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The cost of agricultural productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda

Women form a large proportion of the agricultural labour force in Sub-Saharan Africa and thus play a vital role in ensuring family nutrition and food security. In Eastern and Southern Africa, agriculture continues to be a key engine for local and regional economies, represents a critical source of income and ensures food security and nutrition. However, as has been widely documented, gender-based inequalities in access to and control of productive and financial resources inhibit agricultural productivity and reduce food security. A new study measuring the economic costs of the gender gap in agricultural productivity in three African countries provides further evidence that reducing the gender gap plays a significant role in poverty reduction and improved nutritional outcomes. The report provides a unique quantification of the costs in terms of lost growth opportunities and an estimate of what societies, economies, and communities would gain if the gender gap in agriculture is addressed. The findings of this report are striking, and send a strong signal to policy makers in Africa as well as development partners that closing the gender gap is smart economics. Consider this: closing the gender gap in agricultural productivity could potentially lift as many as 238,000 people out of poverty in Malawi, 80,000 people in Tanzania, and 119,000 people in Uganda.

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Acceleration of human development in the Caribbean: a proposal to strengthen evidence-based policy making in CARICOM member states

The UNDG LAC proposes to jointly develop and coordinate an initiative with CARICOM in order to guide, monitor, assist, and develop capacity in evidence based policy making and programme development in the region. The central purpose is to develop and support national capacities in collecting, analyzing, disseminating and using evidence in policymaking and programme development in UN programme countries among CARICOM member states.

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Policy and operational messages to support UN Country Teams in integrating human rights into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

The messages in this document are envisaged to provide a common understanding for the UN system on how human rights can be integrated and should inform the planning and programming process as well as policy guidance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The messages focus on: a) how to align the SDGs with the country’s existing human rights commitments; b) how to fulfill the pledge to ‘leave no one behind’ and ‘reach the furthest behind first’; c) how to ensure active and meaningful participation in the preparation of the national SDG action plans; and, d) how to build robust accountability frameworks in the implementation of these national plans.

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The United Nations in Vietnam: 2008 One Plan annual report

The “One UN Initiative” in Viet Nam and the One Plan are in response to the Ha Noi Core Statement and, as outlined in the Report of the High-Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence, emphasize the need for the UN to move away from traditional service delivery and project implementation towards upstream policy advice. At the heart of the One Plan is the overall goal to enhance programmatic synergies amongst various UN interventions, eliminate any programmatic duplication and overlap, and deliver more effectively “as One”. The purpose of the One Plan Annual Report is to provide the Government of Vietnam and development partners with an account of how the implementation of the One Plan progresses. The report includes concrete examples on how the joint planning and programming process has led to a stronger and more cohesive UN by moving towards upstream policy advice in a number of key cross- cutting areas. The report also provides details on how resources from the One Plan Fund were allocated against the five Outcomes and corresponding Outputs of the One Plan.

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Mid-term review of the UN development assistance framework for Malawi (2008-2011)

In pursuit of economic growth and poverty reduction, the Malawi Government has articulated development goals in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS, 2006-2011), to which the UN’s Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF, 2008-2011) is aligned.The Mid-Term Review provides an opportunity for the UN country team to assess collective performance in respect of ‘delivering as one.’ The review has been carried out as a participatory, self-evaluation exercise focusing on UN programs and processes over the past two years; current MGDS-UNDAF alignment; and expected results for UNDAF implementation 2010/2011.

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One Programme annual report: Delivering as One pilot programme in Tanzania

This report covers the first year of implementation of the One Programme in Tanzania funded by the One UN Fund for Tanzania and Participating UN Agencies. The Joint Programmes approved and implemented during 2008 cover six programmatic areas and two further components have been developed for one office / change management and communication. This report consolidates the annual reports received from the Managing Agents of each of the Joint Programmes and the financial situation of the One Programme and the One Fund. A summary of key achievements and lessons learned from each Joint Programme are included as reported by the Joint Programmes themselves. Key implementation issues and lessons learned are summarized.

