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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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Maldives: overcoming the challenges of a small island state

The Maldives’ relatively strong economic growth has brought about a dramatic reduction in poverty and improvement in the welfare of the Maldivian people. However, the growth, which is primarily driven by the tourism sector, has been highly cyclical and vulnerable to external shocks, and unable to create adequate jobs for the growing young population. Moving forward, the Maldives needs to shift to a more broad-based, sustainable, and inclusive growth strategy given its resource endowments and small population. Transport infrastructure is critical, and improved transport will help address the country’s connectivity issue and reduce the cost of doing business. An educated and skilled workforce can improve productivity and help find additional economic niche markets for the country. As with all countries, the government must remain aware of the importance of maintaining fiscal stability and an adequately functioning system of financial intermediation to enable and support both public and private investments needed in the growth process. This report provides support to the Maldivian government in formulating its high-priority policies by identifying the critical constraints to achieving inclusive growth. The report also provides policy recommendations aimed at helping the government to overcome the constraints to achieving a process of growth that is both sustained and inclusive.

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Fiji: building inclusive institutions for sustained growth

Fiji’s economy has made a turnaround since 2010 under a government strongly committed to reform. That period saw Fiji experiencing one of the few episodes of sustained growth in its post-independence economic history, averaging 3.3% annually or nearly four times the average growth during 2000–2009. Its successful national elections and return to democracy in 2014 boosted investor sentiment. A key challenge for Fiji now is to create an environment conducive to greater private sector activity so it can sustain its growth momentum and make its growth more inclusive. This study, using an inclusive growth framework, has identified the critical constraints that Fiji needs to address to strengthen investor sentiment even further and achieve inclusive growth.

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Tajikistan: promoting export diversification and growth

Building on robust economic growth since the end of a civil war in 1997, Tajikistan has transformed itself into a service economy driven by consumer spending fueled by strong remittance inflow. Yet the transfer of resources to high value-added sectors has been restrained, and structural change has generated few new jobs. Without sufficient employment opportunities in the services and industrial sectors, agriculture became the fallback for most of the labor force. To continue its economic growth, Tajikistan requires new drivers from a diversified industry sector and a modernized economy through structural transformation and export diversification.

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Bangladesh: consolidating export-led growth - country diagnostic study

Bangladesh has transformed its economy over the last 2 decades, graduating to middle-income status as average annual growth remained strong at 5%–6%. The country’s goal to become an upper-middle-income country by 2021 will require even stronger annual growth of 7.5%–8%. The study finds that the most critical constraints to growth are (i) insufficient reliable energy supply, (ii) policies that indirectly stunt development of economic activities unrelated to ready-made garment exports, and (iii) insufficient security about property and land rights due in part to inadequate registry systems. If policies are designed to urgently tackle these constraints, Bangladesh will be free to harness its potential for inclusive and sustainable growth.

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An Asian poverty line? Issues and options

Given Asia’s record of rapid economic growth and the conceptual and empirical problems of the current international income poverty line (“dollar-a-day”), this paper discusses whether there is merit to develop an Asia-specific poverty line that addresses some of the shortcomings of the dollar-a-day line and additionally considers Asia’s particular economic situation. We consider various ways of creating an Asia-specific poverty line, including an Asia-specific international income poverty line (using purchasing-power parity [PPP] adjusted dollars) that is derived from Asian national poverty lines. We argue that there can be some merit in developing an Asian poverty line and that, in the case of income poverty, it would be best to ground such an Asia-specific poverty line in a consistent method of generating national poverty lines using national currencies rather than generating a PPP-adjusted poverty line in international dollars that is specific for Asia. It is important that such a poverty line also considers relative poverty in its assessment to reflect the rising aspirations of Asian societies, in line with suggestions made by Chen and Ravallion (2013) on weakly relative poverty lines. In terms of multidimensional poverty lines, there is also some merit in developing an Asia-specific multidimensional poverty index that takes into account the specific living conditions of Asian societies.

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Financial inclusion, financial regulation, and education in Bangladesh

Like in many other countries, inclusive finance for inclusive growth has become a policy issue in Bangladesh following the global financial crisis in 2008. Over the past 10 years, intensity of financial deepening and access to financial services has increased. Both banks and microfinance institutions have contributed to higher intensity. A recent study shows that around 40% of the adult population and 75% of households have access to financial services in Bangladesh. Several factors may have contributed. Proactive regulatory policies and expanded financial literacy are the major determinants. In this paper, regulatory policies have been evaluated and the effect of financial literacy on financial inclusion has been examined empirically. Our analysis suggests that the regulatory agencies in Bangladesh have formulated policies for promoting financial inclusion and creating investment opportunities for micro and small firms in particular. Our empirical evidence, based on household-level data, shows that the intensity of financial literacy in Bangladesh is moderate, and it has a positive impact on inclusive finance. These findings warrant more emphasis on increasing financial literacy for access to finance and informed investment decisions.

