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

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

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Investing in gender equality for Africa's transformation

It is widely recognised that gender equality is both a development goal in itself and a precondition for the achievement of other development outcomes; it is both a matter of human rights and a matter of development or “smart economics”. Gender equality can enhance economic growth and improve other development outcomes. The African Development Bank Group’s Strategy 2013–2022 recognises the need to reduce gender inequalities by “strengthening women’s legal and property rights, promoting women’s economic empowerment, and enhancing knowledge management and capacity building” on gender equality. These priority areas, defined and agreed in broad consultations with African countries, form the pillars of this strategy document. The focus of this strategy is twofold. First, it seeks to strengthen gender main-streaming in all of the Bank’s country and regional operations and strategies. Second, it addresses the Bank’s own internal transformation to make it a more supportive, gender-responsive institution that values its female and male staff equally, protects them from discrimination and all forms of harassment and violence, and ensures a safe and preferred work environment that attracts the best professionals.

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Assessing progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals

This report, produced jointly by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), assesses the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. Africa has seen an acceleration in economic growth, established ambitious social safety nets and designed policies for boosting education and tackling HIV and other diseases. It has also introduced women’s quotas in parliament, leading the way internationally on gender equality, and increased gender parity in primary schools. Although overall poverty rates are still hovering around 48 percent, according to the most recent estimates, most countries have made progress on at least one goal. Much more work lies ahead to ensure living standards improve for all African women and men. While economic growth has been relatively strong, it has not been rapid or inclusive enough to create jobs. Similarly, many countries have managed to achieve access to primary schooling; however, considerable issues of quality and equity need to be addressed.

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African human development report 2016

Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardising the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016. The report analyses the political, economic and social drivers that hamper African women’s advancement and proposes policies and concrete actions to close the gender gap. These include addressing the contradiction between legal provisions and practice in gender laws; breaking down harmful social norms and transforming discriminatory institutional settings; and securing women’s economic, social and political participation. Deeply-rooted structural obstacles such as unequal distribution of resources, power and wealth, combined with social institutions and norms that sustain inequality are holding African women, and the rest of the continent, back. The report estimates that a 1 percent increase in gender inequality reduces a country’s human development index by 0.75 percent.

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A compendium of case studies on gender mainstreaming initiatives in UN-Habitat 2008-2012

Whilst we recognize that much work has been done in the main-streaming of gender equality in human settlement, UN-Habitat acknowledges that much more is required. This compendium of case studies is designed to bring into one document some of the gender main-streaming initiatives UN-Habitat implemented from 2008 to 2012. The case studies provide the most comprehensive examples of the field implementation of the UN-Habitat Gender Equality Action Plan of 2008 to 2013. The projects and programmes compendium brings recognition to UN-Habitat’s efforts to advance the internationally agreed agenda for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. The compendium serves as a good start towards capturing the successful efforts under way to advance the agenda on equality and empowerment of women. In addition, the compendium serves as a learning and resource tool to UN-Habitat and its partners

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Gender issue guide: gender-responsive urban basic services

This issue guide focuses attention on urban basic services in order to illuminate the effects of gender on equality of access and inclusion in the areas of urban energy, urban transport and water and sanitation. This issue guide further seeks to broadly outline the where and how of gender responsive interventions in order to strengthen planned and future actions that can go a long way to reduce poverty and overcome obstacles to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Gender issue guide: gender-responsive urban research and capacity development

Women, men, girls and boys are differentially affected by the conditions of urbanization. For instance, women are invariably disadvantaged compared to men in cities in terms of equal access to employment and shelter, health and education, transport, asset ownership, experiences of urban violence and ability to exercise their rights. These disadvantages are especially marked for poor urban women. These gendered dimensions of cities require continual examination if inequalities are to be understood and addressed for equitable and sustainable development. This guide can potentially help enhance understanding of this human-urban environment interface from gender perspectives.

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Gender issue guide: gender-responsive urban economy

Urbanisation has created gender and class-differentiated impacts. UN-Habitat seeks to support city, regional and national authorities to implement improved urban planning policies and strategies that will promote inclusive and equitable economic development; enhance municipal finances; and support the creation of decent jobs and livelihoods, particularly for youth and women.

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Gender issue guide: housing and slum upgrading

Access to adequate housing is a fundamental human right and is enshrined in numerous international agreements and conventions. Yet millions of women and men continue to live in towns and cities without security of tenure and with inadequate housing and related services. This guide’s objectives are: to increase understanding of gender concerns and needs in housing and slum upgrading; To develop capacity to address gender issues in this area; to encourage the integration of a gender perspective into policies, projects, and programmes for sustainable urban development; to support the institutionalization of the culture of gender main-streaming and gender equality, the implementation of gender-sensitive projects and programmes, and the monitoring of gender-main-streaming progress.

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

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

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Gender issue guide: urban planning and design

While many cities are hubs of economic growth, employment, and cultural life, urbanization has resulted in pronounced socio-economic inequalities, exclusion, and segregation. The objective of this gender issue guide on urban planning and design is to: 1) Increase understanding of gender concerns and needs in urban planning and design; 2) Develop capacity to address gender issues in select human settlement areas; 3) Encourage integration of gender perspectives into policies, projects, and programmes for sustainable urban development ; 4) Support institutionalization of the culture of gender mainstreaming and gender equality through the implementation of gender-sensitive projects/programmes and the monitoring of gender mainstreaming progress

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Planning and design for sustainable urban mobility: global report on human settlements 2013

Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility argues that the development of sustainable urban transport systems requires a conceptual leap. The purpose ‘transportation’ and ‘mobility’ is to gain access to destinations, activities, services and goods. Thus access is the ultimate objective of transportation. As a result, urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together, by creating cities that focus on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length of urban transport infrastructure or increasing the movement of people or gods. Urban form and the functionality of the city are therefore a major focus of this report, which highlights the importance of integrated land-use and transport planning.

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UN-Habitat gender journey

In 2012, UN-Habitat established the Advisory Group on gender issues (AGGI) as an independent body to advise the Executive Director on all issues related to gender issues in the agency’s work. One of the first requests of AGGI members was for a document in informing the organisation’s current gender work. This gender history is commissioned by UN-Habitat in response to AGGI’s request. Many past and present staff members and partners of UN-Habitat have contributed through availing documents, giving interviews, writing text and making comments. The document concludes by highlighting some observations and lessons learned.

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21 projects compendium: implementing the new urban agenda

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

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State of the world’s cities 2010/2011. Cities for all: bridging the urban divide

The world’s urban population now exceeds the world’s rural population. What does this mean for the state of our cities, given the strain this global demographic shift is placing upon current urban infrastructure? Following on from previous State of the World’s Cities reports, this edition uses the framework of ‘The Urban Divide’ to analyse the complex social, political, economic and cultural dynamics of urban environments. The book focuses on the concept of the ‘right to the city’ and ways in which many urban dwellers are excluded from the advantages of city life, using the framework to explore links among poverty, inequality, slum formation and economic growth. The volume will be essential reading for all professionals and policymakers in the field, and a valuable resource for researchers and students in all aspects of urban development.

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Cities and climate change: global report on human settlements 2011

Cities and Climate Change reviews the linkages between urbanization and climate change, two of the greatest challenges currently facing humanity in the 21st Century, and whose effects are converging in dangerous ways. It illustrates the significant contribution of urban areas to climate change while at the same time highlighting the potentially devastating effects of climate change on urban populations. It reviews policy responses, strategies and practices that are emerging in urban areas to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as their potential achievements and constraints. In conclusion, the report argues that urban areas have a pivotal role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation and identifies strategies and approaches for strengthening this role.

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Trafficking in humans, especially women and children, in Africa

Trafficking of human beings affects every country in Africa for which data are available, either as countries of origin or destination. The report looks at information from 53 African countries and provides an analysis of the patterns, root causes, and existing national and regional policy responses and effective practices. Trafficking occurs when a child's protective environment collapses as a result of conflict, economic hardship, or discrimination. Traditional attitudes and practices, early marriage, and lack of birth registration further increase the vulnerability of children and women to exploitation.

