 Oct 2016 11:31:54 GMT
04 Oct 2016 11:22:05 GMT
This toolkit, developed through the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, is designed to develop and deliver health, education, water and sanitation hardware interventions that are more resilient to climate extremes and disasters. It provides a generic framework to help users:
The toolkit can help project, technical and field staff of implementing agencies who plan and manage service delivery projects in developing country contexts. With early planning, the impacts of disasters can be reduced through preparation and minimising risk to people and equipment. Some hazards can be avoided entirely by building infrastructure out of harm’s way.
The downloadable toolkit consists of three booklets. These include: