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 11:31:54 GMT
04 Oct 2016 05:18:11 GMTThe Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a two-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 19 to 20 March 2016, on the theme “War and Peace in the Great Lakes Region”. The meeting brought together about 30 prominent African and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society activists to assess the major obstacles to peace and security in the Great Lakes, and considered seven broad themes: Security and Governance in the Great Lakes Region; the cases of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Burundi; Rwanda; and Uganda; as well as the role of the United Nations; and that of the European Union, in the Great Lakes. The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the policy research seminar:since post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes have become stalled due to the unresolved issues in the region’s political economy, it is imperative that governments urgently address the major issue of youth unemployment – more than 30 percent of the region’s population are aged between 10 and 24the international community must adopt a less selective approach to responding to the governance deficiencies of the countries in the region, acting swiftly to criticise the government in Burundi but being reluctant to condemn governments in Uganda and Rwanda due to strategic interests in both countriesaddressing sexual violence in the DRC must become a key priority. Making progress in security sector reform which has been largely uncoordinated by external actors amid a lack of political will on the part of the government of Joseph Kabila, would also be critical to efforts to tackling gender-based violenceBurundi needs effective leadership and a government that is accountable to its own people. A mass movement must therefore be fostered to promote an inclusive negotiation process. Beyond Burundi, mass advocacy movements should also be built among the 127 million citizens of the Great Lakescarefully targeted international sanctions against the Rwandan government for its actions in the DRC have had some effect in changing its behaviour. Such sanctions should also be applied to Rwanda’s domestic human rights situationthere is an urgent need for governments in the Great Lakes region to recommit to peace accords and tackling regional insecurity related to issues of identity and citizenshipthere is also an urgent need for political parties and conflict actors in the Great Lakes to revisit peace accords that were signed more than a decade and a half ago with a view to adapting as well as implementing principles of constitutionalism and multi-party democracy which were enshrined in these accordsthough some have suggested that UN peacekeepers should withdraw from the DRC to create room for endogenous solutions to the country’s long-running conflict, other voices have cautioned against a premature withdrawal of the UN, citing the example of Burundi in 2006 where such a withdrawal removed the international community’s capacity for tackling instabilityit is time to rethink the role of the UN in the DRC in the areas of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Its bureaucracy has become dysfunctional which has negatively affected the efficiency of UN peacekeeping missions. The UN Security Council must therefore do more to align mandates, roles, and resources closer to the realities onthe groundthe EU and other international actors need to undertake more outreach to Tanzania, South Africa, the EAC and other regional actors in their peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes[...]
30 Sep 2016 02:30:02 GMT
The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) hosted two public dialogues in Cape Town, one on 11 April 2016 on “South Africa in Africa: National Interest Versus Human Rights?”, and another on 30 June 2016 on “South Africa in Southern Africa: ‘Good Governance’ Versus Regional Solidarity?” Both events were held at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town.
The main focus of the public dialogue “South Africa in Africa: National Interest Versus Human Rights?” was to discuss South Africa’s obligations to the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) generally, and its specific obligations towards arresting Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the ICC. Following the adoption by the United Nations (UN) Security Council of resolution 1593 in March 2005, several investigations resulted in two warrants being issued by the ICC for the arrest of al-Bashir in March 2009 for war crimes, and, in July 2010, relating to charges of genocide, both committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.
The following four key recommendations emerged from the two public dialogues:
27 Sep 2016 12:52:00 GMT
Water governance needs to mainstream peri-urban water security. As cities grow, polic.y makers andplanners focus onmeeting the needs of urban populations. This happens at the expense of the peri-urban and the rural. For instance, it is very common to divert physical flows of water from villages to cities. Another common practice is the acquiring of rural land and water resources to meet the requirements of urban expansion.
This poliy brief recommends an in-depth understanding of the inter-relationship between rural and urban water flows and their integration in planning and management.
27 Sep 2016 01:52:17 GMT
The potential ability of transport infrastructure investments to produce transport benefits depends on the travel time reductions and accessibility. In this paper, the authors use an interregional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to estimate the economic impacts of transportation cost change due specifically to changes in accessibility induced by new transportation projects. The model is integrated with a stylized geo-coded transportation network model to help quantify the spatial effects of transportation cost change. The analysis is focus on a proposed development corridor in Egypt. A main component of the project is a desert-based expansion of the current highway network.
The paper focuses on the likely structural economic impacts that such a large investment in transportation could enable through a series of simulations. It is clear that an integrated spatial CGE model can be useful in estimating the potential economic impacts of transportation projects in Egypt. In this vein, this or similar models should support government decisions on such projects.
26 Sep 2016 03:18:06 GMT
Natural resource sectors are undergoing profound changes. Resources are being extracted in more remote locations within corruption-prone developing countries than was previously the case; there is an increased proliferation of actors involved in resource extraction; and a marked shift towards renewable energy, conservation and climate change projects in developing countries. Formulating generic anti-corruption policy prescriptions for the wide range of heavily contextualised corruption challenges natural resource sectors face is unlikely to help. This U4 Brief offers instead modest advice for advancing solutions through development cooperation, with a focus on analytical methods, project management approaches, and tracking evidence for effectiveness.