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Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: reference guide to UN country teams

This document is designed as a reference guide for UN Country Teams (UNCTs), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators, that wish to support Member States and national stakeholders in adapting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to national contexts (“mainstreaming”) while protecting its integrity. The document covers eight implementation guidance areas that can serve as the basis for UNCT assistance at the national level, sub-national and local levels.

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Country-level needs for SDG implementation in Europe and Central Asia

In view of its interconnectedness, the new agenda of SDGs will require holistic approaches and coherent action by global, regional and country level actors. In order to ensure interlinkages between the regional and country levels, the ECA Regional UNDG Team undertook a consultation with ECA UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Country Teams (UNCT) through a survey to identify needs and requirements at country level with regard to SDG implementation. This document presents the finding of the survey as well as conclusions drawn.

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Delivering together facility for sustainable development

With the growing call for the UN development system to go beyond business-as-usual coordination and rise to the challenge to support implementation of the more ambitious and integrated 2030 Agenda, United Nations Development Operations and Coordination Office (UNDOCO) has reviewed the data and practice evidence, as well as the policy and resource mechanisms at its disposal, and established the Delivering Together Facility for Sustainable Development (DTF), to be operational in 2017. The DTF is set up as a flexible funding mechanism to provide seed funds to RCs and UNCTs, to help them leverage joined-up UN development system’s efforts in support of Member States implementing the 2030 Agenda. This document presents the design features, strategic framework, implementation arrangements and fund management of the DTF, which will become operational in 2017.

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Expanding health-care access in the United States

This paper focuses on the ways in which women in the United States are impacted by the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (usually referred to as ACA or ‘Obamacare’). The ACA’s three main goals of expanding access, increasing consumer protections and reducing costs while increasing quality of services will improve coverage, access to services and types of services that benefit women (and men). However, universal coverage remains illusive due to employer-based insurance coverage that allows firms to make decisions about coverage type. This patchwork universalism is the result of political decisions to extend rather than transform the current health-care system and as such reproduces many of the previously existing problems of uneven costs and coverage. The paper argues the ACA is consistent with other sets of US social welfare and labour market regimes that stratify access to social protections by income, race/ethnicity and gender as well as provide individual states with administrative and policy authority. The paper concludes that the passage of ACA will vastly improve health-care coverage in the United States, however, will continue to leave millions of people uninsured.

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Gender equality and human rights

The achievement of substantive equality is understood as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The paper shows that, although not articulated in this way, these dimensions are clearly visible in the application by the various interpretive bodies of the principles of equality to the enjoyment of treaty rights. At the same time, it shows that there are important ways in which these bodies could go further, both in articulating the goals of substantive equality and in applying them when assessing compliance by States with international obligations of equality. The substantive equality approach, in its four-dimensional form, provides an evaluative tool with which to assess policy in relation to the right to gender equality. The paper elaborates on the four-dimensional approach to equality and how it can be used to evaluate the impact of social and economic policies on women to determine how to make the economy 'work for women' and advance gender equality. The paper suggests that there is a growing consensus at the international level on an understanding of substantive equality that reflects the four dimensional framework.

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Falling through the net? gender and social protection in the Pacific

This paper examines the gender dimensions and implications of social protection in relation to rapid transformations in the globalizing economies in the Pacific region. The paper analyzes the dynamics of gender and social protection in three countries of the region – Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu – and explores how best to approach social protection so as to promote gender equality rather than risk re-inscribing prevailing gender inequalities. The paper emphasizes the need to move beyond bipolar divisions of customary and commodity economies or informal and formal economies to consider the everyday realities of making a living. Women will ‘fall through the net’ if social protection is unduly yoked to the public sphere of the state and the formal commodity economy in which women are marginalised. Women’s own perceptions of their contemporary situation and their agency as both individuals and collectives should be carefully heeded in finding creative solutions for gender equality in social protection for sustainable Pacific futures. The paper concludes by suggestion that efforts to ensure women's social protection in the Pacific need to be alert to the risks that women might 'fall through the net.'

