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:
07 Oct 2016 03:42:44 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.
06 Oct 2016 11:33:41 GMT
06 Oct 2016 01:37:17 GMT
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:
30 Sep 2016 09:26:57 GMT
30 Sep 2016 02:39:29 GMT
29 Sep 2016 12:41:17 GMTThis report, commissioned by DFID, seeks to identify what evidence exists that private investments made in clean energy, inclusive agribusiness and financial services lead to good development outcomes for the poor, especially women – with a particular focus on Asia. This paper is a rapid literature review, before deciding on whether or not to commission more detailed work. DFID is particularly interested in (a) specific suggestions that are made for how to strengthen the investments – for example, through complementary TA – so as to improve the likelihood of strong outcomes for the poor, especially women (b) gaps in the evidence base. The evidence of links between clean energy and good development outcomes for the poor was strong, although the review identified only very few rigorous impact studies. The literature highlighted the need for certain conditions to be met in order for those positive outcomes to be achieved. Financial sustainability was cited as a primary driver of development outcomes. Several studies indicated the importance of public sector intervention in clean energy investment alongside the private sector, to increase provision in poorer and rural areas and to ensure that proper standards are followed in the construction and operation of plants. For small-scale clean energy projects, the evidence indicated the importance of activities to promote their uptake, including financial services. Clean energy was seen to be of particular benefit to women but women are not properly represented in the design and implementation of small-scale clean energy projects. The evidence of links between inclusive agribusiness and good development outcomes for the poor was largely case study-based and anecdotal. The literature identifies many factors affecting the impact of inclusive agribusiness on the poor, including the assets available to the poor in value chains (including land and water) and the process of land acquisition. The literature identified elements of the design of successful inclusive agribusiness including the presence of producer organisations; innovative partnerships to help link producers to markets; pre-commercial investment to transfer assets and building capacity; and giving producers (especially women) a voice in governance and investment. Given the need for careful design, several sources emphasised the importance of ‘patient’ investment in this sector. The evidence for the impact of financial inclusion on the poor was considerably more robust than in the other two sectors, and many more rigorous impact evaluations were available. The evidence is strong for positive impacts for the poor through several different channels for private investment including savings products, improved banking technology and access to credit. In terms of barriers to successful financial inclusion, there is evidencethat farmers’ credit constraints are an important bottleneck in expanding agricultural output, and interventions that ease these constraints may be effective in reducing rural poverty and increasing agricultural production. The overall evidence on the impact of financial inclusion is mixed, as some studies show no effect on women while others associate it with positive impacts. The review showed that there is very limited robust evidence on the impact of particular private sector investments in these sectors. The evidence shows clearly that private sector investors, even when supported by development finance institutions (DFIs) rarely report on the impacts of their activities. Some of the more progressive companies and investors report on their reach to beneficiaries and some include an analysis of their beneficiaries by gender, but the review found no evidence of systematic reporting of impact by any private sector investors in clean energy, inclusive agribusiness [...]
27 Sep 2016 04:57:12 GMT
In Nigeria however, life after retirement is dreaded by most workers. The fears of facing the future after retirement create an ambiance of disturbance among employees. Retirement is seen by workers as a transition that could lead to psychological, physiological and economic problems.
This study provided evidence on the effect of the operation of the funded pension scheme since its inception in 2004 on economic growth in Nigeria using error correction mechanism (ECM) and Ordinary Least Square (OLS) methodologies.
Findings revealed that the pension fund contributions from both private and public sectors in Nigeria increased greatly and constituted a huge investment fund in the capital and money markets. This increased liquidity in the economy and created employment opportunities as well as improvement in the investment climate.
27 Sep 2016 03:18:13 GMT
27 Sep 2016 02:36:34 GMT
South Africa faces a series of macroeconomic challenges in the coming months that will strain its ability to address its most pressing need – more jobs. The macroeconomic policy approach taken in the recent time period largely adheres to mainstream tenets, emphasising low inflation and fiscal restraint. Since the Great Recession of 2008, however, those tenets have come under scrutiny, even by organisations such as the IMF.
High global levels of unemployment persist seven years after the onset of the crisis, underscoring the relevance of an alternative macroeconomic framework for both developed and developing countries in which the jobs deficit is the utmost priority. Among policymakers and scholars, the urgent need to stimulate employment coupled with multiple additional macro-level challenges has resuscitated attention to the importance of identifying a wider array of macroeconomic tools beyond the standard ones used in the past 25 years.
