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Religion, women's health and rights: points of contention and paths of opportunities

This report looks at the religious arguments around some of the most sensitive and contentious SRH-related issues, from the perspective of the major faith traditions of this world. These issues range from contraception to abortion to GBV to Child Marriage. Far from merely listing the 'religious objections' to be found in the 5 main religions of the world (Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam), this Report then goes on to elaborate the alternative, faith-based lived realities, interpretations and actions which support the sexual and reproductive rights in question.

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Realizing the faith dividend: religion, gender, peace and security in Agenda 2030

The UN Secretary General is on record as ​speaking to the importance of faith-based organizations in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, noting that ​they​ have a role to play​ in ​his​ policy of developing transformative multi-stakeholder partnerships over the coming five years.​ UNFPA is one of the oldest UN specialised agencies to engage with faith-based actors, convening them at the national, regional and global levels, since the Millennium. ​In 2010, UNFPA co-founded and chaired the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging with Faith-Based actors. Since then, this UN Task Force has annually convened these faith-based partners for a series of policy dialogues, together with donor governments, academics, development and humanitarian specialists from diverse regions and religions, around diverse human rights, development and peace and security-related issues. This report focuses on the role of religious actors, and religious considerations in the SDG agenda, particularly as they pertain to gender equality, peaceful coexistence and security considerations. The perspectives, ideas and initiatives discussed in these pages bring together experiences and policy analysis shared from the different realities of donors, UN agencies and Faith-Based NGOs. The richness of these narratives both build on and inform current policy formulations which are required at a time when religion is often seen too flippantly as a 'problem' by secular institutions which also have a legacy of partnerships as yet under appreciated.

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Adolescent girls in disaster & conflict: interventions for improving access to sexual and reproductive health services

Millions of adolescent girls are in need of humanitarian assistance. A crisis heightens their vulnerability to gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancy, HIV infection, maternal death and disability, early and forced marriage, rape, trafficking, and sexual exploitation and abuse. In emergencies, adolescent girls need tailored programming to increase their access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, and to protect them from gender-based violence. From safe spaces to mobile clinics to youth participation, UNFPA uses different approaches to reach displaced, uprooted and crisis-affected adolescent girls at a critical time in their young lives. This publication features new case studies on reaching adolescent girls in humanitarian situations from programmes in Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Somalia.

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Establishing a workable follow-up and review process for the Sustainable Development Goals

The Open Working Group document proposes that governments will set its own national targets. They will be guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. To make the Post-2015 agenda actionable, much more thought needs to be given to the process of target-setting, different actors’ responsibilities, implementation and accountability.

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Doing legal empowerment differently: learning from pro-poor litigation in Bangladesh

In many countries, marginalised groups and their allies use the law and justice systems to contest and improve their access to rights, goods and services. This is the essence of legal empowerment. Taking a claim to a dispute resolution mechanism, such as a court or community mediation forum, is one way poor people can use the law. Yet there is no automatic link between litigation, or other forms of legal action, and improved outcomes for poor people. The success of legal mobilisation depends not only on a favourable legal ruling or decision. It also requires the enforcement or implementation of rulings in ways that redistribute power and resources to poor people in practice. We use two cases of successful public interest litigation in Bangladesh to explore the conditions that favour, and constrain, pro-poor mobilisation. One case centres on a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the citizenship rights of thousands of Urdu speakers living in camps set up after the War of Independence in 1971. As a direct result of the 2008 ruling, Urdu speakers now have national identity cards and can vote, hold a passport and work in the formal sector. The second case centres on a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that has prevented the government’s forcible eviction of thousands of residents of low-income settlements in Dhaka, and continues to do so.

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Mind the gap? A comparison of international and national targets for the SDG agenda

The stretch required for low-income countries (LICs) to achieve SDG targets is generally greater than for middle-income and high-income countries (MICs and HICs). The gaps identified indicate where most work is needed to alter political priorities in order to realise the SDGs. Most hard work will be needed in areas that are highly politically contentious (climate policy) or expensive (secondary education, electricity and sanitation). This has implications for how governments structure a review process and how resources are mobilised for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. The report also found a great deal of variation in the approach to measuring targets at the national level. A standardised approach would make comparisons easier and hold governments more readily to account.

