Languages

Topbar Menu EN

Search our database of publications





Linking the thematic programmes of work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to poverty reduction and development

This report describes a consultancy carried out to determine the linkages between the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) thematic Programmes of Work (PoWs) and poverty reduction. It is well understood that the relationship between biodiversity and poverty reduction is complex and has multiple possible pathways, from ‘win-win’ outcomes (reducing poverty improves conservation outcomes), ‘win-neutral’ (conservation has no effect on poverty), ‘trade-offs’ (conservation action hurts the poor or poverty reduction damages biodiversity), or even ‘lose-lose’ situations (poverty increases and biodiversity declines). The major challenge in this regard is that production systems should enhance human well-being, be sustainable in the future without degradation of the natural resource base (biodiversity),while maintaining productivity and being equitably distributed among people, avoiding poverty. This requires an incredibly delicate series of balances. The report offers a series of recommendations and identifies 2 major critical conditions for successful implementation.

View online/download
External Link

Multisectoral action framework for malaria

Malaria is both a result and a cause of a lack of development. The malaria burden is highest in the countries with the lowest human development, within countries in the least developed and poorest areas, and within populations among the most disadvantaged. The Multi sectoral Action Framework for Malaria adds this development dimension, by making actions outside the health sector essential components of malaria control. The Framework unites all efforts and builds on positive experiences, past and present. The Framework calls for action at several levels and in multiple sectors, globally and across inter- and intra-national boundaries, and by different organizations. It emphasizes complementarity, effectiveness and sustainability, and capitalizes on the potential synergies to accelerate both socio-economic development and malaria control. It involves new interventions as well as putting new life into those that already exist, and coordinates and manages these in new and innovative ways. The Framework acknowledges that malaria takes different shapes in different contexts and that no single blueprint for action would fit in all circumstances. The Framework encourages innovation, trying and learning. The Framework analyses the social and environmental determinants of malaria at four levels: society, environment, population group, and household and individual. The conclusion of the analysis is that the current strategies for malaria control need to be continued, but that they alone are unlikely to lead to sustained control and elimination in the countries with the highest malaria burden. They need to be complemented with a developmental approach, addressing key social and environmental determinants. The Framework proposes what these determinants are and which sectors should be involved. It provides examples of implementation in countries, as well as a simple tool for action planning.

View online/download
External Link

Special issue: immunization in the African region

There has been a steady rise in immunization coverage over the years and vaccines have become available to many communities and populations, especially deprived communities in the countries of the WHO African Region. There has also been significant progress in the introduction of several new vaccines, including pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), rotavirus and conjugate meningitis vaccines in the Region. These successes have been made possible with the commendable leadership and unwavering commitment of governments and people in the Region and of partners. However, several challenges remain to be addressed. The articles carefully chart the successes and challenges of immunization in the African Region. This special edition is a call to all stakeholders – governments and people of the African Region as well as partners – to increase efforts at making immunization a way of life across the Region. Governments should continue to make vaccination a top priority and commit adequate resources and communities should appreciate the value of immunization, and demand and protect immunization services as a basic right.

View online/download
External Link

Population dynamics in the LDCs: challenges and opportunities for development and poverty reduction

This report, prepared for the 2011 UN Conference on Least Developed Countries, outlines major population dynamics in LDCs and addresses their implications for development and poverty reduction. It identifies five areas of intervention that can help countries anticipate, shape and plan for changes in their population. These areas include: focusing investments on adolescents and youth; increasing access to sexual and reproductive health care and empowering women; strengthening capacity to integrate population dynamics in the framework of sustainable development; linking population to climate change; and effectively utilizing data in public policy and development. According to the latest survey of the United Nations Population Division, about three-quarters of the governments of LDCs are concerned with major demographic shifts projected to impact them: high fertility, high population growth and rapid urbanization.

