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South Africa in Africa: the dilemmas of foreign policy and human rights

30 Sep 2016 02:30:02 GMT

The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) hosted two public dialogues in Cape Town, one on 11 April 2016 on “South Africa in Africa: National Interest Versus Human Rights?”, and another on 30 June 2016 on “South Africa in Southern Africa: ‘Good Governance’ Versus Regional Solidarity?” Both events were held at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town.

The main focus of the public dialogue “South Africa in Africa: National Interest Versus Human Rights?” was to discuss South Africa’s obligations to the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) generally, and its specific obligations towards arresting Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the ICC. Following the adoption by the United Nations (UN) Security Council of resolution 1593 in March 2005, several investigations resulted in two warrants being issued by the ICC for the arrest of al-Bashir in March 2009 for war crimes, and, in July 2010, relating to charges of genocide, both committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.

The following four key recommendations emerged from the two public dialogues:

  • African and other governments need to work closely with the UN and the ICC to sequence the administration of justice in cases such as Sudan in ways that do not undermine the pursuit and consolidation of peace
  • the South African government should not lose sight of its domestic human rights challenges, particularly in relation to violence, crime, and xenophobia; and Tshwane should give these problems as much priority as its outward-looking foreign policy
  • South Africa, through SADC, should put in place a five-year implementation plan for greater regional industrialisation projects that build strong partnerships to promote socio-economic development and reduce human rights abuses
  • Southern African governments must honour their commitments enshrined in SADC, the AU, the UN, and other international legal documents to promote human rights more effectively across the sub-region

Values, culture and the ivory trade ban

23 Sep 2016 11:01:57 GMT

The new reality of a world without ivory trade demands a re-examination of human values towards both elephants and ivory and what each has come to represent. The closure of the world’s largest ivory markets (US and China), in line with the  longstanding international ivory trade ban, must reflect a change in values. Understanding those values and how they interact with each other will be critical to successful implementation. Values act as arbitrators of meaning, sources of interests and – when collectively framed as regulatory norms regimes – the basis of compliance for local communities.

This paper addresses how policymakers can optimally ensure that such international norms, decided at multilateral forums such as CITES, gain traction at the local level, where it really matters. Local values associated with elephants and ivory differ widely from place to place. At the coalface of supply and demand are often competing and mutually exclusive value sets. For instance, consumers of ivory may attach status significance to owning a rare piece.

On the other end of the spectrum, communities living with elephants may view those elephants as an extension of their identity. These value sets are differentiated across levels of authority and from one region to the next. International and domestic ivory trade prohibitions that do not take this complexity into account may therefore inadvertently produce adverse reactions in local contexts. These dynamics are crucial to understand if international norms are to be locally effective, both on the supply and demand sides of the equation.

Understanding gender in community-based adaptation: practitioner brief

22 Sep 2016 02:41:28 GMT

Accessing weather forecasts, having control over land, being able to influence decision-making processes, being backed by a community group, or being literate and educated are examples of the human and material resources through which people can act on the consequences of climate change. They are also strongly influenced by what makes up people’s social and economic position in society – for example gender, age, ethnicity or religion. In other words, the degree to which a person, family or community suffers from – or thrives in – climatic shocks, weather extremes and uncertainty, or changes in the environment and economy, strongly depend on these and other social factors. People’s social and economic roles and positions in society shift and change over time and for many reasons – media and communication technologies, transportation and urbanisation trends, changing markets, and last but not least shifts in the climate and environment, etc. are all having impacts on them.
Gender is an important part of these shifting social factors, and as such continuously shapes vulnerability to climate change and people’s capacity to adapt. Gender inequality continues to be one of the most persistent and widespread forms of social inequality across the world. And yet, while its importance is increasingly recognised by policy makers and practitioners working to address climate change, its role in adapting to climate change is often poorly understood, or simply misunderstood.
Integrating gender into community-based adaptation:
  • is essential for practitioners and communities to ground the adaptation process in a good understanding of the context, existing vulnerabilities and capacities
  • is essential for communities to ensure the processes and actions they choose are relevant to both men and women in different social settings
  • helps practitioners and communities understand why and how gender groups can be vulnerable to climate change in different ways, and how this changes over time
  • helps to ensure decision-making power is more equally distributed between different social groups affected by climatic changes
  • is required for community-based adaptation to contribute to the transformation of long-standing, deeply rooted barriers to developmen

Re-thinking the application of sustainable use policies for African elephants in a changed world

20 Sep 2016 10:56:15 GMT

Despite increasing calls to recognise the intrinsic value of biodiversity, the need to incentivise people to choose conservation as a competitive form of land use through a sustainable use (SU) approach remains the de facto and de jure reality across most of africa today. In a 'second-best' world of corruption and poor governance, consumptive use (CU) policies (eg, ivory trading, trophy hunting, culling) have produced mixed results for elephant and ecosystem conservation, and for human development. The partial ban on ivory trade globally has led to confusion among african policymakers, local and international law enforcement agencies, and ivory consumers. This is causing a perfect storm of increased poaching to meet the increased (speculative?) demand for raw ivory, without the potential solutions from implementing either a controlled legal trade or a permanent global ban. New realities are emerging, namely the closure of the main consumer ivory markets; the poor prospects for further international trade approvals under CITEs; concerns that the biologically constrained supply may not be able to meet uncertain demand under a legal trade scenario; and the questioning of the conservation and community benefits of trophy hunting. african policymakers need to adapt their application of SU policy by:

  • supporting a permanent global ivory trade ban and destroying ivory stockpiles
  • properly implementing stated SU policies to channel promised benefits to legitimate beneficiaries and address elephant over-abundance
  • improving the governance of trophy hunting as a stopgap land-use activity in communal areas, but banning hunting if it undermines ivory consumer demand reduction
  • promoting photographic tourism to expand its potential benefits to marginal areas; and
  • improving the capacity of national wildlife agencies or soliciting support from publc-private protected area management organisations

These adaptions increase the net costs of incentivising community beneficiaries and law enforcement, shifting the burden to african governments. Therefore, if the non-african governments and special interest groups imposing the ivory trade, culling and trophy-hunting restrictions do not support them, they will be complicit in the permanent loss of vast areas of elephant ecosystems. Ultimately, an efficient, global biodiversity tax is required to fund these adaptions, in order to maintain the ecosystem services and/or intrinsic value of African ecosystems for all of humanity.

Election quality, public trust are central issues for Africa’s upcoming contests

20 Sep 2016 03:47:12 GMT

Nothing kindles democracy’s energies, anxieties, hopes, and frustrations like an election. The quality of an election can spell the difference between a cooking fire and an explosion. If a successful election can calm and focus a nation (e.g. Namibia 2015), a disputed election can tear it apart (e.g. Burundi 2015, Côte d'Ivoire 2010, Kenya 2008).

With at least 25 African countries conducting national elections in 2016-2017,1 great attention is focused on electoral management bodies – typically national electoral commissions – as crucial players in electoral processes and in shaping public perceptions of how well democracy is working. Poor electoral management can enable election fraud and, even if it doesn’t swing an election, produce political alienation, public mistrust, protest, and violence. In 2016, we have already seen examples of unrest in Kenya, where opposition calls for electoral commission reforms using the hashtag #IEBCMustFall have sparked demonstrations and a violent reaction from security forces; in the Republic of the Congo, where election malpractices led to violent protests; and in Gabon, where bloody clashes erupted after President Ali Bongo claimed a widely disputed re-election victory. In Ghana, pre-election anxieties are high amid questions about the electoral commission’s revision of the voter roll for December’s election.

Against the backdrop of history’s examples – in Africa and elsewhere – of tampering with voter rolls, suppression of competition and voter turnout, ballot stuffing, vote-buying, multiple voting, and manipulation of results, free and fair elections, agreed to in the African Union’s Charter on Good Governance and Elections, depend on competent election management supported by citizen sensitization efforts to build public confidence.

Using 2014/2015 Afrobarometer data from 36 African countries, this analysis examines public perceptions of electoral management institutions and the quality of elections. Overall, public trust in national electoral commissions is moderate at best. Although a majority of citizens say their most recent elections were mostly free and fair, citizens express serious concerns about the fairness of vote counts, corruption during elections, and the safety of voters during campaigns and at the polls. Citizens’ views of electoral commission performance and election quality generally mirror the opinions of country experts found in international assessments.

More broadly, many citizens say elections are not working well as mechanisms to ensure that people’s views are represented and that voters can hold non-performing leaders accountable. Few countries have achieved improvement in the perceived performance of elections over the past decade.

