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Publikationen des Deutschen Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
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Capacity Building in Support of Security and Development (CBSD): securitising EU development policy?

Mon, 04/12/2017 - 15:01
Security sector reform (SSR) is a core element of the European Union’s (EU) efforts to prevent violent conflicts and stabilise post-conflict situations. The existing legal framework excludes the use of EU budgetary sources to finance assistance to the armed forces of partner countries. Under the umbrella of Capacity Building in Support of Security and Development (CBSD), the EU seeks to address this funding gap and enable the financing of training, equipment and infrastructure to military actors. The main rationale behind CBSD is the assumption that security is a precondition for development, and that sustainable development can only be achieved when state institutions – including the military – acquire adequate capacities.
To implement the CBSD initiative, the European Commission in July 2016 proposed to adapt the Regulation establishing the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). The IcSP is the EU’s main instrument to fund conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities. The Commission’s proposal to amend the IcSP Regulation envisages the introduction of new types of assistance measures that address CBSD demands. Both EU institutions and the wider development community have controversially discussed the Commission’s proposal. This Briefing Paper engages this debate and discusses the possible implications of the IcSP reform.
The main argument of the paper is that the implementa¬tion of CBSD, as proposed by the European Commission, is likely to contribute to the securitisation of EU development policy. The provision of training and equipment to military actors is needed to preserve the EU’s credibility and effectiveness as a security provider in countries such as Somalia and Mali. However, the use of the IcSP for funding CBSD activities sets a precedent for using development instruments within the EU’s budget for financing assistance to military actors. Without a precise justification for the link between the proposed activities and EU development objectives, CBSD risks subordinating development policy to EU security goals.
One key problem of the debate over CBSD is a lack of clarity concerning the scope of the envisaged assistance measures. Moreover, there is considerable uncertainty regarding EU development policy forming the legal basis of the Commission’s proposal. Finally, civil society organisations fear that the proposed IcSP reform marks the beginning of a trend of shifting EU priorities from civilian to military instruments to address crises and violent conflicts.
The main challenge is to address these concerns and find a suitable, permanent arrangement for funding CBSD activities within the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) between 2021 and 2027. In the short term, greater transparency of the envisaged CBSD activities and a substantive debate about their links to EU development policy objectives are needed. In the medium term, the EU should create a dedicated instrument that separates CBSD activities from funding for civilian conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts.


Capacity Building in Support of Security and Development (CBSD): securitising EU development policy?

Mon, 04/12/2017 - 15:01
Security sector reform (SSR) is a core element of the European Union’s (EU) efforts to prevent violent conflicts and stabilise post-conflict situations. The existing legal framework excludes the use of EU budgetary sources to finance assistance to the armed forces of partner countries. Under the umbrella of Capacity Building in Support of Security and Development (CBSD), the EU seeks to address this funding gap and enable the financing of training, equipment and infrastructure to military actors. The main rationale behind CBSD is the assumption that security is a precondition for development, and that sustainable development can only be achieved when state institutions – including the military – acquire adequate capacities.
To implement the CBSD initiative, the European Commission in July 2016 proposed to adapt the Regulation establishing the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). The IcSP is the EU’s main instrument to fund conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities. The Commission’s proposal to amend the IcSP Regulation envisages the introduction of new types of assistance measures that address CBSD demands. Both EU institutions and the wider development community have controversially discussed the Commission’s proposal. This Briefing Paper engages this debate and discusses the possible implications of the IcSP reform.
The main argument of the paper is that the implementa¬tion of CBSD, as proposed by the European Commission, is likely to contribute to the securitisation of EU development policy. The provision of training and equipment to military actors is needed to preserve the EU’s credibility and effectiveness as a security provider in countries such as Somalia and Mali. However, the use of the IcSP for funding CBSD activities sets a precedent for using development instruments within the EU’s budget for financing assistance to military actors. Without a precise justification for the link between the proposed activities and EU development objectives, CBSD risks subordinating development policy to EU security goals.
One key problem of the debate over CBSD is a lack of clarity concerning the scope of the envisaged assistance measures. Moreover, there is considerable uncertainty regarding EU development policy forming the legal basis of the Commission’s proposal. Finally, civil society organisations fear that the proposed IcSP reform marks the beginning of a trend of shifting EU priorities from civilian to military instruments to address crises and violent conflicts.
The main challenge is to address these concerns and find a suitable, permanent arrangement for funding CBSD activities within the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) between 2021 and 2027. In the short term, greater transparency of the envisaged CBSD activities and a substantive debate about their links to EU development policy objectives are needed. In the medium term, the EU should create a dedicated instrument that separates CBSD activities from funding for civilian conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts.


