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Pro-Poor Access to Green Electricity in Kenya

11 Jan 2017 05:12:56 GMT

Is Kenya on track to follow an electrification strategy that is green and pro-poor? What are the main challenges to following this path? The two questions guiding this study are particularly relevant in a country with exceptional renewable energy resources, but where 80 per cent of the population lacks access to electricity and 50 per cent lives in poverty.

This study looks at four particular issues relating to access to green electricity for the poor: accessibility; commercial viability for project developers; financial sustainability for the State; and affordability. We will focus on grid electricity and mini-grids. For grid-connected generation, once electricity is fed to the grid, the issues of accessibility and affordability for the poor depend on national policies determining who gets electricity and at what price, making it impossible to differentiate between green and non-green electricity.

However, our study will show whether or not on-grid renewable generation can be financially sustainable in Kenya while providing affordable fees. For off-grid electricity, targeting the poor is a matter of situating generation capacity in the right places and affordability is a matter of setting prices that allow for cost recovery without being excessively expensive for the poor.

This report can support decision-making for development and climate finance institutions, as well as private investors in Kenya seeking a pro-poor green electrification strategy. It shows how to target the poor, which electrification alternatives to use, at what price, whether or not this is commercially viable and which policies would be required to make it so.

Water, Megacities and global change: portraits of 15 emblematic cities of the world

02 Dec 2016 10:22:32 GMT

Numerous studies have explored urban growth and the emergence of the megapolitan phenomenon through increasing growth in the number of cities with over 10 million inhabitants. Similarly, the processes of climate change are also the subject of study from various perspectives as part of more operational approaches or research. Rather, the objective here is to highlight the impacts of those global changes (urban growth and climate) on megacities, their resources, and their water and sanitation services. What emerges is a singular vulnerability: megacities concentrate populations, services and goods. This amplifies the consequences of water-related risks (e.g. largescale floods, lack of resources, environmental pollution and other challenges).

This overview of 15 emblematic cities calls for general mobilisation to devise the sustainable urban policies the world needs. All these urban centres share a number of common characteristics: expansive size, disparities between rich and poor districts, environmental and industrial demand that strains the natural resources of an entire region – not to mention the economic weight of the country as a whole – and a wide range of cultural, scientific and educational resources.

Cities included:

  • Beijing
  • Buenos Aires
  • Chicago
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Istanbul, Lagos
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Manila
  • Mexico City
  • Mumbai
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Seoul
  • Tokyo

Averting ‘New Variant Famine’ in Southern Africa: building food-secure rural livelihoods with AIDS-affected young people

02 Dec 2016 04:51:34 GMT

Southern Africa is experiencing the world’s highest HIV prevalence rates alongside recurrent food crises. This has prompted scholars to hypothesise a 'New Variant Famine' in which inability to access food is driven by the effects of AIDS. In line with this, it has been suggested that the impacts of AIDS on young people today is likely to diminish their prospects of food security in adult life. In particular, children whose parents die of AIDS may fail to inherit land or other productive assets, and transmission of knowledge and skills between the generations may be disrupted, leaving young people ill-prepared to build food-secure livelihoods for themselves. However, prior to this research, those propositions were largely untested.

The ‘Averting New Variant Famine’ research project was therefore undertaken to generate new, in-depth understanding of how AIDS, in interaction with other factors, is impacting on the livelihood activities, opportunities and choices of young people in rural southern Africa.

The research was conducted in two villages in Malawi and Lesotho, two of the worst affected countries. The fieldwork comprised four elements:

  • community and household profiling to provide a contextual understanding of livelihood responses to sickness and death, and in particular how young people are incorporated in livelihood strategies
  • participatory research with more than thirty 10-24-year-olds in each community (around half of whom were affected by AIDS) to explore their aspirations, means of accessing livelihood opportunities, obstacles faced and decision-making processes
  • semi-structured interviews with policy makers and other key informants to explore the linkages with macro-level policies and processes
  • life history interviews with more than twenty 18-24 year olds in each village to explore the factors shaping their lifecourses and livelihoods

There are a number of policy recommendations arising from the research:

  • focusing on increasing school attendance (which has hitherto been the main response to the impacts of AIDS on young people) is an inadequate response. Education needs to be much more relevant to the livelihood options available to the majority of rural youth
  • rural young people would benefit particularly from opportunities for vocational skills training, but also business education and the identification of opportunities that rely not only on the local market, if they are to engage successfully in rural enterprise
  • although fertiliser subsidies, food aid and food for work programmes are aimed principally at securing immediate subsistence rather than buildingassets for the future, they can free young people’s time and energy to devote to activities with secure long term prospects
  • equally, cash transfers, including those directed at elderly people, can help young people do business and find employment by putting more cash into local circulation
  • significantly, however, the project findings do not support the targeting of interventions specifically at AIDS-affected young people

Climate change, household vulnerability and smart agricukture: the case of two South African provinces

01 Dec 2016 04:33:41 GMT

The impact of climate change disasters poses significant challenges for South Africa especially for vulnerable rural households. In South Africa there is dearth of knowledge of the impacts of climate change at the local level, especially in rural areas. Rural households are generally poor and lack resources to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change associated disasters. The extent of vulnerability of rural households to climate change related disasters is largely not understood. A thorough and systematic examination of household vulnerability to climate change in rural areas is necessary and urgent. To minimise the impacts of climate change, there are several alternative adaptation strategies. The adaptation strategies require scientific scrutiny to establish which strategies are more cost effective and with the greatest positive impact on people’s livelihoods.The purpose of this project was to assess the micro level impacts of climate change, evaluate household vulnerability and evaluate alternative rural adaptation strategies. To evaluate the impact of climate change the DSSAT models were used to simulate the impacts of climate change scenarios on maize yields. On household vulnerability, the household vulnerability index (HVI) tools was used to identify vulnerable households, so as to provide the basis for strategic interventions as well as recommending a potential suite of fiscal and economic measures to be used to improve the resilience of communities to climate change. The cost benefits analysis was the main technique used to evaluate alternative adaptation strategies. The study focused on the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces: provinces that have been singled out as the most vulnerable to disasters.The cost benefit results suggest households need to move towards the use of drought resistant crop varieties and conservation farming. Priority should be given to drought resistant varieties, small grains, and zero tillage farming systems both in Limpopo and Eastern Cape. Practicing climate smart agriculture should be prioritised.The following recommendations are proposed:government should consider developing a household vulnerability index that will isolate households that are vulnerable to climate change and ensure that such households are well targeted. Any fiscal and financial interventions to alleviate the impact from climate change should take into account the differential vulnerabilities of rural communities and aim to support their autonomous adaptation responses. In this regard, it is recommended that the scope of the CASP grant is broadened to include mechanisms that will improve the resilience and adaptation of households that are vulnerable to climate changethe department of agriculture should support the development of a sustainable and resilient multi-purpose production system in rural areas, especially mechanisms that improve the asset base of rural households such as providing support towards strengthening livestock production; training for pasture-land management, disease control and crop-livestock husbandry and support strategies increase access to inputs, markets and financial resources, improved agricultural extension services and access to climate and weather forecast information. In addition, there is a need to promote multi-purpose crop production, small grains (Sorghum and millet), and drought and water stress tolerant crop varieties, improved agronomic practices (in-field water harvesting, and application of appropriate fertiliser amounts, proper timing of sowing dates, conservation agriculture, etc.)the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries needs to strengthen the extension service and capacitate extension workers with knowledge on climate change risks and climate smart agriculture. Additionally, the department should support farmers by ensuring that a value chain of drought resistant crops especially value chains for crops considered as female crops[...]