This policy brief discusses the recent macroeconomic approaches employed by the South African government with an emphasis on examination of the monetary policies adopted by the South African Reserve Bank. Their impact on the goals of employment creation and growth will be discussed. This will be followed by a review of alternative strategies potentially available to the South African government to address these challenges.
22 Sep 2016 10:56:57 GMT
From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to fourteen disasters causing over a billion dollars each in damage in the United States, 2011 was particularly damaging for developed countries. Reviewing 2011’s natural disasters, this report analyses the range of disasters and lessons to be learned from those that occurred in developed countries.
20 Sep 2016 03:15:10 GMT
Development cooperation is an integral part of India’s foreign policy and India has been extending cooperation to its fellow developing countries even before its independence in 1947. In present times, India’s development cooperation is manifested through its 'development compact' comprising five components, namely, capacity building and skill transfer, technology and related partnerships, development finance (which includes concessional loans and lines of credit), grants, and trade and investment. Off late, Indian extension of Lines of Credit (LoCs) through EXIM Bank of India have also become a prominent modality of Development Cooperation. However, in many a cases it has been seen that the projects faced a number of challenges for effective delivery.
This discussion paper explores these challenges and other issues related to quality and timely delivery of the projects. It also explains evolution of the scheme IDEAS and discusses new guidelines by EXIM Bank.
20 Sep 2016 02:59:10 GMT
In 2003, Zimbabwe formally announced the Look East Policy (LEP) in the face of economic sanctions by the West. This, coupled with the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) of 2000, has strengthened trade and bilateral investments between Zimbabwe and China. China is increasingly involved in Zimbabwe's agriculture, mining, construction and tourism industries. There is also an influx of Chinese entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe's retail industry. The repercussions of the LEP have been mixed. In this policy brief, the authors critically engage with three sectors: agriculture, mining and the informal sector; in order to provide an overview of the effects that LEP has had on Zimbabwe focusing on the period 2010-2016. They also propound some recommendations for more positive outcomes in the future.
It is likely that Zimbabwe will continue its strong relationship with China. This is notwithstanding, the fact that it is China that stands to benefit more from interaction with Zimbabwe in terms of natural resource wealth extraction and trade, as compared to the little financial aid being poured into Zimbabwe by Beijing. The evolvement of Sino-Zimbabwe relations will however, remain a matter of strategic interests at play. In this regard, it is noteworthy to highlight that the Chinese government has of late been reluctant to commit to financial investment given the political climate in the country. The recent introduction of the Indigenisation policy in Zimbabwe has also negatively affected Chinese companies particularly in the mining industry.
20 Sep 2016 02:37:21 GMT
Whether social protection benefits should be assigned to all (universal) or kept only for those who meet certain criteria (targeting) remains one of the most contentious questions in social policy research. The purpose of this brief is to revisit two social policy assumptions around basic concerns of efficiency, affordability and sustainability of universal social pensions. Contrary to what many international organisations and scholars have argued, this brief forwards that universal social pensions are economically viable and efficient strategies to produce welfare and alleviate older-age income deprivations. The world clearly has the resources to implement basic social pensions on a global scale; the question is if there is also the political will to do it.
13 Sep 2016 04:58:24 GMTThe December 2015 Paris Agreement lays the foundation for meaningful progress on addressing climate changeânow the focus must turn to the practical policy implementation issues. Against this background, this paper takes stock of the wide-ranging implications for fiscal, financial, and macroeconomic policies of coming to grips with climate change.Most immediate, and key, is the need to recognize and exploit the potential role of fiscal policies in implementing the mitigation pledges submitted by 186 countries in the context of the Paris Agreement. At the heart of the climate change problem is an externality: firms and households are not charged for the environmenta l consequences of their greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and other sources. This means that esta blishing a proper charge on emissions - that is, removing the implicit subsidy from the failure to charge for environmental costs - has a central role.Also critical are establishing a clear pathw ay to meeting complementary commitments on climate finance, effective adaptation, and ensuring financial markets play a full and constructive role. Fiscal policies are key to efficiently mobilizing both public and private sources of finance, while the need to adapt economies to clim ate change raises issues that have implications for the design of national tax and spending systems (for example, strengthening fiscal buffers and upgrading infrastructure in response to natural disaster risks). There is also a growing need to enhance the contribution of the financial sector to addressing climate challenges, by facilitating clean investments and pooling climate-related risks.For reducing carbon emissions ('mitigation'), carbon pricing (through taxes or trading systems designed to behave like taxes) should be front and centre. These are potentially the most effective mitigation instruments, are straight forward to administer (for example, building off fuel excises already commonplace in most countries), raise (especially timely) revenues for lowering debt or other taxes, and establish the price signals that are central for redirecting technological change towards low-emission investments. The challenges lie in gauging appropriate price paths and dealing with the adverse effects on vulnerable households and firms, and the consequent political sensitivities.Moving ahead unilaterally with carbon pricing is likely to be in many countries' own interests, because of the domestic (non-climate) benefits of doing so, most notably fewer deaths from exposure to local air pollution. As national pricing schemes emerge, a natural way to enhance these efforts and address concerns regarding lost competitiveness would be through international carbon price floor arrangements, analogous to those developed to counter some cases of international competition over mobile tax bases.For climate finance, carbon pricing in developing countries would establish price signals needed to attract private flows for mitigation. Substantial amounts could also be raised from charges on international aviation and maritime fuels. These fuels are a growing source of emissions, are underpriced, and charges would exploit a tax base not naturally belonging to national governments.For adaptation, specific measures to strengthen resilience to climate change will depend on a country's specific circumstances and vulnerabilities. Policies should be worthwhile across a range of scenarios for (uncertain) local climate effects and are particularly important for low-income countries and small states prone to climate-related natural disasters.In financial markets, increased di[...]