Drought adaptation and resilience in developing countries

Mon, 13/11/2017 - 14:40
Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards. Various studies rank it first among all natural hazards by seriousness of impacts such as the loss of life and livelihoods, economic losses and the adverse social and ecosystem effects. In many instances, drought can be a major factor in local conflicts, as well as internal and international migration – these negative effects of drought often persist long after the precipitation returns to normal levels. The causes of droughts are essentially natural, but climate change increases the drought severity, frequency, duration, and spatial extent. The impacts of droughts are also strongly exacerbated by anthropological activities, such as deforestation, overgrazing, soil degradation, and water mismanagement. In turn, the consequences of these activities are also exacerbated by drought, which creates a vicious cycle of ecological degradation and human misery. A reactive approach to droughts is still prevalent in many countries, even though emergency funding is costly, less effective and does not address the long-term causes of vulnerability and lack of sustainability. There is an urgent need to move forward with a paradigm shift from “crisis” to “risk” management, adopting a proactive approach based on the principles of risk reduction and prevention. There is a whole set of effective measures that need to be implemented to increase resilience to drought and minimise its effects. Monitoring and early warning systems along with assessments of the hot spots of vulnerable populations and regions, as well as investments in risk-mitigating measures are the first line of defence. These actions need to become an integral part of national drought policies. Moreover, the full cyclical phenomenon of droughts should be at the core of the drought management plans to take full advantage of the drought preparedness measures. All “drought-relevant” sectors including agriculture, food security, the environment, meteorology, water, energy and tourism have to be included in the drought policy development process and preparedness plans. Integrated proactive drought policies should encapsulate the following aspects: ·     A strong and comprehensive institution is essential to enhance information-sharing, coordination, cooperation and knowledge-management among various levels of governments, sectors and society. ·     Drought risk management must be incorporated into both long-term development measures and humanitarian responses. ·     A combination of top-down (overall drought policy, institutional set-up, funding, modern knowledge) approaches supported by bottom-up (traditional knowledge, local production, livelihoods and decision systems) measures is needed to guarantee the maximum efficiency of implemented measures. ·     Drought early warning needs to be followed by early action based on reliability, transparency and trust. ·     Flexibility of funding (contingency planning) must become an integral part of development budget planning. ·     Drought policy implementation requires capacity-building at the local level to ensure effective inter­action between concerned parties. By implementing these approaches, we can use drought as a “connector” that strengthens collaboration among many sectors, levels and actors.

Drought adaptation and resilience in developing countries

Mon, 13/11/2017 - 14:40
Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards. Various studies rank it first among all natural hazards by seriousness of impacts such as the loss of life and livelihoods, economic losses and the adverse social and ecosystem effects. In many instances, drought can be a major factor in local conflicts, as well as internal and international migration – these negative effects of drought often persist long after the precipitation returns to normal levels. The causes of droughts are essentially natural, but climate change increases the drought severity, frequency, duration, and spatial extent. The impacts of droughts are also strongly exacerbated by anthropological activities, such as deforestation, overgrazing, soil degradation, and water mismanagement. In turn, the consequences of these activities are also exacerbated by drought, which creates a vicious cycle of ecological degradation and human misery. A reactive approach to droughts is still prevalent in many countries, even though emergency funding is costly, less effective and does not address the long-term causes of vulnerability and lack of sustainability. There is an urgent need to move forward with a paradigm shift from “crisis” to “risk” management, adopting a proactive approach based on the principles of risk reduction and prevention. There is a whole set of effective measures that need to be implemented to increase resilience to drought and minimise its effects. Monitoring and early warning systems along with assessments of the hot spots of vulnerable populations and regions, as well as investments in risk-mitigating measures are the first line of defence. These actions need to become an integral part of national drought policies. Moreover, the full cyclical phenomenon of droughts should be at the core of the drought management plans to take full advantage of the drought preparedness measures. All “drought-relevant” sectors including agriculture, food security, the environment, meteorology, water, energy and tourism have to be included in the drought policy development process and preparedness plans. Integrated proactive drought policies should encapsulate the following aspects: ·     A strong and comprehensive institution is essential to enhance information-sharing, coordination, cooperation and knowledge-management among various levels of governments, sectors and society. ·     Drought risk management must be incorporated into both long-term development measures and humanitarian responses. ·     A combination of top-down (overall drought policy, institutional set-up, funding, modern knowledge) approaches supported by bottom-up (traditional knowledge, local production, livelihoods and decision systems) measures is needed to guarantee the maximum efficiency of implemented measures. ·     Drought early warning needs to be followed by early action based on reliability, transparency and trust. ·     Flexibility of funding (contingency planning) must become an integral part of development budget planning. ·     Drought policy implementation requires capacity-building at the local level to ensure effective inter­action between concerned parties. By implementing these approaches, we can use drought as a “connector” that strengthens collaboration among many sectors, levels and actors.

Risks of maladaptation: climate insurance in agriculture

Wed, 08/11/2017 - 13:55
Weather risk is an issue of extraordinary concern in the face of climate change, not least for rural agricultural households in developing countries. Governments and international donors currently promote ‘climate insurance’, financial mechanisms that make payouts following extreme weather events. Technologically innovative insurance programmes are heralded as promising strategies for decreasing poverty and improving resilience in countries that are heavily dependent on smallholder agriculture. New subsidies will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, yet funders and advocates have thus far neglected the social and ecological ramifications of these policies. Reviews have focused largely on near-term economic effects and practical challenges. This briefing draws on an initial inventory of potential adverse effects of insurance programmes on local agricultural systems that we have recently assembled. Our review shows that farmers with insurance may alter their land-use strategies or their involvement in social networks previously used to mitigate climate risk. Both processes constitute crucial feedbacks on the environmental and the social systems respectively. Based on our study, we suggest preliminary principles for avoiding maladaptive outcomes, including recommenda­tions for designing appropriate impact studies and in­surance programmes. Before implementation, pilot projects should assess existing local risk-management strategies, financial instruments, and extant state agricultural and social protection policies. Participatory processes should be designed to anticipate and appraise potential effects of insurance – including those resulting from changing land use – and interactions with existing public policies. Several recommendations for improvements to the elabora­tion and design of future agricultural insurance programmes follow from our analysis: 1.         Evaluate priorities 2.         Encourage diversity 3.         Adapt policies 4.         Choose the right scale 5.         Limit coverage to extremes 6.         Tie insurance to ecologically sound strategies Current and future ‘climate insurance’ projects should be combined with consciously designed programmes to invest in and foster farmer-led learning on sustainable agricultural techniques. Policies linking insurance coverage and subsidies to diversified and ecologically sensitive cultivation may provide new frameworks for the design of insurance programmes in developing countries. This also requires rethinking the accepted wisdom on bundling insurance with inputs, which may make social-ecological systems and smallholders more fragile and vulnerable in the face of a changing climate.