Social Protection for Sustainable Development: dialogues between Africa and Brazil

25 Nov 2016 03:42:48 GMT

Over the last few decades, Latin American countries have experienced a boom in social protection policies. This increase has been fuelled by the expansion of fiscal space as the result of steady economic growth. While many of these countries had already had some type of social security system in place, most still lacked effective policies to reduce poverty and few had public programmes offering social assistance.

Cash transfer programmes rapidly emerged in countries all over the continent, followed by other social assistance programmes focusing on vulnerable individuals and families. The design of policies or systems varies according to the context and capacity of each country. Even within a country, there is great heterogeneity in the quality of services offered. This process has rapidly shown interested countries that even when the implementation of public policies is strongly inspired by a model existing in another country, their experience will always be unique.

Africans are interested in learning more about the successful experiences of countries, such as that of Brazil, which serve as a reference and guide for developing their own pathways to social protection solutions.

The partnership between the Government of Brazil and the Government of Senegal, the African Union Commission, UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre), UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa and the Lula Institute provided the opportunity for a high-level debate at the International Seminar
on Social Protection in Dakar. In addition to Brazil and Senegal, there were representatives from Cape Verde, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Zambia and Zimbabwe at the event.

This publication registers the inputs and results of the International Seminar in Dakar. It reveals a theoretical alignment regarding the social agenda that is necessary to both African countries and Brazil, especially in regards to social protection.

Brazilian triangular cooperation in social protection: contribution to the 2030 Agenda

25 Nov 2016 03:14:35 GMT

International organizations have played a crucial role in this process by supporting the diffusion and transfer of social protection policies. However, the role of South-South Cooperation partners cannot be underestimated. Brazil’s development trajectory in the last decade has drawn the world’s attention to the country’s social protection and food and nutritional security policies.

This paper aims to analyse how can trilateral cooperation (TrC) initiatives sharing Brazilian experiences in social protection contribute to the 2030 agenda. In the last decade, social protection has gained the spotlight in development cooperation. The boundaries of social protection has expanded from a narrow understanding of safety nets to potentially encompassing a broader set of policies aimed at increasing social justice and as a redistributive measure that reaffirms the social contract of the state with its citizens. Countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America have introduced regular cash transfers and other programmes to assist poor and vulnerable citizens, with positive impacts on a range of well-being indicators for millions of people.

How pro-poor are land rental markets in Ethiopia?

15 Nov 2016 03:21:16 GMT

Land rental markets can potentially improve the access to land for land-poor households that possess complementary resources that can enable them to utilize land efficiently. Land rental markets can also enable landowners who are poor in non-land resources to rent out their land such that their land is utilized more efficiently and they themselves can get a better income and improved welfare from their land resource. This report assesses the land rental market that is dominated by a reverse tenancy system with relatively poorer landlords and less poor tenants. This market has largely developed informally in Ethiopia but has also been shaped by the changing land policies. We assess how pro-poor it is and whether interventions potentially can make it even more pro-poor and welfare enhancing or whether a “hands off” policy is preferable. If we can detect a significant market failure, there is room for intervention. However, there are also a number of current interventions in the market. We assess whether these achieve the intended outcomes or rather should be lifted or modified.

Population growth, economic growth, and structural transformation in agriculture may change the role of land from being the most important safety net and livelihood opportunity to become an important resource for agricultural transformation and development. The non-farm sector in Ethiopia has grown rapidly in recent years and provides new employment opportunities and this reduces the pressure on land as the only and main source of livelihood.

Our study of land rental markets in Ethiopia covers communities in Tigray, Oromia and SNNP regions focuses particularly on the period 2006 to 2012, but draws on data and research that goes back to 1998 in Tigray and utilizes information from landlords and tenants and other rural households with male and female representatives, local Land Administrative Committee (LAC) members and local conflict mediators with long experience in handling local land disputes.

In this report, we review the relevant literature and fill important gaps in this literature. These gaps include a) the stated reasons of landlords and tenants for partner choice and contract choice in the land rental market and their attitudes and preferences regarding regulation and formalization of land rental contracts; b) we investigate land access of youth in the land rental market; c) we assesses how joint certification of husbands and wives has affected participation in the land rental market; and d) how increasing population pressure and land scarcity affects land access and the land rental market over time.

Street based self-employment: a poverty trap or a stepping stone for migrant youth in Africa?

15 Nov 2016 02:57:16 GMT

A significant percentage of youth in urban Africa is employed in the informal sector. The informal sector is more accessible than the formal sector for people with low human andfinancial capital, such as youth migrants from rural areas. But the sector is also generally considered to provide a subsistence livelihood. This study examines whether street based selfemployment in Africa offer a stepping stone towards a better livelihood or an urban poverty trap for youth migrants. The analysis is based on data from a survey of 445 street vendors in two urban areas in Ethiopia. We found that street based self-employment is indeed dominated by migrant youth; 96% of those engaged in the street based self-employment are youth and 98% are migrants from rural areas or smaller towns. Our analysis suggests that street based selfemployment can offer a viable transitional employment for migrant youth. We found that the average monthly earning of these self-employed youth is better than the minimum wage in the public sector and much higher than the official poverty line. We found that most of the youth consider this as a transitional employment and accumulate skill and capital with a view to establishing their own enterprise or accessing skilled employment. Young women are less likely than young men to seek exit out of street based self-employment but education increases their aspiration. Youth with better-off parents back home and those with larger network in their new residence are more likely to change their current occupation. The main risk for the livelihood of youth in this type of employment is lack of legal recognition to their activities and work place, which manifest itself in the form of arbitrary eviction and displacement from their work place.

Shame, social exclusion and the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes

15 Nov 2016 02:55:59 GMT

A two year qualitative investigation of the nature and consequences of shame associated with poverty was conducted in seven settings located in rural Uganda and India; urban China, Pakistan, Korea and United Kingdom; and small town and urban Norway. The research presented results consistent with the thesis that the shame is always associated with poverty and that this may reduce personal efficacy and contribute to the duration and prevalence of poverty, a process that may be aggravated by policies that stigmatise recipients of social protection.

The research explores the contention that shame is a universal attribute of poverty which is common to people experiencing poverty in all societies. It investigates whether shame has internal and external components such that people are shamed because they are poor and feel shame due to being poor - and that both reduce individual agency and increase social exclusion.

The research initially seeks within different cultural settings to:

  • explore the social construction of shame (including its synonyms and antonyms) as expressed in public discourse
  • identify the cultural coincidence of shame and poverty as revealed in public discourse

Because personal experiences and public understanding of poverty are shaped by cultural expectations and resource constraints, the research will:

  • investigate how publics conceptualise poverty and people in poverty and whether in thought or deed they contribute to shaming people in poverty
  • explore how people directly experience poverty, social exclusion and shame and recognise connections between them

Children’s mobility in Ghana: an SBHA Special Issue

15 Nov 2016 02:18:17 GMT

Children throughout Sub-Saharan Africa are extraordinarily mobile. Every day children travel to school, to markets, to fetch water and firewood, to work on farms and take farm produce to grinding mills, as well as to visit friends and family and to play. However, children’s mobility is relatively invisible: most journeys that children undertake cover short distances and the vast majority are on foot. As such, very little research has been conducted into the extent of children’s mobility and impacts on education, livelihoods, health and well-being.

In this special issue of Society, Biology and Human Affairs, a group of Ghanian scholars co-ordinated by guest editors Drs Gina Porter and Kate Hampshire, present the results of various aspects of a larger project on ‘Children, Transport and Mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa’, by presenting a series of papers on children’s mobility in Ghana.

