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World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: transforming jobs to end poverty

This report shows that decent work is paramount in the fight to reduce poverty. One key finding is that poverty has tended to decline in many emerging and developing countries, whereas it has tended to increase in the majority of advanced economies, including in terms of working poverty. The report also examines the role that policy can play, documenting country initiatives focused on job-centred economic policies, employment programmes, enterprise development, social protection and social dialogue. Finally, the report discusses the role of international labour standards in reducing poverty and inequality.

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World Social Protection Report 2014-15: building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice

Social protection policies play a critical role in realizing the human right to social security for all, reducing poverty and inequality, and promoting inclusive growth – by boosting human capital and productivity, and by supporting domestic demand and structural transformation of national economies. This ILO flagship report provides a global overview of the organization of social protection systems, their coverage and benefits, as well as public expenditures on social protection. The report follows a life-cycle approach, starting with social protection for children, followed by schemes for women and men in working age, and closing with pensions and other support for older persons. It also assesses progress towards universal coverage in health. The report further analyses trends and recent policies, such as the negative impacts of fiscal consolidation and adjustment measures, and urgently calls to expand social protection for crisis recovery, inclusive development and social justice.

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Water and sanitation interlinkages across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This UN-Water Analytical Brief analyses the central role of water and sanitation to describe the links and interdependencies between the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation and those of other Goals. It aims to stimulate United Nations Member States’ consideration of the water-related linkages within the Goals to facilitate an integrated approach to implementation. The Brief highlights the importance of mainstreaming water and sanitation in the policies and plans of other sectors, and how the management of interlinkages supports the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Promoting livelihoods to build the self-reliance of urban refugees in Nairobi

The majority of the urban poor in Nairobi, including asylum seekers and refugees, find employment and self-employment opportunities in the highly competitive informal sector. Poor regulation, poor physical infrastructure and limited access to institutionalized business support services, limit the viability of the informal sector. Those without specialized skills or capital to start a business earn daily wages as casual labourers or as low-level employees. For asylum seekers and refugees the odds are worse, encumbered by a lengthy asylum seeking process, limited engagement with local administrative authorities which deprives them of critical protection and support, and a business community hesitant to engage them as a potential market. Without ownership of fixed assets those seeking to start or grow a business fail to meet the collateral requirements to access business loans. The March 2012 livelihoods baseline indicates that food alone comprises between 45 percent and 55 percent of monthly costs for the very poor. After spending on food and housing, very little remains for other essentials. Additional expenditure on limited health care, hygiene, energy and water deplete the modest monthly wage. UNHCR and the urban refugee’s livelihoods working group are implementing livelihoods projects targeting refugees and Kenyans. With limited funding and experience the UNHCR chaired urban refugee’s livelihoods working group is implementing a range of livelihood support projects. To improve the effectiveness of current livelihoods programming resources are required to build partner technical capacity in designing, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating interventions, institutionalizing the use of best practices and models that are proven to work, and scaling up to reach more beneficiaries.

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Livelihood programming in UNHCR: operational guidelines

The purpose of these Operational Guidelines is to provide practical guidance and advice to field staff and partners on: 1) UNHCR’s livelihood approach; 2) Key elements of the livelihood programming cycle, and partnership options; 3) The range of livelihood interventions relevant to UNHCR operations. These Operational Guidelines are aimed primarily at UNHCR Field Operations, starting with multi-functional teams (MFT) that include senior managers, Protection, Programme, Community Services, Field and Livelihood Officers, where applicable, as well as government counterparts, operational and implementing partners (IP), and donors. Representatives and senior managers in field operations, regional representations and decision-makers in headquarters are also addressed (see Chapter 1). Staff, partners, and consultants are encouraged to use this document as a reference tool in the process of planning and implementing a comprehensive livelihood strategy. The guidelines also seek to inform UNHCR’s traditional and potential partners about livelihood issues in regard to refugees and the organization’s role in and approach to livelihood programming. New partners may include micro-finance institutions, the private sector, foundations and academic institutions.

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Who will be accountable? Human rights and the post-2015 development agenda

This publication is intended to help fill some of the more pressing accountability gaps that impede the realization of global and national development goals. We approach this challenge from the perspective of human rights, as a universal normative and legally binding framework embodying the minimum requirements of a dignified life, encapsulating universal values that a post-2015 agreement should strive to prioritize and protect as well as essential features of a road map to take us there.