Risks of maladaptation: climate insurance in agriculture

Wed, 08/11/2017 - 13:55
Weather risk is an issue of extraordinary concern in the face of climate change, not least for rural agricultural households in developing countries. Governments and international donors currently promote ‘climate insurance’, financial mechanisms that make payouts following extreme weather events. Technologically innovative insurance programmes are heralded as promising strategies for decreasing poverty and improving resilience in countries that are heavily dependent on smallholder agriculture. New subsidies will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, yet funders and advocates have thus far neglected the social and ecological ramifications of these policies. Reviews have focused largely on near-term economic effects and practical challenges. This briefing draws on an initial inventory of potential adverse effects of insurance programmes on local agricultural systems that we have recently assembled. Our review shows that farmers with insurance may alter their land-use strategies or their involvement in social networks previously used to mitigate climate risk. Both processes constitute crucial feedbacks on the environmental and the social systems respectively. Based on our study, we suggest preliminary principles for avoiding maladaptive outcomes, including recommenda­tions for designing appropriate impact studies and in­surance programmes. Before implementation, pilot projects should assess existing local risk-management strategies, financial instruments, and extant state agricultural and social protection policies. Participatory processes should be designed to anticipate and appraise potential effects of insurance – including those resulting from changing land use – and interactions with existing public policies. Several recommendations for improvements to the elabora­tion and design of future agricultural insurance programmes follow from our analysis: 1.         Evaluate priorities 2.         Encourage diversity 3.         Adapt policies 4.         Choose the right scale 5.         Limit coverage to extremes 6.         Tie insurance to ecologically sound strategies Current and future ‘climate insurance’ projects should be combined with consciously designed programmes to invest in and foster farmer-led learning on sustainable agricultural techniques. Policies linking insurance coverage and subsidies to diversified and ecologically sensitive cultivation may provide new frameworks for the design of insurance programmes in developing countries. This also requires rethinking the accepted wisdom on bundling insurance with inputs, which may make social-ecological systems and smallholders more fragile and vulnerable in the face of a changing climate.

The case for connecting the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Fri, 03/11/2017 - 12:10
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the conclusion of the Paris Agreement in the closing months of 2015 represented a significant moment in the global movement towards sustainability. There is enormous potential for co-benefits to arise from the mutually supportive implementation processes of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) elaborated in the 2030 Agenda and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) underpinning the legally binding Paris Agreement. Countries’ NDCs, their climate plans, include not only commitments to mitigate emissions but also address many other themes relevant to sustainable development. We present key findings of a fine-grained analysis of how climate activities in the NDCs contribute to SDGs and their targets. Under the provisions of the Paris Agreement, countries will submit an updated NDC every five years, the intention being that they scale-up their ambitions. The first full review (“global stocktake”) will occur in 2023, but an initial stocktaking exercise will take place in 2018 (“facilitative dialogue”). Implementation of the 2030 Agenda is based on national sustainable development (SD) strategies that vary from country to country. At the global level, Follow-Up and Review mechanisms take place during the annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York. As a rule, these two implementation processes are kept separate, despite the many existing thematic overlaps and the shared objective of achieving global SD, but our analysis emphasises that the climate activities in the NDCs can support the achievement of a multitude of SDGs and their targets. They not only cover themes relevant to SDG 13 but also many other important fields of sustainable development. NDC climate activities also underline the interlinked character of the SDGs. In fact, numerous NDC climate activities entail synergies that can promote several SDGs at once. To generate co-benefits, NDC and SDG implementation processes should be coordinated 1) to prevent duplication and thereby reduce the costs, and 2) to achieve a more systematic implementation of the 2030 Agenda at country level that utilises already committed activities in NDCs to leverage synergies between both agendas. Moving forward, the opportunity to connect the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda should be considered in order to promote policy coherence by maximising co-benefits and systematically mediating trade-offs for a more efficient implementation: -      In the context of the Paris Agreement, countries should use future NDC updates to more closely align their climate activities with the SDGs. -      In the context of the 2030 Agenda, SD strategies should meaningfully complement NDCs. -      Co-benefits have the potential to increase the motivation for countries to fulfil commitments, but trade-offs should be anticipated early on in order to implement both agendas more effectively.

The case for connecting the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Fri, 03/11/2017 - 12:10
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the conclusion of the Paris Agreement in the closing months of 2015 represented a significant moment in the global movement towards sustainability. There is enormous potential for co-benefits to arise from the mutually supportive implementation processes of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) elaborated in the 2030 Agenda and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) underpinning the legally binding Paris Agreement. Countries’ NDCs, their climate plans, include not only commitments to mitigate emissions but also address many other themes relevant to sustainable development. We present key findings of a fine-grained analysis of how climate activities in the NDCs contribute to SDGs and their targets. Under the provisions of the Paris Agreement, countries will submit an updated NDC every five years, the intention being that they scale-up their ambitions. The first full review (“global stocktake”) will occur in 2023, but an initial stocktaking exercise will take place in 2018 (“facilitative dialogue”). Implementation of the 2030 Agenda is based on national sustainable development (SD) strategies that vary from country to country. At the global level, Follow-Up and Review mechanisms take place during the annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York. As a rule, these two implementation processes are kept separate, despite the many existing thematic overlaps and the shared objective of achieving global SD, but our analysis emphasises that the climate activities in the NDCs can support the achievement of a multitude of SDGs and their targets. They not only cover themes relevant to SDG 13 but also many other important fields of sustainable development. NDC climate activities also underline the interlinked character of the SDGs. In fact, numerous NDC climate activities entail synergies that can promote several SDGs at once. To generate co-benefits, NDC and SDG implementation processes should be coordinated 1) to prevent duplication and thereby reduce the costs, and 2) to achieve a more systematic implementation of the 2030 Agenda at country level that utilises already committed activities in NDCs to leverage synergies between both agendas. Moving forward, the opportunity to connect the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda should be considered in order to promote policy coherence by maximising co-benefits and systematically mediating trade-offs for a more efficient implementation: -      In the context of the Paris Agreement, countries should use future NDC updates to more closely align their climate activities with the SDGs. -      In the context of the 2030 Agenda, SD strategies should meaningfully complement NDCs. -      Co-benefits have the potential to increase the motivation for countries to fulfil commitments, but trade-offs should be anticipated early on in order to implement both agendas more effectively.