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Progress despite adversity: women's empowerment and conflict in Colombia

The Colombian case is an example of progress in women’s empowerment in the face of formidable and continuing challenges. Progress is identified in relation to: legal gains for women’s rights and gender equality; women’s presence and representation in public and elected positions; the advancement of a gender-responsive approach to addressing the legacies of conflict; and associated mechanisms of memorialisation, reparations, restitution and transitional justice. The case of Colombia is a valuable study in how women engage with contesting legacies of exclusion and discrimination in the prevailing political settlement, and influencing the public debate and direction of policy relating to justice, peace and accountability to take into account the gendered experience of conflict.

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Baseline study: stamping out and preventing gender based violence (STOP GBV) in Zambia

This study provides a baseline to measure programme results, impact and long-lasting change at the end of the STOP GBV Programme led by World Vision (WV), Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) and Zambia Centre for Communication Programme (ZCCP) in six districts of Zambia: Chingola, Kalomo, Monze, Mpika, Mumbwa and Nyimba. Given the focus of the STOP-GBV Programme the study focused on three main areas: GBV Survivor Services; Access to Justice; and Prevention and Advocacy.

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Gender violence in Papua New Guinea

The magnitude of gender-based violence (GBV) incidence in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is considered by some to be of epidemic proportions: 41% of men in PNG admit to having raped someone, over two-thirds of women are estimated to have suffered some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, and it is reported that 7.7% of men admit to having perpetrated male rape. Only 73% of survivors of GBV in PNG seek assistance and the vast majority of these individuals (88%) seek this assistance through informal support structures, such as familial, kinship or collegiate networks or village courts and community leaders rather than through official channels. This indicates that GBV is under-reported. The social, emotional and physical costs of GBV are widely recognised, as are national-level economic costs. But the impact at individual firm level is less well understood. Being able to cost the multidimensional impact of GBV for a business, highlighting potential savings from investing in responsive and or preventative measures, is an important first step in building the business case for intervention and ultimately for contributing to a reduction of GBV incidence in PNG. This study sets out a practical approach for calculating costs within a firm and presents findings from three firms reviewed for this pilot study in PNG. The following review of methodology, prevalence findings, company responses, discussion, conclusions and recommendations provide a series of lessons for businesses and business support organisations seeking to develop a comprehensive response to the factors that enable and perpetuate GBV and its impacts.

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Piecing together the MDG puzzle: domestic policy, government spending and performance

Policy-makers in most of the developing countries surveyed report that the MDGs were influential in setting priorities domestically. Analysis of the education and health sectors suggests these statements are not merely tokenistic as countries reporting high influence saw increases in budget allocations. However while many countries experienced increases in government spending in social sectors over the MDG period, the majority still spend less than the recommended international benchmarks. Significant increases in government allocations will therefore be required to match the ambition of the SDGs. Recommendations for the SDG period include ensuring better data on domestic use of targets, government spending and performance are available to better assess their influence over the next 15 years and ensure the 'leave no one behind' agenda will be fulfilled.

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National MDG implementation: lessons for the SDG era

As we approach the deadline for the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the start of the Sustainable Development Goals, at the end of 2015, this paper asks: how did governments respond at the national level to the set of global development goals in the form of the MDGs? Using five case study countries: Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria and Liberia, to reflect a mix of regions, income classifications and MDG performance, the paper draws out common trends and suggests five lessons for the post-2015 era.

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Rebuilding adolescent girls' lives: mental health and psychosocial support in conflict-affected Gaza, Liberia and Sri Lanka

This study explored the linkages between mental health, psychosocial well-being and social norms in the fragile and post-conflict settings of Gaza, Liberia and Sri Lanka with a particular focus on adolescent girls (10-19 years). In particular, the study explored the extent to which services and community and household responses to mental health and psychosocial problems in these settings are sufficiently informed by an understanding of the context, as well as gender inequalities and dynamics, and social norms.