13 Sep 2016 04:25:02 GMT
Implementing the Paris climate agreement and the transition to a low carbon economy require adequate finance. Public finance plays a key role - whereas private finance is essential in developing and implementing new and innovative solutions. The Nordic countries are committed to further develop financial instruments and structures that can scale up such investments.
This report discusses the role of the public-private partnerships (PPPs) in scaling-up climate finance and how such partnerships should be designed to best fulfil this task. PPPs provide frameworks to ensure public leadership and accountability in tackling climate change, while enabling the ownership of certain components of climate finance to be transferred to private hands. The report proposes eight recommendations for climate negotiations and effective climate finance, and looks at some good case studies of PPPs worldwide.
13 Sep 2016 04:06:58 GMT
A consortium of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) has jointly reported their investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation projects (climate finance) on an annual basis since 2011, with the latest report published on June 2015. The objectives of this work are as follows:
The approach outlined in this briefing document seeks to expand the MDB climate finance tracking to also estimate financial resources invested alongside MDBs by exte rnal parties. A Technical Working Group (TWG) compo sed of MDB representatives, supported by an external consultant (International Financial Consulting Ltd), launched work towards a common practice in early 2015.
The purpose of this briefing document is to define a common tracking and reporting practice for MDBs that:
09 Sep 2016 02:38:40 GMT
09 Sep 2016 02:28:34 GMT
Increasing the participation of developing countries in global value chains (GVCs) is now an accepted G20 priority. However, there is disagreement over how multinational corporations (MNCs), which drive GVCs, can be persuaded to incorporate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from developing countries into the GVCs they co-ordinate. The choices range from conscious industrial strategies oriented towards coercive measures designed to force MNCs to integrate SMEs into their value chains, to facilitative approaches designed to attract MNCs to invest and, over time, incorporate domestic suppliers into their value chains.
Nonetheless, there is consensus on the key constraints that inhibit the growth of SMEs in general, and their inclusion into GVCs in particular: transaction costs; access to network infrastructure; and the capacity of firms and supporting institutional arrangements. Accordingly, this brief offer a high-level framework of recommendations for G20 states’ consideration.
09 Sep 2016 02:15:15 GMT
Increasing the participation of developing countries in global value chains (GVCs) is now an accepted G20 priority that features prominently on the Chinese government’s agenda for the 2016 summit. However, there is disagreement over a simple question: how can multinational corporations (MNCs), which drive GVCs, be persuaded to incorporate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from developing countries into the GVCs they co-ordinate?
The debate over this question is first explored in broad outline. It comes down to a decision by each country on whether it wishes to utilise GVCs in its growth strategy and, if so, what measures it wishes to adopt to promote the incorporation of its firms into MNCs’ GVCs. The choice ranges from conscious industrial strategies oriented towards coercive measures designed to force MNCs to integrate SMEs into their value chains, to facilitative approaches designed to attract MNCs to invest and, over time, incorporate domestic suppliers into their value chains where it makes business sense to do so.