View online/download
External Link

Socio-cultural influences on the reproductive health of migrant women: A review of literature in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam

This paper is an overview of the analysis presented in a series of four literature reviews that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) commissioned to identify sociocultural factors that affect the sexual and reproductive health of female migrants. The reviews encompassed looking at research, study reports and other available documents, mainly from the past decade, on internal migrants in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam, and international migrants from Myanmar in Thailand. The reviews were premised on the assumption that socio-cultural factors impact on the potential of female migrants to access sexual and reproductive health information and services and protection from violence. The consultants sought to identify factors enabling access to information and services, as well as examples of good intervention models that might be replicated or scaled up. Potential barriers to access of reproductive health services by female migrants were also described.

View online/download
External Link

Impacts of population dynamics reproductive health and gender on poverty

How do the many the different components of the UNFPA mandate contribute to poverty reduction? This publication analyses this question in detail, looking at both the micro level (impacts on individuals and households) and the larger picture. The document concludes that the strength of UNFPA's contribution to poverty reduction resides in the complementarity of different interventions and the synergies by which population dynamics, gender equality and reproductive health work together to reduce poverty.

View online/download
External Link

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.

View online/download
External Link

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.

View online/download
External Link

Speaking truth to power: why energy distribution, more than generation, is Africa’s poverty reduction challenge

Energy is important to reduce poverty, but increasing electricity generation alone will not solve the problem. In this paper, ODI uncovers that most investment in electricity generation in Africa is not geared towards serving the basic energy needs of the poor, but is instead focused on providing power to growing industries and existing consumers. This paper, therefore, argues that tackling energy poverty will have less to do with ambitious expansion of electricity capacity, and more to do with ambitious distribution of energy services to poor people. A second key conclusion is that distributed, clean energy interventions – both renewable energy systems and clean cookstove technologies - are best suited to tackling energy poverty – and poverty more generally. It is here that we should be focusing energy investment, to tackle poverty and close Africa’s energy gap.

View online/download
External Link

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.

View online/download
External Link

How does Nepal’s Child Grant work for Dalit children and their families?

The Child Grant is targeted at all households with children aged up to five years in the Karnali Zone and at poor Dalit households in the rest of the country. Launched in 2009 and covering around 20% of Nepal's children, it is seen as a key mechanism to support children in the government's draft National Framework for Social Protection. This study focuses on two districts; Bajura and Saptari, using a mixed-method approach to identify implementation barriers and recommend ways to improve effectiveness of the Grant.

View online/download
External Link

One foot on the ground, one foot in the air: Ethiopia’s delivery on an ambitious development agenda

This case study looks at the progress achieved in material well-being, education and employment, where Ethiopia has shown particularly strong performance over the past 10 to 15 years. However this transformation is far from complete and a number of challenges remain, not least the depth and breadth of chronic poverty. A number of key lessons for the Sustainable Development Goals can be drawn from Ethiopia's experience: 1) Centring government policy on a single goal - poverty reduction - and taking a multidimensional approach can encourage ministries to work more comprehensively and consistently; 2) Integrating social sectors into broader economic planning and high rates of pro-poor spending benefit the economy; 3) Long-term planning and a clear division of responsibilities can build the foundation for broader transformation.

View online/download
External Link

Low-carbon development in Sub-Saharan Africa: 20 cross-sector transitions

Sub-Saharan Africa is at a critical point, experiencing rapid population growth, particularly in urban areas, and a young and growing workforce. At the same time, the growing risk of catastrophic global climate change threatens to weaken food production systems; increase the intensity and frequency of droughts, floods, and fires; and undermine gains in development and poverty reduction. Although the region has the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emission levels in the world, it will need to join global efforts to address climate change, including through actions to avoid significant increases in emissions. This report reviews agriculture, forestry, energy, transport, extractives, construction and manufacturing, based on their importance to countries' economic development and their contribution to current and future greenhouse gas emissions. Based on this sector-specific analysis, we identify 20 cross-sector transitions that can be undertaken to promote low-carbon development in the region.

