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Innovation and productivity: empirical analysis for North African countries

This article highlights the key determinants of innovation and their impact on the performance of firms in three North African countries (Algeria, Egypt and Morocco) on the basis of World Bank survey data on the investment climate. Initially, our econometric approach consists of estimating the impact of the traditional determinants of innovation by underscoring the critical role played by human capital in technological ownership and absorption. We then estimate the relationship between innovation and productivity taking into account certain characteristics of the investment climate and the quality of infrastructure and public services. The main results suggest that, in North African countries, innovation is far from being the result of R&D and new technology creating activities alone. It also occurs by the adoption and adaptation of technologies created elsewhere through learning and assimilation-related mechanisms requiring more highly qualified human capital and improvement of the investment climate. We have also shown the weakness of the effect of technological externalities generated by export and foreign investment activities on innovation potential. The rigid structure of comparative advantages and the concentration of exports and FDI in activities with limited value addition which are poorly integrated in the local economy generate few upstream-downstream externalities.

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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 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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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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Urban patterns for a green economy: leveraging density

Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide explores the compact city and its benefits within the developed and developing world’s contexts. The guide illustrates how the compact city concept and planned (versus unplanned) urban extension can support sustainable urban patterns that benefit the functioning of developed as well as developing world cities. Properly managed, compaction can positively enhance the life of the city dweller and support related strategies aimed at promoting a green economy and sustainable urban settlements.

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Urban patterns for a green economy: clustering for competitiveness

Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide argues that strategic investment in physical infrastructure with the diversification of economies allows cities to play a specialized role in polycentric urban development. Furthermore, it suggests that green economic development can be achieved through the development of green clusters and green jobs. Finally, this guide argues that a number of green economy outcomes may be reached through efficiencies and shared infrastructure, rather than duplication.

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Urban patterns for a green economy: optimizing infrastructure

Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide proposes that cities can act as agents for change that allow their large populations to live less wastefully. It considers how infrastructure systems can be viewed as an opportunity to shift cities onto a more sustainable path by paying close attention to the resources that pass through them, and the manner in which they support the activities of the city. Each city context differs, based on stage of development, pace of growth and available resources.

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The state of Arab cities 2012: challenges of urban transition

The Arab world has played a very important role in the history of urbanization. It is the region where urban civilization was born and where urban matters have been addressed for centuries. The Arab urban civilization, as it has evolved over the past millennium, has generated some of the most beautiful cities in the world. This publication is the first ever to comprehensively analyse urbanization processes in the Arab States through the review of its four sub-regions: the Maghreb, the Mashreq, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the least-developed Arab countries of the Southern Tier.

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The state of China's cities 2014/15

As a report with joint efforts by China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, China Association of Mayors, Urban Planning Society of China and UN-Habitat, this publication integrates both the guidelines of the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee and the Central Urbanization Work Conference and includes new concepts, ideas, measures and innovative cases gathered from various places in China.

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53 UN-Habitat model projects 2013/2014

The efforts of UN-Habitat have been focused on building a brighter future for developing cities, which are most in need of support in guiding the process of urbanization. This catalogue of projects centres on three fundamental generators of wealth and employment in cities: planning and urban design, urban law and urban economy. It includes experiences in applying UN-Habitat’s methodology of community participation in the provision of basic services, housing and urban reconstruction. It also highlights how legislation, governance and soil treatment plays a key role in achieving urban transformation.

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Prosperity of cities: state of the world’s cities 2012/2013

What this new edition of State of the World’s Cities shows is that prosperity for all has been compromised by a narrow focus on economic growth. UN-Habitat suggests a fresh approach to prosperity beyond the solely economic emphasis, including other vital dimensions such as quality of life, adequate infrastructures, equity and environmental sustainability. The Report proposes a new tool – the City Prosperity Index – together with a conceptual matrix, the Wheel of Prosperity, both of which are meant to assist decision makers to design clear policy interventions. The Report advocates for the need of cities to enhance the public realm, expand public goods and consolidate rights to the ‘commons’ for all as a way to expand prosperity. This comes in response to the observed trend of enclosing or restricting these goods and commons in enclaves of prosperity, or depleting them through unsustainable use.

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World Cities Report 2016: urbanization and development – emerging futures

The analysis of urban development of the past twenty years presented in this maiden edition of the World Cities Report shows, with compelling evidence, that there are new forms of collaboration and cooperation, planning, governance, finance and learning that can sustain positive change. The Report unequivocally demonstrates that the current urbanization model is unsustainable in many respects. It conveys a clear message that the pattern of urbanization needs to change in order to better respond to the challenges of our time, to address issues such as inequality, climate change, informality, insecurity, and the unsustainable forms of urban expansion.

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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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The state of European cities in transition 2013: taking stock after 20 years of reform

The transitional European countries are now in different stages of their transition to prosperous, just and democratic societies. As we look at the challenges of the future, This document offers insight and analysis to inform and enlighten.

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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 Latin American and Caribbean cities 2012

With 80% of its population living in cities, Latin America and the Caribbean is the most urbanized region on the planet. Located here are some of the largest and best-known cities, like Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Lima and Santiago. The region also boasts hundreds of smaller cities that stand out because of their dynamism and creativity. This edition of State of Latin American and Caribbean cities presents the current situation of the region’s urban world, including the demographic, economic, social, environmental, urban and institutional conditions in which cities are developing.