Next the paper turns to the analyses and prescriptions being proffered by key international institutions in relation to the evolving G20 agenda on including SMEs in GVCs. What clearly emerges is consensus on a number of key constraints that inhibit the growth of SMEs in general and their inclusion into GVCs in particular. These can be summarised in three broad areas:
06 Sep 2016 03:49:46 GMT
Insurance can potentially play an important role in climate change adaptation for rural households in developing countries as part of the overall climate change adaptation strategy. However, agricultural insurance markets have many market failure s that inhibit their full development. In Colombia these market failures, namely information asymmetries and high transaction costs, are amplified by the country's difficult topography, poor infrastructure, and history of rural violence. Even though the government provides premium subsidies to increase coverage, it is still very low and important crops and small producers are not covered.
This paper analyses in detail the market constraints on the development of the agricultural insurance market in Colombia and provides recommendations so that it can fulfill its potential as a risk management tool in the country.
18 Aug 2016 01:51:11 GMT
This paper introduces the TL MPS of 2014, the first round of a publicly-available nationally representative longitudinal household survey. The authors provide a description of the sample and questionnaires. The paper discusses a number of data collection issues, such as non-response, as well as what was done to address these issues. The construction of sample weights is detailed. A comparison of the TLMPS to other Tunisian datasets is conducted to illustrate the representativeness of the data in terms of ke y demographic and labor market measures. Key features of the Tunisian labor market and potential avenues for research using the TLMPS are discussed.
16 Aug 2016 11:32:41 GMT
As a result of the successful United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, the international community has committed to limit the level of global warming at or below 2° Celsius. The historic agreement made in Paris will be implemented through country-led greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction commitments known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which to date have been submitted by 189 countries covering 95 percent of global GHG emissions. For the private sector, NDCs1 offer a clearer signpost of the investment direction countries intend to follow as the global economy travels down a low-carbon, climate resilient highway.
There is both an urgent need and an enormous opportunity for the private sector to help turn NDCs and the climate policies and plans that underpin them into climate-smart infrastructure investments. This report offers IFC’s assessment of how the formulation and adoption of NDCs by Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) governments presents the private sector with huge investment prospects of untapped climate-smart opportunities in a part of the world that is endowed with a wealth of natural capital and already is regarded as one of the great frontiers for climate smart investment.
12 Aug 2016 06:32:40 GMT
Many natural resource abundant countries have established sovereign wealth funds as part of their strategy of managing the resource wealth. This working paper by Ragnar Torvik looks into different arguments used as reasons to establish such funds, discuss how these funds are organized, and draw some policy lessons. The paper then develops a theory of how petroleum funds may affect the economic and political equilibrium of an economy, and how this depends on initial institutions. A challenge with petroleum funds is that they may produce economic and political incentives that undermines their potential benefits. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the best way to manage the petroleum wealth of Tanzania may not be to establish a sovereign wealth fund, but rather use revenues to invest domestically in sectors such as infrastructure, education and health. Such investments may produce a better economic, as well as institutional, development.
21 Jul 2016 12:10:27 GMT
For the past 10 years or so, Zambia has been experimenting with a universal old age pension in the district of Katete, in the east of the country. It has provided a regular pension to 4,500 older people aged over 60 years, 63% of whom were women. The recipients of the pension belong to the Chewa tribe. In 2010, the author undertook a study of the pension and, at the time, it provided people with a regular transfer of 120,0001 Kwacha (around US$23.50) per month. The pension was funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.
The Katete pension has had a transformative impact on the lives of older people, as well as on their wider communities. It has also helped address discrepancies between the ideal and reality with regard to how older people view themselves and how they are viewed by society. It enables older people to delay the inevitable decline into dependency on others and enables them to retain their humanity – as expressed in Chewa ideals – for as long as they can. By maintaining active mutual sharing and caring relations, they keep kinship and love alive. The pension has particularly positive benefits for those that have been marginalised in old age to re-incorporate themselves within intimate communities, which offer them care, respect and support, which they, because of their possession of cash, can reciprocate.Moving towards a much simpler universal pension, as in Katete, would make a lot of sense. The vast majority of older people in Zambia live in poverty and attempting to exclude the richest appears to add little – if any – value, in particular when they cannot be accurately identified. Furthermore, it would be preferable to provide the benefit as an individual entitlement so that households with more than one older person can receive multiple benefits. If not, households may be encouraged to split while particularly vulnerable households – with more than one older person (or person with a severe disability) – could receive a higher income, which they surely need.
21 Jul 2016 02:50:43 GMT
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region countries have unique demographic characteristics. Within the MENA region, Arab countries have higher fertility and population growth rates and a significantly younger age structure than other ountries and regions. This can be a “demographic gift or a demographic curse” depending on whether the high population growth and fertility can be transformed into economic growth.