23 Sep 2016 11:59:24 GMT
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have recognized that they should fully respect human rights in all climate-related actions, and, at the time they negotiated the 1992 UNFCCC in Rio de Janeiro, principles of public participation and sustainable development were at the forefront of their minds, as embodied in the Rio Declaration of the same conference. Since then, the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP), the UN Human Rights Council, and other bodies have helped to further develop and clarify the legal obligations related to climate change.
Yet, as this policy brief demonstrates by discussing the applicable law and UNFCCC-related case studies, the realization of these obligations has not fully materialized through implementation of the UNFCCC.
This policy brief highlights the opportunity to learn from these positive and negative outcomes of UNFCCC-related projects and actions, and to ensure the Paris outcome is robust, consistent with human rights obligations, and a reflection of the mindset of the UNFCCC drafters’ commitment to sustainable development and public participation.
To this end, this policy brief offers the following recommendations:
Include this language in Article 2 of the Paris agreement:
Establish best-practice guidelines with clear, detailed guidance on local stakeholder consultation, including:
Adopt clear, detailed guidance for sustainable development assessment and monitoring based on sustainable development indicators, including on:
23 Sep 2016 10:42:57 GMT
Sabyasachi Panda is an ordinary man with a curious claim to fame. A mathematics graduate from a middling college in rural India, Panda, with his custom short haircut (combed to the side), generic reading glasses, and stock-standard moustache (almost universal amongst Indian men), speaks softly and almost entirely in well-worn clichés. Unimposing (both in personality and physicality), neither impressive nor unimpressive, intellectually unremarkable and entirely non-descript in appearance, by all logic, Panda really ought to have lived out his days quietly and unnoticed in the shadows – just another face in India.
The fact that he has not stands as an affront to any ideal of a merit based society. Panda's prominence, it seems, is an accident of history; something that should ordinarily provoke protests – he just does not seem like someone who deserves media attention. Yet it is safe to say that no one in India today envies Panda as he sits in solitary confinement facing an almost certain life sentence. His mug-shot remains the last and only indication that there might be something more to his character: the man now considered a martyr for his cause – "India's Che Guevara" (Pandita 2012) – is spitefully pouting as he stares down the camera in a final act of defiance.
22 Sep 2016 04:37:01 GMT
Governments urgently need to improve their policy readiness if they want to have any chance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on inequalities. Governments in developing countries do not yet have the laws and policies in place to allow them to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reduced inequality within and among countries.
In ActionAid’s study, only three of ten developing countries had over 65% of key inequality-reducing policies in place.2 To make things worse, rich countries are not adequately supporting developing countries to achieve the SDGs, contrary to SDG 17’s aim to 2revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development". Indeed, some rich countries’ domestic and development policies deepen inequalities globally. Ultimately, governments' failure to address women’s inequalities may jeopardise achievement of all SDGs.
In this report, ActionAid looks at where governments are policy ready and where they are not, identifying where key policies, laws and supportive environments will allow governments to take the first step towards greater economic and gender equality.
To improve their policy readiness to achieve the SDGs, civil society and national governments should:
develop and hold governments accountable to redistributive national plans with policies that support the accomplishment of the SDGs. Such policies would aim to: recognise, redistribute and reduce women’s unpaid care work; improve opportunities for decent work and wages for women and young people; stop violence against women and girls; improve women’s mobility, and their capacity to organise and participate in decision- making at all levels; improve women’s access to education and health, and their access to and control over natural and economic resources
20 Sep 2016 03:47:12 GMT
Nothing kindles democracy’s energies, anxieties, hopes, and frustrations like an election. The quality of an election can spell the difference between a cooking fire and an explosion. If a successful election can calm and focus a nation (e.g. Namibia 2015), a disputed election can tear it apart (e.g. Burundi 2015, Côte d'Ivoire 2010, Kenya 2008).
With at least 25 African countries conducting national elections in 2016-2017,1 great attention is focused on electoral management bodies – typically national electoral commissions – as crucial players in electoral processes and in shaping public perceptions of how well democracy is working. Poor electoral management can enable election fraud and, even if it doesn’t swing an election, produce political alienation, public mistrust, protest, and violence. In 2016, we have already seen examples of unrest in Kenya, where opposition calls for electoral commission reforms using the hashtag #IEBCMustFall have sparked demonstrations and a violent reaction from security forces; in the Republic of the Congo, where election malpractices led to violent protests; and in Gabon, where bloody clashes erupted after President Ali Bongo claimed a widely disputed re-election victory. In Ghana, pre-election anxieties are high amid questions about the electoral commission’s revision of the voter roll for December’s election.
Against the backdrop of history’s examples – in Africa and elsewhere – of tampering with voter rolls, suppression of competition and voter turnout, ballot stuffing, vote-buying, multiple voting, and manipulation of results, free and fair elections, agreed to in the African Union’s Charter on Good Governance and Elections, depend on competent election management supported by citizen sensitization efforts to build public confidence.