Research used an innovative child-centred approach, in which 70 children (aged 11-19 when they started the project) received training and supervision to conduct research on mobility issues among their peers in their home communities.

Article titles include:

  • Children’s mobility in Ghana: An overview of methods and findigns from the Ghana research study
  • Work and happiness: Children’s activities in Ghana
  • Child labour or skills training? A rights-based analysis of children’s contributions to household survival in Ghana
  • Child fostering and education in Ghana
  • Exploring the influence of household internal migration and parents’ main livelihood activities on children’s occupational aspirations in Ghana
  • Mobility and economic constraints as key barriers to children’s healthseeking in Ghana
  • Moving on two wheels

While the papers underline how mobile children in Ghana are, both on a daily basis and undertaking longer-term movements, another key issue to emerge from the study was the limitations and constraints that children face in terms of mobility. Getting to schools, health centres, markets, and other places that they need or want to go, is often very difficult. The difficulties can be particularly acute for those living in remote rural areas, but even children living in urban and peri-urban settlements often struggle to travel around their communities easily and safely. Large distances, high costs of public transport, infrequent transport services to rural areas, and dangers experienced while traveling (such as the risks of traffic accidents, or encountering hazards along the way) mean that daily journeys to school, for example, could become a major ordeal, and even unfeasible for some children.

Children, transport and mobility in sub-Saharan Africa: developing a child-centred evidence base to improve policy and change thinking across Africa

08 Nov 2016 04:58:21 GMT

This project focused on the mobility constraints faced by children in accessing health, educational and other facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of direct information on how these constraints impact on children's current and future livelihood opportunities, and lack of guidelines on how to tackle them. The aim was to produce an evidence-base strong enough to substantially improve policy in the three focus countries - Ghana, Malawi and South Africa - and to change thinking across Africa.

The project successfully tested and implemented an innovative two-strand, childcentred methodology, involving both academic researchers and 70 young researchers. Research was conducted in 8 sites per country (remote rural, rural with services, periurban and urban sites in two agro-ecological zones): 24 sites in total. The qualitative data covers the themes education, health, activities and transport, based on focus groups and individual interviews with children, parents and other key informants. The survey questionnaire covers a wide range of issues with 2,967 children c. 9-18 years, allowing comparisons across sites and countries. This large dataset enables a more nuanced understanding than has hitherto been available of the way mobility and transport constraints interact with other factors to shape particular young lives in particular places. Findings cover topics from pain and negative impacts on education associated with load carrying and other work, to the virtual mobility impacts of mobile phones and the complex interconnections between mobility, gender, work and education. The findings are sufficiently substantial to allow the development of clear guidelines for policy-makers and practitioners.

What development interventions work? The long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of anti-poverty programs in Bangladesh

08 Nov 2016 03:55:42 GMT

While Government and NGOs in Bangladesh have undertaken many interventions designed to help individuals and households escape poverty, few studies have evaluated their long-term impact. Using a newly available longitudinal data set, this project attempted to: (1) assess the long-term impact of three antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh—microfinance, the introduction of new agricultural technologies, and educational transfers—on a range of monetary and non-monetary measures of well-being; (2) examine institutional and contextual factors underlying the performance of these interventions; and (3) compare their cost-effectiveness in attaining their development objectives.
Differences between short- and long-term impacts of the agricultural technologies arose from dissemination and targeting mechanisms; divisibility of the technology; and intrahousehold resource allocation. Programs disseminated through women’s groups, while having smaller impacts on household per capita expenditures and household assets, improved women’s asset holdings and child nutritional status. Limited coverage, lack of geographical targeting, and the declining real value of the Primary Education Stipend were responsible for the remarkably small impact of this nationwide program. Microfinance emerged as an important cause of wellbeing improvement in the qualitative work, while the impact of the PES was limited by its low monetary value.
The life-histories showed little long-term benefit from the agricultural technology programmes, possibly because they were bundled with microfinance and separate impacts were difficult to attribute. The project utilized an active user engagement strategy involving regular policy workshops and media coverage in Bangladesh to stimulate policy dialogue among key stakeholders and contribute to the design of future anti-poverty interventions

Identifying and tackling the social determinants of child malnutrition in urban informal settlements and slums: a cross national review of the evidence for action

08 Nov 2016 01:49:17 GMT

Urbanisation can bring many benefits the rate of change but in many developing countries the rate of change has been so fast and so dramatic that many cities have been unable to cope. Rapid, unplanned urbanisation has led to widespread social inequity and stratification, the rapid growth of informal settlements and slums, environmental degradation, heavy migrant inflows, and breakdown of the social support systems and networks.

It is not surprising, therefore, that there is a strong and well established link between child malnutrition and various dimensions of disadvantage in the urban setting. Child undernutrition has become an endemic problem in many poor urban areas of developing countries, jeopardizing the physical and mental development of growing children.

At the same time, social conditions and globalisation create the emerging risk of child overweight and obesity due to consumption of inappropriate foods, promoted as a part of the processes of globalization of food production systems, and lack of physical activity linked to changes in occupational and leisure activities. Many cities in the developing world are therefore facing a double burden of child under-nutrition and obesity and municipal governments are uniquely positioned to play a leading role in addressing these problems.

The primary aim of this structured literature review is to synthesize what is known about the effectiveness of interventions to reduce child malnutrition through changing the social determinants in poor urban areas of developing countries. The review focuses on child malnutrition because studies have shown that the early childhood years are the most critical. The importance of nutrition intervention throughout the lifecycle is also acknowledged.

A secondary aim is to draw out the implications of the findings for the further development of a three year research study known as the NICK Project (Nutritional Improvement for children in urban Chile and Kenya). This project aims to help two cities, Mombasa and Valparaiso, reduce child malnutrition in children less than five years of age living in poor urban areas of these cities by intervening at the municipal level to broaden community and stakeholder participation and provide exemplars of successful small-scale interventions that can change the social determinants. If successful, the innovative approach used in this study could serve as a useful guide for action in the cities of other high burden countries.

Development in the 'raw': What livelihood trajectories and poverty outcomes tell us about welfare regimes and resilience in Afghanistan

04 Nov 2016 04:57:43 GMT

Based on a detailed study of the lives of 64 rural Afghan households since 2002 in three contrasting parts of the country it was found that eight years on many struggle to meet day to day needs and are even worse off than before. While many have experienced improvements in access to basic services, livelihood security has declined for the majority. This has been largely due to factors outside their control such as drought, the ban on opium cultivation and rising global food prices. For the few who have improved their circumstances, largely living near Kandahar it has been mainly through diversifying out of agriculture rather than remaining in it. For those that have done best initial wealth and good political connections have provided them opportunities in the urban economy. While collective action at the village level could be supportive of poor people’s lives this was strongest where economic equalities were least. Where economic inequalities were high, as in Kandahar, village elites were largely self interested.

Public policy in Afghanistan has placed a strong emphasis on market oriented agricultural production. But for many the risks of market engagement are too high and first food security needs to be assured. There is a need for more attention to promoting rural employment, improving support for saving and insurance and building on informal means of social assistance where collective action works best. Greater attention is needed to social inequalities in programme design and implementation.

Human development and poverty reduction in developing countries

03 Nov 2016 02:46:13 GMT

The main objectives of the research financed by the DfID/ESRC grant have been: i) to better understand the processes through which human capital is accumulated in developing countries; and, ii) how this process can lead to the reduction of poverty both in the short and in the long run. More specifically, the author has been studying various aspects of the process through which poor households in developing countries make decisions that affect the accumulation of human capital.