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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: a manual for national human rights institutions

This Manual aims to support and strengthen the work of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) – whether they are human rights commissions or ombudsman offices – in the promotion, protection and enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples, especially NHRIs that are established in accordance with the Paris Principles. It is designed to assist these institutions learn about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) by providing a broad understanding of the legal nature of the rights it contains, as well as the relevant obligations of States, in order to ensure that indigenous peoples’ rights are fully realized.

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Women's rights are human rights

This publication provides an introduction to women’s human rights, beginning with the main provisions in international human rights law and going on to explain particularly relevant concepts for fully understanding women’s human rights. Finally, selected areas of women’s human rights are examined together with information on the main work of United Nations human rights mechanisms and others pertaining to these topics. The aim of the publication is to offer a basic understanding of the human rights of women as a whole, but because of the wide variety of issues relevant to women’s human rights, it should not be considered exhaustive.

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Supply side: assessing the impact of financial inclusion policies on deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria

Report from Dalberg and Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access explores the effectiveness and growth areas of financial inclusion policies in Nigeria.

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Protecting people through nature: natural World Heritage sites as drivers of sustainable development

This Dalberg and WWF report shows that natural World Heritage sites support livelihoods for communities, and provide communities with vital protection against the impacts of climate change.

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Small merchants, big opportunity: the forgotten path to financial inclusion

A new report - commissioned by Visa and authored by Dalberg and the Global Development Incubator - explores how financial service providers can engage micro and small merchants to unlock the social and economic potential of digital payments.

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Understanding smallholder farmer attitudes to commercialization

Using the case of maize production in Kenya, this study reframes the challenge of smallholder commercialization in the context of staple food crop production and individual farm-level decision-making by a heterogeneous population of smallholder farmers. While many smallholder growers of staple crops find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty, they differ greatly in their abilities to break this cycle and in their attitudes towards using commercial farming as the pathway for doing so. With an appreciation for the heterogeneity of smallholder farmers comes an understanding that supporting policies and programmes must move from traditional one-size-fits-all approaches to more targeted, customized approaches that are more likely to facilitate the sustainable uptake of a more commercially oriented approach to smallholder farming. Based on extensive primary data analysis, various innovative options for such strategies are presented in this study.

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Experience of BRICS countries in the development of nutrition-sensitive social protection programmes

Building on the momentum created by ICN2, the BRICS countries have actively participated in and facilitated global discussions on nutrition-sensitive social protection; in particular, during the Global Forum on Nutrition-Sensitive Social Protection, held in Moscow, Russian Federation, from 10 to 11 September 2015, which brought together policy-makers, researchers and experts in the areas of nutrition and social protection from 27 countries.

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Managing forests, sustaining lives, improving livelihoods of indigenous peoples and ethnic groups in the Mekong region, Asia

This paper presents the Learning Route, ‘Managing Forests, Sustaining Lives, Improving Livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Groups in the Mekong Region’, undertaken in November 2012 by PROCASUR and AIPP with the support of IFAD. It describes the Learning Route process, outputs and outcomes, as well as lessons learned, in addition to two case studies – one in Lao PDR and the other in Thailand – of community-based forest management, communal land titles and sustainable livelihoods. The document also provides a general overview of the land tenure system and its effect on the traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples and ethnic groups in Asia, with particular focus on Lao PDR and Thailand.

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Fostering inclusive outcomes in sub-Saharan African agriculture

Despite strong per capita income growth, the structure of sub-Saharan Africa’s economies has not changed markedly in recent decades. In spite of a rapidly growing labour force and urbanizing populations, employment growth in rural areas in general and in non-farm sectors in particular has been slow, and poverty levels in those areas remain relatively higher than in urban areas. So, the key question is: how to catalyse economic transformations that foster inclusive and sustainable development? This is where the role of agriculture is key, given that the overwhelming majority of the population across the continent depends on it as a livelihood source. The case for increasing agricultural productivity to accelerate transformation, investment and industrialization is strongly supported by well-established conceptual frameworks and historical empirical evidence. Though recent gains have been encouraging, agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa still lags behind other regions. The relatively low productivity has led to a loss of competitiveness in agricultural exports and the declining share of the region’s participation in global agricultural trade. Nonetheless, the potential of building on recent gains and developing an agribusiness sector that is responsive to and benefits from the work of smallholder farmers is enormous. This requires the prioritization of two main areas for policy and investment: (i) supporting the emergence of a modern agro-industrial sector; and (ii) developing the potential of smallholders to engage in high-value activities across agricultural value chains.

