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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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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.

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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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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.

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Women and power: overcoming barriers to leadership and influence

Around the world, women now have more decision-making power and influence over social, political and economic life, than ever before. However, progress is uneven both across and within countries. While increasing the numbers of women in political positions is important, it does not automatically follow that they have real authority or decision-making autonomy. This policy paper synthesises findings from two years of research on women’s voice and leadership in decision-making in developing countries – including evidence reviews and five empirical case studies on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Gaza, Kenya and Malawi. It sets out to understand the factors that help and hinder women’s access to and substantive influence in decision-making processes in politics and society, and whether women’s leadership advances gender equality and the well-being of women more broadly.

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Extending social insurance to informal workers: a gender analysis

Informal workers face high levels of risks yet the majority are not covered by social insurance. Meanwhile, women informal workers face specific and heightened risks, yet more women than men are excluded from insurance schemes. Increasingly a number of countries are extending social insurance to informal workers, but, with only some exceptions, most policies remain gender-blind or gender-neutral. Gender-responsive reforms can ensure increased coverage of women, including of female informal workers, to address the risks they face. These include: (i) legislation in the labour market; (ii) recognition of the care economy; (iii) innovative policy design in payment options and simplified administrative processes; and (iv) investment in gender-sensitive delivery capacity.

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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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Child poverty, inequality and demography: Why sub-Saharan Africa matters for the Sustainable Development Goals

In this publication we examine the implications of demographic trends in Africa for the changing age profile of world poverty – and for the region's development prospects. Investing in opportunities for Africa’s children could yield major returns for economic growth and human development. Education is critical. Delivering decent quality learning for all is a proven catalyst for development. We also highlight the expansion of reproductive health care, promotion of gender equity, measures to reduce early marriage, and cash transfers targeting child poverty as critical ingredients for change. African governments and the wider international community could be doing far more in these areas. With the right mix of policies in place, Africa could accelerate the pace of demographic transition – and reap a dividend from a rising generation of youth. There are valuable lessons to be drawn from other regions and some countries in Africa itself. But governments need to wake up to the demographic opportunity as a matter of urgency.

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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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Ghana's construction sector and youth employment

Ghana’s construction sector is a growth industry with potential to address youth unemployment. This paper identifies opportunities for young people to access jobs within the sector, as well as barriers preventing their participation. Low-cost housing is found to be the most promising sub-sector for young people to access employment. However, this requires government land and finance policies that create demand for and supply of affordable housing. Bottlenecks faced by young people in accessing jobs in construction include the quality of training, problems accessing land, and corruption and payment delays on government contracts. For young women, the fact that construction is considered ‘man’s work’ is a considerable additional barrier.

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Women on the move: migration, gender equality and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This brief presents an overview and analysis of the opportunities, risks and vulnerabilities for women migrants and refugees. It describes the realities of women migrating around the world, specifically the experiences of both high-skilled and low-skilled migrant workers employed in a range of ‘care’ professions, from domestic workers to nurses and doctors.

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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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Women's economic empowerment: navigating enablers and constraints

New analysis of Gallup World Poll data reveals that in 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa surveyed in 2009, on average, about 90% of women and men reported that having a good quality job is ‘essential’ or ‘very important’ to them – yet only one in seven women (14%) in these countries was engaged in formal full-time employment compared with one in three men (33%). This report details how gender equality, poverty eradication and human development require increased investment in women’s economic empowerment. The report also brings together new and existing evidence to propose a set of core building blocks for the complex process of women's economic empowerment. No single intervention or actor can address all of its aspects, but we identify 10 key factors that can enable or constrain women’s economic empowerment, and make recommendations for policy and practice for each:

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Sustainable cities: internal migration, jobs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This briefing presents an overview of how rural to urban migration (internal migration) impacts on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goals 8 and 11. Despite the positive impact that internal migration can have on urban migrants, their families, and their 'host' city, urban migrants are often neglected in government policies. This briefing therefore presents a number of policy recommendations which aim to capture this potential and contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

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A good gig? The rise of on-demand domestic work

Women make up 80% of the 67 million domestic workers globally, increasing numbers of whom are now turning to the rapidly-growing on-demand economy for domestic work in developing countries. The potential risks and benefits attached to this burgeoning form of work may therefore affect women disproportionately. On-demand work is not automatically empowering, and can shift risk from employers onto domestic workers themselves. This report proposes that urgent action be taken to ensure that the 'Uberisation' of domestic work evolves to the benefit of all. The infancy of the on-demand domestic work economy in developing countries means it is not too late to raise standards. This will involve proactive efforts by companies to 'design-in' good practice, as well as by government to ensure an integrated future policy, legal, practice and research agenda.

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Closing the education gender gap: estimating the impact of girls’ scholarship program in The Gambia

This paper estimates the enrolment impact of a nation-wide scholarship program for female secondary students in The Gambia implemented to reduce gender disparity in education. In the regions where the scholarship program was implemented, all girls attending public middle and high schools were exempted from paying school fees, which used to be mandatory. The gradual implementation of the project provided a unique opportunity to rigorously assess the enrolment impact of the scholarship program. We use two nationally representative household surveys carried out in 1998 and 2002/03. By 2002/03, about half of the districts in the country had benefited from the project. We found that the program increased enrolment for middle and high school female students by 9 percentage points, and increased the years of schooling attained by 0.3 to 0.4. The program had no significant impact on enrolment or years of schooling attained for male students at any level.

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Promoting North African women’s employment through SMEs

This analysis points to a host of significant challenges facing women to become SME owners in the region. These include women’s multiple burden, legal and cultural barriers, lack of access to training and business related support, limited access to property and credit, absence of effective social networks, and problems associated to economic infrastructure. There is a need for a supportive ecosystem for female-owned SMEs. Two pillars of such a system are: a) Good governance and infrastructure, which are essential for economic growth, but also have particularly positive effects on women’s entrepreneurship; and b) Energizing and establishing communication and coordination among various governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in order to create a synergy between the three and to ensure coherence in their policies and programs.

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Child labour and schooling in South Sudan and Sudan: is there a gender preference?

Based on the 2009 household surveys conducted in Sudan and South Sudan, the objective of this article is to analyse gender inequality for the young population aged 10 to 14 who should be at school. Although education is free in both countries, children’s enrolment at school is low especially for girls, many of them stay home performing domestic chores or have an economic activity particularly in rural areas. The bivariate probit model highlights the key role of the household head’s education, gender and poverty status in determining children’s schooling. Drawn on Pal (2004) who extended the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, we confirm that children’s activity in Sudan and South Sudan is strongly determined by the fact of being a girl or a boy. The article also provides some policy recommendations to address the issues of low school attendance and high gender inequality.

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Climate change, gender and development in Africa

This article focuses on policy to support adaptation to climate change, and the importance of good gender analysis in planning and following through. It first examines how vulnerabilities are understood by climate change specialists. Then it examines how, through these perspectives, African people – particularly women in environment-based livelihoods – can best be supported by governments and development partners to adapt to the effects of climate change.

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Analysis of gender and youth employment in Rwanda

During the past decade, Rwanda has been among the fastest-growing economies in the world. Between 2000/01 and 2010/11, the economy grew at nearly 8% per year, while income poverty declined from 59% to 45%. Although employment rates have remained relatively stable, there has been a substantial shift from self-employment to wage and unpaid employment. This study focuses on labour outcomes of women and youth—the former have moved into low-quality employment, while the latter have high rates of underemployment. Labor market outcomes are examined through geographic analysis and a study of factors affecting employment at the individual level. The study concludes by setting out a set of policy implications.

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