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Towards a better life? A cautionary tale of progress in Ahmedabad

In the western Indian state of Gujarat, where Ahmedabad is located, the urban poverty rate declined from 28% in 1993-94 to 10% in 2011-12. Trade unions, such as the Self-employed Women’s Association, founded in Ahmedabad in 1972, have played a key role in organising and empowering informal workers. By 2001 Ahmedabad was already above both state and national urban averages in the coverage of drinking water, and progress has continued. The municipal government has introduced specific programmes to improve access to public utilities – water, sanitation and electricity – for slum dwellers irrespective of tenure status. Additionally, the city stands out for its ‘smart growth’ through proactive planning for urban expansion, enabling a compact urban area while allotting spaces to house poor families. However, gaps have remained and relations between communities and the government have become strained in recent years. Significant sections of the population continue to lack access to good quality services, and Ahmedabad has evolved into a city segmented by class, caste and religion. Further, across much of urban India there has been a shift in the conception of development from inclusive growth to the creation of ‘global cities’ marked by capital-intensive projects. As a result, dialogue has decreased, becoming increasingly confrontational, and the availability of public funds has diverted focus away from flexible local programmes built on a collaborative model of development. While urbanisation has been recognised as key to India’s future, the experience of Ahmedabad provides key lessons – both positive and cautionary – relevant to urbanisation both nationally and globally.

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Mapping current incentives and investment in Viet Nam's water and sanitation sector: lessons for private climate finance

This report summarising findings from the application of a diagnostic tool, is as a first step supporting governments and other stakeholders seeking to design interventions to mobilise private finance for climate-compatible development (CCD). Using this diagnostic tool in Viet Nam’s water and sanitation sector allowed us to make two distinct sets of findings that are useful for actors who want to mobilise private climate finance. The first set of findings emerges from the available data and information, through which we can identify opportunities for the Vietnamese government and development partners to modifying existing incentives and develop new tools to scale up climate-compatible investment; and where there are gaps in sources of capital that both public and private investment might fill. The second set of findings is around data gaps: unfortunately, owing to the absence of granular information and discrepancies in the definitions and categories in international and national datasets, there are challenges in understanding the impact of the country’s existing incentives on historic investment.

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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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Climate change, private sector and value chains: constraints and adaptation strategies

Climate change can have significant impacts on economic activity and value chains. Understanding how climate change impacts private sector incentives and activities, and markets, is vital to understand not only the overall economic impacts of climate change in semi-arid regions, but also the social and environmental effects in these areas. Private sector actors, including smallholder farmers and large multinational companies, are key agents of change. Though these actors can be heterogeneous and operate with varying rationalities, many of the constraints they face and that influence their decision-making – such as limited access to markets, finance or natural resources – are often similar. Crucially, these actors do not act independently, but interact directly or indirectly with value chains, or through the use of assets and resources. This report sheds light on these interdependencies, and highlights the interactions between sectors and activities, both horizontal and vertical. Doing so makes it possible to identify multiple dimensions in climate risks to business models and supply chains, as well adaptation requirements and their costs and benefits. This new knowledge can help to identify new market opportunities for the private sector, enhance capacity to respond and inform policy frameworks that encourage private sector adaptation and risk management.

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Improving maternal and child health in Asia through innovative partnerships and approaches

To help respond to a shortage of 7 million health workers worldwide and a growing overall burden of disease, CARE International UK has entered into partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as the implementing partner of GSK’s 20% Reinvestment Initiative in Asia. This corporate community investment initiative aims to reinvest 20% of the company’s profits into strengthening of community health systems in six of the least developed countries in which GSK operates. This strategic partnership between CARE and GSK focuses on improving maternal and neonatal child health by improving the quantity and quality of front-line community health workers in the most remote and marginalised communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Nepal. Through a mix of programming, lesson-learning and advocacy efforts, the initiative hopes to galvanise further national and international action on the health workforce issue. The CARE-GSK partnership is about to complete its first phase (2011-2015) and plans to continue and scale up its projects in 2015-2020. This briefing provides highlights from the six country projects. First, it presents the key indicators and context for each of the countries, followed by the goals and objectives of each project, and then outlines their achievements and impact. The briefing ends with a discussion of the key approaches and models that the projects have developed also providing some broad conclusions and recommendations for strengthening community health systems with a particular focus on maternal and child health.

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Building resilience in Nepal through public-private partnerships

This report from the WEF Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience explores how public-private partnerships helped - and can help - improve resilience in Nepal and other contexts.

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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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Effect of Sub-Saharan African trade corridors on vulnerable groups

This report examines the economic and non-economic (such as conducting community and family relationships and accessing health care and education) value of the border for small traders and informal workers. It seeks to examine a specific example of policy, a One-stop Border Post (OSBP) in East Africa, and how the policy changes have affected these groups, in light of the need for policy that specifically addresses issues relevant to vulnerable poor households.