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Rural-urban linkages and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Given the context of transitions related to rapid urbanization, the roles that rural economies and societies will have to play (particularly smallholder farmers and other rural producers) in creating sustainable and inclusive food systems, in generating employment and incomes and in contributing to more balanced, equitable and mutually reinforcing patterns of rural-urban development in Africa require the attention of analysts, policymakers and development programmes in the years ahead. Addressing challenges related to a bulging population of young people will be particularly important in any work on the rural-urban nexus, in which youth migration plays critical roles. This is borne out by an analysis of evidence from sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, which stresses the importance of increasing productivity and incomes among rural people, particularly smallholders, during processes of economic and social transformation. Emerging trends and opportunities – such as the increasing demand for food and the changing nature of that demand as consumer preferences evolve, urbanization, demographic patterns that mean young people are an increasingly important proportion of the overall population, and more integrated food value chains – all point to the importance of ensuring key rural dynamics are taken into account in developing rural-urban linkages. Taking account of these dynamics will mean addressing key rural-urban inequalities and connectivity gaps, developing more integrated and inclusive links within food systems and agricultural value chains, testing spatial and territorial approaches to development that provide valuable tools to integrate the rural dimension into debates surrounding urbanization, the promotion of a more sustainable urbanization, and building decent employment in food value chains. Nonetheless, the review of evidence in this paper suggests that, while urbanization potentially opens up opportunities for inclusive rural and structural transformation, this can only be achieved when suitable policies and investments are put in place to adequately address the particular needs of often-neglected rural people who play critical roles in food systems.

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Background paper to the synthesis of the lessons learned from the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative

In recent years, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has increasingly strengthened its focus on achieving and measuring results. In 2011-2012, resources were invested in the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative (IFAD9 IAI) in order to: (i) explore methodologies to assess impact; (ii) measure – to the degree possible – the results and impacts of IFAD-financed activities; and (iii) summarize lessons learned and advise on rigorous and cost-effective approaches to attributing impact to IFAD interventions. The initiative reflects a recognition of IFAD’s responsibility to generate evidence of the success of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for the benefit of future projects. This paper describes the IFAD9 IAI and the range of methods that have been identified to broaden the evidence base for the estimation of IFAD impacts, and presents the results from the aggregation and projection methodology used to compute the Fund’s aggregate impact on key outcomes, while also highlighting what has been learned. The results show that there are many areas in which IFAD-supported project beneficiaries have had, on average, better outcomes in percentage terms as compared to comparison farmers who were not project beneficiaries. Specifically, IFAD-supported projects are effectively poverty-reducing: when choosing durable asset indexes as the preferred poverty proxies on the grounds that they better approximate long-run wealth, findings point to statistically significant gains. Overall, the analyses strongly imply that IFAD is effectively improving the well-being of rural people in terms of asset accumulation, and higher revenue and income. The IFAD9 IAI represents a pioneering research effort, which has tried to overcome the clear challenges of designing data collection and conducting ex post impact assessments in a context where data were scarce, with a view to measuring progress towards a global accountability goal over a very short period of time. Therefore, an important recommendation is that future impact assessments should be selected and designed ex ante, and structured to facilitate and maximize learning, rather than used solely as an instrument to prove accountability.

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Rural Development Report 2016: fostering inclusive rural transformation

The 2016 Rural Development Report focuses on inclusive rural transformation as a central element of the global efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and build inclusive and sustainable societies for all. It analyses global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation, and suggests four categories into which most countries and regions fall, each with distinct objectives for rural development strategies to promote inclusive rural transformation: to adapt, to amplify, to accelerate, and a combination of them. The report presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

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Climate-smart smallholder agriculture: what's different?

There is a growing consensus that climate change is transforming the context for rural development, changing physical and socio-economic landscapes and making smallholder development more expensive. But there is less consensus on how smallholder agriculture practices should change as a result. The question is often asked: what really is different about ‘climate-smart’ smallholder agriculture that goes beyond regular best practice in development? This article suggests three major changes.