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Birth registration and armed conflict

The research theme was identified within the framework of the European Network for the Research Agenda on Children in Armed Conflict and has been developed by UNICEF IRC with the co-operation of a number of Network partners and UNICEF offices in the field. It reviews the problem of non-registration in conflict-affected countries while drawing on case studies to analyze successful or promising initiatives to ensure registration. The ultimate goal is to assist practitioners in the field in conflict and post-conflict environments to promote emerging encouraging practices in ensuring the right of the child to birth registration and thereby to the enjoyment of many rights.

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Changing a harmful social convention: female genital mutilation/cutting

Every year, three million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation/cutting, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure that causes unspeakable pain and suffering. Not only is it practiced among communities in Africa and the Middle East, but also in immigrant communities throughout the world. Moreover, recent data reveal that it occurs on a much larger scale than previously thought. It continues to be one of the most persistent, pervasive and silently endured human rights violations. This Innocenti Digest examines the prevalence of FGM/C and its social dynamics. It provides an explanation as to why the practice persists and of the elements necessary for its abandonment. It also takes stock of progress to date, identifies what works and what does not, and provides direction regarding the most successful strategies to promote the abandonment of FGM/C. Combining concrete field experience with tested academic theory, the Digest provides a practical tool to bring about positive change for girls and women.

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Climate change and children: a human security challenge

The study reviews the implications of climate change for children and future generations, drawing on relevant experiences in different sectors and countries of promoting child rights and well-being. It traces in considerable detail the pathways through which shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns create serious additional barriers to the achievement of the child survival, development and protection goals embraced by the international community. The role of children as vital participants and agents of change emerges as a key theme.

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Intersectional discrimination against children

This paper adds a perspective to existing research on child protection by engaging in a debate on intersectional discrimination and its relationship to child protection. The paper has a two-fold objective: (1) to further establish intersectionality as a concept to address discrimination against children; and (2) to illustrate the importance of addressing intersectionality within rights-based programmes of child protection.

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Sexual abuse and exploitation of boys in South Asia: a review of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses

This paper provides an overview of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses to prevent and respond to the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys in South Asia. The background to the paper is based on the findings from previous UNICEF IRC research on child trafficking in the region, which indicated that boys enjoy less legal protection than girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and less access to services for victims. While it is seen that the majority of legislation and policies that address ‘children’ adequately address ‘boys’, this paper notes areas in which the rights and needs of boys require greater focus. Among the concerns is the absence of legal commentary on legislation regarding boys’ issues and an absence of advocacy efforts to take action and amend laws to provide equal protection to boys. In some cases legislation covers only girls and women. And, although research shows that boys face almost the same degree of sexual abuse and exploitation as girls, programming throughout the region is overwhelmingly directed at girls and women.

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The dynamics of social change: towards the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting in five African countries

This UNICEF-Innocenti Insight examines the social dynamics of the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in five countries - Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and the Sudan - and seeks to inform policies and programmes aimed at ending the practice. The experiences from the five countries documented in this Innocenti Insight provide evidence that the abandonment of FGM/C is possible when programmes and policies address the complex social dynamics associated with the practice and challenge established gender relationships and existing assumptions and stereotypes. This publication concludes with reflections on the remaining challenges of FGM/C abandonment and offers recommendations for future research and programme interventions.

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Best of UNICEF research 2014

Each year the Office of Research-Innocenti reviews submissions for the best research being published across all UNICEF offices: country programmes, National Committees, Regional Offices and headquarters divisions. The purpose of this activity is to showcase and recognize high-quality, high-impact research being done in the organization. At the end of the process each year the Office of Research-Innocenti issues a publication containing summaries of the papers considered to be of particular merit. In 2014, the summaries cover issues concerning child protection, cash transfers, ECD, maternal health, inclusive education, and WASH.

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Best of UNICEF research 2016

The Best of UNICEF competition identifies a number of studies that are assessed to be of particular merit on a number of criteria: in terms of the relevance and interest of the topic and findings; the rigour of their methodology; and the potential for impact, including lessons that could inform programmes elsewhere, or the capacity for replication or scaling up. Issues covered include health, education, WASH, child protection and social inclusion. There was also a strong emphasis on qualitative and mixed methods research, demonstrating the value of rigorous qualitative studies. A number of studies selected as of special merit in 2016 involved research directly with children and there is an increasing recognition that children’s perspectives are of primary importance. There was also a welcome attention to gender in some of the studies, including research with both adolescent boys and girls.

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