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Bricks and dollars: improving public investment in infrastructure

The world is hungry for infrastructure investment. In 2014, the IMF declared 'the time is right for an infrastructure push'. Yet the development community has been here before. There have been earlier periods of infrastructure enthusiasm, with the white elephants to show for it, but precious little growth. How can governments avoid the mistakes of the past? What institutions and processes are needed to invest in infrastructure, and to invest well? The 2015 CAPE conference paper discusses what it takes to invest in infrastructure, and to invest well.

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Trade facilitation and concentration: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper uses night-light emissions captured by satellites to explore the relationship between trade facilitation and the location of economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa. We identify an ‘iron-curtain’ effect whereby light diminishes, on average, as one gets closer to Africa’s land borders. We also show that while the iron-curtain effect has reinforced itself over time, showing increasing agglomeration away from borders, it is dampened by improved trade facilitation (as proxied by the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index score on customs clearance efficiency). Our results suggest that trade facilitation projects contribute not only to more trade, and therefore to more aggregate growth, but also to a more balanced spatial distribution of economic activity.

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Disentangling transit costs and time in South Asia

Under the overarching research theme of the impact of regional infrastructure for trade facilitation on growth and poverty reduction, this study attempts to identify the trade barriers that impede the trade flow of Nepal and Bhutan through the gateways ports of Kolkata and Haldia in India. This case study focuses on the impact of transit regulations and agreements on the cost of services required to transit goods between the ports and Bhutan or Nepal.

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Infrastructure for the participation of smallholders in modern value chains

Improving trade in food staples, whether cross-border or domestic, can connect deficit and surplus areas and reduce price volatility. It can also be positive for consumers and producers, in particular smallholders, and can drive inclusive poverty reduction and increased food security. The literature examining causes of differential abilities to capture food staples market integration in Africa reflects the high level of trade costs both within and between countries on the continent.

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Mobilising private climate finance in lower-income countries

Although there is increasing information on flows of public climate finance, studies of private climate finance are challenging given the paucity of data at the international level on current flows. Beyond large renewable energy projects, there is very little information available on private investment by climate-relevant sector and sub-sector, and country-level data are very limited beyond those for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). With the aim of supporting governments in their efforts to shift or direct additional private resources to climate compatible development (CCD), we have developed a methodology to: i) fill key information gaps about incentives and investment at country level in climate-relevant sectors, and ii) enhance understanding of the links between public incentives and private investment in CCD. Thus far, we have applied this methodology in the energy sector in Uganda, the agriculture sectors in Zambia and Ghana, and the transport sector and water and sanitation sector in Viet Nam. This report highlights five key recommendations based on the country studies for actors seeking to mobilise private climate finance in lower-income countries.

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Developing export-based manufacturing in sub-Saharan Africa

This report describes how production, employment, trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sectors in nine selected sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries has increased in the recent decade and identifies opportunities for the development of promising manufacturing sectors in the future. The paper uses a number of techniques to examine promising country-specific sectors. Africa already has a share that is greater than 2% of world trade in fertilizers, chemicals, leather products, apparel, oil, iron and steel. Qualitative accounts and calculations using standard techniques indicate that there are some very interesting opportunities in the following African manufacturing sectors: garments, agribusiness, mineral processing, manufactures of consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and food, beverages and tobacco. Finally, the report examines rankings for selected countries in terms of geographical advantages, market size, economic fundamentals, general investment climate and specific policies. Some countries are well positioned in relation to comparators. For example, Nigeria’s size and growth in Tanzania and Ethiopia stand out, as do Ethiopia’s low labour costs, Rwanda’s investment climate and Ghanaian skills. The paper concludes that while some are positioned better than others, all of the countries we examined will need to improve in several areas if they are going to attract high levels of investment into export-based manufacturing sectors. African countries should act to take advantage of recent trends such as African regional growth and rising wages in Asia.

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Cultivating climate resilience: the Shea value chain

The economy of Burkina Faso is growing but is seen alongside high levels of poverty and a heavy reliance on the climate-vulnerable agriculture sector. This Working Paper outlines the importance of Shea in Burkina Faso both as a commodity for exporting and in providing subsistence for local communities. Although as a crop it is relatively resilience to a changing climate and is beneficial to the overall resilience of the ecosystem – through maintaining soil fertility and biodiversity of flora and fauna - the Shea tree is considered a vulnerable species, largely at risk from human practices. Measures such as soil and water conservation and management are being adopted to improve Shea tree conservation and management. Research and development focused on domestication and isolation of more adaptable varieties of Shea are being turned into on-the-ground applications. Furthermore, Organic and fair trade certifications sought by international brands in the cosmetic industry contribute to establishing appropriate rules for the safeguard of the resource and biodiversity in general, and the minimisation of negative environmental impacts during the production phases. While Shea production has what it takes to improve the resilience of local communities involved in different stages of the value chain, and measures are in place to reduce the risk of human practices, diversification of the crops cultivated by farmers is essential to ensure climate resistance and resilience of the ecologic and socio-economic system as a whole in Burkina Faso. More broadly, efforts that promote economic diversification are imperative in the light of a national agenda for sustainable development.