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The importance of scaling up for agricultural and rural development

The thesis of this article is that governments of countries that plan their agricultural and rural development programmes on a large scale – typically covering the entire agriculture sector and including all or most of the important ingredients for agricultural growth and rural development – do better in terms of agricultural production and reduction of rural poverty and hunger than do country governments that do not invest broadly and at scale in such development. The reason, for most low-income countries, is that agriculture still constitutes the most important economic sector, uses the most labour and contains the majority of the poor, who are also the majority of the hungry. Government action to stimulate agriculture at scale pays off by increasing food production and rural incomes. Donors that contribute to government programmes at scale and for the long term thus contribute more to this success than donors that do not operate at scale, and that have short-term objectives or invest in small-scale projects. IFAD’s experience in Peru, in which it supported the Government in scaling up agricultural and rural development investments in poor areas of the Peruvian Andes over a period of 20 years, has paid off spectacularly in terms of poverty reduction. The Peruvian example points to two critical ingredients: government commitment to operating at scale and donor willingness to support governments in doing this.

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Agricultural and rural development reconsidered

This paper is a guide to current debates about agricultural development. It analyses the changes in development approaches and thinking in recent decades and explores today's critical issues in agricultural and rural development policy. With the main focus on Africa, the paper also includes insights from Asia and Latin America.

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Home sweet home: housing practices and tools that support durable solutions for urban IDPs

Despite a long-standing recognition of the need to improve the response of actors addressing urban displacement, there is a lack of guidance on how to do this and a limited knowledge of practices that have successfully addressed the housing, tenure security and livelihood needs of urban IDPs. This report, the result of collaboration between IDMC and the MIT Displacement Research and Action Network (DRAN), presents different approaches and case studies that have been used to overcome recurrent challenges to adequate housing in urban displacement situations. It advocates for the use of a rights-based approach that supports the achievement of durable solutions by providing options that can guide and inform response when designing, funding or implementing housing policies and programmes in urban settings for policy makers and practitioners.

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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2016. Education for people and planet: creating sustainable futures for all

The Incheon Declaration for Education 2030 has been instrumental to shape the Sustainable Development Goal on Education to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It entrusts UNESCO with the leadership, coordination and monitoring of the Education 2030 agenda. It also calls upon the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report to provide independent monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4), and on education in the other SDGs, for the next fifteen years. The ultimate goal of this agenda is to leave no one behind. This calls for robust data and sound monitoring. The 2016 edition of the GEM Report provides valuable insight for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4, building on the indicators and targets we have, with equity and inclusion as measures of overall success.

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The changing nature of poverty and inequality in the Caribbean: new issues, new solutions

This publication is intended to: (a) provide fresh thinking on the transformative shifts in policies, approaches, strategies and institutions that are required to speed up poverty reduction in the Caribbean and also to expand opportunities for the most vulnerable groups in the society; (b) propose a new framework for assessing the effectiveness of existing approaches to poverty reduction in the Caribbean; and (c) offer new and innovative solutions to address poverty and promote shared prosperity.

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What is the role of urban growth on inequality, and segregation? The case of urban Argentina's urban agglomerations

We analyse the relationship between urban sprawl and changing patterns of inequality and segregation in metropolitan areas of Argentina. The existing literature has endeavoured to study the determinants of the expansion of cities, but less attention has been placed in understanding the effects of this sprawl on the livelihood of the people that live in them. Understanding whether different patterns of urban extension determine both segregation and inequality is extremely relevant in the context of fast growing urban agglomerates of Latin American countries. Among other findings, we provide evidence that there is segregation of the poor and not of the rich in all urban agglomerates but in Greater Buenos Aires, where segregation of the affluent, not the poor, prevails in the areas of greater informal urban expansion, measured by the extension of informal settlements. Yet, not all the patterns of urban development and built-up growth have the same effect. More leapfrog appears to explain greater segregation -particularly of the poor - while both infill and extension are positively related to more homogeneous urban agglomerations. This means that the most disadvantaged are more evenly distributed in agglomerations that have not seen much of their sprawl due to discontinue urban expansion of their borders. Finally, we also find a positive association between more unequal municipalities and greater slum expansions. The causality of this relationship is unclear and further analysis could be promising. It might be the case that more unequal municipalities allow for institutional environments in which slums can grow faster. Or it might well be that places which have experienced more accelerated slum growth have become more unequal because of the arrival of new families that accentuates such disparities.

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