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Publikationen des German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
Updated: 1 day 12 hours ago

Pro-poor climate risk insurance: the role of community-based organisations (CBOs)

Wed, 12/09/2018 - 15:54
In the face of increasingly frequent extreme weather events, the need to manage climate risk becomes more urgent, especially for the most vulnerable countries and communities. With the aim of reducing vulnerability, climate risk transfer in the form of climate risk insurance (CRI) has been gaining attention in climate policy discussions. When properly designed, CRI acts as a safety net against climate change impacts by providing financial support after an extreme weather event. Two main types of insurance enable payouts: indemnity (traditional) insurance or predefined parameters (index-based) insurance. Individuals, groups, or even governments may take out policies with either type of insurance and receive payouts directly (insurer to beneficiary payout) or indirectly (insurer to aggregator to beneficiary payout). Direct insurance is usually implemented at the micro-level with individual policyholders. Indirect insurance is usually implemented through group contracts at the meso-level through risk aggregators and at the macro-level through the state.
While promising, risk transfer in the form of CRI also has its share of challenges. Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the lack of accessibility and afford¬ability of CRI for poor and vulnerable groups have been identified as barriers to uptake. In light of climate justice, asking the poor and climate-vulnerable groups - most of whom do not contribute substantially to anthropogenic climate change - to solely carry the financial burden of risk transfer is anything but just. Employing a human rights-based approach to CRI may ensure that the resilience of poor and climate-vulnerable groups is enhanced in a climate-just manner.
Indigenous peoples are some of the poorest and most climate vulnerable groups. Often marginalised, they rarely have access to social protection. The strong communal relationship of indigenous peoples facilitates their participation in community-based organisations (CBOs). CBOs are a suitable vehicle for meso-insurance, in which risk is aggregated and an insurance policy belongs to a group. In this way, CBOs can facilitate service provision that would otherwise be beyond the reach of individuals.
Conclusions of this briefing paper draw on a conceptual analysis of meso-insurance and the results of field research conducted in March 2018 with indigenous Palaw’ans in the Philippines. We find that CRI needs to be attuned to the differential vulnerabilities and capacities of its beneficiaries. This is particularly true for poor and vulnerable people, for whom issues of accessibility and affordability need to be managed, and human rights and pro-poor approaches need to be ensured. In this context, meso-insurance is a promising approach when it provides accessibility and affordability and promotes a pro-poor and human rights-based approach of risk transfer by:
  • Properly identifying and involving target beneficiaries and duty-bearers by employing pro-poor and human rights principles.
  • Employing measures to improve the financial literacy of target beneficiaries.
  • Designing insurance models from the bottom up.

Pro-poor climate risk insurance: the role of community-based organisations

Wed, 12/09/2018 - 15:54
In the face of increasingly frequent extreme weather events, the need to manage climate risk becomes more urgent, especially for the most vulnerable countries and communities. With the aim of reducing vulnerability, climate risk transfer in the form of climate risk insurance (CRI) has been gaining attention in climate policy discussions. When properly designed, CRI acts as a safety net against climate change impacts by providing financial support after an extreme weather event. Two main types of insurance enable payouts: indemnity (traditional) insurance or predefined parameters (index-based) insurance. Individuals, groups, or even governments may take out policies with either type of insurance and receive payouts directly (insurer to beneficiary payout) or indirectly (insurer to aggregator to beneficiary payout). Direct insurance is usually implemented at the micro-level with individual policyholders. Indirect insurance is usually implemented through group contracts at the meso-level through risk aggregators and at the macro-level through the state.
While promising, risk transfer in the form of CRI also has its share of challenges. Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the lack of accessibility and afford¬ability of CRI for poor and vulnerable groups have been identified as barriers to uptake. In light of climate justice, asking the poor and climate-vulnerable groups - most of whom do not contribute substantially to anthropogenic climate change - to solely carry the financial burden of risk transfer is anything but just. Employing a human rights-based approach to CRI may ensure that the resilience of poor and climate-vulnerable groups is enhanced in a climate-just manner.
Indigenous peoples are some of the poorest and most climate vulnerable groups. Often marginalised, they rarely have access to social protection. The strong communal relationship of indigenous peoples facilitates their participation in community-based organisations (CBOs). CBOs are a suitable vehicle for meso-insurance, in which risk is aggregated and an insurance policy belongs to a group. In this way, CBOs can facilitate service provision that would otherwise be beyond the reach of individuals.
Conclusions of this briefing paper draw on a conceptual analysis of meso-insurance and the results of field research conducted in March 2018 with indigenous Palaw’ans in the Philippines. We find that CRI needs to be attuned to the differential vulnerabilities and capacities of its beneficiaries. This is particularly true for poor and vulnerable people, for whom issues of accessibility and affordability need to be managed, and human rights and pro-poor approaches need to be ensured. In this context, meso-insurance is a promising approach when it provides accessibility and affordability and promotes a pro-poor and human rights-based approach of risk transfer by:
  • Properly identifying and involving target beneficiaries and duty-bearers by employing pro-poor and human rights principles.
  • Employing measures to improve the financial literacy of target beneficiaries.
  • Designing insurance models from the bottom up.