Namibia: towards a logistics hub for Southern Africa

09 Sep 2016 02:38:40 GMT

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is touted for its many benefits to developing countries. The skills and technology foreign investors bring with them can help to stem the huge skills and knowledge shortage that developing countries face until a well-trained labour force can be developed. FDI often boosts exports and earns much-needed foreign reserves while improving the competitiveness and efficiency of local producers. Until developing countries have the local capacity to do so, FDI can also facilitate the expansion of many of the fundamentals of growth, such as public infrastructure and information and communications technology.
Namibia’s new Investment Bill represents a new foreign direct investment (FDI) regime in line with a recent shift in the developing world away from liberal FDI regulation, which favours foreign investors and restricts the state’s right to regulate in the public interest. The bill creates provisions for reserving investment in certain sectors for namibian citizens and introducing performance requirements for foreign investors. Mandatory equity, joint ventures, and employment and skills development requirements can greatly increase the cost of FDI, particularly where local capacity and skills are in short supply. In sectors where the state does not have much bargaining power, these requirements can deter foreign investors. Incentive schemes can reduce this cost and increase Namibia’s attractiveness as an investment destination, but at the expense of forfeited state revenue. Whichever mix of regulation and incentives namibia chooses, the policy approach should be clearly articulated and legislated to minimise policy uncertainty. The bill provides an interesting platform for a discussion on FDI, its role in the namibian economy, and the impact FDI policy can have on development.

This paper uses FDI in Namibia’s logistics sector as a case study to investigate these issues. Logistics development is identified as a priority for inclusive economic growth in namibia, with a focus on the Port of Walvis Bay and its associated transport corridors. FDI has played an integral role in the construction and operation of the port and the transport corridors.

Policy briefing: SMEs and GVCs in the G20: implications for Africa and developing countries

09 Sep 2016 02:28:34 GMT

Increasing the participation of developing countries in global value chains (GVCs) is now an accepted G20 priority. However, there is disagreement over how multinational corporations (MNCs), which drive GVCs, can be persuaded to incorporate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from developing countries into the GVCs they co-ordinate. The choices range from conscious industrial strategies oriented towards coercive measures designed to force MNCs to integrate SMEs into their value chains, to facilitative approaches designed to attract MNCs to invest and, over time, incorporate domestic suppliers into their value chains.

Nonetheless, there is consensus on the key constraints that inhibit the growth of SMEs in general, and their inclusion into GVCs in particular: transaction costs; access to network infrastructure; and the capacity of firms and supporting institutional arrangements. Accordingly, this brief offer a high-level framework of recommendations for G20 states’ consideration.


  • transaction cost reductions: G20 states should support the ratification and implementation of the WTO TFA and capacity-building initiatives in African countries designed to help their SMEs access logistics supply chains and the host states to reduce regulatory compliance costs; and task the Financial Services Board with investigating ways to reduce trade finance costs for SMEs
  • network infrastructure establishment: Building on the outcomes of the Brisbane summit, development partners should leverage Aid for Trade and broader external funding support for infrastructure development in Africa
  • capacity to participate in GVCs: G20 states should build support mechanisms to assist African SMEs, particularly medium-sized companies with the capacity to export, to integrate into GVCs, such as helping them to build capacities to meet international standards. Support for SME representative institutions, to enable their participation in international economic governance forums, should also be prioritised

SMEs and GVCs in the G20 implications for Africa and developing countries

09 Sep 2016 02:15:15 GMT

Increasing the participation of developing countries in global value chains (GVCs) is now an accepted G20 priority that features prominently on the Chinese government’s agenda for the 2016 summit. However, there is disagreement over a simple question: how can multinational corporations (MNCs), which drive GVCs, be persuaded to incorporate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from developing countries into the GVCs they co-ordinate?

The debate over this question is first explored in broad outline. It comes down to a decision by each country on whether it wishes to utilise GVCs in its growth strategy and, if so, what measures it wishes to adopt to promote the incorporation of its firms into MNCs’ GVCs. The choice ranges from conscious industrial strategies oriented towards coercive measures designed to force MNCs to integrate SMEs into their value chains, to facilitative approaches designed to attract MNCs to invest and, over time, incorporate domestic suppliers into their value chains where it makes business sense to do so.

Next the paper turns to the analyses and prescriptions being proffered by key international institutions in relation to the evolving G20 agenda on including SMEs in GVCs. What clearly emerges is consensus on a number of key constraints that inhibit the growth of SMEs in general and their inclusion into GVCs in particular. These can be summarised in three broad areas:

  • transaction costs (import tariffs; border procedures; logistics; trade finance)
  • network infrastructure (information and communications technology [ICT]; transport; energy); and
  • capacity (of firms, to meet GVCs’ standards; and of supporting government institutions)


Review of the projected impacts of climate change on coastal fishes in southern Africa

06 Sep 2016 12:23:54 GMT

The coastal zone represents one of the most economically and ecologically important ecosys- tems on the planet, none more so than in southern Africa. This manuscript examines the potential impacts of climate change on the coastal fishes in southern Africa and provides some of the first information for the Southern Hemisphere, outside of Australasia. It begins by describing the coastal zone in terms of its physical characteristics, climate, fish biodiversity and fisheries. The region is divided into seven biogeographical zones based on previous descriptions and interpretations by the authors. A global review of the impacts of climate change on coastal zones is then applied to make qualitative predictions on the likely impacts of climate change on migratory, resident, estuarine-dependent and catadro- mous fishes in each of these biogeographical zones.

In many respects the southern African region represents a microcosm of climate change variability and of coastal habitats. Based on the broad range of climate change impacts and life history styles of coastal fishes, the predicted impacts on fishes will be diverse. The authors state that this review reveals that there is lack of fundamental knowledge in this field, in particular in southern Africa. Several research priorities, including the need for process-based fundamental research programs are highlighted.

Climate change adaptation and resilience in Africa: recommendations to policymakers

06 Sep 2016 12:02:22 GMT

The principal objective of this advisory booklet is to assess the status and make recommendations that African governments should consider when dealing with climate change and resilience in Africa. Through the cooperation between NASAC and the German National Academy Leopoldina, top African scientists with expertise on this topic agreed to look at the adaptation question using both geographical and sectoral lenses. The consultative process included a joint workshop with the Cameroon Academy of Sciences supported by the Cameroonian Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, the Pan-African Parliamentarians Network on Climate Change and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance.

This policymakers'€™ booklet focuses on why climate change adaptation and resilience is crucial for Africa. It further elaborates, through key messages, how climate change impact can be addressed through targeted policy actions and interventions specific to water, agriculture and food security, fisheries, coastal and urban zones, and human health. Adaptation to climate change remains a key concern and priority of all NASAC stakeholders from governments and policymakers to scientists and civil society; regional and international organisations. It is, therefore, our hope that the implementation of the proposed actions will specifically provide Africa’s policymakers with a platform to work together to enhance climate change adaptation capacities and thus improving the resilience of people within the continent.

Malaria impact of large dams in sub-Saharan Africa: maps, estimates and predictions

06 Sep 2016 10:46:07 GMT

While there is growing recognition of the malaria impacts of large dams in sub-Saharan Africa, the cumulative malaria impact of reservoirs associated with current and future dam developments has not been quantified. The objective of this study was to estimate the current and predict the future impact of large dams on malaria in different eco-epidemiological settings across sub-Saharan Africa. Methods The locations of 1268 existing and 78 planned large dams in sub-Saharan Africa were mapped against the malaria stability index (stable, unstable and no malaria). The Plasmodium falciparum infection rate (PfIR) was determined for populations at different distances (<1, 1–2, 2–5, 5–9 km) from the associated reservoirs using the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) and WorldPop databases. Results derived from MAP were verified by comparison with the results of detailed epidemiological studies conducted at 11 dams. Results Of the 1268 existing dams, 723 are located in malarious areas. Currently, about 15 million people live in close proximity (<5 km) to the reservoirs associated with these dams. A total of 1.1 million malaria cases annually are associated with them: 919,000 cases due to the presence of 416 dams in areas of unstable transmission and 204,000 cases due to the presence of 307 dams in areas of stable transmission. Of the 78 planned dams, 60 will be located in malarious areas and these will create an additional 56,000 cases annually. The variation in annual PfIR in communities as a function of distance from reservoirs was statistically significant in areas of unstable transmission but not in areas of stable transmission. Conclusion In sub-Saharan Africa, dams contribute significantly to malaria risk particularly in areas of unstable transmission. Additional malaria control measures are thus required to reduce the impact of dams on malaria. Keywords

Effects of climate change on the social & environmental determinants of health in Africa: what can communities do to strengthen their climate resilience

31 Aug 2016 10:55:08 GMT

The highest burden per capita of climate-sensitive diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases and malnutrition is found in the African region. These diseases already represent the main cause of death among children under five in Africa, 6 and climate change is expected to cause an overall net increase in the risk of such diseases.

In this paper, the authors present current evidence on how climate change impacts on social and environmental determinants of health and the link between these determinants and the vulnerability of local communities. They outline proven community-based interventions that local populations in developing countries can scale-up and take ownership of in order to strengthen their resilience to climate-sensitive diseases and conditions, including in the context of climate-induced disasters. Furthermore, this paper serves as a guide for countries to develop community-based Health Adaptation Programmes to climate change (c-HAPs).