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The gender dimensions of pension systems: Policies and constraints for the protection of older women

This paper documents the pervasiveness of women’s lack of income security in old age across a large number of countries, but also points to a number of important policy measures that can be taken to address gender pension gaps. It focuses on how pension systems interact with other social and labour market conditions over women’s life courses to increase or decrease gender inequalities in old age. It reviews pension systems to pinpoint the key sources of gender inequality in they way they are structured. The paper shows that crucial policy choices for the protection of women must take into account the conditions for entitlements in pension systems, the types of transfers that are promoted between women and men, the policy tools available to offset gender differences in paid work, earnings and unpaid work and the protection of the most vulnerable social groups through redistributive benefits. The paper concludes with some recommendations to make pension systems more gender equitable and suggests that policies aimed at achieving gender equality in pension rights and benefits need to work on several complementary fronts (including measures regarding pension system design, but also labour market regulation and the reconciliation of work and family life) and consider the diversity of women’s situation across social strata as well as across countries.

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Investing in gender-equal sustainable development

This paper develops an agenda for investing in sustainable development, with particular emphasis on local priorities, poverty alleviation and gender equality. Sustainable development can take many different pathways, even within the dominant ‘three-pillar’ paradigm (economy-environment-society) of sustainability. The paper thus argues that any sustainable development pathway must include an explicit commitment to gender equality in both its conceptualization and implementation. It highlights four ‘mundane’ sectors in which investments at scale could be potentially transformative and should therefore be substantially increased: domestic water, safe sanitation, clean(er)-burning cookstoves, and domestic electricity services.

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Millennium Development Goals: 2015 progress chart

This chart presents the final assessment of progress towards selected key targets relating to each MDG. The assessment provides two types of information: progress trends and levels of development, which are based on information available as of June 2015.

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Looking back, leaping forward: moving from MDGs to SDGs in Europe and Central Asia

This report takes stock of the progress achieved in Europe and Central Asia under the MDGs with the aim to chart the elements that are crucial for a successful transition to the SDGs. It draws on the experiences derived from the implementation of the MDGs, but also addresses the new challenges and opportunities for integrated interventions that come with the much more complex 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The report is structured into three parts. First, it takes stock of the progress achieved in the implementation of the MDGs. It aims to identify the main challenges at the beginning of the MDG period, how these were addressed and what has been achieved. The second section places the MDGs in the context of the wider SDG framework by identifying the unfinished agenda under the MDGs and discussing how the areas covered by the MDGs are now reflected in the 2030 Agenda. The final section describes some of the initial steps that governments in the region are taking to implement the 2030 Agenda and the ways in which the regional UN system can support these efforts. It concludes by identifying and assessing a number of risks that may influence SDG achievement and stressing the importance of collaboration for successful implementation.

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Standard operating procedures for countries adopting the 'Delivering as One' approach

Following the implementation of the ‘Delivering as One’ approach in 8 pilot countries, a second generation of “Delivering as One” was called for in 2012 and more than forty countries have formally adopted it. Efforts under 'Delivering as one' have now matured to the point where this set of Standard Operating Procedures is developed. They will enable the United Nations to function more effectively and foster greater collaboration and teamwork. The document is structured according to the core elements of the ‘Delivering As One’ approach: One Programme, Common Budgetary Framework (and One Fund), One Leader, Operating as One and Communicating as One.

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Eight case studies on integrating the United Nations’ normative and operational work

The United Nations System has shown the importance and use of international norms and standards for the UN Country Teams (UNCTs) in identifying and designing intervention strategies in various contexts. While the particular instruments and mechanisms vary from country to country, the common thread is the use of the human rights-based approach (HRBA) in every case study. This report shows how different UN agencies, in widely different situations, have developed and carried out joint programming for the implementation of United Nations norms and standards. Findings, lessons and recommendations drawn from the case studies are presented in this report.