In this study, the author examines the links between demographic change and fiscal policy in MENA countries, focusing specifically on the economic impacts coming from the conflict between social security and education, which are two of the most government programs in any country. The paper is unique as it incorporates a political economy model of education given expected increases in social security spending in the background. Labor movements and growth results are expected to depend significantly on the return to education. A sensitivity analysis on the parameter that shows the return to education spending reveals that MENA countries would suffer significantly from a lower return to education.
14 Jul 2016 03:55:02 GMT
India and Africa's partnership has entered a new era. Close political relationships are being invigorated by a flourishing trade
and investment relationship. This new trade and investment relationship could be crucial in the struggle to lift millions out of
Africa-India trade has followed the upward trend in South-South trade and investments over the last decade. Bilateral trade has
grown at a robust 31.8% annually between 2005 and 2011, through the economic crisis. There has been a surge in Indian
private investment in Africa with 'big ticket' investments in the telecommunications, IT, energy, and automobiles sectors.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Export Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) initiatives through the India-Africa Conclave and other Government of India initiatives are spurring on the burgeoning trade and investment relationship. In addition to more traditional development approaches, such as through Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation, the business oriented 'development compact' pioneered by CII and the EXIM Bank seems to be positively impacting directly on bilateral trade.
To understand the dynamics of this vibrant relationship, CII surveyed some 60 key Indian and African companies and business associations - a survey undertaken in collaboration with the WTO. Results highlight a number of factors getting in the way of expanded business and investment ties. Access to Indian buyers and trade finance emerges as major concerns for African traders. Transport and logistics costs and poor business environments are cited as major difficulties by Indian traders - a factor also cited as holding back further investment.
This joint CII-WTO report concludes with a series of recommendation on how development assistance and investments in tandem could help smooth out potential bottleneck towards a more sustainable investment-led trade growth relationship.
14 Jul 2016 03:19:10 GMT
The entry of Indian companies into Africa is largely market and resource seeking which offers much more potential in terms of promoting forward and backward linkages and in terms of impacting on competition in the domestic market. The increasing competitiveness of Indian firms and their interest to expand globally, particularly in IT-related services and pharmaceuticals, are driving its outward foreign direct investment (FDI) growth. Indian FDI to Africa is concentrated in oil, gas and mining in the primary commodities market. In the manufacturing sector, a dominance of automobile and pharmaceutical firms can be seen. Most of the Indian FDI in African countries is through greenfield investments (GIs) and joint ventures (JVs) that are desired by the host countries due to their contribution in creating new production capacity and generating employment, transfer of technology, etc. A number of factors have been identified that motivates Indian investors to invest in Africa. The factors are socio-cultural factors, host country policies, regional integration agreements, bilateral investment treaties (BITs), gross domestic product (GDP) growth and political economy factors. There is no denying that language, culture, presence of Diaspora does play a role in attracting FDI. The relationship between India and Africa exists and functions at all these multilateral levels as politics and commerce converge.
14 Jul 2016 02:39:16 GMT
The nature of India’s relationship with Africa is clearly evolving into a wider, deeper engagement that, while clearly in India’s advantage, also offers significant potential benefits to its African counterparts. This overview of Indian/African economic collaboration is a joint piece of work from KPMG and the Confederation of Indian Industry. It specifically looks at:
An important caveat pertaining to India’s economic relations with Africa, is that they are not confined to the BRICS and India’s reach in Africa extends beyond the alliance. The surge into Africa is driven mainly by the Indian government, but the private sector has not been lagging and significant economic linkages have arisen due to the interventions of the private sector from India.
The overall conclusion is that Indian-African trade and economic relations are likely to continue to grow, even in the wake of massive increases over a relatively short period of time with no current indication that the relationships are likely to cool anytime soon. While global conditions dictate events, the fact that Indian-African trade and economic relations continued to grow even through periods of some economic crisis suggests potential that has yet to be fully exploited.
14 Jul 2016 01:57:44 GMT
HelpAge International (Myanmar Country Office), with funding from LIFT donor consortium, has embarked on a three-year project to expand social protection to vulnerable households in Myanmar’s central dry zone. The project seeks to strengthen community and government capacity to protect vulnerable groups such as disabled and older people, and will deliver cash benefits to vulnerable households. As part of the project, HelpAge also seeks to enhance informal and community‐based systems and practices that are already working to provide support and assistance in the dry zone. To inform project activities and discussions of social protection generally, this research was undertaken to investigate community‐based mechanisms, structures, and practices in dry zone villages that might be providing forms of social protection for vulnerable people living in these communities.