Responding to the Safety and Security Needs of LGBTI Communities and Organisations: A situational analysis of Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe

24 Aug 2016 12:48:28 GMT

The Safety and Security Project within Hivos’s (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries) LGBTI Programme aims to ensure that LGBTI persons are able to live and work within safe communities without the fear of persecution, physical or property harm or intimidation, and with the full enjoyment of their human rights. Hivos has for several years been supporting the work of LGBTI organisations and more recently has responded on an ad hoc basis to security issues faced by organisations and individuals. Given the nature, extent and on-going occurrence of safety and security threats to LGBTI individuals and organisations, Hivos saw the need to review its strategy in regard to LGBTI hate crimes in the region in order to develop a more coherent and sustainable strategy.

This review sets out to assess and address the follwing issues in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe: 

  • The extent and level of threats of homophobic violence experienced by LGBTI groups and individuals; 
  • To identify prevention, response and mitigation mechanisms employed by organisations; 
  • To identify safety and security tools and capacities in place; 
  • To look at the types and levels of support available to individuals and organisations that are targeted by homophobic violence and threats; 
  • To review safety and security programmes and strategies to prevent and respond to homophobic violence targeted at LGBTI communities; 
  • and To make recommendations to Hivos in regard to providing further support for LGBTI organisations and individuals in the region

Developing beans that can beat the heat

23 Aug 2016 10:51:15 GMT

In Africa and Latin America, the production of beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ) is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, which include higher temperatures and more frequent drought. Within the last 15 years, CGIAR researchers have registered key advances -€“ particularly the development of drought-tolerant and disease-resistant varieties -€“ that will help make production more resilient in the face of future threats.

Just within the last few years, however, climate modeling has suggested that, over the next several decades, higher temperatures will become the primary threat to bean production. According to recent projections, the area suited for this crop in eastern and central Africa could shrink up to 50% by 2050. Affecting mainly lowland areas, heat stress will pose a particularly serious problem for bean crops in Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), followed by Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. Across Latin America, the situation is also dire. Bean production in Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil, and Honduras, as well as Guatemala and Mexico, would be most impacted.

In response to this concern, CIAT researchers have recently identified elite lines that show strong tolerance to temperatures 4°C higher than the range that beans can normally tolerate. Many of these lines come from wide crosses between common and tepary beans ( Phaseolus acutifolius ), a species originating in the arid US Southwest and northwestern Mexico. This document reports findings from research conducted over the last year, which confirm heat tolerance in selected bean lines and show their potential for adapting bean production in Africa and Latin America to future climate change impacts.

Climate information and Early Warning Systems communications toolkit

19 Aug 2016 10:53:10 GMT

This toolkit provides National HydroMeteorological Services (NHMS), policy makers, and media and communications for development practitioners with the tools, resources and templates necessary to design and implement an integrated communications strategy.

These communications strategies include the effective issuance and packaging of early warnings as well as the creation of supportive communications products and outreach efforts that will support the long-term sustainability of investments in the climate information and services sector. While this communications toolkit is tailored to the specialized needs and political contexts of sub-Saharan Africa, it can easily be applied to other developing nations.

This toolkit defines goals for the issuance of early warnings, and creation of improved climate information products and supportive communications strategies. These supportive strategies serve to engage actors, build political support, engage the private sector and present a true value proposition to end users. The toolkit explores best practices, defines roles and expands on the tools that are necessary to create an integrated communications strategy. The toolkit continues with a step-by-step outline to create response protocols and issue early warnings, address challenges and opportunities, define messages and stakeholders, package early warning systems, and engage with individual media and other relevant actors. There is a communications strategy template and TORs template that can be used by projects and practitioners to generate integrated communications strategies.

Africa’s smallholders adapting to climate change: the need for national governments and international climate finance to support women producers

19 Aug 2016 01:49:20 GMT

The need for national governments and international climate finance to support women producers Climate change is undermining the ability of African nations to feed themselves. Women smallholder producers are on the front line of dealing with the impacts, but are not first in line for international climate finance. Wealthy countries have committed to helping countries in Africa to adapt to climate change, but few women producers are feeling the benefit. National governments are stepping up in spite of limited resources and multiple development priorities. New analysis shows that whilst international climate finance overall is on the rise, wealthy countries are still failing to deliver public finance for adaptation in Africa.

Witness protection: facilitating justice for complex crimes

18 Aug 2016 03:43:52 GMT

Responding appropriately to complex transnational and international crimes requires a multifaceted approach that includes a robust criminal justice response. Witness testimony is a crucial part of this. Witnesses, and often their family members, can face significant danger given their crucial role in obtaining a conviction. Africa has seen situations where witness intimidation and harm have led to case dismissals and acquittals. Ultimately, justice fails in these circumstances. Obstacles such as insufficient funding, shortage of skills and weak political will must be addressed.


  • Governments should promote greater understanding of the pivotal role of witness protection services among policymakers and legislators in governments, where such services do not exist
  • Governments should undertake costing exercises to provide legislators with an understanding of the cost implications for envisaged new witness protection services, and to allocate adequate annual budgets
  • Governments should pass domestic witness protection legislation to create independent witness protection services that
    can address the needs of witnesses in a holistic way
  • Governments should seek technical support from experienced external organisations and other governments to design witness protection legislation and systems
    Governments should explore the range of approaches to managing the costs of witness protection, e.g. incremental implementation of services and prioritising witness protection based on the level of the potential threat

Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political participation lags among African youth, especially women

18 Aug 2016 03:34:19 GMT

The African Union (AU) Assembly declared 2009 - 2018 the "African Youth Decade" and released an action plan to promote youth empowerment and development throughout the continent, including by raising young citizens' representation and participation in political processes. The latest results from Afrobarometer surveys in 36 countries reveal a wide gap between the aspirations set forth in the AU policy framework and the reality of youth political engagement in Africa today. The data show that African governments and development partners have considerable work to do to achieve the goal of increased civic and political participation among youth, particularly young women. African youth (aged 18-35) report lower rates of political engagement than their elders across a variety of indicators, including voting in national elections. Young citizens are also less likely to engage in civic activities such as attending community meetings and joining others to raise an issue. While these findings are consistent with research on age differences in voter turnout in advanced democracies, the survey further finds that youth engagement levels have declined over time despite the introduction of regional and national youth empowerment policies. Key findings:political engagement is generally lower among African youth than among their elders, particularly in terms of voting. Two-thirds (65%) of 18- to 35–year-old respondents who were old enough to vote in the last national election say they did so, compared to 79% of citizens above age 35slightly more than half (53%) of African youth report being “very” or “somewhat” interested in public affairs, while two-thirds (67%) say they discuss politics with friends or family at least “occasionally.” Compared to their male counterparts, young women report significantly less interest (48% vs. 60%) and discussion (61% vs. 74%)attendance at campaign rallies is the most popular form of pre-electoral engagement among young Africans: One-third (33%) say they attended at least one in the previous year, compared to 37% of older citizens. The gender gap in participation in rallies averages 10 percentage points and is largest in East Africa (14 points) and West Africa (13 points)African youth are less likely than their elders to participate in civic activities: Less than half (47%) of 18- to 35–year-olds say they attended community meetings at least once during the previous year, while 40% joined others to raise an issue (vs. 57% and 47% for older citizens). Young women’s participation also lags behind that of their male peers on these measures of civic activism (by 9 percentage points, on average), particularly in West Africa and North Africa (both by 14 percentage points)not quite half (48%) of youth say they contacted political or community leaders during the previous year to discuss an important issue, with lower reported engagement levels among young women than men (43% vs. 53%)youth participation in demonstrations and protest marches is lower than in more conventional forms of civic and political engagement, but higher than among their elders: 11% of young survey respondents say they attended at least one protest in the previous year (vs. 8% older citizens). Again, women report lower participation levels than their male peers (8% vs. 13%)comparison over time in 16 countries shows that youth engagement levels have declined since 2005/2006 across most of these indicators, particularly interest in public affairs and measures of civic activism (both by 9 percentage points)[...]