View online/download
External Link

Zero poverty, zero emissions: eradicating extreme poverty in the climate crisis

Eradicating extreme poverty is achievable by 2030, through growth and reductions in inequality. However, unless global emissions peak by around 2030 and fall to near zero by 2100, catastrophic climate change could draw up to 720 million people back into extreme poverty. Building on previous ODI research, this report looks at how poverty can be eradicated by 2030 and how, contrary to popular belief, low carbon development is compatible with the zero poverty agenda. Showing how policy incoherent it is for gas emitting countries to support poverty eradication without moving their economies towards zero net emissions, we lay out the path we need to take to reduce both poverty and emissions together.

View online/download
External Link

Sharing the fruits of progress: poverty reduction in Ecuador

This case study illustrates and explains Ecuador’s progress in reducing poverty and inequality, focusing on the period between 2000 and 2012. Drawing on primary interviews and secondary analyses, we argue that Ecuador’s success can be explained by four main economic and political factors. First, high oil prices helped the country to achieve economic stability and growth in a context of dollarisation. Second, growth gave way to changes in the labour market that benefited the poorest people, through a decline in unemployment and an increase in real wages. Third, Rafael Correa’s election in 2007 brought about radical change in adopting highly redistributive social policies. These were financed through measures to create fiscal space such as the re-writing of oil contracts, the restructuring of the public debt and the channelling of all oil revenues into the budgeting process. The poorest people also benefited from the expansion of the cash transfer programme, Bono de Desarrollo Humano, and the improved provision of health and education services, though these have often been used for political ends. Today, Ecuador faces the challenge of advancing and deepening the progress it has achieved in changing domestic and international circumstances, in particular the falling price of oil and the ending of Correa’s final presidential term. Further reduction of poverty will require paying greater attention to social sectors that have not shared fully in the benefits of growth, especially those living in rural areas, in certain geographical regions and the Afro-Ecuadorian and indigenous populations. In addition, the country will need to build upon the momentum it has established and channel it into a process of structural transformation.

View online/download
External Link

In quest of inclusive progress: exploring intersecting inequalities in human development

For 16 countries with appropriate data, this paper seeks to ascertain to what extent wealth status, urban/rural place of residence and ethnicity – and overlaps between them – explain inequalities in education and health; and how these inequalities have changed over time. The focus is on women’s years of education and on the proportion of children in a household who have died.

View online/download
External Link

Progress under scrutiny: poverty reduction in Pakistan

Consumption-based poverty in Pakistan fell sharply between 1990 and 2010, according to official poverty data. Nonetheless the mainstream narrative on poverty reduction in the country remains highly contested. Key sources of evidence show improvements that are commensurate with a decrease in poverty, while others raise doubts over this decrease. The policy space in which poverty reduction is debated is also highly polarised, as revealed in the positions of multiple stakeholders involved in policy, research and civil society in Pakistan. An analysis of official poverty data shows how the estimates may be biased – both owing to technical flaws and to the politics of measurement. As a result, it is surprisingly difficult to reach a definitive conclusion as to whether poverty reduced between 1990 and 2010 and if the stated progress is real. The report discusses the implications of the high levels of contestation over official poverty data as well as the need to understand better the types of evidence that the government must produce to defend its policies to alleviate poverty, and for key stakeholders to accept these as credible. It also discusses the steps that the country is taking to depoliticise the measurement and analysis of poverty – in and of themselves signs of progress.

View online/download
External Link

Building electricity supplies in Africa for growth and universal access

Although Africa has enormous energy resources, more than half of the continent’s population do not have any access to electricity and generation is often unable to meet the demand of those who do. Growth and poverty reduction will be constrained if this deficit continues. The purpose of this paper is to outline the nature of the opportunities and challenges for expanding the supply of electricity to meet development objectives, taking into account recent reductions in the costs of renewable energy. The two challenges of expanding electricity generation and distribution for economic growth, and extending electricity supplies to those who do not yet have access, are inter-related but require different policies and interventions.