New knowledge on children and young people: a synthesis of evidence - summary paper

14 Oct 2016 03:22:41 GMT

Improving children and young people’s (CYP) wellbeing, and recognising the role they can play in creating a more sustainable world will be critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This timely report provides insights into how ESRC-DFID funded research has provided new knowledge that can inform and strengthen policy making in relation to CYP issues and help meet global development ambitions.

Key research findings:

  • recognising young people’s agency and the role they can play in research and policy making around the issues that matter to them most is critical
  • enhanced participation and community engagement programmes amongst the most marginalised can contribute to reduction in inequalities of new born survival rates
  • religion can have a significant impact on child wellbeing outcomes in India
  • CYP’s psychological wellbeing is positively associated with staying in school and negatively associated with entering the labour market in China. However for CYP in Tanzania there is often a clash between their perceptions of the long term gain of education and the more immediate benefits of employment
  • marriage is often viewed by both CYP and their families as a key livelihood strategy
  • young people are using mobile technologies to access services and build up social capital. They also have concerns around mobile phones and the potential negative impact on their personal safety and wellbeing

New knowledge on children and young people: a synthesis of evidence

14 Oct 2016 03:12:58 GMT

This report synthesises insights on children and young people (CYP) from research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. It identifies the major contributions the scheme has made to knowledge on CYP in low- and middle-income countries and on effective policies for promoting CYP wellbeing. It situates learning from scheme-funded research within the wider field of CYP-oriented international development research and reflects on the ways in which findings relate to contemporary
development policy agendas for CYP. The report is based on a thorough review of all available documentation and outputs related to the 126 grants funded at the start of the review period and on conversations and interviews with current grant-holders.

  • 44 grants (35% of all scheme-funded research) generated insights on children and young people. Of these two-thirds had a strong or moderate focus on CYP. Insights are diverse, with no two grants examining the same issue
  • most new knowledge has been generated on education and health, followed by livelihoods issues, transitions to marriage and sexual relationships and violence against children and young people
  • 55% of grants provide insights into the effectiveness of particular policies and programmes. Many studies address current policy dilemmas; others probe the impact of significant development trends on children and young people
  • there was a strong youth focus in these grants with 73% of grants producing knowledge on young people aged 15 and over, or on key policy issues affecting them
  • a third of research projects had achieved positive impacts on children and young people or are expected to do so



Poverty & death: disaster and mortality 1996-2015

13 Oct 2016 10:55:24 GMT

The period 1996 to 2015 saw 7,056 disasters recorded worldwide by EM-DAT, the Emergency Events Database. The frequency of geophysical disasters (primarily earthquakes, including tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions) remained broadly constant throughout this period but there was a sustained rise in climate- and weather-related events (floods, storms and heatwaves in particular) which accounted for the majority of disaster deaths in most years.

Of the 1.35 million people killed by natural hazards over the past 20 years, more than half died in earthquakes, with the remainder due to weather- and climate-related hazards. The overwhelming majority of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. The poorest nations paid the highest price in terms of the numbers killed per disaster and per 100,000 population.

The global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted by all UN member States in March 2015, sets a target for a substantial reduction in global disaster mortality; the statistics in this report point towards several major conclusions with implications for achieving this target:

  • the high death tolls from earthquakes, including tsunamis, over the last 20 years is a deeply troubling trend given the pace of urbanization around the world in many seismic zones. This underlines the need to promote the mainstreaming of disaster risk assessments into land-use policy development and implementation, including urban planning, building codes and investing in earthquake-resistant infrastructure, notably housing, schools, health facilities and work places. The private sector, and the construction industry in particular, need to be partners in this endeavour
  • while better data is needed on overall disaster mortality, particularly in relation to weather- and climate-related hazards in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, it is clear that there needs to be more focus on alleviating the impact of climate change on countries which contribute least to greenhouse gas emissions but which suffer disproportionate losses of life because of extreme weather events exacerbated by rising sea levels and the warming of the land and sea

Pushed aside: displaced for "development" in India

10 Oct 2016 11:41:35 GMT

By providing a first-hand account of development projects and business activities that have caused displacement across India, this report documents and analyses the scale, process and impacts of this phenomenon. It contributes to the existing body of evidence on this type of displacement and aims to raise awareness among policy-makers, business elites, academics, NGOs and operational decision-makers at the national and international level.

The report examines nine cases of displacement caused by development in the states of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala and the national capital territory of Delhi. They reveal failed regulation, inadequate enforcement and harm to communities that extend to other cases elsewhere in India. They show that land acquisitions have pushed people aside with no regard for their rights or needs for decades. They are the result of government indifference and a failure to monitor the human rights impacts of projects and establish accountability mechanisms to address them.

The case studies for this report contribute to the global evidence base on displacement caused by development. The detrimental impacts of development projects in India highlight the need to address the issue in key policy agendas and discussions. Despite IDPs’ awareness of their rights and resistance to their eviction and displacement, they will not escape poverty without significant external support and systemic changes to social and economic policies.

Global development agendas should ensure that while development projects may alleviate poverty for some, they should not at the same time create new poor or heighten the existing economic vulnerabilities of those evicted. Neglecting those evicted and displaced would undermine the achievement of global development goals. The timescale for planning and implementing projects provides ample opportunity to avoid or minimise  displacement, and to put measures in place to ensure that those who are displaced achieve durable solutions.

The State of African Cities 2014: re-imagining sustainable urban transitions urban transitions

07 Oct 2016 03:42:44 GMT

The overarching challenge for Africa in the decades to come is massive population growth in a context of wide-spread poverty that, in combination, generate complex and inter-related threats to the human habitat. The main premise of this report is that successfully and effectively addressing the vulnerabilities and risks to which the African populations are increasingly being exposed may, perhaps, require a complete re-thinking of current urban development trajectories if sustainable transitions are to be achieved. This report is the third in The State of African Cities series.
It is not only Africa’s largest urban population concentrations that are becoming more prone to vulnerabilities and risks; these are actually increasing for all African settlements. This will add to the already significant social, economic and political hazards associated with Africa’s still pervasive urban poverty. The
combination of demographic pressures, rapid urbanization, environmental and climate change now appear to reinforce a host of negative urban externalities.
Ubiquitous urban poverty and urban slum proliferation, so characteristic of Africa’s large cities, is likely to become an even more widespread phenomenon under current urban development trajectories, especially given the continuing and significant shortfalls in urban institutional capacities. Since the bulk of the urban population increases are now being absorbed by Africa’s secondary and smaller cities, the sheer lack of urban governance capacities in these settlements is likely to cause slum proliferation processes that replicate those of Africa’s larger cities.
This report argues for a radical re-imagination of African approaches to urbanism, both to strengthen the positive impacts of Africa’s current multiple transitions and to improve urban living and working conditions. Africa’s population is still well below the 50 per cent urban threshold. This implies that a major  reconceptualization of its approaches to urban development can still be undertaken. Given the rapidly changing global conditions, especially those associated with environmental and climate change, looming resources scarcity and the dire need to move towards greener and more sustainable development options, Africa has the opportunity to take a global lead in innovations towards greener, healthier and more sustainable urban societies

Aligning social protection and climate resilience: a case study of WBCIS and MGNREGA in Rajasthan

07 Oct 2016 01:03:12 GMT

Social protection and climate change programmes are two public policy responses that governments use to address the challenges of poverty, climate vulnerability and gender inequality. Social protection programmes provide a safety net for households by providing cash/asset transfers and labour market instruments to address the immediate and underlying socio-economic risks facing the poor. Climate change programmes use a  range of policy, financial, technological and capacity-strengthening measures to address
climate change vulnerability. Despite the fact that most countries have comprehensive strategies for both social protection and climate change, there have been few attempts to align the two to develop more durable pathways out of poverty and climate vulnerability.