The African Union: regional and global challenges

18 Aug 2016 01:38:08 GMT

The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a three-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 27 to 29 April 2016, on the theme “The African Union: Regional and Global Challenges”.The meeting was convened with about 30 prominent African, Asian, and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society actors to reflect critically on the historical mission, achievements, challenges, and prospects of the African Union (AU) in a changing regional and global environment.The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the Cape Town policy seminar:the AU Commission should engage more strategically with African civil society, think tanks, the private sector, and the philanthropic sector in order to implement its mandate more effectively. There is an urgent need to revisit Adebayo Adedeji’s 2007 five-year review of the AU Commission in order to implement its main findings on reforming the AU’s institutions and accelerating regional integration and economic development efforts in Africa. Key parts of the 2013 Olusegun Obasanjo Report on alternative sources of funding for the AU should also be implemented to ensure a sustainable source of future financingthere is an urgent need to sanction non-performing AU staff members and to implement results-based management at the AU Commission in Addis Ababa. Recruitment, retention, and training of personnel should be greatly improved. There is also a need for better coordination between the AU’s Department of Political Affairs and its Peace and Security Department. The AU Commission must further strengthen its administrative and financial management capacity to be able to absorb and manage donor fundsthe AU’s continental early warning system needs greater coordination with the mechanisms of sub-regional bodies such as IGAD, ECOWAS, and SADC. Furthermore, African leaders must provide greater financial and political support to the APRM, strengthening its capacity and restoring its previous consistent fundingthere is an urgent need to create institutionalised mechanisms for regular consultation and coordination between the AU’s Peace and Security Council and the organs of the RECs; this must include the increased participation of civil society and parliaments in decision-making to promote greater synergy and complementarity between the policies and initiatives of the AU and the RECs in this arearegional integration in Africa should take into account the configuration of interests in member states, and put in place mechanisms to compensate groups that may lose out from integration. There is an urgent need to cultivate a national entrepreneurial class to drive socio-economic development across Africa. The continent also needs more “Afrocrats” – young, highly competent officials with a strong commitment to Pan-Africanism, similar to many of the EU’s “Eurocrats”the AU needs to rationalise relations between the RECs and the African Economic Community in light of the multiple membership of the former. It might also be necessary to create a smaller grouping of African states in which conditions for entry involve sound economic and political performance, resulting in greater aid and investment for its membersin line with the Common African Position devised by the AU, five key principles should underpin relations between the AU and the UN: promotion of collective security in the context of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter; support for African ownership and priority-setting; fostering a partnership on the basis of consultative decision-making, division of l[...]

The State of Biodiversity in Africa: a mid-term review of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

16 Aug 2016 04:05:56 GMT

Global Biodiversity Outlook-4, the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 , provided a global assessment of progress towards the attainment of the Plan'€™s global biodiversity goals and associated Aichi Biodiversity Targets, but contained limited regional information. This report builds on and complements the global GBO-4 assessment. It is the second edition of the State of Biodiversity in Africa report and serves as a near mid-term review of progress towards the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 for the African region.

This report draws on a set of regional indicators, information from fifth national reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), other government reports, case studies and published literature, to provide a target by target review of progress towards the twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets. As much as possible, global indicators for Aichi Biodiversity Targets have been broken down to regional level and some additional analyses of existing global information have been undertaken. However, limitations in data have meant that some datasets which do not extend past 2011 have been included to illustrate that relevant information exists, but that further efforts to update this information.

The key messages about the state of biodiversity in Africa, and the pressures upon it, which have emerged from this assessment are:
  • overall, biodiversity in Africa continues to decline, with ongoing losses of species and habitats
  • ongoing loss of biodiversity in Africa is driven by a combination of human-induced factors
  • Africa’s freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity are especially threatened
  • Africa continues to experience deforestation and forest degradation
  • the negative impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems are exacerbating the effects of all these pressures
  • nonetheless the report identifies a number of important responses which have taken place since 2011
  • African countries are working collaboratively to address particular Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  • there is a growing portfolio of international support for African countries to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  • African countries are using ecosystem service valuation and investment in REDD+ to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  • many African countries have already achieved their 17% terrestrial protected area targets, and many others are working towards this target on land, as well as on the 10% marine protected areas target on the sea
  • Africa is making increasing use of ecosystem-based conservation and restoration of natural resources

Multi-level pro-poor health governance, statistical information flows and the role of regional organisations in South America and Southern Africa

15 Aug 2016 04:21:49 GMT

Health governance has become multi-layered as the combined result of decentralisation, regional integration and the emergence of new actors nationally and internationally. Whereas this has – in principle – enhanced the installed capacity for health response worldwide, this complexity also poses serious challenges for health governance and policy-making.

This paper focuses on one of these challenges, namely the organisation of statistical information flows at and between governance levels, and the emerging role that regional organisations play therein. The authors aim to understand the extent to which statistics are regionally coordinated and the role regional organisations are playing with respect to national health information systems. Specifically, they analysed regional to national-level data flows with the use of two case studies focusing on UNASUR (Bolivia and Paraguay) and SADC (Swaziland and Zambia). Special attention is given to pro-poor health policies, those health policies that contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequities.

Results demonstrate that health data is shared at various levels, to a greater extent at the global-country and regional-country levels, and to a lesser extent at the regional-global levels. There is potential for greater interaction between the global and regional levels, considering the expertise and involvement of UNASUR and SADC in health. Information flows between regional and national bodies are limited and the quality and reliability of this data is constrained by individual Member States’ information systems. Having greater access to better data would greatly support Member States’ focus on addressing the social determinants of health and reducing poverty in their countries.

The East African energy frontier, a decade on

12 Aug 2016 11:07:29 GMT

The East Africa region has seen some of the decade’ s largest natural gas and energy finds. However, despite their magnitude, these discoveries have yet to fulfil the promise of social and economic progress. With some signs of the negative impact of resource wealth already in evidence, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique all require changes to their natural resources policies to ensure that revenues are shared and invested in the future. Underpinning this is the need for governments to improve transparency, allowing local institutions to hold the government and other stakeholders accountable. Without such steps, the full potential of these finds is set to go unrealised.
The past decade’s energy finds created great promise for Eastern Africa. Yet questions remain about whether these finds will be a burden or blessing. With the downturn in global energy markets and production dates being repeatedly postponed, any potential benefits are subject to the uncertainties and political volatilities that have come to characterise the region. However, it is not too late for these countries to use their assets wisely. A real commitment to accountability and the channelling of revenues towards development objectives is needed, as well as the necessary freedoms for local institutions to monitor the sector and hold government and other stakeholders to account. Now, while prices are low, is a good opportunity for states to get their institutional houses in order. With the effective infrastructure in place, as well as co-operation between states and profits being invested in their future, these finds can in time contribute to the development of the region.

Final Evaluation, Coastal East Africa Global Initiative, (FY11-FY15)

12 Aug 2016 05:17:54 GMT

BackgroundThe Coastal East Africa Global Initiative (CEA GI, or Coastal East Africa Initiative - CEAI) is one of the 13 Global Initiatives (GIs) that the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) embarked on since 2007.GIs were intended to be transformational interventions implemented through concerted WWF Network action to meaningfully impact critical threats, opportunities in support of biodiversity conservation and development targets within priority places or on priority themes.The CEAI is a place-based GI, with a geographical focus on three countries along the East African coast i.e., Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, and includes also tuna fisheries related work in Madagascar.This area incorporates a number of eco-regions (some fully, some partially) and 9 seascapes / landscapes and as such the programme built on and complemented WWF’s previous and ongoing work in these eco-regions and landscapes.Key findingsThe conclusion of the consultant is that the CEAI produced commendable achievements in almost all of its components despite several major challenges the programme has faced.    The consultant found that how the CEAI has adapted and evolved during the first phase of five years together with what it has been able to deliver (on average having achieved its KPI targets) has made it into a critical and commendable programme for WWF, and the region. By working together with partners across levels, countries and the region and guided by a regional strategic programme the stage has been set to achieve real transformational change in support of significant outcomes and conservation and socio-economic impacts.    Out of the list with 12 Big Wins (a significant conservation achievement capable of stimulating attention and leveraging commitment) eight were fully achieved and the other four were partly achieved (as they were over-ambitious, will be achieved soon, of for reasons beyond the CEAIs control), which is again a commendable achievement.    The overall efficiency of the programme has been very good despite several challenges which have been outside the direct control of the CEAI but which hampered its operations.    The programme’s effectiveness has been very good as reflected in an average CEAI component score on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) under its Monitoring and Evaluation Plan of 6.1 (on a scale of 7 with 6 meaning “having achieved its target”).    The governance and empowerment component has been successful in establishing and developing CSO platforms which in turn contributed to the review/drafting of 30 natural resource related policies in the region, supporting responsible trade and investments through the development and approval of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs), support of the Green Economy (which together with SEAs was requested by neighbouring countries to be scaled up into the region), and engagement with China and its role in Africa through FOCAC.    The work by the CEAI has already led to the recommendable achievement of the CEA governments now being much more actively engaged regarding the sustainable management of natural resources; particularly in the tuna and timber trade sector and regarding certain governance aspects there is quite a noticeable change in attitude. This has in turn resulted in improved regional governance of, and regional cooperation regarding the management of these shared resources, [...]

Women, peace and security: implementing the Maputo Protocol in Africa

12 Aug 2016 04:42:32 GMT

Women’s rights are fundamental to human security and sustainable peace. the African Union’s Protocol to the African charter on human and Peoples’ rights on the rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) guarantees the rights and equality of women on the continent and complements the global women, peace and security agenda. But case studies of Malawi, South Sudan, Somalia and Mozambique reveal that the implementation of the Maputo Protocol is slow and patchy. the African Union needs to find innovative ways of working with national governments, civil society and grassroots organisations to realise the full potential of this crucial instrument.
The Maputo Protocol is a key continental instrument that recognises the links between gender equality, women’s empowerment and the achievement of sustainable peace in Africa. Its full and effective implementation is key. however, despite the fact that many African states have ratified the protocol, implementation has been severely restricted – if it has happened at all – by a lack of political will, an immense gap between high-level policy and awareness on the ground, where it matters most, and challenges in changing prevailing behaviours and attitudes that embrace patriarchy.