12 Jul 2016 10:38:52 GMT
This report evaluates the disclosure practices of 100 major emerging market multinationals headquartered in 15 countries and active in 185 countries. The report is part of a series on corporate reporting published by Transparency International since 2008. Initially focused on
the world’s top multinationals, the series was expanded to include a first report on emerging market multinationals in 2013.
To enhance comparability, the company sample for this report is primarily based on the 2013 edition of the Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing Emerging Market Multinationals report. This report assesses the public disclosure practices of emerging market multinationals based on three dimensions: first, the reporting of key elements of their anti-corruption programmes; second, the disclosure of their company structures and holdings; and, third, the disclosure of key financial information on a country-b-ycountry basis. This information was gathered from corporate websites and other publicly available sources by a team of Transparency International researchers.
Despite some scattered signs of improvement since 2013, the overall results of the assessed companies remain weak, a clear indication that emerging market multinationals still practise low standards of transparency.
The overall average score for the 100 companies assessed in this report is 3.4 out of 10, a slightly weaker performance than in 2013 but almost on a par with the 3.8 overall score obtained in our 2014 report assessing
the world’s 124 largest multinationals. It is disconcerting to observe that emerging market multinationals, with an average score of 48 per cent, have barely registered improvement in the disclosure of their anti-corruption programmes since 2013, when their average score was 46 per cent. Once again, they trail behind the top global publicly listed companies assessed in 2014.
Overall index result:
12 Jul 2016 03:42:33 GMT
12 Jul 2016 01:24:35 GMT
Old-age pension programs targeting the elderly may eventually benefit their extended families. However, no consensus has been reached on the growing body of literature that examines the potential impact of old-age pension on migration decisions of extended families.
This paper makes use of the most recent social pension reform in rural China to examine whether receipt of the pension payment equips adult children of pensioners to migrate. Employing a regression discontinuity (hereafter RD) design to a primary longitudinal survey, this paper overcomes challenges in the literature that households eligible for pension payment might be systematically different from ineligible households and that it is difficult to separate the effect of pension from that of age or cohort heterogeneity.
Around the pension eligibility age cut-off, results reveal large and significant increase among adult sons (but not daughters) to migrate out of their home county. Meanwhile, adult children are more likely to migrate out if their parents are healthy. Fuzzy RD estimations survive a standard set of key placebo tests and robustness checks.
12 Jul 2016 01:15:54 GMT
08 Jul 2016 12:16:47 GMT
06 Jul 2016 02:31:47 GMT
This paper examines the economic and social underpinnings of rising political instability in South Africa such as poverty, unemployment and inequality. The paper then reviews the patterns of violence across different categories before concluding with a brief analysis of the extent to which corruption, poor governance and lacklustre leadership exacerbate social turbulence. In this way, it presents the context for a separate paper, South African scenarios 2024, and a subsequent set of policy recommendations Rainbow at risk that set out the prospects and requirements for change.
06 Jul 2016 01:49:56 GMT
South Africa needs to build an inclusive economy where broad-based
economic growth creates productive jobs for the unemployed; increases
productivity and earnings for the employed; and leads to sustained poverty alleviation. South Africa must simultaneously invest in partnerships with the private sector to establish a knowledge economy, close the skills gap currently constraining development and create an enabling environment for growth, investment and innovation.
Drawing on two associated ISS papers, Economics, governance and instability in South Africa and South African scenarios 2024, this policy brief presents a set of recommendations to extricate South Africa from its middle-income trap and set it on a high-road Mandela Magic growth path.
05 Jul 2016 12:16:40 GMT
The European Commission is proposing a new trade and investment strategy for the European Union: "Trade for All". A new strategy that will make trade agreements more effective and that will create more opportunities means supporting jobs in Europe.
The new approach is also a direct response to the current intense debate on trade in the EU - including on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It is also an implementation of the Juncker Commission's pledge to listen and respond to EU citizens' concerns.
It will involve trade policy being more effective at delivering new economic opportunities; more transparent in terms of opening up negotiations to more public scrutiny; and address not just interests but also values. The new strategy addresses all these principles. It also lays out an updated programme of negotiations to put them into practice.
28 Jun 2016 10:27:51 GMT
The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is set to issue its first loans in the second quarter of 2016. The bank, the latest addition to the global development finance landscape, was initiated due to a number of factors in emerging economies. One of the key issues that emerging economies, including the BRICS group, struggle with is the slow pace of reform in existing global financial institutions to better reflect the current political and economic realities (which in some cases deviate significantly from when these organisations were created in the post-Second World War era).