View online/download
External Link

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.

View online/download
External Link

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.

View online/download
External Link

Effect of Sub-Saharan African trade corridors on vulnerable groups

This report examines the economic and non-economic (such as conducting community and family relationships and accessing health care and education) value of the border for small traders and informal workers. It seeks to examine a specific example of policy, a One-stop Border Post (OSBP) in East Africa, and how the policy changes have affected these groups, in light of the need for policy that specifically addresses issues relevant to vulnerable poor households.

View online/download
External Link

Infrastructure for the participation of smallholders in modern value chains

Improving trade in food staples, whether cross-border or domestic, can connect deficit and surplus areas and reduce price volatility. It can also be positive for consumers and producers, in particular smallholders, and can drive inclusive poverty reduction and increased food security. The literature examining causes of differential abilities to capture food staples market integration in Africa reflects the high level of trade costs both within and between countries on the continent.

View online/download
External Link

What works in improving the living conditions of slum dwellers: a review of the evidence across four programmes

About 1 billion people currently live in slum settlements – almost a third of the world’s urban population – and this could increase to 3 billion by 2050 (UN DESA, 2013). It is, therefore, timely to review the evidence on what works in improving the living conditions in slum settlements. Our focus is on physical living conditions: that is, access to land, housing and utilities, as these are among the most salient challenges facing the urban poor. They are also core elements of UN-Habitat’s definition of a slum household. In particular, we review the evidence of four different slum-upgrading programmes regarded in the literature as good practice: Rio de Janeiro’s Favela Bairro, the Programa Integral de Mejoramiento de Barrios Subnormales (Integrated Programme for Improvement of Slum Settlements – PRIMED) in Medellín, Colombia, Thailand’s Baan Mankong programme and a community toilets initiative in Mumbai, India. We conclude by highlighting the future challenges that governments will need to address to deal with urbanisation and the implementation of the SDG target on access to housing and slum upgrading. Ultimately, we hope this paper is a useful resource for policy-makers and donors grappling with the challenges posed by urbanisation and contributes to the wider SDG debate, particularly on how to meet target 11.1, as well as Habitat III conversations on a new urban agenda.

View online/download
External Link

Urbanisation, land and property rights

Around one in seven of the world’s population lives in poor quality, usually overcrowded, housing in urban areas. Most of these areas lack provision for safe, sufficient water, sanitation and other needs, and include large numbers of urban dwellers who are malnourished and suffer preventable premature death and disease. However, a significant number of these are not defined as being poor according to standard poverty line measurements. Land can play an important role in providing conditions for maximising the potential for a beneficial process of urbanisation and minimising the negative impacts on the poor and vulnerable. This study aims to analyse the interactions between the process of urbanisation and land tenure arrangements, land governance and tenure security in peri-urban areas, particularly in smaller urban centres, looking particularly at recent experience in Ghana and Tanzania.

View online/download
External Link

How communications can change social norms around adolescent girls

Poised at the intersection between childhood and adulthood, adolescent girls face unique challenges to the full development and exercise of their capabilities. Child marriage and under-investment in girls’ education are two such challenges that continue to limit girls’ trajectories, fuelled in part by discriminatory social norms that uphold these practices within local settings that are often circumscribed by poverty and lack of opportunity. A multi-year, multi-country study has been exploring the complex ways in which adolescent girls’ capabilities are shaped and/or constrained by gender-discriminatory social norms, attitudes and practices, and under what conditions positive changes may be brought about, particularly around norms and practices related to child marriage and education. Evidence from this report showed that communications programmes could be an effective way of challenging gender-discriminatory attitudes and practices, reaching a variety of stakeholders with both broad pro-gender equality messages and messages on specific discriminatory norms. While no one approach was found to be more effective than others, programmes with more than one communications component and those integrated with activities other than communications were found to achieve a higher proportion of positive outcomes.

View online/download
External Link


Suggest a publication

Feel free to submit a publication.

Submit here