Using 2014/2015 Afrobarometer data from 36 African countries, this analysis examines public perceptions of electoral management institutions and the quality of elections. Overall, public trust in national electoral commissions is moderate at best. Although a majority of citizens say their most recent elections were mostly free and fair, citizens express serious concerns about the fairness of vote counts, corruption during elections, and the safety of voters during campaigns and at the polls. Citizens’ views of electoral commission performance and election quality generally mirror the opinions of country experts found in international assessments.
More broadly, many citizens say elections are not working well as mechanisms to ensure that people’s views are represented and that voters can hold non-performing leaders accountable. Few countries have achieved improvement in the perceived performance of elections over the past decade.
09 Sep 2016 12:39:25 GMT
Rising powers such as Brazil, India and China have achieved major advances in supporting economic and social development in their less-developed regions and in creating health and social protection systems in response to the rapid changes they are undergoing. However, there are gaps in the evidence on this, and understanding these experiences better could ensure that the right lessons from these advances are incorporated into international processes of mutual learning.
Mutual learning is emerging as a new way of talking about the 'how' of development cooperation, particularly in contexts of rapid change, with countries increasingly recognising that they have much to learn from each other's experience. Achieving the promise of universal development within the ambitious and complex framework of the Global Goals agreed in 2015 will require much more systematic and strategic efforts to learn from and share the development policy innovations of rising powers such as China and Brazil. This should include exploring opportunities for other countries to engage with the rising powers' experiences through more structured processes of mutual learning.
What can be done to accelerate mutual learning informed by the important development experiences of rising power countries?
08 Sep 2016 11:27:27 GMT
The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) hosted two public dialogues in Cape Town on 24 February 2016 on South Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC), and on 31 March 2016 on South Africa and the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.
In 1993, less than a year before the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela - South Africa's first democratically elected president - identified the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy as core principles to guide the country's foreign policy. However, two decades on, South Africaâs efforts to forge a human rights-based foreign policy have been confronted by the realities of regional and global politics, with critics decrying the perceived forfeiture of its role as a 'human rights entrepreneur'. Tshwane (Pretoria) has, however, emphasised the need for a balance between normative ideals and pragmatic concerns, pointing to the decisive influence that national interests play in international politics and arguing that South Africa should not be judged by a higher standard than other countries.
The following seven key policy recommendations emerged from the two public dialogues:
06 Sep 2016 02:52:28 GMT
Responding to the new global development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this publication argues that forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) are effective operating systems to deliver the SDGs. In fact it may be difficult to reach the most marginalised and excluded people at scale without them. Agriculture and forestry have links to all 17 of the SDGs, and smallholder producers control a significant proportion of the worlds' farm and forest resources, so FFPOs are a vital part of the sustainability equation. As the first Strength in Numbers 1 explained, individual producers can overcome isolation by forming self-governing groups; their concerted action has benefits across the globe. Examples are arranged under five themes. The the first four cover key aspects of FFPO activities; the fifth looks at partnerships.
The authors of this report suggest that the potential of FFPOs to provide direct benefits related to the SDGs should be supported by enhancing the enabling environment which facilitates their effective functioning. This starts by ensuring that smallholders have security of tenure and access to productive forests, farms, pasture, fisheries and other resources. Conscious efforts will be required to safeguard the rights of smallholders to form FFPOs at multiple levels, and to give legal recognition to FFPOs to provide services and represent their members. FFPOs must be provided seats at decision-making tables so that FFPOs are involved from the design stage through implementation and monitoring of efforts to achieve the SDGs. Finally, the barriers which restrict FFPO members’ access to markets and engagement within value chains must be removed. These actions will optimize FFPOs’ ability to become active and recognized actors in the private sector.
31 Aug 2016 10:05:38 GMT
31 Aug 2016 02:32:31 GMT
In 2015, China's People's Congress revised and ratified a controversial foreign non-governmental organisation (NGO) management law that is set to take effect in 2017. According to reports, the new law will directly affect approximately 7,000 foreign NGOs operating within the country's borders as well as local NGOs who receive financial support from overseas donors. These groups include foundations, social groups, NGOs and think tanks. Strict government control toward these groups will likely manifest from the law. Whilst the Chinese government may have their own reasoning for the new regulations (concerns about foreign NGOs harming national security), at a time when environmental problems are only increasing in the country and around the world (often with Chinese involvement), this law can only do more harm than good. Globally and in China, often it is international environmental NGOs that do most of the work in trying to address vast environmental challenges.
19 Aug 2016 12:48:56 GMT
19 Aug 2016 01:02:34 GMT
Libraries make an important contribution to development. The purpose of this toolkit is to support advocacy for the inclusion of libraries and access to information as part of national and regional development plans that will contribute to meeting Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“UN 2030 Agenda”).