This paper is the second of two case studies that examine how aligning social protection and climate change interventions could help households manage the risks they face, and set them on a path out of poverty and into climate-resilient livelihoods. It presents a case study of the Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in India, based on fieldwork in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.

Realising income security in old age: A study into the feasibility of a universal old age pension in Malawi

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:


  • make a start but introducing a relatively low cost scheme, such as benefit of MWK 3,720 to over 70s (a cost of 0.4 per cent of GDP). This would be in line with current levels of fiscal space, and would also allow for administrative systems to be developed gradually before rolling out to national level
  • as soon as possible, expand the scheme to all older people aged 60 years and over. This would recognise the relatively short life expectancy in Malawi, and that many of the challenges of old age can kick in relatively early
  • in the longer run, move towards a benefit level at the level of the national poverty line (approximately MWK 8,750 in 2016 prices), to ensure that no older person lives in poverty. This higher level of adequacy can be achieved both through growth of the economy, and also by devoting increased revenue to the scheme

Evidence and examples to build resilient livelihoods in the South Sudan context

29 Sep 2016 12:07:56 GMT

Building resilience to weather and conflict shocks in South Sudan requires investing inside and outside the agriculture sector in order to promote sustainable livelihoods development and income diversification. This includes strengthening productive sectors, improving basic social services, and establishing productive safety nets. Establishing productive safety nets involves providing predictable income sources to vulnerable households through cash transfers, food transfers, or paid labour within a public works programme. Furthermore,
climate change adaptation should be an integral part of the conflict prevention and food-security strategies, partly because climate change is expected to significantly increase the likelihood of future conflict.
DFID South Sudan is preparing a business case for the second phase of the Building Resilience through Asset Creation and Enhancement (BRACE) Programme in South Sudan. This phase is expected to start in August 2015 in order that there will be a smooth transition from phase 1. Building on learning from phase 1, phase 2 will focus more on climate adaptation and conflict sensitivity. Resilience in South Sudan mainly revolves around
food security. Phase 1 was focused on food for assets, phase 2 is looking to scaling up cash for assets; but this will need to be handled in a sensitive way given risks in the operational context.
To this end, the Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI) was invited by Evidence on Demand to undertake a rapid desk-based study to provide evidence and examples to build resilient livelihoods in the South Sudan context.


Mongolia: enhancing policies and practices for Ger area development in Ulaanbaatar

29 Sep 2016 03:35:54 GMT

The sustainable development of ger areas in Ulaanbaatar (UB), the capital city of Mongolia, is one of the critical development issues facing the country. The transition to a market economy and a series of severe winters (called zud) have resulted in the large-scale migration of low-income families into the ger areas of UB. The city represents 39 percent of the nation’s population and generates more than 60 percent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Basic services are very limited or even non-existent in ger areas. Nearly 85 percent of ger residents use wood or coal-burning stoves for heating, in contrast to apartment buildings, which are connected to the central heating system. Ger residents must purchase water at public water kiosks, while apartment residents enjoy reliable supplies of piped-in drinking and hot water. The low density of ger areas, coupled with the extremely cold climate makes the provision of these basic public services very costly. Poor urban services have also led to environment degradation, including the pollution of air and soil, which poses such health risks as respiratory diseases and hepatitis.
Clearer policy directions, such as the “Compact City” concept of the UB Master Plan 2030, have emerged in recent years to control spatial expansion and promote high-density development for the ger areas. However, the government’s practices have been inconsistent. These practices are, in part, a result of limited awareness and  understanding by the general public, as well as by policy makers, of the public costs of their actions on land management. Also, many supporting mechanisms, including land valuation and taxation, have not yet been properly developed.
The intent of this report is to clarify the costs and benefits of different development paths. These paths include (i) conversion of ger areas into apartment building complexes; (ii) gradual improvement of urban services for existing ger areas; and (iii) further expansion of ger areas at the fringe of the city.

The Funded Pension Scheme and economic growth in Nigeria

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.

The study concluded that with good risk and portfolio management by pension fund administrators and custodians, the contributory pension has the capacity to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria and very convenient to retirees compared to the previous defined benefit scheme.

The study however recommended the removal of delay payment, administrative bottlenecks and corruption in the management of the pension fund in order to boost economic growth in Nigeria.

Subjective well- being of Chinese elderly: a comparative analysis among Urban China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan

23 Sep 2016 11:12:25 GMT

This paper investigates the relative importance of living arrangement and social participation for the elderly’s subjective well-being (happiness) in three Chinese societies (Hong Kong, urban China and Taiwan) with different levels of development. Based on comparable survey data, the authors find that co-residence with children is less closely associated with the elderly’s psychological well-being in the more developed society. The elderly in Hong Kong who live independently with a spouse are in a significantly better emotional state than those living with adult children and grandchildren. Social participation has a greater positive effect on subjective well-being among the aged in Hong Kong than among those in urban China and Taiwan.

Furthermore, elderly women may benefit more from independent living and social engagement than their male counterparts. These findings suggest that encourageing social participation among the elderly may be an effective way to enhance their well-being and achieve active ageing.

Climate change, vulnerability, food security and human health in rural Pakistan: a gender perspective

22 Sep 2016 04:59:35 GMT

Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries in the South Asian region given still overwhelming dependence of its population on agriculture which in turn mainly depends on the Indus Basin River System. The intensity and frequency of extreme climate events have increased in Pakistan during the recent decades.

In rural Pakistan, women and elderly are likely to suffer the most from adverse impacts of climate change as majority of them are engaged in/dependent on agriculture which is highly climate sensitive. Women and children are already an underpaid, overworked and exploited resource‘ and climate change will further increase this workload and accentuate their vulnerability. Yet, the gender vulnerability is one of the most ignored areas in the climate research.

This research explores the impact of climate change and gender differentiated socio-economic factors on household vulnerability. The study is based on the Climate Change Impact Survey (CCIS), 2013 data collected from 3430 farm households located in 16 districts of Pakistan representing all the major cropping systems and various categories of farms by tenancy and size of operational holding.

The results regarding health vulnerability regression model are suggestive that family composition by gender and age as well as literacy among females are important determinants of health vulnerability. It is observed that the households with higher number of younger family members are more health vulnerable. The farm households which have higher female ratio in their families are found to be more health vulnerable; whereas the households with greater ratio of educated females in the family are less health vulnerable. Finally, the results suggest that almost all climatic factors except Rabi season deviation of precipitation are important determinant of the health vulnerability and all the climatic variables enhance household level health vulnerability except the long run norm of the Kharif precipitation and Rabi-temperature which reduces health vulnerability.

The results of binary logit model estimated for food security are suggestive that family size and literacy among female members of the household are important determinants of the food security both affecting it positively and significantly. However, the composition of family by gender (female ratio) is not an important determinant of household food security. Finally, deviation of Rabi temperature from the long run norm and that of Rabi precipitation and Kharif precipitation have statistically significant effect on food security. The deviation in Rabi temperature has the adverse impact on food security as it affects wheat productivity, a staple food in Pakistan. The precipitation deviations in both the seasons have a positive impact on food security.

Means testing vs. universal targeting: assumptions of efficiency and affordability

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.