More development - more migration? The "migration hump" and its significance for development policy co-operation with sub-Saharan Africa

Thu, 26/10/2017 - 08:28
Many view development co-operation as a key to reducing irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa. However, critics note that increased socio-economic development is likely to lead to more, rather than less, migration. Historical and cross-country comparison studies have shown that emigration initially increases when economic growth and rising income levels enable countries to emerge from the status of a low-income country. Only when the status of upper middle-income country has been achieved can a decrease in international migration be anticipated. Known as a “migration hump”, this correlation between development and migration also applies for sub-Saharan Africa. However, it cannot be explained solely by rising incomes and increased education. It is also driven by other factors, including demographic transition, changes in economic structures, emulation effects in migration processes, rising inequality, credit restrictions and the lowering of migration barriers.
The implication that positive socio-economic development in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa would inexorably lead to an increase in irregular migration to Europe is therefore an oversimplification. Irregular migration in particular is not driven by economic motives alone. Instead this is an example of so-called “mixed migration”, in which the drivers of voluntary and forced migration blend together. Factors such as corruption, weak rule of law, human rights infringements and fragile statehood are key drivers here.
Development co-operation cannot hinder migration, due also to the fact that Africa’s development is not solely dependent on it. Instead, development policy co-operation with sub-Saharan Africa should focus on promoting orderly, safe and legal migration, which in turn offers positive development potential while working to prevent forced and irregular migration. Specific development policy measures should therefore include:
  • Migration processes influenced by development policy: The opportunities for regular migration to Germany and Europe need to be expanded and ac¬companied (for example via qualification measures).
  • Support for intraregional migration: The efforts of the African regional organisations to control intraregional migration – which constitutes a large portion of migration movements – should be supported.
  • Prevention of brain drain: The emigration of skilled personnel required in the countries of origin should be managed via targeted investment in training partnerships in specific sectors.
  • Promotion of good governance, democracy and rule of law: Development policy measures in this area can make a key contribution to reducing human rights violations, and therefore decrease drivers of flight and forced displacement.


More development - more migration? The "migration hump" and its significance for development policy co-operation with sub-Saharan Africa

Thu, 26/10/2017 - 08:28
Many view development co-operation as a key to reducing irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa. However, critics note that increased socio-economic development is likely to lead to more, rather than less, migration. Historical and cross-country comparison studies have shown that emigration initially increases when economic growth and rising income levels enable countries to emerge from the status of a low-income country. Only when the status of upper middle-income country has been achieved can a decrease in international migration be anticipated. Known as a “migration hump”, this correlation between development and migration also applies for sub-Saharan Africa. However, it cannot be explained solely by rising incomes and increased education. It is also driven by other factors, including demographic transition, changes in economic structures, emulation effects in migration processes, rising inequality, credit restrictions and the lowering of migration barriers.
The implication that positive socio-economic development in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa would inexorably lead to an increase in irregular migration to Europe is therefore an oversimplification. Irregular migration in particular is not driven by economic motives alone. Instead this is an example of so-called “mixed migration”, in which the drivers of voluntary and forced migration blend together. Factors such as corruption, weak rule of law, human rights infringements and fragile statehood are key drivers here.
Development co-operation cannot hinder migration, due also to the fact that Africa’s development is not solely dependent on it. Instead, development policy co-operation with sub-Saharan Africa should focus on promoting orderly, safe and legal migration, which in turn offers positive development potential while working to prevent forced and irregular migration. Specific development policy measures should therefore include:
  • Migration processes influenced by development policy: The opportunities for regular migration to Germany and Europe need to be expanded and ac¬companied (for example via qualification measures).
  • Support for intraregional migration: The efforts of the African regional organisations to control intraregional migration – which constitutes a large portion of migration movements – should be supported.
  • Prevention of brain drain: The emigration of skilled personnel required in the countries of origin should be managed via targeted investment in training partnerships in specific sectors.
  • Promotion of good governance, democracy and rule of law: Development policy measures in this area can make a key contribution to reducing human rights violations, and therefore decrease drivers of flight and forced displacement.


Thematic aid allocation: what are the benefits and risks?