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Rule of law, politics and development: the politics of rule of law reform

Rule of law remains a constant theme in development policy and practice, and in recent policy discourse and international commitments it has gained a new level of prominence. Despite this recognition, the history of international support to the sector's reform is peppered with a sad trail of failures and underachievement. How to square the recognition that rule of law really matters with the poor track record of reforming it? Drawing on different analytical and empirical bodes of work on the international rule of law, this report seeks to find some better answers to this question. In doing so, it reviews key trends over time and makes the case for drawing on two current propositions for changing policy and practice, namely: 1. The link between rule of law and political settlements and, 2. being politically smart and adaptive in approaching rule of law reform.

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Education Cannot Wait: Proposing a fund for education in emergencies

Built on extensive consultation and dialogue among a range of stakeholders, 'Education Cannot Wait' is an education crisis fund designed to transform the global education sector, including both humanitarian and development responses. Launching at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, the platform aims to deliver a more collaborative, agile and rapid response to education in emergencies in order to fulfill the right to education for children and young people affected by crises. It is about both restoring hope to millions of children and demonstrating that the governments who signed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal pledge intend to keep their promise. This publication outlines the potential operation of 'Education Cannot Wait'.

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Enhancing women's influence in local governance with community scorecards: CARE Rwanda's experience

The community scorecard (CsC) has become internationally recognised as an effective social accountability tool for building and strengthening citizen collective action for improved service delivery. CARE has more than a decade of experience of applying scorecards, starting with CARE Malawi in 2002 and then through applying the approach in different sectors and to different issues in various country programmes. This report - and supporting briefing paper - explore the use of the CsC model in two projects within CARE Rwanda’s vulnerable women’s programme. It examines how the model was implemented in each of the projects; the key outcomes of the initiatives; and how these have contributed to improving the quality of gender-based violence service delivery and enhancing women’s role in local governance processes. The findings indicate that the CsC is not a one-size-fits-all solution with regard to improving developmental outcomes. It is a flexible guide or tool that can and should be adapted to the distinct contextual and operational environment in which it is implemented and based on the objectives and changes it intends to produce.

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Projecting progress: the SDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean

This paper presents Latin America and the Caribbean’s (LAC) likely progress across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, if trends continue on their current trajectories. There are significant disparities across the globe in progress both between and within countries; LAC is no exception. There are a number of disparities across sub-regions and there are disparities within countries – ethnicity, for example, is a crucial factor in determining whether someone is likely to benefit from development gains. During the Millennium Development Goals era considerable gains were made in a number of countries in LAC. However, already strong outcomes in some areas compared with other developing regions will make continued progress towards the new goals difficult.

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Health, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This briefing presents an overview of how international migration can have an impact on the sustainable development goal for health and well-being. It describes the health needs and health service delivery for migrants and refugees in different settings and highlights the ways they may be excluded in national policies relating to health and from specific policies that work towards achieving the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development.

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Leaving no one behind: a critical path for the first 1,000 days of the Sustainable Development Goals

Leaving no one behind is the moral issue of our age, and is at the heart of an ambitious blueprint for action: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One specific goal is ‘ending poverty, in all its forms, everywhere’, but the SDGs also aim to tackle marginalisation. The SDG outcome document specifies that the goals should be met for all segments of society, with an aim to reach those furthest behind first. Now the focus is on implementation, particularly at the national level. This report not only makes the case for early action, it also quantifies its benefits. The report outlines the actions that governments can take in the first 1,000 days of the SDGs to respond to what poor people want and to deliver for the most marginalised people and groups. The evidence shows that achieving the SDGs and the ambition to leave no one behind will become far more difficult the longer governments delay.

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The role of road networks in addressing fragility and building resilience

This brief explores the importance of investments in roads - as the most important component of the transport infrastructure network in fragile states - to political stability, economic inequalities, and institution building, in light of the evolving understanding of fragility. Countries with a recent history of violent conflict face the most daunting challenges, as their (already modest) national infrastructure both suffers from destruction or dilapidation and exacerbates poor economic conditions and the fault lines that caused conflict in the first place (WB 2011). But even investments in stable countries need to be considered strategically to ensure those countries don’t become tomorrow’s fragile states. This brief draws on the examples of Liberia, Mali and China to propose a conceptual framework that can inform government policymakers, regional organizations, and development partners on how to address these challenges.