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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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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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The impact of the UK's post-Brexit trade policy on development

Following the vote for Brexit, the UK is facing a formidable challenge: designing a new trade policy to address its new strategic interests. Considering the different and frequently opposing interests, this task is far from straightforward. Given the magnitude of the tasks and the number of negotiations that the UK will face in the next few years, there is a major risk that developing countries will be overlooked. This collection of essays offers a number of perspectives on how a new UK trade policy towards developing countries and regions could be designed and implemented, in both the short and longer term. It also conveys the concerns, opportunities and expectations from a group of leading trade specialists from academia, international organisations and think tanks in the UK and elsewhere.

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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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Water management and stewardship: taking stock of corporate water behaviour

Commercial companies have become increasingly active in debates regarding water management. Company representatives arrive in numbers at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm and are increasingly active in sessions there, as well as appearing on panels at other water-related international conferences and meetings. The World Water Council and the OECD note that ‘companies have been outspoken’ in their ‘warnings of water risks to their operations’, which, if not managed, will ‘pose a threat to economic growth’. The discussion paper considers the opportunities for stewardship to strengthen water management and achieve development benefits, and discusses the issues to which water stewardship gives rise including identifying expectations that are misplaced and cautioning against misleading claims. The drivers of corporate ‘water behaviour(s)’ are discussed and progress towards water ‘stewardship’ against the international guides/standard assessed.

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China and Africa: an emerging partnership for development? - an overview of issues

China’s phenomenal growth offers an opportunity to boost development in African countries. Moreover, China’s loans and concessional assistance financed a wide range of development projects. China also is reaping significant benefits from this relationship, through access to raw materials, expanded markets for exports of manufactures, the establishment of investment relationships which could generate significant profits over time and diplomatic influence. But leadership from African governments, particularly to strengthen domestic policies and governance and to harmonize regional policies so as to improve the continent’s bargaining position with China, are required to ensure that the China-Africa relationship contributes to sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The twin goals of this paper are to summarizes the analysis on the economic exchange between China and Africa, and to outline policy recommendations to improve the benefits to both parties.

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China’s manufacturing and industrialization in Africa

While a succession of Asian countries have exhibited dramatic growth over the last thirty to fifty years, Africa has largely stagnated. This Asian expansion has been driven by manufacturing exports to the US in particular, and enabled through an overall constructive policy package that opened markets, implemented favourable trade and exchange rate policies, and provided a sound and stable government that inspired investment and secured property rights. Conversely, Africa has been unable to put the full package in place, and this has resulted in a manufacturing sector whose contribution to both GDP and export shares is significantly below the continents’ developing country peers. Growth in natural resource-rich developing countries in general has lagged behind those with a manufacturing focus, and this is especially the case in Africa with its poor linkages into unskilled labour and its appetite for rent seeking activities. Africa’s industrial base is not as robust as theory suggests it should be. Using the continent’s export profile to the US 90 percent or more is either a dominant mineral fuel or precious minerals for those African countries with significant exports. Other than South Africa, manufacturing exports are notably absent, with only textiles and clothing featuring in those countries where manufacturing also features. Importantly Africa has difficulty to capitalise on its significant tariff preferences into the US, and we examine the thesis that China is making it harder for Africa to diversify away from its natural resource-based export profile.

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Development of wind energy in Africa

This paper describes how Africa’s wind energy markets have evolved over the years and the structural characteristics affecting the development of wind energy projects on the continent; providing what we believe is the first mapping of the continent’s wind energy market. Results from our analysis of 94 projects on the continent suggest that wind energy markets remain small, concentrated and nascent in nature. While we observe an increasing trend in the number and size of projects being implemented, we show that wind energy contribution to the energy mix in Africa will remain unchanged over the long term. A key observation in the paper is that wind energy has limited potential to address the issue of access to electricity in Africa mainly due to the intermittent nature of electricity output from wind power plants. Wind energy is more likely to complement electricity generation from conventional sources, as has been observed in more mature markets. We estimate the cost of the 1.1 GW installed wind power capacity in Africa at USD 1.8 billion, out of which 59 percent was contributed by development finance institutions as non-concessional funding. We also notice a shift from the use of concessional funding on projects towards non-concessional funding from development finance institutions, an increasing participation of the private sector and greater use of specialized funds and Clean Development Mechanism funding. There is also emerging south-south cooperation with some experienced African firms seeking new markets across the continent. The paper finds that the public sector remains a key player in the wind energy sector, not only as a financier but also as a local partner that ensures smooth project implementation. The paper also discusses technical, environmental and financial considerations that African countries need to take into account when developing wind energy projects.

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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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