Thu, 05/10/2017 - 15:10
Aid allocation is typically country-based, i.e. focusing first on how to distribute Official Development Assistance (ODA) across countries. Donors consider the needs of developing countries as well as their own interests before deciding which country should receive how much assistance. Subsequently, donor and partner governments choose the thematic areas or sectors of cooperation, such as health, education, the environment, or food security.
As an alternative approach, thematic allocation has gained increasing relevance. This form of allocation earmarks funds for specific issues prior to the selection of partner countries. The special initiatives of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the United States (US) presidential initiatives for health and food security are prominent examples.
The process of aid allocation is crucial for the effective use of scarce public funds. Global changes raise the question to what extent funds should continue to be allocated in a primarily country-based manner or whether a thematic approach is more useful. Historically, development cooperation has evolved as a policy to support poor countries. However, these countries now vary greatly in their development (fragile states, graduated countries, etc.). The North-South logic underlying the term “develop¬ing country” is inconsistent with the universal 2030 Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are organised thematically. Many challenges require cross-border solutions (e.g. climate, health, migration).
Thematic allocation aligns development cooperation with international challenges. Experience thus far shows both benefits and risks. Thematic allocation can mobilise funding for key issues, bundle resources and raise the visibility of aid. It enables cross-border cooperation, offers room for innovations and is more flexible. Yet, a number of initiatives bypass local capacities and the institutions of partner countries more frequently than country-based allocation does. In other cases, uncoordinated parallel structures arise, which do not take sufficient account of ongoing activities.
Thematic allocation is likely to become more important as part of the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Donors should therefore systematically examine to what extent they want to use thematic allocation in the future. A rigorous assessment can help to better utilise benefits and minimise risks.
The key challenge is to make effective use of the more flexible cooperation framework offered by thematic allo¬cation. To this end, donors should sharpen their thematic profiles and select issues according to their comparative advantages. Donors also require adequate organisational structures to be able to coordinate all relevant actors in a given issue area, both internally (e.g. through whole-of-government approaches) and externally working together with a broad range of partners. Ultimately, donors should further strengthen the role of partner countries in thematic programmes and initiatives to ensure that a shift of perspective from countries to themes does not come at the expense of country ownership.


Thematic aid allocation: what are the benefits and risks?

Thu, 05/10/2017 - 15:10
Aid allocation is typically country-based, i.e. focusing first on how to distribute Official Development Assistance (ODA) across countries. Donors consider the needs of developing countries as well as their own interests before deciding which country should receive how much assistance. Subsequently, donor and partner governments choose the thematic areas or sectors of cooperation, such as health, education, the environment, or food security.
As an alternative approach, thematic allocation has gained increasing relevance. This form of allocation earmarks funds for specific issues prior to the selection of partner countries. The special initiatives of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the United States (US) presidential initiatives for health and food security are prominent examples.
The process of aid allocation is crucial for the effective use of scarce public funds. Global changes raise the question to what extent funds should continue to be allocated in a primarily country-based manner or whether a thematic approach is more useful. Historically, development cooperation has evolved as a policy to support poor countries. However, these countries now vary greatly in their development (fragile states, graduated countries, etc.). The North-South logic underlying the term “develop¬ing country” is inconsistent with the universal 2030 Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are organised thematically. Many challenges require cross-border solutions (e.g. climate, health, migration).
Thematic allocation aligns development cooperation with international challenges. Experience thus far shows both benefits and risks. Thematic allocation can mobilise funding for key issues, bundle resources and raise the visibility of aid. It enables cross-border cooperation, offers room for innovations and is more flexible. Yet, a number of initiatives bypass local capacities and the institutions of partner countries more frequently than country-based allocation does. In other cases, uncoordinated parallel structures arise, which do not take sufficient account of ongoing activities.
Thematic allocation is likely to become more important as part of the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Donors should therefore systematically examine to what extent they want to use thematic allocation in the future. A rigorous assessment can help to better utilise benefits and minimise risks.
The key challenge is to make effective use of the more flexible cooperation framework offered by thematic allo¬cation. To this end, donors should sharpen their thematic profiles and select issues according to their comparative advantages. Donors also require adequate organisational structures to be able to coordinate all relevant actors in a given issue area, both internally (e.g. through whole-of-government approaches) and externally working together with a broad range of partners. Ultimately, donors should further strengthen the role of partner countries in thematic programmes and initiatives to ensure that a shift of perspective from countries to themes does not come at the expense of country ownership.


Digitalisation and flight: how can donors leverage digital technologies to support refugees?

Wed, 04/10/2017 - 14:07
Increasing global access to digital technologies is creating opportunities and challenges for donors and the humanitarian agencies with which they work to support people fleeing from war, massive human rights abuses and other emergencies. Digital tools make it easier for refugees to reach out to each other and humanitarian agencies, and can support greater efficiency in institutional efforts to provide essentials like medicine, food and money.
However, the effective use of digital tools to support refugee processes comes with a set of challenges. The key question for donors is: What are the existing approaches to digitalisation in refugee response, and the lessons learned, that donors can use to inform how they support digitalisation in refugee processes? To address this question, there are three things donors should focus on when developing a digital strategy for supporting refugees:
  • Donors must avoid the problem of “technology looking for a problem to solve”; knowing how refugee communities already use digital tools is the best way to avoid this. Generally, refugees themselves will have found innovative ways to meet their information needs, and donors can provide financial and technical assistance to support access to the existing technologies.
  • Building digital tools from scratch is an option when there is no existing tool available to meet the needs of refugees or workers in the field. Custom tools are often best deployed at the organisational level for managing information or resources. Donors should look to innovation and technology hubs, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Innovation Service, to organise partnerships between United Nations (UN) agencies, refugee-focused NGOs and technology firms.
  • Donors must be realistic about what to expect from a digital solution. Technology can be useful, but it is not a silver bullet for solving every information management challenge. Ethics and safety issues must be central in the design of any digital intervention. Donors must take responsibility in making sure the partners they work with can meet the data protection and privacy standards outlined by the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) handbook on digital data protection.
This policy brief provides a review of how refugees use digital tools, gives examples from organisations deploying digital technologies in the field, and discusses the effectiveness of and the ethical issues surrounding the use of digital technologies to support refugees. By putting the needs of refugees at the centre of their digital strategies and working with implementing organisations, such as UNHCR and Mercy Corps, to develop technology solutions that meet the needs of refugees and field staff safely and ethically, donors can get the most out of digital tools for supporting refugees.


Digitalisation and flight: how can donors leverage digital technologies to support refugees?