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Poverty and nutrition: a case study of rural households in Thailand and Viet Nam

We analyze the link between nutrition and poverty in two Asian countries where monetary-based poverty reduction was especially successful. Thailand and Viet Nam are two emerging market economies where poverty rates are now below 10% and are declining further. Despite this success, it is not clear to what extent it has translated into similar improvements in the nutritional situation of the people, and especially of children. We find that undernutrition continues to be a problem in Viet Nam with child underweight rates of 27% and therefore higher than headcount rates of the $1.25 poverty line. Also, Thailand, after the economic crisis, with 19% of children underweight, is still above the World Health Organization’s threshold. We investigate the factors that influence nutrition outcomes, measured as Z-scores of the weight-for-age indicator, by using Tobit regressions for four different groups of children, based on income (poor vs. non-poor) and nutrition (underweight vs. non-underweight). We find that poverty and income influence nutrition outcomes, but other factors such as mother’s height, education, migration and sanitation also affect nutrition. Coefficients of respective variables differ by poverty status. Our conclusion that non-monetary factors matter to reduce undernutrition, and, therefore, monetary poverty reduction is not a sufficient condition, is further underlined by a prediction of future undernutrition rates based on regressions. Also, we find that, even under the assumption of high growth, income growth alone will not be able to reduce undernutrition to a level of low severity until the year 2030.

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The development economics of landlockedness

The purpose of this study was to analyse the impact of landlockedness on the development prospects of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). In particular the study assesses the impact of landlockedness on the overall development performance of LLDCs on a large number of economic, institutional, and social indicators; empirically estimates the development cost of being landlocked using an econometric approach; and based on the findings, proposes recommendations that can provide a more holistic strategy to the development of LLDCs. The distinctive feature of the econometric approach used is that it does not limit landlockedness to affect income (or economic growth) through its effect on trade. The logic underlying the modelling approach is that landlockedness can affect both economic and non-economic dimensions of development and that these development effects can be transmitted through several channels that include international trade and quality of institutions.

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State of the Least Developed Countries 2016

The current report builds on the first and second editions, which considered the issues of productive capacity building as well as extreme poverty eradication in the least developed countries (LDCs) and the post-2015 development agenda. These reports provided analysis relating to the inclusion of LDC issues in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This year’s report is dedicated to the implementation of the SDGs in LDCs using synergies with the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA). Part 1 of the report assesses progress towards achieving the goals and targets of the IPoA, particularly in the eight priority areas; reviews efforts towards this end; and identifies challenges ahead. The report argues that enhanced, coordinated and targeted support to the LDCs fulfilling ODA commitments but also going beyond, will remain critical to effectively implementing the IPoA. Part 2 of the report assesses the complementarities of the IPoA and the 2030 Agenda. It maps the goals, targets and actions of the IPoA with the SDGs, focusing on means of implementation. Furthermore it looks at how the implementation of the SDGs in LDCs can be fostered, including its mainstreaming and monitoring and followup. The conclusions and policy recommendations cover the findings in both parts of the report. As the report finds significant synergies between the IPoA and the Agenda 2030 it highlights the importance of leadership and political will and effective global partnership.

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Pro-poor value chain development

The aim of this practioner's guide is to assist programme designers and project managers working for governments, development agencies and the private sector alike, in designing and implementing projects for the development of agricultural and agro-industrial value chains. It addresses two challenges in particular: a. Making transformation and value addition processes integral to value chain development, in addition to primary agricultural production and marketing; and b. Overcoming difficulties of designing value chain development initiatives that focus on social benefits, especially poverty reduction and gender equity.

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: achieving the industry-related goals and targets

UNIDO’s vision to address today’s economic, social and environmental challenges is enshrined in the Lima Declaration, which was adopted by UNIDO Member States in December 2013. On this basis, the Organization pursues Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) to harness industry’s full potential to contribute to lasting prosperity for all. The mandate is based on the recognition by Member States that poverty eradication “can only be achieved through strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic and industrial growth, and the effective integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.” The present document summarizes the contribution of UNIDO’s mandate as well as current and planned future activities vis-à-vis the SDGs, with a special focus on SDG-9, which highlights and affirms the critical importance of ISID and its contribution to all 17 goals.