It is imperative that the Au finds new and innovative ways of working with national governments, civil society and grassroots organisations to realise the full potential of this crucial instrument.

Does personal experience of bribery explain protest participation in Africa?

12 Aug 2016 01:20:23 GMT

This paper examines the effect of direct experience with bribery on collective action using survey data on reactions of citizens to a hypothetical situation of corruption as the first dependent variable and participation in protests as the second. The results show that although a relatively small number of respondents prefer protests as a means to address allegations of corruption, the relative probability of preferring this type of action rises with an increase in the frequency of paying bribes. However, participation in protests and demonstrations first rises and then falls as the frequency of bribery increases. These findings bring into sharp focus conditions under which direct personal experience with corruption is likely to encourage apathy and when it is likely to trigger political engagement – a missing detail in the nascent literature on the effect of petty corruption on collective action.

Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea: establishing law, generating order

08 Aug 2016 12:34:49 GMT

Maritime security has become a buzzword in recent years as criminal activities at sea threaten a wide range of geostrategic, security and economic imperatives. In few other places in the world is this problem more pointed than in the Gulf of Guinea on Africa’s western coast. While countries in the region are receptive to mechanisms promoting co-operation in tackling maritime insecurity, problems are posed by inadequate information around the nature and extent of maritime crime, as well as a dearth of legal instruments to address this activity. This presents an important challenge to evidence-based policymaking, and prevents capacity-constrained countries from using their resources in the most effective way. The impending AU summit on maritime security and safety to be convened in October 2016 in Lomé, Togo, however, provides a unique opportunity to address these obstacles.
  • policymakers at Lomé should legally define the range of maritime crimes in their waters, and subsequently require the criminalisation of these incidents through the development of appropriate national legislation
  • the reporting of all incidents should be required of shippers under the charter, so that better data may be available on the extent and nature of maritime crime. This may necessitate an undertaking from states to ease the burden implied by reporting, through swift evidence collection and modern means of involvement, such as testifying via video link
  • a more detailed template for reporting should be adopted by the IMB/IMO and reporting bodies at regional and national level. This will improve capacity for generating data that is accurate and statistically significant, in turn allowing for evidence-based policymaking

The state of governance in Africa: what indices tell us

21 Jul 2016 11:53:54 GMT

Governance is notoriously difficult to measure – yet numerous global indices attempt to do so. This paper tracks the governance progress of 52 African countries through various indices. A total of 17 of these states have undergone a holistic governance review by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Another 17 have joined the APRM, but have not yet been reviewed. The remaining 18 are not members and thus are used as independent variables to determine whether the APRM makes a difference.

Since the APRM does not provide ratings or rankings in its reports, this paper uses data from the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance to track progress (or lack thereof) between 2003 (when the APRM was established) and 2015 (the most recent set of data available at the time of writing). Supporting data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index and the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index is used where necessary.

Arguably, by voluntarily acceding to and undergoing the review, APRM member states have demonstrated the necessary political will to reform. How have they fared since the year of inception of the APRM? The paper concludes that overall, APRM members have performed better than non-members. But whether a state has actually undergone the APRM review or merely joined the mechanism does not seem to make much of a difference. Progress has also often been mixed, and economic achievements have sometimes come at the expense of political freedoms.

The African Union: regional and global challenges

21 Jul 2016 01:39:30 GMT

The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a three-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 27 to 29 April 2016, on the theme “The African Union: Regional and Global Challenges”. The meeting was convened with about 30 prominent African, Asian, and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society actors to reflect critically on the historical mission, progress, problems, and prospects of the African Union (AU) in a changing regional and global environment.Policy recommendations The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the Cape Town policy seminar:the AU Commission should engage more strategically with African civil society, think tanks, the private sector, and the philanthropic sector in order to implement its mandate more effectively. There is an urgent need to revisit Adebayo Adedeji’s 2007 five-year review of the AU Commission in order to implement its main findings on reforming the AU’s institutions and accelerating regional integration and economic development efforts in Africa. Key parts of the 2013 Olusegun Obasanjo Report on alternative sources of funding for the AU should also be implemented to ensure a sustainable source of financingthere is an urgent need to sanction non-performing AU staff members and to implement results-based management at the AU Commission in Addis Ababa. Recruitment, retention, and training of personnel should be greatly improved. There is also a need for better coordination between the AU’s Department of Political Affairs and its Peace and Security Department. The AU Commission must further strengthen its administrative and financial management capacity to be able to absorb and manage donor fundsthe AU’s continental early warning system needs greater coordination with the mechanisms of sub-regional bodies. Furthermore, African leaders must provide greater financial and political support to the APRM, strengthening its capacity and restoring its previous consistent fundingthere is an urgent need to create institutionalised mechanisms for effective coordination between the AU’s Peace and Security Council and the organs of the RECs; this must include the increased participation of civil society and parliaments in decision-making to ensure complementarity between the AU and the RECs in this critical arearegional integration in Africa should take into account the configuration of interests in member states, and put in place mechanisms to compensate groups that may lose out from integration. There is an urgent need to cultivate a national entrepreneurial class to drive socioeconomic development across Africa. The continent also needs more “Afrocrats” – young, highly competent officials with a strong commitment to Pan-Africanism, similar to many of the EU’s “Eurocrats”the AU needs to rationalise relations between the RECs and the African Economic Community in light of the multiple membership of the former. It might also be necessary to create a smaller grouping of African states in which conditions for entry involve sound economic and political performance, resulting in greater aid and investment for its membersin line with the AU’s Common African Position, five key principles should underpin relations between the AU and the UN: promotion of collective security in the context of Chapter VIII [...]

The Knowledge Partnership Programme - the global reach and network connect

19 Jul 2016 01:50:54 GMT

The Knowledge Partnership Programme (KPP) has facilitated mutual sharing and exchange of development solutions through knowledge, experience, technology, investment, information to explore and showcase India's success in meeting development challenges in terms of policy and practice.

The Programme, through its various initiatives has furthered collaboration around ideas, knowledge, evidence, accountability, technology and innovation between UK, India and the developing countries of Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia and has so far connected India with 43 developing countries.

India-Africa: South-South trade and investment for development

14 Jul 2016 03:55:02 GMT

India and Africa's partnership has entered a new era. Close political relationships are being invigorated by a flourishing trade
and investment relationship. This new trade and investment relationship could be crucial in the struggle to lift millions out of

Africa-India trade has followed the upward trend in South-South trade and investments over the last decade. Bilateral trade has
grown at a robust 31.8% annually between 2005 and 2011, through the economic crisis. There has been a surge in Indian
private investment in Africa with 'big ticket' investments in the telecommunications, IT, energy, and automobiles sectors.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Export Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) initiatives through the India-Africa Conclave and other Government of India initiatives are spurring on the burgeoning trade and investment relationship. In addition to more traditional development approaches, such as through Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation, the business oriented 'development compact' pioneered by CII and the EXIM Bank seems to be positively impacting directly on bilateral trade.

To understand the dynamics of this vibrant relationship, CII surveyed some 60 key Indian and African companies and business associations - a survey undertaken in collaboration with the WTO. Results highlight a number of factors getting in the way of expanded business and investment ties. Access to Indian buyers and trade finance emerges as major concerns for African traders. Transport and logistics costs and poor business environments are cited as major difficulties by Indian traders - a factor also cited as holding back further investment.

This joint CII-WTO report concludes with a series of recommendation on how development assistance and investments in tandem could help smooth out potential bottleneck towards a more sustainable investment-led trade growth relationship.

Indian Foreign Direct Investment in Africa

14 Jul 2016 03:19:10 GMT

The entry of Indian companies into Africa is largely market and resource seeking which offers much more potential in terms of promoting forward and backward linkages and in terms of impacting on competition in the domestic market. The increasing competitiveness of Indian firms and their interest to expand globally, particularly in IT-related services and pharmaceuticals, are driving its outward foreign direct investment (FDI) growth. Indian FDI to Africa is concentrated in oil, gas and mining in the primary commodities market. In the manufacturing sector, a dominance of automobile and pharmaceutical firms can be seen. Most of the Indian FDI in African countries is through greenfield investments (GIs) and joint ventures (JVs) that are desired by the host countries due to their contribution in creating new production capacity and generating employment, transfer of technology, etc. A number of factors have been identified that motivates Indian investors to invest in Africa. The factors are socio-cultural factors, host country policies, regional integration agreements, bilateral investment treaties (BITs), gross domestic product (GDP) growth and political economy factors. There is no denying that language, culture, presence of Diaspora does play a role in attracting FDI. The relationship between India and Africa exists and functions at all these multilateral levels as politics and commerce converge.