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AfDB Strategy for 2013–2022 - at the center of Africa’s transformation

This ten-year Strategy is designed to place the African Development Bank at the centre of Africa’s transformation and to improve the quality of Africa’s growth. The Strategy will focus on two objectives to improve the quality of Africa’s growth: inclusive growth, and the transition to green growth. It also outlines five main channels for the Bank to deliver its work and improve the quality of growth in Africa: Infrastructural development; Regional economic integration; Private sector development; Governance and accountability; Skills and technology. In implementing its ten-year Strategy, and as an integral part of the two objectives, the Bank will pay particular attention to fragile states, agriculture and food security, and gender.

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Enhancing urban safety and security: global report on human settlements 2007

This report addresses three major threats to the safety and security of cities: crime and violence; insecurity of tenure and forced evictions; and natural and human-made disasters. It analyses worldwide trends with respect to each of these threats, paying particular attention to their underlying causes and impacts, as well as to the good policies and best practices that have been adopted at the city, national and international levels in order to address these threats. The report adopts a human security perspective, concerned with the safety and security of people rather than of states, and highlights issues that can be addressed through appropriate urban policy, planning, design and governance.

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World Cities Report 2016: urbanization and development – emerging futures

The analysis of urban development of the past twenty years presented in this maiden edition of the World Cities Report shows, with compelling evidence, that there are new forms of collaboration and cooperation, planning, governance, finance and learning that can sustain positive change. The Report unequivocally demonstrates that the current urbanization model is unsustainable in many respects. It conveys a clear message that the pattern of urbanization needs to change in order to better respond to the challenges of our time, to address issues such as inequality, climate change, informality, insecurity, and the unsustainable forms of urban expansion.

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21 projects compendium: implementing the new urban agenda

For the last 40 years, UN-Habitat has been working to improve the lives of people in human settlements around the world. As our population has grown, so has the number of people living in cities, towns and villages on all continents. With around 3 billion more people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, it is more critical than ever that we plan and manage the way our cities expand. This publication demonstrates just a snapshot of UN-Habitat's overall portfolio and represents the ways in which, along with their partners, their work positively impacts the quality of life for people around the world. Working together we can, and must, promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable urbanization and a better urban future for all.

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The state of African cities 2014: re-imagining sustainable urban transitions

The African continent is currently in the midst of simultaneously unfolding and highly significant demographic, economic, technological, environmental, urban and socio-political transitions. Africa’s economic performance is promising, with booming cities supporting growing middle classes and creating sizeable consumer markets. But despite significant overall growth, not all of Africa performs well. The continent continues to suffer under very rapid urban growth accompanied by massive urban poverty and many other social problems. These seem to indicate that the development trajectories followed by African nations since post-independence may not be able to deliver on the aspirations of broad based human development and prosperity for all. This report, therefore, argues for a bold re-imagining of prevailing models in order to steer the ongoing transitions towards greater sustainability based on a thorough review of all available options. That is especially the case since the already daunting urban challenges in Africa are now being exacerbated by the new vulnerabilities and threats associated with climate and environmental change.

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Making Philippine cities child friendly: voices of children in poor communities

The study analyses how the Philippines’ national Child Friendly Movement, which has engaged government, NGOs, civil society, children and UNICEF, has enhanced the capacity of local governments, communities and young people to fulfil the rights of the poorest children. The study uses participatory methodologies and reflects the viewpoint of children and the community. It reveals that in areas where the Child Friendly Cities strategy was adopted, greater attention is paid to the most excluded and vulnerable groups and interventions are developed on a wider spectrum of children’s rights. Beyond providing insights on concrete ways in which child rights are bring promoted at local level, it provides recommendations on how the fulfilment of child rights can be further enhanced by municipal governments.

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