Emerging economies also suffer from serious infrastructure funding deficits, which can be addressed by drawing on the significant domestic savings across developing countries. The NDB was thus born partly as a result of these factors. Since its conception in 2011 the bank has begun taking form, including finalising legal arrangements, assigning different roles and responsibilities among the five founding BRICS members, and setting up an office. Ahead of the extension of its first loans, some details have emerged on the bank’s operations.
This paper tracks the historical development of the NDB, investigates modalities around its operations, and looks towards the likely impact it will have in the development finance milieu.
The NDB has managed to go from being a concept to becoming a reality and extending loans within five years, which is a significant achievement. The set-up of the bank was driven by a number of factors, including the BRICS’s dissatisfaction with the pace of
reforms in existing IFIs and domestic economic factors, such as the need for infrastructure financing combined with the significant domestic savings that could be applied to meet this need.
As the bank is gearing up to extend its first loans in the second quarter of 2016, it has become clear that a number of characteristics will define the bank’s approach. These include a focus on renewable energy infrastructure (at least in the first round of loans); on bringing new and innovative ideas to the fore; on speeding up operations; and on co-operating rather than competing with existing DFIs.
While the NDB’s likely impact on infrastructure financing is difficult to assess at this early stage, it is clear that both challenges and opportunities exist for the bank. For example, while its capitalisation limits its scope, the infrastructure financing deficit is so enormous
that any additional funding would assist in decreasing the gap. And while it is unclear at this point what innovative methods the bank will look to introduce, there is certainly scope to influence other DFIs.
28 Jun 2016 04:57:53 GMT
Disaster risk finance aims to increase the resilience of vulnerable countries to the financial impact of disasters as part of a comprehensive approach to disaster risk management. By increasing resilience, disaster risk finance offers the promise of protecting and promoting development.
Since 2013, the World Bank Group has partnered with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and the U.K. Department for International Development to address gaps in evidence and methodologies in disaster risk finance.
Through a wide body of research, this report presents a compelling case for disaster risk finance as a tool for development. Key messages include:
24 Jun 2016 03:45:16 GMT
Markets largely dictate how the relationship between international oil companies and host states will play out, with governments attempting to ensure they receive a ‘fair share’ of petroleum revenues. But with no clear definition of what a fair share is, particularly in relation to changes in oil prices, the perception of a fair share remains under near constant review. This results in a pendulum effect, whereby changing market conditions can place either governments or companies in more advantageous positions in negotiations.
In terms of policy-making by the Leanese government, these dynamics suggest that existing market conditions should be taken into consideration when launching the country’s first licensing round but this does not necessarily mean that the government should wait for oil prices to recover to pre-2014 levels, as that might take a while to happen. The fiscal regime should be internationally competitive and balanced.
This version is in both English and Arabic.
24 Jun 2016 02:49:30 GMT
India and Myanmar are geographically proximate countries with strong historical, cultural and economic linkages. With recent economic dynamism and changes in their respective political regimes, the overall bilateral relations between India and Myanmar are poised to be taken up to its next higher level.
This study has tried to address the question as to why the situation fails to improve despite the knowledge of the issues. It finds that the ambiguity at the conceptual level, a lack of information trickle-down at the operational level and narrow interests at the stakeholders’ level are primarily responsible for such a
With India’s unilateral Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme and ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITGA) now in place, the bilateral trade and economic relations face a new reality, especially with important changes in the policy framework relating to Border Trade Agreement.
It is in this context that India-Myanmar border trade assumes a new meaning and significance. It may be emphasised that the issues relating to border trade would have to be situated in a policy framework which is much broader in its canvas so that relevant policy and practical implementation measures could be identified.
24 Jun 2016 02:32:47 GMT
Social protection programmes are among the most successful development experiences the world has seen in recent years. They have proven to be key in developing countries’ efforts to fight poverty and hunger, as demonstrated by the substantial progress countries such as Brazil, Ethiopia and Senegal have made in poverty reduction through the adoption and expansion of social protection schemes. These and other examples clearly show that social protection has the potential to contribute significantly to long-term sustainable development, especially when built under a broader, more integrated framework.
The International Seminar on Social Protection in Africa held in April 2015 in Dakar, Senegal created an important space for sharing such experiences and for promoting a social protection agenda as a key building block for human development. This Social Protection for Sustainable Development (SD4SD) report is based on the contributions and recommendations of the International Seminar.
The convergence in the technical debate and the repercussion of the discussions in Dakar on high-level political forums within the African Union show that there are exceptional opportunities for cooperation between Brazil
and African countries and, more importantly, within Africa.