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The state of Asian and Pacific cities 2015. Urban transformations: shifting from quantity to quality

This report on the state of Asian and Pacific cities is the second in the series first published by UN-Habitat (the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) and ESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) in 2010 then 2011. Building on the findings and baseline data provided in the 2010 report, and in capturing both rapid change and new policy opportunities, The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015 seeks to further contribute to policy-relevant literature on the region’s urban change. Specifically, as reflected in its subtitle, the report highlights growing gaps between current urbanisation patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the role of the region’s cities is unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects.

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Hearts and minds: women of India speak

This report acknowledges the “lived experiences” of women and girls in India at the grassroots level and ensures that the voices of those who remain socially, economically and geographically marginalized are meaningfully reflected in the emerging post-2015 development discourse and agenda. The analysis contained in this report is based on in-depth interviews with women and focus-group discussions with almost 200 elected women representatives. The report addresses issues that resonate with women all over the globe, such as women's empowerment, poverty, employment, health and education. The key findings from this report can be used to influence the global agenda setting, ensuring that the post-2015 framework does not make the same mistakes that the MDGs did.

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Gender sensitive remittances and asset-building in the Philippines

This publication aims to add to the remittances for development discourse, as an input into policy, programme and services development. It offers information and sex-disaggregated data on remittance flows, patterns, recognizing the differences between women and men as senders and recipients of remittances. The study considers how these gender dimensions intersect with specific social and economic contexts so that programmes are responsive to the needs at different levels – local, national, international, as appropriate and in a collaborative manner among key stakeholders. The study recommends emphasis on the meaningful participation of women migrant workers in decision-making processes on remittance-oriented initiatives, not merely as remittances senders and investors but beneficiaries and protagonists of development.

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2009 World survey on the role of women in development

The World Survey on the Role of Women in Development is the flagship publication of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. It is presented to the Second Committee of the General Assembly at five-yearly intervals. The 1999 World Survey focused on globalization, gender and work and the 2004 World Survey addressed women and international migration. The General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to update the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development for the consideration of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session; noting that the survey should continue to focus on selective emerging development themes that have an impact on the role of women in the economy at the national, regional and international levels. The theme for the World Survey in 2009 is “Women's control over economic resources and access to financial resources, including micro-finance”.

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Enabling women’s contributions to the Indian Ocean Rim economies

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) represents one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic regional communities. While the people of the Indian Ocean Rim come from a variety of backgrounds, they rely on interconnected environments, institutions and markets for their livelihoods. They are united by a shared commitment to the prosperity of the region through inclusive, sustainable economic growth and women’s economic empowerment. This report identifies some of the key trends and critical issues for the Indian Ocean Rim Association Member States to address in support of women’s substantive gender equality and economic advancement. It provides an overview of existing data on key aspects of women’s economic empowerment in Indian Ocean Rim countries using publicly available and comparable data. The report develops a simple baseline, primarily using data from 2010 onward in some of the areas that describe women’s participation in the economy and their opportunities for advancement in business and economic leadership. It also explores some of the key enabling factors that support women’s increased labour force participation and are associated with improvements in the terms and conditions of their employment, leadership and entrepreneurship.

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Gender, remittances and asset accumulation in Ecuador and Ghana

The central question motivating this study is whether processes of migration can contribute to women’s economic autonomy by facilitating their acquisition of physical and financial assets, either as migrants or as managers of remittances sent to their households. Drawing on representative national-level household asset surveys for Ecuador and Ghana, the authors find that 24 per cent of all households with migrants in Ecuador and 17 per cent in Ghana have acquired at least one asset through the use of remittances, predominantly international remittances. In Ecuador, where international migration is gender balanced, male and female international migrants are equally likely to send remittances to their households of origin; in Ghana, men are much more likely to be international migrants than women and predominate among the remitters. Remittances have contributed towards strengthening women’s ownership of assets (especially consumer durables) in both countries. In Ghana, most businesses acquired with remittances are owned by women, as are the majority of the residences so acquired. In Ecuador, women managers have benefited through the build-up of their savings and as joint owners of the homes built with remittances; also, return female migrants are more likely than their male counterparts to have acquired a home through their use of savings earned abroad. Nonetheless, a minority of migrant women and female remittance recipients are able to acquire assets. Enhancing the capacity of migrants to channel their foreign savings towards asset accumulation will require policy interventions at various levels, including a focus on their conditions of employment in destination countries (see Sustainable Development Goal, recommended SDG 8.8); reducing the cost of remittance transfers (recommended SDG 10.c); and specific policies to facilitate the acquisition of assets in the home country (recommended SDGs 1.4 and 5.a).

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Final external evaluation report:“Dalit women’s livelihoods accountability initiative” in India

This publication provides findings from the recent evaluation of the 'Dalit Women's Livelihood Accountability Initiative' supported by the UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality and illustrates how the programme contributed to changing the lives of marginalised Dalit women in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India. As a result of this programme thousands of Dalit women are more socially, economically and politically empowered and are now benefiting from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The report also details the strategies used and outlines the lessons learned and recommendations that can support similar initiatives to hold governments to account for their commitments to gender equality around the world.

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