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The Sustainable Development Goals are coming to life: stories of country implementation and UN support

This publication provides a glimpse into the early efforts of 16 countries across regions to bring the global SDGs to life, and the role United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) play in the process. It illustrates how these countries are beginning to integrate the 2030 Agenda into visions, strategies and plans at the national, sub-national and local levels. The country efforts include raising public awareness, seeking engagement of different stakeholders, adapting the SDGs to national and local contexts, increasing coherence across policy areas and between levels of government, assessing risk and strengthening monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

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The Sustainable Development Goals are coming to life: stories of country implementation and UN support

This publication provides a glimpse into the early efforts of 16 countries across regions to bring the global SDGs to life, and the role United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) play in the process. It illustrates how these countries are beginning to integrate the 2030 Agenda into visions, strategies and plans at the national, sub-national and local levels. The country efforts include raising public awareness, seeking engagement of different stakeholders, adapting the SDGs to national and local contexts, increasing coherence across policy areas and between levels of government, assessing risk and strengthening monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

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Value chain analysis of solar water heater industry in China

This study was conducted as part of a larger joint programme that aims to advance efforts to promote clean development through the creation of green jobs. It examines major problems currently besetting solar water heater manufacturers and distributors in Dezhou, China, and offers suggestions for improving the solar water heater value chain.

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Baseline investigation of horticulture value chain in Upper Egypt

The “pro poor Horticulture Chain in Upper Egypt project” was a joint programme between specialized agencies and entities of the United Nations working in collaboration with national counterparts. The overall objective of the project was to enhance the efficiency and productivity of Upper Egypt’s small farmers and agricultural workers, and also to build the capacity of small Farmers’ Associations (FAs). This document is the result of a 2010 baseline investigation of the horticulture value chain in Upper Egypt and provides a better understanding of challenges faced by small farmers and also presents a comprehensive gap assessment of the local Farmers Associations and Post-harvest Centers (PHCs).

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National youth employment programme and pilot implementation in Antalya, Turkey: Antalya province labour market analysis

This analysis focuses on a Turkish province that is a centre of gravity in internal migration. The situation, while presenting opportunities associated with a young and dynamic population composition, is at the same time a challenge for the low education and qualification level of the labour force. This study helped to identify priority sectors which have sustainable economic growth potential. This study also shows that enterprises mostly prefer vocational-technical school graduates as opposed to those who received occupational training. This stresses the importance of truly high quality trainings and the need to solicit the opinions of employers’ representatives from areas concerned.

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Analysis of the U.S. market for organic and fair-trade bananas from the Dominican Republic

The main goal of this report is to identify strategies to facilitate the entry of organic and fair-trade bananas from the Dominican Republic (D.R.) into the U.S. market, as well as the determination of production and marketing strategies that can contribute to increased income for D.R. banana producers. The report begins with an overview of the U.S. banana market, its value chain projections and demand characteristics, followed by a SWOT analysis of the D.R. banana sector as well as a discussion of identity and branding considerations. In the concluding section, short-term and medium-term strategies for enhancing the D.R.'s presence in the U.S. organic banana market are presented.

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Complex global schoks and the new challenges for civil society

Events surrounding the global financial crash of 2008 have crystallised the view that the speed with which economic shocks are transmitted around the world has accelerated and that the shocks are increasingly complex in nature. Drawing on grounded accounts of what it means for people living in poverty to be part of a global economy at this time, this paper sets out four challenges for civil society: the need to a) breach its own boundaries, to address cross-cutting issues at their source; b) amplify the voice of those directly affected; c) influence a fairer policy response at local, national and global levels; and d) fertilise debate, to grow new understandings of how the global economy should work, and for whom.

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