Libraries must now show that they can drive progress across the entire UN 2030 Agenda. While the SDGs are universal goals, each country will be responsible for developing and implementing national strategies to achieve them, and will be expected to track and report its own progress toward each target. As these plans are developed, the library community in each country will have a clear opportunity to communicate to their government leaders how libraries serve as cost-effective partners for advancing their development priorities. Advocacy is essential now to secure recognition for the role of libraries as engines of local development, and to ensure that libraries receive the resources needed to continue this work.
This toolkit is primarily for librarians involved in national advocacy. It will also be of interest to librarians advocating at the local level, and organising activities to increase awareness of the UN 2030 Agenda in their own library.
This toolkit will help you to:
18 Aug 2016 12:52:54 GMT
Small island developing states (SIDS) are a unique group of countries that bear a disproportionate share of the impacts of climate change despite their minimal contribution to its causes. Their vulnerability and lack of resources to adapt raise signifi cant questions for global security and justice in the decades ahead.
This policy brief reviews both the challenges that SIDS face because of climate change in terms of adaptation and development, internal displacement and migration, sovereignty and exclusive economic zones, as well as the means they use to advance their cause, such as legal claims to compensation and multilateral diplomacy.
The policy brief proposes an agenda for action that identifies political, legal, economic, and other possible ways of addressing the predicament of the SIDS. The authors encourage policymakers to consider the proposals presented here at fora such as the upcoming Third International SIDS Conference, UNFCCC negotiations, other climate summits and discussions on a post-2015 sustainable development framework, with a view to taking concrete decisions for action.
18 Aug 2016 03:43:52 GMT
Responding appropriately to complex transnational and international crimes requires a multifaceted approach that includes a robust criminal justice response. Witness testimony is a crucial part of this. Witnesses, and often their family members, can face significant danger given their crucial role in obtaining a conviction. Africa has seen situations where witness intimidation and harm have led to case dismissals and acquittals. Ultimately, justice fails in these circumstances. Obstacles such as insufficient funding, shortage of skills and weak political will must be addressed.
18 Aug 2016 03:34:19 GMTThe African Union (AU) Assembly declared 2009 - 2018 the "African Youth Decade" and released an action plan to promote youth empowerment and development throughout the continent, including by raising young citizens' representation and participation in political processes. The latest results from Afrobarometer surveys in 36 countries reveal a wide gap between the aspirations set forth in the AU policy framework and the reality of youth political engagement in Africa today. The data show that African governments and development partners have considerable work to do to achieve the goal of increased civic and political participation among youth, particularly young women. African youth (aged 18-35) report lower rates of political engagement than their elders across a variety of indicators, including voting in national elections. Young citizens are also less likely to engage in civic activities such as attending community meetings and joining others to raise an issue. While these findings are consistent with research on age differences in voter turnout in advanced democracies, the survey further finds that youth engagement levels have declined over time despite the introduction of regional and national youth empowerment policies. Key findings:political engagement is generally lower among African youth than among their elders, particularly in terms of voting. Two-thirds (65%) of 18- to 35–year-old respondents who were old enough to vote in the last national election say they did so, compared to 79% of citizens above age 35slightly more than half (53%) of African youth report being “very” or “somewhat” interested in public affairs, while two-thirds (67%) say they discuss politics with friends or family at least “occasionally.” Compared to their male counterparts, young women report significantly less interest (48% vs. 60%) and discussion (61% vs. 74%)attendance at campaign rallies is the most popular form of pre-electoral engagement among young Africans: One-third (33%) say they attended at least one in the previous year, compared to 37% of older citizens. The gender gap in participation in rallies averages 10 percentage points and is largest in East Africa (14 points) and West Africa (13 points)African youth are less likely than their elders to participate in civic activities: Less than half (47%) of 18- to 35–year-olds say they attended community meetings at least once during the previous year, while 40% joined others to raise an issue (vs. 57% and 47% for older citizens). Young women’s participation also lags behind that of their male peers on these measures of civic activism (by 9 percentage points, on average), particularly in West Africa and North Africa (both by 14 percentage points)not quite half (48%) of youth say they contacted political or community leaders during the previous year to discuss an important issue, with lower reported engagement levels among young women than men (43% vs. 53%)youth participation in demonstrations and protest marches is lower than in more conventional forms of civic and political engagement, but higher than among their elders: 11% of young survey respondents say they attended at least one protest in the previous year (vs. 8% older citizens). Again, women report lower participation levels than their male peers (8% vs. 13%)comparison over time in 16 countries shows that youth engagement levels have declined since 2005/2006 across most of these indicators, particularly interest in public affairs and measures of civic activi[...]