Key messages:

  • seventy-nine countries would be economically able to shift from targeted non-contributory pensions to basic universal non-contributory pensions with less than 1.2 per cent of the respective national GDPs
  • sixteen countries have means-tested/regional-tested non-contributory pensions more expensive than a hypothetical basic universal pension
  • an arbitrary threshold of “economic development” is not a limitation for implementing social pensions. At least 16 countries with a relatively low economic development have successfully implemented social pensions without targeting beneficiaries by means
  • universal social pensions are politically and economically viable and are efficient strategies to alleviate income poverty

Exploring the determinants of welfare distribution in Tunisia and Egypt using a welfare generation model

08 Sep 2016 11:59:54 GMT

The Tunisian revolution quickly sparked a wave of major uprisings in the region, starting from Egypt and spreading to other countries, such as Libya and Syria among others. Not surprisingly, the fuel of uprisings in these countries finds its main sources in inequality, in its various dimensions. Still, inequality patterns in the region are also different.

Countries such as Morocco and Tuni sia show relatively high inequality levels, while others, such as Egypt, show moderate to low inequality levels. Despite this, little is known about the sources of the differences in household welfare distribution across the MENA region countries.
The present paper intends to identify the main driving factors of the distribution of welfare in Tunisia and Egypt. The authors present a regression-based method to compare the labour market and demographic characteristics in both countries, as well as their impact on the distribution of consumption expenditures. For this, they develop a welfare generation model to generate estimates for the contribution of different demographics and labour characteristics for each country to welfare. This allows the authors to capture differences in both returns in employment and demographic characteristics. This paper presents the welfare generation model and its estimation results. These suggest that the most relevant factors in explaining the distribution of welfare are similar in Tunisia and Egypt. Some specific characteristics, such as education and regional characteristics have a different impact in each country.

Welfare impacts of climate shocks: evidence from Tanzania

31 Aug 2016 12:45:27 GMT

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains the world’s most food-insecure region characterized by high levels of child mortality and poverty and low levels of human and physical capital (FAO, 2009). Countries in SSA, including Tanzania, heavily depend on a smallholder-based agricultural sector, which makes their welfare and food security particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of weather risk on rural households’ welfare in Tanzania using nationally representative household panel data together with a set of novel weather variation indicators based on interpolated gridded and re-analysis weather data that capture the peculiar features of short term and long term variations in rainfall and temperature. In particular, we estimate the impact of weather shocks on a rich set of welfare indicators (including total income, total expenditure, food expenditure and its share in total expenditure and calorie intake) and investigate whether and how they vary by different definitions of shocks - capturing changes in levels and variations over different time periods.

The authors find that both rainfall and maximum temperature variability exert a negative impact on welfare (i.e. no consumption smoothing) and that households that have adopted SLM practices are able to achieve income-smoothing. We also find that the most vulnerable rural households are much more affected by a rainfall deficit compared to the households in the top income quantile. Results underline the key role extension services play in enhancing adaptive capacity to reduce vulnerability to adverse weather conditions, as well as the importance of targeting the most vulnerable households in policy interventions to improve food security in the face of weather shocks.

MGNREGS in Odisha: the path

25 Aug 2016 11:19:35 GMT

Over the last eight years, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) bas become an important instrument for equitable growth, livelihood support, gender parity and social security in the country. In Odisha, the Scheme has been a strong pillar of support for the rural area in their quest for livelihood security. Today, more and more beneficiaries have come forward to regard the Scheme as a means of gainful employment. It has effectively targeted the most marginalized sections of society, including women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Now the State is moving towards increasing the scheme coverage, creating quality assets at the ground etc. It is strongly felt that a focused approach on implementation of MGNREGS will contribute towards the common and shared goals of empowerment of marginalized communities, and alleviation of rural poverty through creation of sustainable and productive assets. Hence the Department has brought out “MGNREGS in Odisha: The Path”
with the support of OMEGA (a DFID UK and Government of Odisha Partnership Initiative). The force field analysis made in this document to address the constraining forces in a logical way presents an interesting mosaic of different hues that would definitely provide a new flavour to MGNREGS implementation in the State.

‘Tomorrow Will Not Be Like Yesterday ’ Sahariya Tribals emerge from the shadows

19 Aug 2016 04:23:52 GMT

This edition in the series of Critical Stories of Change presents the story of Sahariya tribals categorized as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). They reside in contiguous areas of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Historically, they practiced shifting cultivation, hunting, gathering, pastoralism, and sometimes also adopted a nomadic life. Over time they were displaced out of their traditional habitats under the pretext offorest conservation and development projects resulting in loss of identity, culture, tradition, and livelihood.

Declared as encroachers over their own land and unable to cope up with the modern monetized society forced them to mortgage their land and compelled them into debt, and bonded labour. But what kept them there was the scale and severity of oppression by the upper caste that remained unchecked for decades. The Sahariya women were even further marginalized by the stranglehold of caste oppression, poverty and patriarchy.
This paper tells readers about the efforts of Manavadhikar Forum-a platform of 5 civil society groups who decided to take on the issues of the state of fear, chronic hunger and exploitation of the Sahariyas through their own organisation called Sahariya Jan Gatbandhan (SAJAG).
SAJAG’s efforts over the last decade have resulted in, freedom from fear, greater food security, improved access to government schemes , universal coverage of antodaya ration card, health-card and other social security schemes, release of bonded labourers and participation in governance structures of the village. Women have united under the banner of Jagrat Mahila Sangathan (JMS) and have addressed cases relating to domestic violence, atrocities and rape and have started challenging patriarchy within the community.

Identifying livelihood promotion strategies for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups under NRLM

19 Aug 2016 03:46:40 GMT

The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), the flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India (GoI), is keen to promote the development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) on a priority basis.

This report suggests suitable methodologies and analytical tools for making such assessments. It also presents certain broad principles and strategies which can be used while working with PVTGs.

Developing livelihoods and socio-economic conditions of PVTGs is a priority area for NRLM. Given the special characteristics of PVTGs, NRLM recognizes the need to evolve separate strategies for their development. Further, it recognizes the need to be flexible in approach and support those agencies which have been working closely with PVTGs or which have developed rapport with them.

The exercise covered in this report - organizing regional consultations in four states which have a substantial number of PVTGs -  proved to be productive and useful in a number of ways. It helped in identifying issues that are critical for the development of PVTGs. It also helped to throw light on some interesting ideas and initiatives taking place at the grassroots level. Finally it helped to bring together a number of resource persons, activists, and resource institutions keenly engaged and interested
in the development of PVTGs.

Some of the important conclusions of the consultations can be summarized as:
  • the importance of ‘right to habitat’ as a pre-condition for the rehabilitation and development of PVTGs
  • the need for state investment in basic infrastructure such as access roads, local haats, primary healthcare centres, schools, and anganwadis
  • urgent need to address health related problems and the need to set up a primary healthcare system that leverages indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants
  • designing interventions taking into account the present scenario resulting from the state of traditional habitats, the extent of isolation, and the extent of migration/displacement of PVTGs
  • need to spend considerable time in building rapport with the community and addressing felt-needs before moving on to livelihood augmentation
  • designing interventions only after learning about the culture of the PVTG in question and acknowledging, respecting, and leveraging indigenous knowledge about local biodiversity. Also, building upon the strengths of traditional institutions to manage natural resources on a sustainable basis
  • ensuring that the ‘honour and freedom’ of the PVTGs is preserved and not compromised in any way throughout the development process

Integrating disaster response and climate resilience in social protection programs in the Pacific Island Countries

18 Aug 2016 04:08:42 GMT

The Pacific i sland countries (PICs) are some of the most exposed to frequent natural disasters and climate shocks, and their vulnerability is increasing due to mounting effects of climate change as well as demographic and economic forces. Natural disasters hit the poorest hardest and have long -term consequences for human development. Social protection programs and systems have an important role in helping poor and vulnerable populations cope with the impacts of shocks as well as build long -term resilience. This paper discusses the potential role of social protection for disaster and climate risk reduction and management in PICs . It presents evidence and lessons from other regions, providing examples of tools and entry points for the develo pment of climate - and disaster- respons ive social protection interventions and context-specific recommendations for PICs.