India and Africa - collaboration for growth

14 Jul 2016 02:39:16 GMT

The nature of India’s relationship with Africa is clearly evolving into a wider, deeper engagement that, while clearly in India’s advantage, also offers significant potential benefits to its African counterparts. This overview of Indian/African economic collaboration is a joint piece of work from KPMG and the Confederation of Indian Industry.  It specifically looks at:

  • infrastructure
  • energy and natural resources
  • agriculture
  • healthcare

An important caveat pertaining to India’s economic relations with Africa, is that they are not confined to the BRICS and India’s reach in Africa extends beyond the alliance. The surge into Africa is driven mainly by the Indian government, but the private sector has not been lagging and significant economic linkages have arisen due to the interventions of the private sector from India.

The overall conclusion is that Indian-African trade and economic relations are likely to continue to grow, even in the wake of massive increases over a relatively short period of time with no current indication that the relationships are likely to cool anytime soon. While global conditions dictate events, the fact that Indian-African trade and economic relations continued to grow even through periods of some economic crisis suggests potential that has yet to be fully exploited.

The institutionalisation of mediation support within the ECOWAS Commission

06 Jul 2016 04:57:22 GMT

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission established the Mediation Facilitation Division (MFD) in June 2015 to backstop mediation efforts undertaken by its mediation organs, member states, non-state actors and joint initiatives with other international organisations, such as the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN). In January 2016, the structure was further upgraded to a directorate within the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS).

This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) examines the rationale for taking the bold step to institutionalise a mediation support structure within the ECOWAS Commission; the legal and normative instruments that underpin its mediation interventions; the mandate, vision and scope of operation of the mediation support structure; and the key activities undertaken by the structure within one year of its existence. The PPB identifies the uniqueness of ECOWAS’s experiences in interventions in the 1990s, and the subsequent importance accorded to preventive diplomacy and mediation as a key factor that informed the decision to establish a mediation support structure -  in contrast to using an ad hoc arrangement to backstop its mediation efforts in the past. This new arrangement, the PPB argues, will ensure that mistakes such as the marginalisation of ECOWAS in mediation processes in the region, the disconnect between the ECOWAS Commission and its appointed mediators, facilitators and special envoys, are remedied. It will also ensure a coordinated approach to capacity building and mediation knowledge management within the ECOWAS Commission and its institutions, as well as with its partners, including mainstreaming Tracks II and III mediation into official Track I mediation.

Ethnic diversity, segregation, and ethnocentric trust in Africa

06 Jul 2016 01:34:54 GMT

Ethnic diversity is generally associated with less social capital and lower levels of trust. However, most empirical evidence for this relationship is focused on generalized trust, rather than more theoretically ap
propriate measures of group-based trust. This paper instead evaluates the relationship between ethnic diversity – at both national and local levels – and the degree to which coethnics are trusted more than non-coethnics, a value I call the “coethnic trust premium.”
Using public opinion data from 16 African countries, the author finds that ethnically diverse states have, on average, larger coethnic trust premiums. However, within countries, local-level ethnic diversity is actually
associated with less ethnocentric trust. The paper than shows, consistent with these patterns, that diversity is
detrimental to intergroup trust only in the presence of ethnic group segregation.
These findings have important implications for understanding interethnic relations, as well as for the policies we design to deal with ethnic conflict.

First, the results demonstrate that the observed relationship between diversity and trust depends crucially on the level of analysis. While this fact has influenced the study of race relations in the United States, it is not yet fully appreciated in the study of intergroup relations in Africa. In particular, these results suggest that the study of micro-level relations between members of different ethnic groups is unlikely to tell us very much about how macro-level ethnic diversity influences political and economic outcomes.

Second, policy makers must consider the potential for policies to have differential effects at different levels of aggregation. For example, while proponents of conflict theory advocate for the separation of ethnic groups, both spatially and politically, as a means to reduce conflict, contact theory is regularly used to justify policies that promote ethnic and racial integration locally. This study suggests, at a minimum, that appropriate policy solutions to ethnic conflict must appreciate the potentially countervailing effects of diversity at different levels of interaction.

A stitch in time: preventive diplomacy and the Lake Malawi dispute

06 Jul 2016 01:04:38 GMT

A low-intensity dispute between Malawi and Tanzania threatens regional peace as the two countries contest the demarcation of their national boundaries at Lake Malawi. This long-standing dispute became more urgent when in 2011 the Malawian government issued licences for oil prospecting beneath the lake’s northern shoreline. Although tensions have waxed and waned in accordance with the respective countries’ election cycles, both seek a speedy resolution of this dispute. Potential oil revenues are a significant game changer for these two highly indebted poor countries – but perhaps more so for Malawi, which is less endowed with natural resources.
In the absence of a functioning SADC Tribunal to mediate the dispute, the task has been assigned to the Forum for Former African Heads of State and Government, but there are also other regional mechanisms that could assist with the task. In particular, it falls within the purview of the many early-warning mechanisms in SADC and the AU that already exist and whose raison d’être is to prevent the escalation of disputes.
This paper explores the failures and challenges that plague Africa’s preventive diplomacy institutions and advocates that the region would do well to empower these institutions. This would foster stronger and more legitimate regional institutions that would be better able to act decisively on dispute settlement.
It is apparent from this paper that there are a number of bodies that are concerned with the resolution of disputes such as the one posed by the Lake Malawi/Nyasa dispute. Although these institutions are aware of the problem to varying degrees, there is little to suggest that they are able to co-ordinate efforts among themselves, or in the service of the governments in question. Arguably, the fortification of these institutions at regional and sub-regional levels would depoliticise much of the process and inch the continent towards stronger, more transparent and democratic outcomes.

Online Knowledge Portals for Development in Africa: scoping study

05 Jul 2016 04:51:07 GMT

The Global Open Knowledge Hub (GOKH) programme, implemented by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in collaboration with a range of partners, aims to build a global open knowledge platform for open data sharing and exchange on a broad range of development issues. The aim of the GOKH is to “improve the supply and accessibility  of content that supports evidence-informed policy making and practice in international development.”  In particular, a key objective of the project is to raise the profile of diverse perspectives on international development, paying particular attention to content from organisations based in the global south.

During its second year, 2014/15, a small amount of funding was made available to the participating partners to take forward initiatives that contribute to the objectives of the GOKH programme. As the only Africa-­‐based intermediary partner working in English, Soul Beat Africa proposed a scoping study with the aim of identifying development knowledge portals from Africa that might be suitable to join the GOKH programme.

The main objective of the scoping study was to:  explore the availability of development knowledge portals hosted in Africa and about Africa, with the aim to identify suitable content contributors for participation in the GOKH programme.  The study used a broad definition of knowledge portals, which are defined as: hubs, repositories, or one-­‐stop-­‐shops of knowledge around a given topic and intended for a particular community of practice or target audience. They contain a structured set of materials open to interrogation through a search function.

Hot, hungry and starved of investment: supporting smallholders to build a climate-resilient agricultural sector in southern Africa

28 Jun 2016 04:41:42 GMT

As the African Development Bank meets in southern Africa, one of the strongest and most sustained El Niño events on record, turbocharged by climate change, is causing severe drought, failed harvests and a hunger crisis across the region. This is being made worse by record high temperatures as a result of global warming. Women farmers are on the front line of climate change, yet are also the region’s first line of defence against food insecurity. With smallholder agriculture being critical to both food security and inclusive growth, governments, supported by donors and international organisations, must urgently implement plans to better support smallholder farmers and increase resilience. This paper outlines the current situation in the region and presents recommendations to help work towards this.


Recommendations for the African Development Bank include: invest in infrastructure for small-scale producers and processors, especially women; resist the attraction of large-scale PPPs; and champion funds for adapting to climate change. Recommendations for national governments include: tailor public spending to help women and smallholder farmers diversify away from maize and enter high-value chains; strengthen land tenure rights for smallholders and women; promote responsible private sector investment in smallholder and women farmers; and invest in sustainable agriculture that is resilient to climate change. 

CBA and gender analysis practitioner brief

27 Jun 2016 03:38:32 GMT

The brief is the third in a series of practitioner briefs which document ALP learning on community based adaptation approaches in ways that are useful to practitioners, development actors and decision-makers. This brief will be of particular value for project or programme teams, local and national government staff and civil society practitioners who are designing or starting up programmes which aim for adaptation and resilience to climate change and sustainable outcomes by climate vulnerable men and women in Africa. The brief is useful across a wide range of programmes and sectors where gender equality is a critical outcome, for example in – adaptation, community economic development, development planning, sector based development, climate smart agriculture, women’s empowerment, disaster risk reduction and social protection.

Alcohol use: summary of the findings from the Third National HIV Communication Survey

24 Jun 2016 12:50:24 GMT

Alcohol use and abuse is an important risk factor for HIV infection in southern Africa. A number of studies have found a relationship between alcohol and HIV seropositivity. Alcohol is increasingly being recognised as an indirect contributor to the transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa as it is a key determinant of risky sexual behaviour.