18 Aug 2016 02:09:52 GMT
Disclosure and transparency are crucial elements in the improve ment of overall corporate governance. Disclosure is a very important mean of communicati on between management and outside investors. This study investigates how institutional blockholders impact levels of voluntary disclosure released in annual reports of some of the most active companies in the Egyptian Stock Exchange. The results generated by the study di d support a significant positive impact of institutional blockholders on voluntary disclosure an d transparency. It also found that this impact is due to two types of institutional blockholders' ownership: low institutional ownership defined as those owning from five to twenty percent and controlling institutions defined as those owning more than fifty percent of a company's shares. This indicates that concentrated ownership can be vi ewed as a monitoring mechanism in an emerging market like Egypt. According to the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to explore the impact of different categories of blockholders; categorized by the size o f their block; on levels of voluntary disclosure in Egypt.
18 Aug 2016 01:38:08 GMTThe Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a three-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 27 to 29 April 2016, on the theme “The African Union: Regional and Global Challenges”.The meeting was convened with about 30 prominent African, Asian, and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society actors to reflect critically on the historical mission, achievements, challenges, and prospects of the African Union (AU) in a changing regional and global environment.The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the Cape Town policy seminar:the AU Commission should engage more strategically with African civil society, think tanks, the private sector, and the philanthropic sector in order to implement its mandate more effectively. There is an urgent need to revisit Adebayo Adedeji’s 2007 five-year review of the AU Commission in order to implement its main findings on reforming the AU’s institutions and accelerating regional integration and economic development efforts in Africa. Key parts of the 2013 Olusegun Obasanjo Report on alternative sources of funding for the AU should also be implemented to ensure a sustainable source of future financingthere is an urgent need to sanction non-performing AU staff members and to implement results-based management at the AU Commission in Addis Ababa. Recruitment, retention, and training of personnel should be greatly improved. There is also a need for better coordination between the AU’s Department of Political Affairs and its Peace and Security Department. The AU Commission must further strengthen its administrative and financial management capacity to be able to absorb and manage donor fundsthe AU’s continental early warning system needs greater coordination with the mechanisms of sub-regional bodies such as IGAD, ECOWAS, and SADC. Furthermore, African leaders must provide greater financial and political support to the APRM, strengthening its capacity and restoring its previous consistent fundingthere is an urgent need to create institutionalised mechanisms for regular consultation and coordination between the AU’s Peace and Security Council and the organs of the RECs; this must include the increased participation of civil society and parliaments in decision-making to promote greater synergy and complementarity between the policies and initiatives of the AU and the RECs in this arearegional integration in Africa should take into account the configuration of interests in member states, and put in place mechanisms to compensate groups that may lose out from integration. There is an urgent need to cultivate a national entrepreneurial class to drive socio-economic development across Africa. The continent also needs more “Afrocrats” – young, highly competent officials with a strong commitment to Pan-Africanism, similar to many of the EU’s “Eurocrats”the AU needs to rationalise relations between the RECs and the African Economic Community in light of the multiple membership of the former. It might also be necessary to create a smaller grouping of African states in which conditions for entry involve sound economic and political performance, resulting in greater aid and investment for its membersin line with the Common African Position devised by the AU, five key principles should underpin relations between the AU and the UN: promotion of collective security in the context of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter; support for African owners[...]
15 Aug 2016 04:21:49 GMT
Health governance has become multi-layered as the combined result of decentralisation, regional integration and the emergence of new actors nationally and internationally. Whereas this has – in principle – enhanced the installed capacity for health response worldwide, this complexity also poses serious challenges for health governance and policy-making.
This paper focuses on one of these challenges, namely the organisation of statistical information flows at and between governance levels, and the emerging role that regional organisations play therein. The authors aim to understand the extent to which statistics are regionally coordinated and the role regional organisations are playing with respect to national health information systems. Specifically, they analysed regional to national-level data flows with the use of two case studies focusing on UNASUR (Bolivia and Paraguay) and SADC (Swaziland and Zambia). Special attention is given to pro-poor health policies, those health policies that contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequities.
Results demonstrate that health data is shared at various levels, to a greater extent at the global-country and regional-country levels, and to a lesser extent at the regional-global levels. There is potential for greater interaction between the global and regional levels, considering the expertise and involvement of UNASUR and SADC in health. Information flows between regional and national bodies are limited and the quality and reliability of this data is constrained by individual Member States’ information systems. Having greater access to better data would greatly support Member States’ focus on addressing the social determinants of health and reducing poverty in their countries.
12 Aug 2016 11:07:29 GMT
12 Aug 2016 10:56:53 GMT
12 Aug 2016 10:46:25 GMT
The ‘Rise of the South’* and the role of ‘emerging powers’ in global development has animated much of the political and economic discourse of the past decade. There is, however, little empirical evidence on the contribution that emerging Southern partners make to sustainable development, due to the lack of common measurement systems for South–South cooperation (SSC).
This case study utilises the analytical framework developed by the Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST) to assess the range, extent and quality of South Africa’s peace, governance and economic support to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The study reveals that South Africa, in absolute financial terms, is a significant development partner in the DRC, and even exceeds the traditional donors when its aid is measured in proportion to gross national income.