This paper discusses the potential role of social protection for disaster and climate risk reduction and management in the PICs and intends to serve as a primer for World Bank engagement in social protection in the region. The study presents evidence and lessons from other countries and regions with the goal of providing examples of tools and entry points for the development of climate - and disaster - responsive social protection interventions.
However, given the Pacific region specific context and the characteristics of each country’s social protection (SP), climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk management (DRM) sector, it is important to keep in mind that some of these lessons will need to be extrapolated to other settings with due caution.

Increasing people’s resilience through social protection

12 Aug 2016 05:01:31 GMT

Climate-related shocks and stresses are posing significant obstacles to poverty reduction. Climate change could result in an additional 100 million people living in extreme poverty by 2030, unless climate-informed development interventions prevent some of its disastrous consequences.
This paper from BRACED draws from existing evidence to highlight how social protection programmes and systems can contribute to building the anticipatory, adaptive and absorptive capacity of vulnerable people who are exposed to climate shocks and disasters.
Key messages:
  • the increasing prevalence of climate-related extreme events is becoming an additional factor that exacerbates vulnerability and undermines efforts to reduce poverty. Social protection is a key policy tool to help people manage a range of risks to their livelihoods and wellbeing, including climate shocks
  • social protection can build anticipatory capacity by linking social safety nets with mechanisms to prepare and plan for
    climate extremes and disasters. It provides beneficiaries with the capacity to absorb shocks and meet their basic needs in times of hardship. If future risks are accounted for and adequate support is provided, social protection can play a role in building adaptive capacity in the long-term through sustainablelivelihood promotion
  • to ensure programmes can effectively reduce vulnerability to climate risks several factors need to be considered to make it ‘adaptive’ or ‘shock-responsive’. These relate to designing flexible and scalable programmes, ensuring the support provided reduces current as well as future vulnerability, and putting in place targeting, financing and coordination mechanisms that facilitate cross-sector responses to different types of risks

Statistical profile of scheduled tribes in India 2013

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.

Tribal profile at a glance 2014

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.).


What is the association between absolute child poverty, poor governance, and natural disasters? A global comparison of some of the realities of climate change

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.

The contribution of low-carbon cities to South Africa's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals: briefing on urban energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

11 Aug 2016 04:30:36 GMT

South Africa is ranked among the world’s top 12 largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters, largely due to dependence on plentiful coal for electricity generation and an energy-intensive industrial and mining sector. Under the Copenhagen Accord, South Africa committed to cut emissions by 34% from business as usual (BAU) by 2020, and by 42% by 2025. These targets represented a relative, not absolute, decline in emissions and are conditional on international support. They follow a “peak, plateau, decline” (PPD) trajectory, where GHG emissions should peak by 2020, plateau until 2030 and begin to decline after 2030.South Africa faces many challenges: the economy is largely energy inefficient and resource-intensive, human development indices remain low, and inequality and unemployment are high. Energy- and other resource use patterns need to be addressed in order to move towards a sustainable, low-carbon and equitable country in a resource-constrained future.This paper aims to identify opportunities for urban emissions reduction in South Africa.  The key findings illustrate cities’ important role in reducing emissions in South Africa, including:c: The 18 major metropolitan areas and secondary cities in South Africa consume about 37% of the country’s energy, making them key drivers of change and players in South Africa’s economyities are key influencers of energy useenergy consumption per capita is decreasing at the same time as the economy is growing: Over a 10-year period, South Africa’s metro areas have experienced positive shifts in their energy and emissions profiles. While energy consumption has increased in absolute terms (which is expected for a developing country and is linked to population and economic growth), per-capita electricity consumption has been decreasing since 2007city actions are likely making an impact: Although it is not possible to state conclusively that these changes are due to abatement measures undertaken by municipal policy-makers, it is clear that the mitigation measures to expand renewable energy, improve energy access and promote energy efficiency currently underway in urban areas are reducing emissionsdespite recent efforts, emission reductions from transport sector are limited: The transport sector is the dominant energy- consuming sector in most cities across the country. In spite of several important public transport interventions, urban transport is still characterized by inefficient, congested roads and a dependence on private vehicles. While a few urban areas have progressive spatial planning frameworks, the urban form has not changed significantly.national government action is needed to enable urban abatement: There is a substantial opportunity for emissions and energy reduction to be achieved at the city level in South Africa. Many cities have already implemented key strategies, but these need to be implemented to scale with greater vertical alignment and support from national governmentmitigation measures must help accelerate integration and access to s[...]

Climate extremes and resilient poverty reduction

08 Aug 2016 03:58:48 GMT

Building resilience to climate extremes and disasters will help ensure the success of global efforts to eliminate extreme poverty. Reaching and sustaining zero extreme poverty, the first of the SDGs, requires a collective effort to manage the risks of current
climate extremes and projected climate change.
This report explores the relationships between climate change and poverty, focusing on climate extremes, on the basis that these manifestations of climate change will most affect our attempts to reduce poverty over the next 15 to 25 years. Framed by a wider analysis, three detailed studies – on drought risk in Mali, heatwaves in India and typhoons in the Philippines – illustrate the relationship between climate change, climate extremes, disasters and poverty impacts.
All three case studies show the disproportionate impact of climate extremes on those living below the poverty line and those who suffer from non-income dimensions of poverty. Immediate impacts on poor households include loss of life (and associated loss of household earnings), illness, and loss of crops and other assets. Longer-term effects include increases in the price of staple foods, a reduction in food security, malnourishment, malnutrition and stunting in children, as well as lower educational attainment.
The report calls for improved resilience to climate extremes as a requisite for achieving poverty reduction targets. To achieve this, planners and policy makers will need to support the strengthening of the absorptive, anticipatory and adaptive capacities of communities and societies. New ways of working are required to link institutions that have previously been poorly connected, with new criteria for decision-making, such as considering the best solutions across different possible climate futures. The scale of the challenge suggests more transformative actions may be necessary, including through the use of new risk financing mechanisms.

“If you have only dust in your hands, then friends are far; when they are full, they come closer”: an examination of the impacts of Zambia’s Katete universal pension

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.

Community-based social protection in the dry zone

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.


  • there is real need in dry zone communities that is not being met through current informal and community‐based practices. Cash transfers will reduce vulnerability and, if administered sensitively, should strengthen existing informal systems
  • principles of social hierarchy will structure villagers’ interpretations of cash benefits: these are likely to be treated as a form of patronage, perhaps entailing return obligations
  • to select beneficiaries, it would be most straightforward to rely on categories that villagers have already identified as people deserving of assistance: the elderly and those with disabilities. Poverty targeting is not recommended, at least not until villagers become more familiar with the principles of social protection
  • high‐status individuals should be advisors for the program. Perhaps the village administrator and/or the sayadaw (senior monk) could make case‐by‐case decisions about extending grants to those in situations of extreme vulnerability or destitution, assuming the role of patron. They already play that role to some extent
  • expanding the amounts and extending the repayment periods for no‐interest loans would be helpful for vulnerable people who are afraid to take loans because they cannot repay. I do not recommend setting up more revolving loan funds, as these seem to encourage indebtedness



Integrated Urban Development Framework and Implementation Plan

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:

  • spatial integration: To forge new spatial forms in settlement, transport, social and economic areas
  • inclusion and access: To ensure people have access to social and economic services, opportunities and choices
  • growth: To harness urban dynamism for inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development
  • governance: To enhance the capacity of the state and its citizens to work together to achieve spatial and social integration

Ageing in the Caribbean and the human rights of older persons: Twin imperatives for action

12 Jul 2016 01:15:54 GMT

Over the next twenty years, the Caribbean will see a rapid and dramatic ageing of its population. Over this period, the number of older persons will double: the number of persons aged 60 and over will increase from 1.1 million (or 13 per cent of the population) in 2015 to 2 million (or 22 per cent) in 2035.