Based on findings from the Third National HIV Communication Survey, this document looks at behaviour related to alcohol abuse. The intention of this paper is to assist policymakers and planners in the design of future HIV communication strategies and programmes.

The summary offers a number of different recommendations for health communication programmes. These include countering perceptions of drinking as an accepted social norm, while also promoting safer drinking practices and awareness about HIV risk while drinking, particularly to address binge drinking. Strategies to consider include using gender specific approaches, implementing interventions in drinking establishments, and advocating for policies such as warning labels and banning alcohol advertising.

Adolescents' HIV Prevention and Treatment Literacy Toolkit for Eastern and Southern Africa

24 Jun 2016 11:41:44 GMT

The Adolescents' HIV Prevention and Treatment Toolkit for Eastern and Southern Africa is made up of 10 publications which are designed to help young people better understand HIV and what it means in their lives. The Toolkit, also known as Young Champions (YC) Support Pack, includes resources for facilitators or Young Champions working on HIV issues, as well as workbooks for different age groups. Together, the resources are intended to support the facilitators (teachers, social workers, youth leaders, or health workers who have undergone training) and young people themselves. They are intended to create more awareness about HIV, including increasing knowledge and skills related to prevention, testing, disclosing, being a young person living with HIV (YPLHIV), and treatment.

The Toolkit resulted from collaboration between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa and SAfAIDS and was produced as part of the Young Champions (YC) initiative. It is intended primarily for use in schools, though can also be used in other settings. "Ideally, the Young Champions Support Pack helps you 'bridge the gap' between school, home and community efforts to support young people as a high risk group in the response to HIV and help create an HIV free generation."

The publications in the Toolkit include the following:

  • Facilitator's Guide: developed for teachers, school staff, and counsellors, this guide uses a training of trainers approach so that those introduced to the pack can teach others how to use it. It also includes advocacy support to help build a Young Champions Circle at community level
  • Reference Handbook for Young Champions Facilitators: for trained facilitators to use as a go-to resource for facts and other information on HIV prevention and treatment relating to adolescents.Reference Handbook for Young Champions Facilitators
  • Workbooks: the three workbooks - for ages 10 to 12, 13 to 15, and 16 to 19 - take young people (individually and in groups) through age appropriate activities on each learning topic
  • Educator Cards: because it is school-based, these 11 educator cards are designed to help prompt discussion at appropriate times in the classroom. They allow the YC materials to be more mobile
  • Board Game Quiz Cards: designed to encourage open discussion among young people about HIV and sexual rights and health-related services

Group dialogue and critical reflection of HIV prevention: an evaluation of the C-Change Community Conversation Toolkit

24 Jun 2016 11:08:36 GMT

Communication for Change (C-Change) set out to develop support tools that would foster interactive communication among low-literacy adults and prompt engagement on HIV prevention issues, including encouraging individual and group-oriented problem solving. The Community Conversation Toolkit (CCT) was developed using participatory approaches with lower literacy audiences and was extensively pre-tested in southern and eastern Africa. The CCT is a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) resource that comprises a set of interactive communication components including role play cards, throw cubes, playing cards, dialogue buttons, finger puppets, and guides for facilitation and community mobilization. The CCT has been adapted for use in seven countries and is available in ten languages.This evaluation report looked at whether this toolkit elicited changes in behaviour and practices by participants around HIV prevention, and whether the processes of reflection and problem solving led to community-level action for HIV-prevention-related change.The evaluation study found that "participants were able to recognise their own risks and felt empowered to change their behaviour, for example, insisting on using a condom or increasing dialogue with their partners and within their families and communities. The group dialogues encouraged critical reflection about contextual risks, enabling both community members and leaders to analyse risk factors in their communities."Recommendations: the CCT is a well developed SBCC resource that fosters dialogue and critical reflection processes that contribute to the empowerment of HIV-vulnerable participants. As such, the CCT is suitable for replication in its current formatthe CCT is a versatile resource that can be utilized with literate adults as well as adults with lower literacy skills. Potential use with youth audiences should be explored, noting that the content of the present toolkit would need to take into account age-appropriateness in relation to content regarding sexualitythe CCT complements existing HIV prevention activities and bolsters such activities by serving as a catalyst for spurring problem solving and action at individual, relationship, family, and community levels. It should thus be considered as a complementary resource to the work of organizations in facilitated or spontaneous situationsthe CCT is available in a range of languages and includes context-relevant adaptations in the form of localized proverbs and questions. These are suitable for reproduction for use in a wide range of communities in the countries for which they were developed. Demand for such upscaling has already been voiced in study countriesthe durability of the CCT was not assessed as part of this evaluation, and CCT components were only used four to five times by the dialogue groups. Reproducing the CCT would require additional research to determine durablity for more intensive usewhile the broad curriculum and facilitation s[...]

What ails the young? Insights into Africa’s youth from the African Peer Review Mechanism

24 Jun 2016 02:42:21 GMT

Africa is a young continent, with a median age of some 19.3 years and 75% of its population aged 35 or younger. As the continent has long recognised – and as the so-called Arab Spring has confirmed – this large youth population presents many complex and important strategic challenges that must be met. For this reason, African’s continental bodies have on several occasions committed themselves to fostering the wellbeing and development of the youth, most notably through the African Youth Charter, adopted in 2006.

Examining the state of Africa’s youth primarily through the lens of the reports compiled through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – Africa’s innovative governance assessment system – this paper discusses two primary sets of challenges. The first of these is the state of education and training. The standard of education offered to Africa’s youth, as well as the choice of subjects they follow, is not adequately preparing them for entry into the workforce. Students need to be better prepared, and more opportunities should be created for them to study scientific and technological fields.

The second is poverty and unemployment – the socio-economic exclusion of Africa’s youth. An issue intimately bound to concerns about education and skills, many young people are unable to secure opportunities that make social mobility possible and provide an outlet for their energies. This underemployment creates fertile ground for drug abuse, gangsterism and participation in political conflict.

Attempting to address these problems, African countries have implemented a range of interventions to extend opportunities to the youth and integrate them into their socioeconomic life. Perhaps more importantly, Africa’s youth have responded to their challenges. Sometimes this takes the form of anti-social behaviour. In other instances, they have responded with considerable resourcefulness. Africa’s youth  display a great attraction to entrepreneurship, and have become involved in activism to challenge perceived injustices.
Properly harnessed, these are great assets for the future.

The paper concludes with recommendations for policy proposals that recognise the limitations of Africa’s states and seek partnerships with non-governmental bodies. Dealing with youth challenges is simply too large for African states to handle alone. Youth activism should be
welcomed, but not uncritically. Above all, steering youthful energies into entrepreneurship and economic activities must be a priority.

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.

ZAZI: a participatory programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health for women and girls - a toolkit for facilitators

24 Jun 2016 01:23:12 GMT

This toolkit has been developed by the ZAZI campaign for use by peer educators, community outreach workers, faith-based organisations, and traditional health practitioners to help facilitate participatory discussions on sexual and reproductive health with women aged between 20 and 49 years of age. ZAZI is a campaign developed by women for women in South Africa, which celebrates the strength of South African women. It promotes self confidence amongst women so that they can draw upon their own strength to make positive choices for their future, and "encourages young women to resist peer pressure and define their own values so that they can prevent unwanted pregnancies, HIV, have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby when they choose to fall pregnant."(See Related Summary below for more information)

The toolkit can be used for one hour-long, half-day, full-day, or longer workshops, and facilitators are encouraged to adapt sessions to meet the needs of the participating group. There are also suggestions for adapting the workshops for teenage girls aged 16-19.

The toolkit is divided into the following 10 content sections:

  • Section 1: Being a woman in South Africa today
  • Section 2: Women and relationships
  • Section 3: Women and their bodies
  • Section 4: Women’s sexual health
  • Section 5: Women and planning or preventing pregnancy
  • Section 6: Women and safe pregnancy
  • Section 7: Women and the prevention of HIV
  • Section 8: Women and gender-based violence
  • Section 9: Women and healthy lifestyles
  • Section 10: Women getting involved

Each section is made up of the following:

  • a purpose statement, which outlines the content of the section;
  • background to the problem, which outlines why women need to know this information;
  • an information section, which provides essential information on the topic;
  • an activity section, which suggests participatory activities for the facilitator to go through with groups of women, so they can understand how to apply this information in their own lives; and
  • a reference section, which suggests places to go for more information.