The qualitative field research highlights that South Africa’s approach to development co-operation to a large extent reflects the core values of SSC, although with a mixed bag of successes and failures in terms of the results of co-operation activities. This pilot study of the South Africa–DRC development partnership is one of the first in which the NeST conceptual and methodological framework has been tested for the purpose of further refining tools and indicators for SSC analysis, so as to assist the future monitoring and evaluation endeavours of South Africa and other emerging development partners.
12 Aug 2016 10:32:08 GMT
Emerging economies such as India have their own philosophy underlying development cooperation. The norms and mechanisms of such cooperation are different from OECD norms or norms followed by international financial institutions.
There is a need for engagement and dialogue among all the stakeholders involved in development cooperation – the traditional donors, the emerging Southern providers, the development partners in developing countries and international and regional financial institutions. A broad international consensus on international development cooperation in a transformed world would be worth pursuing especially in the context of the very ambitious goals adopted under Agenda 2030 by the United Nations, involving 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets to be achieved.
It is against this background that the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) organised the Conference on South-South Cooperation in New Delhi on 10 and 11 March 2016 in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; United Nations; Network of Southern Think Tanks (NesT); and the Forum of Indian Development Cooperation (FIDC). The large number of participants, representing all the major stakeholders in SSC – policymakers, academics, civil society organisations, traditional donors, private enterprises and development practitioners – majority of them being from the global South, deliberated at length on major emerging issues facing South-South Cooperation and other forms of development cooperation.
This Report on the proceedings of the Conference, brought out by RIS will serve as a reference for deepening the South-South development cooperation, expanding North-South and Trilateral Development Cooperation, particularly in the context of the recent UN agenda of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
12 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
How close is the Tanzanian-Chinese partnership today? Bi-lateral trade and Chinese economic activity in Tanzania today is far more significant than in the 1970s; China’s “no strings attached” policy is still attractive and political solidarities and military co-operation have remained relatively strong. However, this bi-lateral relationship does not have the importance, nor the exclusiveness it enjoyed in the heydays of socialism. Today, China must compete economically, politically and culturally with the activism and soft power of a larger group of countries, particularly the United States. Although both in Dar es Salaam and in Beijing this relationship is still presented as “special”, it has lost the structural role that it had until the late 1970s in shaping Sino-African relations. Growing Sino-American and Sino-Western competition in Africa has increased Tanzania’s option and helped it, to some extent, to better defend its own interests.
This paper examines Tanzanian-Chinese relations over the past half century and more particularly since 2005, highlighting how global political, strategic and economic shifts have affected and on the whole reduced, in relative terms, the importance of this bi-lateral relationship.
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.
12 Aug 2016 04:33:44 GMT
12 Aug 2016 03:01:26 GMT
The Government of India acknowledges the importance of a good database to deal with Scheduled Tribes’ affairs.This document contains information relating to some key characteristics pertaining to Scheduled Tribe population such as, trend analysis of their demographic profile, education, health, and employment status along with their proportions having basic amenities like, drinking water, electricity, and bank account etc. It also includes data on status of ST women, provision of various health infrastructure facilities, and poverty together with social and environmental statistics.
12 Aug 2016 02:54:50 GMT
Statistical Profile of Scheduled Tribes. This is done through collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of data and information on various facets of tribals and their socio-economic development from different sources - Census, NSSO, NFHS, SRS, AIES, Government Departments, Budget Documents, Government Schemes (both State and Central level), Special Component Plan for SCs/ STs, Nodal and Line Ministries (Rural Development, Human Resource Development, Women & Child Development, etc.).
12 Aug 2016 01:20:23 GMT
This paper examines the effect of direct experience with bribery on collective action using survey data on reactions of citizens to a hypothetical situation of corruption as the first dependent variable and participation in protests as the second. The results show that although a relatively small number of respondents prefer protests as a means to address allegations of corruption, the relative probability of preferring this type of action rises with an increase in the frequency of paying bribes. However, participation in protests and demonstrations first rises and then falls as the frequency of bribery increases. These findings bring into sharp focus conditions under which direct personal experience with corruption is likely to encourage apathy and when it is likely to trigger political engagement – a missing detail in the nascent literature on the effect of petty corruption on collective action.
11 Aug 2016 11:18:19 GMT
The paper explores the degree to which exposure to natural disasters and poor governance (quality of governance) is associated with absolute child poverty in sixty-seven middle- and low-income countries. The data is representative for about 2.8 billion of the world ́s population. Institutionalist tend to argue that many of society’s ills, including poverty,
derive from fragile or inefficient institutions. However, our findings show that although increasing quality of government tends to be associated with less poverty, the negative effects of natural disasters on child poverty are independent of a country ́s institutional efficiency. Increasing disaster victims (killed and affected) is associated with higher rates of child poverty. A child ́s estimated odds ratio to be in a state of absolute poverty increases by about a factor of 5.7 [95% CI: 1.7 to 18.7] when the average yearly toll of disasters in the child ́s country increases by one on a log-10 scale. Better governance correlates with less child poverty, but it does not modify the correlation between child poverty and natural disasters.