Wed, 04/10/2017 - 14:07
Increasing global access to digital technologies is creating opportunities and challenges for donors and the humanitarian agencies with which they work to support people fleeing from war, massive human rights abuses and other emergencies. Digital tools make it easier for refugees to reach out to each other and humanitarian agencies, and can support greater efficiency in institutional efforts to provide essentials like medicine, food and money.
However, the effective use of digital tools to support refugee processes comes with a set of challenges. The key question for donors is: What are the existing approaches to digitalisation in refugee response, and the lessons learned, that donors can use to inform how they support digitalisation in refugee processes? To address this question, there are three things donors should focus on when developing a digital strategy for supporting refugees:
  • Donors must avoid the problem of “technology looking for a problem to solve”; knowing how refugee communities already use digital tools is the best way to avoid this. Generally, refugees themselves will have found innovative ways to meet their information needs, and donors can provide financial and technical assistance to support access to the existing technologies.
  • Building digital tools from scratch is an option when there is no existing tool available to meet the needs of refugees or workers in the field. Custom tools are often best deployed at the organisational level for managing information or resources. Donors should look to innovation and technology hubs, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Innovation Service, to organise partnerships between United Nations (UN) agencies, refugee-focused NGOs and technology firms.
  • Donors must be realistic about what to expect from a digital solution. Technology can be useful, but it is not a silver bullet for solving every information management challenge. Ethics and safety issues must be central in the design of any digital intervention. Donors must take responsibility in making sure the partners they work with can meet the data protection and privacy standards outlined by the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) handbook on digital data protection.
This policy brief provides a review of how refugees use digital tools, gives examples from organisations deploying digital technologies in the field, and discusses the effectiveness of and the ethical issues surrounding the use of digital technologies to support refugees. By putting the needs of refugees at the centre of their digital strategies and working with implementing organisations, such as UNHCR and Mercy Corps, to develop technology solutions that meet the needs of refugees and field staff safely and ethically, donors can get the most out of digital tools for supporting refugees.


Determinantes sociopolíticos e administrativos dos resultados das receitas municipais: perceções de Moçambique

Thu, 28/09/2017 - 09:31
Embora na maior parte dos países em desenvolvimento o potencial de receitas ao nível subnacional seja modesto, existem bons motivos para os doadores e os parceiros de desenvolvimento prosseguirem e intensificarem os seus esforços neste setor. Por um lado, as receitas obtidas localmente, apesar de insignificantes quando comparadas com as receitas obtidas a nível nacional, podem fazer uma grande diferença para a margem orçamental disponível para os municípios. Por outro lado, para além da disponibilidade de mais recursos financeiros, prevê-se que uma mobilização mais forte de receitas locais venha acompanhada de «dividendos de governação».
Consequentemente, a mobilização de receitas a nível local constitui um importante tópico para desenvolvimento, não apenas de um ponto de vista fiscal, mas também de uma perspetiva de governação mais lata. Por conseguinte, uma mobilização de receitas mais forte não deve ser apenas vista como um fim em si mesmo, mas também como um meio para promover a boa governação.
Defendemos que a fim de se desbloquearem estes eventuais efeitos positivos, os doadores e os parceiros de desenvolvimento precisam de entender melhor os efeitos que os determinantes sociopolíticos e administrativos têm na mobilização das receitas municipais.
Neste documento, sintetizamos as informações obtidas num estudo sobre como as variáveis administrativas e sociopolíticas a nível local afetam os resultados das receitas dos municípios moçambicanos. Por conseguinte, contribuímos para uma literatura em evolução salientando a relevância dos fatores locais na explicação da mobilização das receitas locais.
Os resultados mostram que, em primeiro lugar, as fragilidades administrativas conduzem a uma forte dependência de determinados instrumentos de receitas fáceis de implementar que não são necessariamente aqueles com maior potencial de receitas. Além disso, os resultados salientam a natureza sistémica do processo de cobrança de receitas: a falha ou falta de capacidade relativamente a um único passo afeta profundamente a eficácia e eficiência de todo o sistema de cobrança de receitas.
Em segundo lugar, os governos municipais que estão politicamente alinhados com o partido que governa a nível nacional mostram menos esforços para aumentar os resultados das receitas do que os governos não alinhados. Isso mostra de que modo as variáveis políticas a nível local, sobretudo na interação com outros níveis de go¬verno, podem afetar profundamente os incentivos para os municípios explorarem o seu potencial de receitas.
Em terceiro lugar, no contexto de uma sociedade civil, em geral, frágil, as variações marginais na força organizacional não parecem afetar o comportamento fiscal dos governos locais. No mesmo sentido, consideramos que a sociedade civil a nível local em Moçambique carece das capacidades para moldar e influenciar a mobilização de receitas de uma forma significativa, mesmo quando têm apoio de doadores.
Estes resultados têm implicações profundas para os doadores e parceiros de desenvolvimento. Não se considerar os efeitos sociopolíticos e os fatores administrativos nos resultados das receitas limita fortemente a capacidade de os doadores anteciparem a eficácia prospetiva das políticas e medidas destinadas a aumentar a mobilização local de receitas. Neste sentido, os profissionais precisam de alargar a sua abordagem à mobilização de receitas municipais e considerar mais siste¬maticamente o modo como as variáveis sociopolíticas e administrativas moldam as perspetivas de impactos mais fortes a alcançar.