Empower young women and adolescent girls: fast-track the end of the AIDS epidemic in Africa

23 Jun 2016 12:04:44 GMT

"To be effective, any health and development agenda needs to focus on the root causes of the gender gap, and the AIDS response is no different."This report was produced to guide regional and global advocacy and inform political dialogue, particularly within discussions and planning being shaped as part of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, in order to consider actions needed to achieve the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. The report centres on the understanding that this requires taking action to target the root causes of young women and girls' vulnerability, largely arising from harmful gender norms and inequality.The report offers five key recommendations:Women's agency, participation and leadership: By empowering women as political and social actors, institutions and policies can become more representative of diverse voices, including those young women and girls. This should include young women living with and affected by HIV being part of policy and decision-making bodies and ensuring women's participation in humanitarian situations.Strategies to reduce intimate partner violence and reduce vulnerability to HIV: "Strategies and action implemented at the community level to address intimate partner violence are critical to reducing young women's and adolescent girls' vulnerability to HIV." One example given is the Raising Voices SASA! kit, which was designed to inspire and guide community mobilisation to prevent violence against women and HIV. "Community activists spearheaded a wide range of activities in their own neighbourhoods designed to decrease the social acceptability of violence by influencing knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviours on gender, power and violence."Scaling up social protection and cash transfers to reduce poverty and girls' vulnerability to HIV: According to the report, in the context of comprehensive social policies and programmes, "households affected by HIV are an appropriate target for cash transfer programmes that aim to alleviate poverty. Cash transfers can achieve multiple simultaneous outcomes, including declines in early marriage and teenage pregnancy."Strategies to keep girls in school and comprehensive sexuality education: Evidence shows that education contributes to a higher level of knowledge about HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights, lowers exposure to gender-based violence, and increases women's and girls' chances of being financially secure and independent. As well, "when young women and adolescent girls have access to comprehensive age-appropriate sexuality education before becoming sexually active, they are more likely to make informed decisions about their sexuality and approach relationships with more self-confidence."Scaling up and integrating HIV with sexual and reproductive health services: "A massiv[...]

Findings from the SASA! Study: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial To Assess the Impact of a Community Mobilization Intervention To Prevent Violence Against Women and Reduce HIV risk in Kampala, Uganda

23 Jun 2016 04:03:39 GMT

The need for HIV prevention efforts to more explicitly incorporate program elements to address gender inequality and violence has been repeatedly articulated, and the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence has been identified by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as being one of the core pillars of HIV prevention.

Recognising that intimate partner violence (IPV) is an independent risk factor for HIV infection, researchers in this SASA! study sought to assess the community-level impact of SASA!, a community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence and reduce HIV-risk behaviors.

This is the first CRT in sub-Saharan Africa to assess the community impact of a mobilization program on the social acceptability of IPV, the past year prevalence of IPV and levels of sexual concurrency. SASA! achieved
important community impacts, and is now being delivered in control communities and replicated in 15 countries.

Gender considerations along the HIV treatment cascade: an evidence review with priority actions

23 Jun 2016 02:25:33 GMT

This brief provides policymakers and programme implementers with evidence about the impact of gender dynamics on treatment access and adherence and the gender-related gaps in treatment research and programming. It also raises questions for implementation science in order, by 2020, to achieve the global goals set out by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) will have viral suppression. The brief draws from What Works For Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV Interventions and uses the World Health Organization (WHO) treatment cascade framework to identify and analyse major gender considerations in providing ART to those living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries.

The brief concludes with an argument that all ART programming must include respect for human rights. For example: "Requiring people living with HIV to disclose their serostatus to sexual partners and/or community members in order to receive treatment, care or support is a human rights violation. Similarly, coercing women to accept contraception in order to access treatment violates women's rights to make their own fertility choices." The authors note that there are few evaluated interventions demonstrating what works to overcome gender-related barrier to ART treatment. Future studies should ask questions such as "how can ART availability and accessibility be partnered with informed consent about the risks and benefits of treatment so that all people living with HIV may decide for themselves how best to stay healthy and live full, productive lives?"

Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa: a gender-transformative campaign to reduce social acceptance of intimate partner violence

21 Jun 2016 03:20:10 GMT

"Exposure to campaign messages led to more men believing that forced sex is violence and that a man is never justified in beating his wife. The campaign also increased men’s willingness to help a woman being beaten by her partner."These were key results of the Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa (Be a Role Model) campaign in Tanzania. The campaign was launched in 2011 as part of the CHAMPION project, a six-year initiative (2008-2014) to increase men's positive involvement in preventing the spread of HIV in Tanzania. The Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa 6-month national social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) campaign was designed to reduce societal acceptance of intimate partner violence (IPV) by using a variety of mass media strategies coupled with community engagement and interpersonal interventions. This  brief forms part of a series of briefs to highlight some of the CHAMPION project's achievements. The Kuwa Mfano wa Kuigwa campaign was aligned to the CHAMPION project's overall objective to improve health by fostering an enabling environment for gender transformation. The campaign sought to prompt national dialogue about men's role in health and the importance of gender equity in reducing vulnerability to IPV, HIV, and other adverse reproductive health (RH) outcomes. The campaign combined mass media messages disseminated through television, radio, and newspapers, with SBCC materials such as brochures and posters, and community and interpersonal interventions. The campaign was intended to shift social norms regarding IPV, through five key communication objectives: "men's willingness to help survivors of IPV, talk with others about the negative consequences of IPV, recognize forced sex as IPV, reject the notion that IPV is justifiable under any condition, and believe that a home free of IPV is a happier home."The campaign's primary intended audience was men aged 25 and older with intimate partners. Messages reached an estimated 4.5 million people through mass media and close to 40,000 men and boys through road shows, football matches, and bar activities. Evaluation results include the following:The evaluation found that the main behaviour change objective to increase dialogue about IPV and shift entrenched social norms was achieved, as demonstrated by exposure to campaign messages being closely associated with changes in the belief that forced sex is violence. "Men in campaign target districts were more than 3.5 times more likely than men nationwide to believe that forcing a partner to have sex is violence"As a result of the campaign, the percentage of ever-partnered male respondents willing to help a woman being beaten by her partner increased from 62% at baseline to 83% after the campaign. "At endline, men in campaign target districts were 4.5 times more willing to hel[...]

mHealth compendium, volume five

21 Jun 2016 02:58:35 GMT

This fifth volume of the mHealth Compendium, produced by the African Strategies for Health Project for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is a collection of 41 case studies submitted by various implementing partners which document a range of mHealth applications being implemented mainly throughout Africa, but also in other regions of the world. The majority of case studies focus on maternal, newborn and child health issues and HIV/AIDS, with some also looking at mHealth used to address tuberculosis, Ebola and malaria.

The case studies in this compendium have been organised into five programmatic areas where mHealth is being implemented: 1) Behaviour Change Communication; 2) Data Collection; 3) Finance; 4) Logistics; and 5) Service Delivery. Each two-page case study includes an introduction to the health area or problem; a description of the mHealth intervention highlighted; a description of any important results or evaluation findings; lessons learned; and a conclusion. In addition, the second page includes a summary of the geographic coverage, implementation partners, and donors, as well as contact information for the implementing partner and donor.

mHealth Compendium Special Edition 2016: Reaching Scale | The HIV/AIDS Network - Africa

21 Jun 2016 02:49:21 GMT

The mHealth Compendium Special Edition 2016: Reaching Scale presents ten in-depth profiles of mHealth programmes that have grown in scale over time.  This edition follows on from a series of five mHealth Compendiums which were produced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Africa Bureau project, African Strategies for Health (ASH), to help USAID missions, governments, and health implementing organisations access information on a range of mHealth example programmes. The series (see Related Summaries below) features over 150 case studies of mHealth programmes and applications being implemented mainly throughout Africa, but also in other regions of the world.Each case study includes details of the process, challenges, and lessons learned in growing an mHealth programme. The featured programmes are: Airtel Insurance - The Airtel/MicroEnsure partnership aimed to introduce millions of emerging consumers in Africa to their first health insurance products by offering simple cover, for free, aimed to establish trust through transparent, reliable operations. It then offered products for customers to increase options, creating a path to greater health insurance coverageAponjon - Aponjon (meaning “dear one(s)” in Bangla) aims to help to substantially reduce maternal and newborn deaths by improving health-seeking behaviours and preventive care among pregnant women, new mothers, and their familiescStock - This project uses mobile technology to improve community health supply chains for life-saving commodities in Malawi by using a  combination of mobile technology, user-friendly dashboards, and quality-improvement teamsiCCM - Integrated Community Case Management is used in hard-to-reach areas to complement facility-based services. Health surveillance assistants use a mobile application to assist in providing health services to children under five yearsKilkari Mobile Academy, & Mobile Kunji - This programme scaled up free mobile health education to 1 million community health workers and 10 million women in partnership with the Government of IndiamHERO - MHero is a two-way, mobile phone-based communication platform that uses basic text messaging, or SMS, to connect ministries of health and health workers. mHero operateson simple talk-and-text mobile devices—no smartphone or tablet requiredMomConnect - The MomConnect technical solution has a number of linked elements that enable pregnant women in South Africa to receive information about their own health and also that of their infants. Women can both ask for more information and supply feedback to improve the quality of health caremSOS - The mobile SMS-based disease outbreak alert system (mSOS) enhanced  event-base[...]