The results are based on hierarchical regression models that partition the variance into three parts: child, household, and country. The models were cross-sectional and based on observational data from the Demographic Health Survey and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, which were collected at the beginning of the twenty-first millennium. The Sustainable Development Goals are a principle declaration to halt climate change, but they lack a clear plan on how the burden of this change should be shared by the global community. Based on our results, we suggest that the development agencies should take
this into account and to articulate more equitable global policies to protect the most vulnerable, specifically children.
08 Aug 2016 12:34:49 GMT
21 Jul 2016 11:53:54 GMT
Governance is notoriously difficult to measure – yet numerous global indices attempt to do so. This paper tracks the governance progress of 52 African countries through various indices. A total of 17 of these states have undergone a holistic governance review by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Another 17 have joined the APRM, but have not yet been reviewed. The remaining 18 are not members and thus are used as independent variables to determine whether the APRM makes a difference.
Since the APRM does not provide ratings or rankings in its reports, this paper uses data from the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance to track progress (or lack thereof) between 2003 (when the APRM was established) and 2015 (the most recent set of data available at the time of writing). Supporting data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index and the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index is used where necessary.
Arguably, by voluntarily acceding to and undergoing the review, APRM member states have demonstrated the necessary political will to reform. How have they fared since the year of inception of the APRM? The paper concludes that overall, APRM members have performed better than non-members. But whether a state has actually undergone the APRM review or merely joined the mechanism does not seem to make much of a difference. Progress has also often been mixed, and economic achievements have sometimes come at the expense of political freedoms.
21 Jul 2016 01:39:30 GMTThe Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a three-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 27 to 29 April 2016, on the theme “The African Union: Regional and Global Challenges”. The meeting was convened with about 30 prominent African, Asian, and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society actors to reflect critically on the historical mission, progress, problems, and prospects of the African Union (AU) in a changing regional and global environment.Policy recommendations The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the Cape Town policy seminar:the AU Commission should engage more strategically with African civil society, think tanks, the private sector, and the philanthropic sector in order to implement its mandate more effectively. There is an urgent need to revisit Adebayo Adedeji’s 2007 five-year review of the AU Commission in order to implement its main findings on reforming the AU’s institutions and accelerating regional integration and economic development efforts in Africa. Key parts of the 2013 Olusegun Obasanjo Report on alternative sources of funding for the AU should also be implemented to ensure a sustainable source of financingthere is an urgent need to sanction non-performing AU staff members and to implement results-based management at the AU Commission in Addis Ababa. Recruitment, retention, and training of personnel should be greatly improved. There is also a need for better coordination between the AU’s Department of Political Affairs and its Peace and Security Department. The AU Commission must further strengthen its administrative and financial management capacity to be able to absorb and manage donor fundsthe AU’s continental early warning system needs greater coordination with the mechanisms of sub-regional bodies. Furthermore, African leaders must provide greater financial and political support to the APRM, strengthening its capacity and restoring its previous consistent fundingthere is an urgent need to create institutionalised mechanisms for effective coordination between the AU’s Peace and Security Council and the organs of the RECs; this must include the increased participation of civil society and parliaments in decision-making to ensure complementarity between the AU and the RECs in this critical arearegional integration in Africa should take into account the configuration of interests in member states, and put in place mechanisms to compensate groups that may lose out from integration. There is an urgent need to cultivate a national entrepreneurial class to drive socioeconomic development across Africa. The continent also needs more “Afrocrats” – young, highly competent officials with a strong commitment to Pan-Africanism, similar to many of the EU’s “Eurocrats”the AU needs to rationalise relations between the RECs and the African Economic Community in light of the multiple membership of the former. It might also be necessary to create a smaller grouping of African states in which conditions for entry involve sound econ[...]
12 Jul 2016 11:54:48 GMT
12 Jul 2016 03:13:45 GMT
In 2009, the number of people living in urban areas surpassed the number living in rural areas, announcing the 21st century as the urban century. The world’s attention is on the pivotal role of cities and identifying alternative pathways for urban development that address poverty reduction and sustainable development. South Africa is firmly in this debate: by 2030, almost three-quarters (71.3%) of the country’s population will be living in urban areas.
The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) is government’s policy position to guide the future growth and management of urban areas. In the economic history of humanity, urbanisation has always been an accelerator of growth and development, bringing about enormous changes in the spatial distribution of people and resources, and in the use and consumption of land. Supporting policies and frameworks are therefore needed that can leverage the urbanisation process for increased development gains and sustainability.
The IUDF’s overall outcome – spatial transformation – marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns, by steering urban growth towards a sustainable growth model of compact, connected and coordinated cities and towns. Informed by this outcome and the NDP’s vision for urban South Africa, the IUDF aims to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements, while directly addressing the unique conditions and challenges facing South Africa’s cities and towns. Importantly, this vision for South Africa’s urban areas recognises that the country has different types of cities and towns, each with different roles and requirements. As such, the vision has to be interpreted and pursued in differentiated and locally relevant ways. To achieve this transformative vision, four overall strategic goals are introduced:
12 Jul 2016 01:15:54 GMT
06 Jul 2016 04:57:22 GMT
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission established the Mediation Facilitation Division (MFD) in June 2015 to backstop mediation efforts undertaken by its mediation organs, member states, non-state actors and joint initiatives with other international organisations, such as the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN). In January 2016, the structure was further upgraded to a directorate within the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS).