Environmental provisions in trade agreements: promises at the trade and environment interface

Fri, 22/09/2017 - 14:18
Until recently, environmental concerns have played only a marginal role in trade policy. The rulebook of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rarely touches upon environ­men­tal concerns and mainly features an exception clause for the protection of the environment (GATT, Art. XX). How­ever, the rising number of modern preferential trade agree­ments (PTAs) covers an ever-broader array of policy areas, going far beyond the traditional reduction of tariffs by also including environmental provisions. Numerous PTAs nego­tiated on a bilateral and regional basis have compre­hen­sive “green” components. For example, many PTAs include ob­li­ga­tions not to lower environmental standards, the right to regu­late for the benefit of the environment, and the com­mit­ment to implement multilateral environmental agreements. The inclusion of environmental provisions can spark con­troversies. For some, the inclusion of environmental pro­visions offers untapped potential for actual environ­mental protection, making these agreements more compatible with environment and climate policies. However, trade critics often see these provisions as mere “fig leafs” that are included in modern PTAs in order to make them less controversial in the eyes of the public and legislators. For other critics, they represent an instrument of “green protectionism” in order to keep cheaper products from developing countries out of the market. Given the newness of the widespread inclusion of environmental provisions in PTAs and the heated debate that is raging about the nature and effects of trade policies, better data and research is needed to understand and analyse this development. Firstly, we need to improve our understanding of the specific design of these new rules and the related policy initiatives of PTA signatories. What drives the inclusion of environmental provisions in trade agreements? Which are the most innovative agreements and which the most innovative countries in terms of including environmental provisions in PTAs? Which environmental provisions are diffused more often than others into subsequent PTAs? Secondly, there is a need to understand the interplay between PTAs and other environmental or climate agree­ments. To what extent do PTAs with environmental pro­visions serve the purpose of multilateral environmental agree­ments (MEAs) or the Paris Agreement on climate change? Last but not the least: What are the implications of environmental provisions? Does the inclusion of these provisions in PTAs help the contracting parties to implement domestic environmental laws? The innovative and interactive online tool TREND analytics based on the Trade & Environment Database (TREND), which tracks almost 300 different environmental provisions in the texts of about 630 PTAs, offers new ways of going further and of undertaking research to generate fine-grained information on the interplay between trade and the environment, providing fresh insights into a number of relevant policy discussions. This Briefing Paper summarises recent research results based on TREND, along with providing new insights into these questions and policy discussions at the interface of international trade and the environment.

Identifying future growth potentials: a consolidated approach

Fri, 22/09/2017 - 13:43
When Alice in Wonderland wonders which way she should take, the Cheshire Cat responds that it depends on where she wants to go! Researchers and policy-makers considering a country’s long-term development path also have to know where they want to go. Typically, they seek to determine the realistic growth potentials for a country’s economy and how to reach them, and identify the key assets that could make the country competitive and the economic sectors that should be prioritised to drive structural change. Most critically, they have to find out how to reconcile narrow goals regarding com­petitive­ness and productivity with broader goals related to social inclusive­ness and environmental sustainability. The challenge is to design a methodology for evidence-based anticipation of future competitive advantages that merit industrial policy measures. The sectors that could create viable growth must be understood. Identifying a country’s competitive advantage in five to 10 years presents a thorny methodological challenge and a complex set of factors to consider, including: avail­able domestic resources, institutional capabilities, production costs relative to other countries, geographic conditions, the country’s position within the global trade and investment system (including expected changes in relevant regulatory regimes), and also long-term shifts towards new technological domains. More often than not, the analytical, conceptual and institutional preconditions for such an exercise exceed the capabilities of developing countries and constitute a core area of advisory services provided by develop­ment cooperation partners. Against this backdrop, we explore three aspects of possible methodologies: 1.   The strengths and weaknesses of various contempo­rary methodologies, all of which fail to include im­portant determinants of future competitive ad­van­tages. Since they do shed light on various comple­men­tary aspects, however, we suggest combining them to create a more complete picture of emerging opportunities. 2.   The growing role of disruptive structural change. We are already confronted with radical and rapid structural change that impacts virtually all economic sectors and disrupts the prevailing techno-economic trajectory (seemingly the case for both decarboni­sation and digitalisation). What are the method­logical implica­tions for predicting future competitive advantages? We recommend a stronger emphasis on using ‘open’ qualitative forecasting methods. 3.   Evidence-based approaches for measuring compete­tiveness and anticipating its future direction must be embedded into a political economy framework that connects analytical tools to societal objectives and accounts for the different imple­mentation capabilities of various countries. Essentially, we argue that there is no ‘silver bullet’ method­o­logy for predicting emerging patterns of competitiveness. However, a variety of tools can be used to reduce the number of promising options and inform policy-makers about how to exploit emerging opportunities.

Socio-political and administrative determinants of municipal revenue performance: insights from Mozambique

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 13:43
While in most developing countries revenue potential at the subnational level is modest, there are good reasons for donors and development partners to continue and intensify their efforts in this sector. On the one hand, locally collected revenue, although negligible when compared with revenue collected at the national level, can make a big difference for the fiscal space available to municipalities. On other hand, beyond the availability of more financial resources, stronger local revenue mobilisation is expected to come with a “governance dividend”.
As a result, the mobilisation of revenue at the local level is a relevant topic for development, not only from a fiscal point of view, but also from a broader governance perspective. Consequently, stronger revenue mobilisation should not only be seen as an end in itself, but also as a means for promoting good governance.
We argue that to unlock these potential positive effects, donors and development partners need a better understanding of the effects that socio-political and administrative determinants have on municipal revenue mobilisation.
In this paper, we summarise the insights gained in a study on how administrative and socio-political variables at the local level affect the revenue performance of Mozambican municipalities. Thereby, we contribute to an evolving literature highlighting the relevance of local factors in explaining local revenue mobilisation.
Results show that, first, administrative weaknesses lead to strong reliance on certain easy-to-implement revenue instruments that are not necessarily those with the highest revenue potential. Moreover, the results highlight the systemic nature of the process of revenue collection: failure or lack of capacity concerning one single step strongly affects the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole revenue collection system.
Second, municipal governments that are politically aligned with the party governing at the national level show fewer efforts to increase revenue performance than non-aligned governments. This shows how political variables at the local level, especially in the interaction with other levels of government can strongly affect the incentives for municipalities to exploit their revenue potential.
Third, in the context of a generally weak civil society, marginal variations in organisational strength do not seem to affect the fiscal behaviour of local governments. In this line, we find that the civil society at the local level in Mozambique lacks the capabilities to shape and influence revenue mobilisation in any meaningful way, even where they have donors’ support.
These results have strong implications for donors and development partners. Not considering the effects of socio-political and administrative factors on revenue performance strongly limits the capacity of donors to anticipate the prospective effectiveness of policies and measures aimed at increasing local revenue mobilisation. In this line, practitioners need to broaden their approach to municipal revenue mobilisation and more systematically consider how socio-political and administrative variables shape prospects for stronger impacts to be achieved.



SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) in the context of the German Sustainable Development Strategy: are we leaving the starving behind?

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 08:07
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted within the framework of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda are universal and apply to all countries, whereby each country is free to establish its own priorities. In order to address the concern that support for the problems of poverty endemic in developing countries could be curtailed in the process, industrial nations including Germany pledged to link national challenges with international objectives, particularly those relating to poor developing countries – in accordance with the Agenda's principle Leaving no one behind.
We analysed the revised version of the “German Sustainable Development Strategy,” (GSDS), adopted on 11 January 2017, which outlines measures designed to implement the 2030 Agenda, with regard to a primary concern of the developing countries, namely goal number 2: ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Specifically, we analysed the indicators, i.e. the strategy’s measurable substance. However, the indicators cited in the GSDS fail to incorporate the developing countries’ immediate needs. Measures implemented at national level are aimed chiefly at improving ecological sustainability within the context of German agriculture. Here, particular reference is made to two verifiable indicators relating to the propagation of organic farming and the reduction of the nitrogen surplus in the agricultural sector.
These objectives are doubtless desirable for Germany, and may make a meaningful contribution towards the achievement of other SDGs (e.g. water, biodiversity, health). However, they hardly contribute to the essence of SDG 2. On the contrary, no account is taken of the possible consequences of these two indicators for food security efforts in developing countries, and, with this, their coherence in terms of development policy. Said consequences could include agricultural extensification and a tendency towards increased food prices. Other policy areas which (could) exercise a considerable influence on global food security, such as bioenergy and agricultural trade, are also overlooked.
Although important and necessary measures are described for the international context, which Germany must implement in order to achieve SDG 2, verifiable indicators and commitments that these efforts will be continued in future are lacking.
All things considered, the German Sustainable Development Strategy has so far failed to meet the requirements of the 2030 Agenda as regards SDG 2. Which changes are necessary for the further development of the GSDS, planned for 2018?
  • In a national context, an indicator ensuring the (examination of and endeavours to achieve) development coherence in the field of national policy measures surround¬ing SDG 2 is required.
  • As far as the international context is concerned, a credible safeguarding of the current engagements in the field of development cooperation (DC), or a voluntary commit¬ment to increasing the German contribution even after the end of the special initiative “ONE WORLD – No Hunger”, is essential.
  • Indicators concerning the sustainability of German agriculture as a whole, the consumption of agricultural products, specifically animal products, and genetic diversity would be particularly expedient in this regard.



Upscaling green bond markets: the need for harmonised green bond standards

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 14:09
If a 2°C-compatible pathway is to be achieved, an enormous investment gap exists and this will need to be financed both with public and private funds. Green bonds have the potential to assume a crucial role in mobilising financial funds for the low-carbon transition. First, green bonds enhance the transparency on the underlying assets by disclosing the use of proceeds. Second, with long-dated maturities, they can match the long-term nature of issuer investment horizons with investor time horizons. Third, green bonds can augment issuers’ reputation. Fourth, green bonds can attract a larger and more diversified investor group.
This potential is reflected in the development of the green bond market. The annual issuance of labelled green bonds grew from USD 2.6 billion in 2012 to USD 82 billion in 2016 and in 2017 the Climate Bonds Initiative expect an increase to 150 USD billion.
According to the Green Bond Principles (GBPs) – the most widely adopted international standard – green bonds are any type of bond instrument whose revenues are used to partly or completely finance or re-finance new and/or existing “eligible” green projects.
While the green bond market has expanded sizably, one main problem in its further development is the lack of harmonised standards. Although several international and national taxonomies addressing green bond standards have improved practices around transparency, bonds structure and reporting (including the GBPs and the Climate Bonds Standard), there are no universal definitions of what constitutes a “green” bond. The architecture of green bond standards at the international and national level is fragmented. Several voluntary standards and various instruments for certifying green bonds have been established including second opinions, green ratings, and green bond indices.
On the one hand, existing standards should be better harmonised at the international and national level because different standards reduce investor confidence and increase their transactions costs. In addition, the various certification schemes for green bonds, including second opinion-providers, should be aligned accordingly. To foster efficient trading and increase liquidity in the market, harmonisation of green bond indices and green bond listings rules should be increased. On the other hand, some diversity at national levels and across different types of green bonds is needed in view of country-specific circumstances and to take into account the different purposes of green bonds. Where diverse standards are required, however, transparency into their differentiation from accepted norms must be provided.
In order to design harmonised standards, a vigorous dialogue among market participants is crucial. Annual consultation of the International Capital Market Association on the GBPs and the consultations organised by the Climate Bonds Initiative are important steps in the right direction. In the same vein, the current work of various authorities and private sector financial market actors on a “green bond term sheet” including standards for the definition, certification and validation of green bonds represents a crucial initiative.
The G20 could promote harmonisation of green bond standards by providing an important dialogue platform for public and private financial actors. Country authorities of the G20 countries could take on a frontrunner role in supporting and implementing harmonised standards for green bonds. They should better align their different domestic standards amongst each other and align them with international standards.


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