23 Jun 2016 10:25:49 GMT
Specifically aimed at females between the ages of 18-24 years-old, this training manual was produced to guide a series of training sessions which were designed to empower young women. Part of a Sonke Gender Justice project implemented in South Africa, the four one-day long training sessions, are meant to:
Hosted over the course of a month, each training day consists of a morning classroom-based session where young women engage in both informative learning and interactive exercises, and then an afternoon session where they participate in a field trip. These morning sessions "are designed to be engaging, interactive, and make use of best practice young adult learning principles - that is games, small group work, etc., while focusing on pertinent topics to the lives of the young women." The afternoon sessions build on information learned in the morning and give the young women a chance to visit a local resource in the community, such as a clinic.
This manual is divided into four modules:
According to Sonke Gender Justice, "young, rural, South African women are faced with many challenges that can impede a healthy transition from young person to adult. These include age-specific social pressures, lack of correct health knowledge, and lack of safe, economic opportunity." Tiyani Vavasati aims to intervene on some of these root issues, instilling useable assets into the young women. This manual was adapted, in part, from the 2013 Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program, Health and Life Skills and Financial Education Curricula published by Zambia YMCA, UKAID, and Population Council. Additional materials come from Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa.
21 Jun 2016 02:02:54 GMT
17 Jun 2016 03:46:10 GMT
17 Jun 2016 02:58:44 GMT
China has launched a number of initiatives regarding infrastructural development globally, with a specific focus on scaling up infrastructure throughout the African continent. The BRICS New Development Bank and Chinese infrastructure initiatives such as the China-led Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) are expected to play a significant role ranging from financing to technology transfer. In January 2015, China and the Africa Union (AU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on infrastructural development. China and the AU have agreed to put collective effort into improving Africa’s infrastructure including high speed railways, aviation, and road highways.
Against this background, the Second Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will be a platform accelerating the co-operation between China and African states at multiple levels in the infrastructure sector. Prior to the Summit, we should scrutinise Sino-African co-operation in infrastructure both in the past and present in order to map out the future relationship and determine what opportunities and challenges lie in the future.
This policy brief offers an overview of Chinese engagement in Africa, with a specific focus on East Africa. In recent years, the East African region in particular has been one of the most prominent beneficiaries of this development, with mega projects including Kenya’s Port Lamu, the Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor and the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya. The brief examines the transport sector and its potential to connect African countries by reducing the costs of moving people and goods, and integrating markets.
17 Jun 2016 02:52:46 GMTThree decades of average double digit growth has helped propel China into the world’s second largest economy with global economies increasingly reliant on China to drive economic growth. As China transits from an investment-based economy to a consumer-based economy, its de-mand for raw materials is declining, affecting commodity prices, impacting on commodity sellers and exerting pressure on currencies around the world. With China’s position as Africa’s biggest trading partner, fears persist that the economic slowdown in China is being widely felt in Africa due to the huge trade volume between China and Africa, thus exposing African econo-mies to spillages from the Chinese economy.This policy brief examines the current state of the Chinese economy and its impact on African economic growth and recommends a blend of poli-cy measures aimed at curtailing the impact of the Chinese slowdown on Africa's economy.Given the demographic estimation of Africa’s population growth, with a projected estimate of the labour force (20-65 years) exceeding the rest of the world combined by 2035 (Bloomberg, 2015), China’s economic slowdown can create opportunities for African economies with its comparative labour advantage and abundant resources if properly addressed. Africa's destiny is dependent on its economic structure and more importantly, how it readjusts to China's shift towards a new regime. To ameliorate the impact of the slowdown, the following measures are suggested:Africa's policy-makers should undertake and implement deep structural reforms for the transformation needed for increased productivity and growth in all sectors of the economy with particular emphasis on agricultureAfrica can be a major beneficiary of China’s outsourcing if it undertakes reforms and invest in infrastructure. In Ethiopia, Chinese investment is creating a new global hub in the leather and shoes sector due to cheap labour, availability of raw materials and favourable government policiesAfrica can take advantage of China's transition by selling goods and services to China such as the Western Cape provincial government’s “Project Khulisa” strategy of promoting the province’s wine and fruits to new markets like ChinaAfrican economies can consider engaging in currency devaluation as suggested by the IMF. A weaker currency will have the effect of reducing demand for import goods in favour of domestically produced goods, and boost exports, which in turn will reduce unemployment and set in motion economic growth. Devaluation, however, has inflationary tendenciesAfrican economies should move towards diversification from primary commodities to accelerate economic growth. Botswana’s decline in diamond sales and the government’s r[...]