This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) examines the rationale for taking the bold step to institutionalise a mediation support structure within the ECOWAS Commission; the legal and normative instruments that underpin its mediation interventions; the mandate, vision and scope of operation of the mediation support structure; and the key activities undertaken by the structure within one year of its existence. The PPB identifies the uniqueness of ECOWASâs experiences in interventions in the 1990s, and the subsequent importance accorded to preventive diplomacy and mediation as a key factor that informed the decision to establish a mediation support structure - in contrast to using an ad hoc arrangement to backstop its mediation efforts in the past. This new arrangement, the PPB argues, will ensure that mistakes such as the marginalisation of ECOWAS in mediation processes in the region, the disconnect between the ECOWAS Commission and its appointed mediators, facilitators and special envoys, are remedied. It will also ensure a coordinated approach to capacity building and mediation knowledge management within the ECOWAS Commission and its institutions, as well as with its partners, including mainstreaming Tracks II and III mediation into official Track I mediation.
06 Jul 2016 03:56:01 GMT
06 Jul 2016 03:16:23 GMT
Ipastoralists and farmers in Nigeria have been on the rise. This social conflict has traditionally consisted of disputes over natural resources and is often presented as a conflict between settlers and nomadic people. However, what began as conflict between pastoralists and farmers over land has recently developed into rural banditry with heavy human and economic cost, ranging from the sexual assault of women and girls, attacks on villages, to catte rustling, amongst others. The bandits traversing Benue, Plateau, Niger, Kwara, Nassarawa, Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano are involved in crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping. There have also been reported cases of rural banditry in Delta, Enugu, Ondo, Oyo and Ebonyi states.
Examining the root causes of rural banditry and social conflict requires an understanding of its historical trajectory, social contexts, development and the dynamics of the often conflictual, but also symbiotic relationship between two production systems (agricultural and pastoral) that not only depend on land and its related resources, but are also fundamentally different in important respects. It is against this backdrop that the researchers undertook a broad interrogation of the economic and social forces that might have triggered the current realities. The 10 chapters of this book focus on wide-ranging issues, including: cattle rustling; animal husbandry; transhumance; grazing reserves; herdsmen and farmers association; media and construction of popular narratives; social impact of the phenomenon; and women's livelihoods.
The findings of the 10 reports reveal that factors which account for rural banditry and social conflicts include: ecological and climate change and consistent shift in the human and livestock population; expansion in non-agricultural use of land; weak state capacity and the provision of security; proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs); rise of criminality and insecurity in rural areas; and weakening or collapse of informal conflict resolution mechanisms.
The reports also draw attention to the international dimensions of rural banditry and social conflicts, from the perspective of the rising incidences of cross-border crimes and how it impacts on the proliferation of SALWs in Nigeria. The book incorporates recommendations to policy makers and other relevant stakeholders that, if considered and implemented, may help mitigate and manage this challenging phenomenon.
06 Jul 2016 02:50:31 GMT
South Africa may experience a political turning point in the aftermath of the December 2017 National Conference of the ruling African National Congress. Building on an associated publication, Economics, governance and instability in South Africa , this paper describes three different futures for the country. The first scenario is an uninspiring and business-as-usual Bafana Bafana scenario, an alarming downward scenario called Nation Divided, where the "traditionalist" camp within the ruling party holds sway, and a desirable Mandela Magic scenario, where "reformists" triumph and begin to address some of the country's most pressing challenges. A related policy brief, Rainbow at risk, presents recommendations.
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 02:11:12 GMT
In South Africa, the trade in certain kinds of fi rearms and military equipment is controlled for reasons of safety and security. However, there is a gap in legislation when it comes to the control of law enforcement equipment that can facilitate torture and ill treatment. This brief examines electric shock devices as an example of security equipment that needs stronger trade- control measures.
The brief outlines concerns over the use of electric shock equipment, and discusses the manufacture of these items in South Africa and their trade with other countries. It also looks at trade controls currently used elsewhere, and provides recommendations for changes in the control measures surrounding these products in South Africa.
06 Jul 2016 02:05:31 GMT
06 Jul 2016 01:56:00 GMT
Various kinds of electric shock devices are authorised for use in South African prisons. These are designed to enforce compliance through pain, incapacitation or fear of activation. However, their use has been associated with acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This policy brief provides an overview of electric shock equipment and describes known harmful medical effects associated with its use. It highlights the use and misuse of these types of equipment in correctional institutions in South Africa, and outlines how and why this equipment is in breach of local, regional and international standards.
This brief is designed to raise awareness of these concerns and to provide recommendations for change in how electric shock equipment is used in South Africa.
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.