The number of people aged 70 and over will increase from 500,000 (or 6 per cent) to 1 million (or 11 per
cent). The population will continue to age after 2035 albeit at a slowly diminishing rate. Over the next twenty years and beyond, all Caribbean countries and territories will see rapid ageing and significant increases in the proportion of older persons in their respective populations.
This study addresses the ageing of the Caribbean population and the situation with respect to the human
rights of older persons. It considers the implications for public policy of these ‘twin imperatives for action’. The first chapter describes and explains the changing age structure of the Caribbean population. Important features of the ageing dynamic, such as differential regional and national trends and the growing number of ‘older old’ persons, are also analysed.

The study then describes the progress that has been made in advancing and clarifying the human rights of older persons in international law. The core of the study then consists of an assessment of the current situation of older persons in the Caribbean and the extent to which their human rights are realised in practice. The thematic areas of economic security, health, and enabling environments – which roughly correspond to the three priority areas of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing – are each addressed in individual chapters. These chapters evaluate national policies and  programmes for older persons and make public policy recommendations
intended to protect and fulfil the human rights of older persons. The report concludes by summarising
the priorities for future action both through the establishment of new international human rights
instruments as well as national policies and programmes.

Labor market effects of pension reform: an overlapping generations general equilibrium model applied to Tunisia

08 Jul 2016 12:16:47 GMT

The problem of the sustainability of pay-as-you-go systems is becoming a serious concern for developing countries characterised by rapid demographic transitions and this problem will grow exponentially if nothing is done in the near future. Tunisia is a good example since its pension system has been in deficit since 2000 for the public sector fund and 2002 for the private one. According to the Tunisian National Statistical Institute (2009), the share of retirees in the population will increase from 10% in 2010 to 20% in 2034 due to the rapid ageing of the population. The increase in the dependency rate puts a heavy pressure on the financial viability of the social security system. This issue is becoming highly sensitive in the Tunisian public debate.
This paper develops an overlapping general equilibrium framework to capture the interactions among pension reform, labour market and inter-generational distribution issues in Tunisia. The impact on the labour market is addressed at the aggregate level but also by distinguishing different age categories. The three reform scenarios implemented to reduce the social security deficit consist in increasing social security contributions, reducing the replacement rate and postponing the retirement age.
The main result obtained is that increasing contribution rates is the worst solution in terms of welfare and unemployment, particularly for the youth. The best option is postponing the retirement age. Contrary to the traditional wisdom, it does not entail an increase of youth unemployment. For the two scenarios where aggregate welfare increases, the middle -aged are those that benefit the most from the reforms.

Social Protection and Climate Resilience

30 Jun 2016 06:42:06 GMT

This learning resource identifies lessons from a range of DFID programmes on how social protection builds climate resilience. It also contains a detailed list of current best reads. It was compiled as a result of consultations with DFID staff and draws on relevant DFID case studies to provide insights into:

•The working conceptual framework for defining climate resilience

•Climate responsiveness of social protection programming

•Key issues to consider when designing climate resilient social protection programmes - targeting, scalable and flexible shock responsive mechanisms, fragile states, long term and holistic resilience approaches, monitoring and learning.

The state of the World's children 2016: a fair chance for every child

28 Jun 2016 03:17:09 GMT

Every child has the right to health, education and protection, and every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born. The State of the World’s Children 2016 argues that progress for the most disadvantaged children is not only a moral, but also a strategic imperative. Stakeholders have a clear choice to make: invest in accelerated progress for the children being left behind, or face the consequences of a far more divided world by 2030.

The report begins with the most glaring inequity of all – disparities in child survival – and goes on to explore the underlying determinants of preventable child mortality. It argues that to meet the 2030 child survival target, we must urgently address persistent disparities in maternal health, the availability of  skilled birth attendants, adequate nutrition and access to basic services, as well as other factors such as discrimination, exclusion and a lack of knowledge about child feeding and the role of safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene in preventing childhood disease.

The discussion continues with a look at one of the most effective drivers of development and the greatest equalizer of opportunity: education. Without quality education, disadvantaged children are far more likely to be trapped as adults in low-skilled, poorly paid and insecure employment, preventing them from breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage. But a greater focus on early childhood development, on increasing education access and quality, and on providing education in emergencies will yield cascading benefits for both this generation and the next.

Having discussed two of the most glaring deprivations children face, this report then examines child poverty in all its dimensions – and the role social protection programmes play in reducing it. Arguing that child poverty is about more than income, it presents a case for combining measures to reduce income poverty with integrated solutions to the many deprivations experienced by children living in poverty.

Finally, as a call to action, the report concludes with a set of principles to guide more equity-focused policy, planning and public spending. These broad principles include expanding information about who is being left behind and why; improving integration to tackle the multiple dimensions of deprivation; fostering and fuelling Innovation to reach the hardest-to-reach children; increasing investment in equity-focused programmes; and driving involvement by communities and citizens around the world.



Social protection for sustainable development: dialogues between Africa and Brazil

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.

Social security reform and economic modeling capacity building in Indonesia

21 Jun 2016 02:13:22 GMT

Since 1999, economic growth and the rise of the services sector in urban areas have contributed to reducing poverty in Indonesia. While official poverty is relatively low at 12% (30 million persons), an additional 27% of the population (65 million persons) live just above the poverty line and small shocks can drive them back into poverty. These poor and vulnerable people face high food price risks (especially for rice); are highly exposed to health shocks; and are either unemployed or employed in low-skilled, low- productivity sectors. However, many individuals, mostly in the vulnerable category, have inadequate or no access to social protection services.

Key points:

  • the right to social security for all is enshrined in the Constitution since 2002. However, the social security system has had limited coverage, especially of the poor and the informal sector.
  • in 2004, Law No. 40 on National Social Security System (SJSN Law) mandated the extension of social security coverage to the entire population. In 2011, Law No. 24 regarding Social Security Administrators (BPJS Law) stipulated two administrative bodies to implement social security programs. BPJS Health became effective in 2014, and BPJS Employment in July 2015.
  • over the last decade, ADB has facilitated social security reform through support for developing laws and regulations, design of the health and pension, old-age savings, and death benefit programs, and analysis for improving fiscal sustainability of the reform
  • social security reform is a long-term and ongoing process. The government has made significant progress, but there are several challenges to be addressed—e.g., increasing informal sector participation; improved fiscal and financial management; and integrated M&E systems


The impact of fiscal subsidy on China's new rural pension system: a natural experiment

21 Jun 2016 02:02:54 GMT

The China’s New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) has rapidly expanded since its first implementation in 2009,
and has covered all counties of China since 2012.
This paper studied the impact of fiscal subsidies on the participation rate and contributions of the rural residents in the China’s New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) program, where the fiscal subsidies include the incentive pension and the matching subsidy. The results showed that incentive Pension can significantly improve the rural residents' participation rates, but participation rate of young residents are less than the older residents. The authors also showed that matching subsidy does not affect the rural residents' participation significantly. Results suggestthat the current fiscal subsidies play an important role in the establishment and expansion of the NRPS program, but have not increased the participation rate of younger people, which was one of the initial goals of NRPS.