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World Economic and Social Survey (WESS) 2016: Climate Change Resilience

Evidence is increasing that climate change is taking the largest toll on poor and vulnerable people, and these impacts are largely caused by inequalities that increase the risks from climate hazards. This survey found that governments can play a significant role in reducing the risks of climate change to vulnerable populations. Through transformative policies, the report shows that governments could address the root causes of inequalities and build climate change resilience. While there is considerable anecdotal evidence that the poor and the vulnerable suffer greater harm from climate-related disasters, the report determined that much of the harm is not by accident, but that it is due to the failure of governments to close the development gaps that leave large population groups at risk. The report argues that while climate adaptation and resilience are overshadowed by mitigation in climate discussions, they are vital for addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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Leaving no one behind: report on the World Social Situation 2016

Despite unprecedented social progress around the world, many people continue to face social exclusion and limited access to social, economic and political opportunities. This report examines the social, economic and political disadvantages that some groups of the population face, namely youth, older persons, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and persons with disabilities. It also makes policy recommendations to help governments overcome development hurdles and address barriers that limit people’s access to opportunities.

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The Palestinian economy in East Jerusalem: enduring annexation, isolation and disintegration

International organizations and Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations have published reports and studies in recent years on East Jerusalem focused mainly on political and social conditions. But few have examined its economy, which is generally considered to follow the overall trend of the West Bank economy and is represented statistically as part of it. Be that as it may, East Jerusalem’s economy, like other features of its society, culture and landscape, is also shaped by factors unique to its particular experience in the face of Israeli occupation and settlement. This report aims to explore these hitherto neglected issues within the context of the secretariat’s continuing assessment of the economic development prospects of the occupied Palestinian territory and obstacles to trade and development, and with a view to alleviating the adverse economic and social conditions imposed on the Palestinian people, as called for by the Doha Mandate.

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The fisheries sector in the Gambia: trade, value addition and social inclusiveness, with a focus on women

This analytical report - part of UNCTAD’s activities on trade, gender and development - is intended to accompany the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Update for 'The Gambia: Harnessing Trade for Growth and Employment', carried out under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) for trade-related assistance for Least Developed Countries. It sets out a detailed analysis of the fisheries sector and its prospects for value-addition and social inclusiveness, with a focus on women. The intention is to capture all the information generated through the DTIS Update process, and disseminate this knowledge to a broader audience.

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Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Angola? A gender perspective

The study seeks to explore the impacts of Angola's integration into the world economy mainly as an oil exporter, and in particular, to analyse whether there is a gender bias in the effects of trade. The findings suggest that the extractive nature of Angola's economy has significantly constrained its diversification potential, and has limited the development of productive activities that could absorb the female workforce and provide women with decent incomes. Moreover, a defining characteristic of the Angolan labour market is the size of the informal sector, which is proportionately one of the largest in the developing world. This sector provides the main occupation for 70 per cent of the female population in the country. This UNCTAD study takes a close look at the role of women in Angola's economy and society as it attempts to answer the following questions: What strategies could be put in place to address the potential exclusionary effects of Angola's trade liberalization? How can women take advantage of the positive spillovers from Angola's extractive economy and ultimately benefit from trade? What kind of sectoral policies can be promoted in order to generate new opportunities for women and have them benefit more from the booming economy?

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Pan-African cotton road map: a continental strategy to strengthen regional cotton value chains for poverty reduction and food security

The objective of this road map is to create synergies between the numerous interventions in favour of African cotton, and between the different categories of stakeholders at national, regional and international level. As such, it aims to become a complement to what already is in place in the regions by providing a common framework at the Pan-African level that addresses the existing strategies and national and regional policies from a Pan-African perspective. The road map is organized as follows: Part I succinctly describes the background to the Road Map, its link to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and the translation of these into actions to be conducted; Part II enunciates the Road Map’s various activities based on the outcome of the Cotonou meeting around the three themes: Productivity, Marketing and Value-addition. This part also introduces other proposals, facilitation of the Road Map, its Action Plan and indicators of progress.

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Science, technology and innovation for sustainable urbanization

This report aims to contribute to the sustainable urbanization discourse by addressing the specific role of science, technology and innovation. It is based on literature review and an analysis of cities in developed and developing countries that provide examples that can be reapplied elsewhere. The report provides a fresh perspective on the discussion on sustainable urbanization, drawing on current research and case studies from around the world. The report identifies key sectoral planning challenges posed by rapid urbanization, particularly in developing countries, and proposes practical guidelines to city planners and other decision makers for addressing these challenges through the use of science, technology and innovation.

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Enhancing linkages between tourism and the sustainable agriculture sectors in the United Republic of Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania has vast untapped natural resources, including an abundance of wildlife, unexploited mineral reserves and arable land, which offer a wide range of development opportunities. Tourism and agriculture are important contributors to the development of the local economy. The main objective of this report is to enhance the understanding of linkages between these two sectors, as well as propose suggestions for how they could be strengthened with the aim of promoting bottom-up sustainable development in the United Republic of Tanzania. In order to promote sustainable development, this report proposes a set of potential thematic strategies that can be used as stepping-stones for building an institutional framework able to link the tourism and agriculture sectors at multiple levels – country, regional, local and community.

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