Meeting Africa’s employment challenge in a changing world

Wed, 12/09/2018 - 08:47
Around 2031, Africa’s working-age population will pass the 1-billion threshold. This growing workforce will require decent productive employment. So far, Africa’s economies have largely failed to create stable and well-paid jobs. For any one person working in the formal private sector, 10 work in the informal economy. Failure to generate sufficient formal-sector jobs for young people will increase migration and global security challenges.
Creating decent jobs at the scale required is inconceivable without a structural transformation that enables workers to move from low-productivity agriculture and informal trades to modern manufacturing or service sectors. Such a transformation took place in some East Asian countries, but no comparable dynamic has so far been observed anywhere in Africa. What’s more, the region has already started to deindustrialise at a stage when industry has not yet really taken off.
What, then, are the prospects for Africa’s economic future? Where should the millions of decent jobs the region urgently needs come from? We suggest exploring this not by extrapolating past trends, but by analysing how certain – potentially disruptive – global trends impact on African economies:
  • Natural resources are being depleted globally while the world population increases, becomes more affluent and demands higher-value food. Also, the global bioeconomy is likely to boost demand for fuel substitutes. This creates opportunities for countries with underutilised land resources.
  • Urbanisation and the expansion of African middle classes will boost and diversify demand, creating opportunities for local consumer industries. Trends towards sustainable smart cities also hold promises for African entrepreneurs in transport, electronics, the construction industry and other sectors.
  • New digital technologies improve connectivity. Some digital innovations enable African producers to tap into hitherto inaccessible markets, whereas others may lead to automation and global market concentration at the expense of African producers.
  • China’s rapidly increasing wages may lead to the relocation of labour-intensive industries to African countries with low unit labour costs – unless China uses auto¬mation to keep them at home.
  • The imperative of reducing the world economy’s material footprint may create new opportunities, such as in low-input agriculture or electrification based on low-cost renewable energy. At the same time, it creates the risk of enormous capital losses in high-carbon and other unsustainable technologies.
We do not know exactly how these trends will play out for individual African countries. Yet some trends will be game-changing. Hence, we recommend systematic efforts to explore them, with the aim of identifying competitive opportunities and taking strategic action early on. We identify some opportunities in manu¬facturing and services that we expect to become important (while recognising big differences across the region). We also suggest complementary investments in productivity and employment for the large proportion of the workforce not easily and immediately employable in competitive industries.

The devil is in the detail: administrative and fiscal challenges in implementing River Basin Management in Mongolia

Wed, 29/08/2018 - 08:16
The concept of river basin management calls for managing water resources at the river basin level in order to promote the sustainable use of water resources. Often this goes along with the introduction of river basin organisations (RBOs) as special purpose organisations. However, particularly in developing countries, RBOs often suffer from insufficient funds. Fiscal decentralisation involves shifting certain fiscal responsibilities to lower levels of government. Decentralisation could thus provide a source of funding for RBOs, depending on how tasks and funds are allocated among RBOs and general-purpose jurisdictions. This briefing paper examines administrative and fiscal aspects of river basin management and analyses whether fiscal decentralisation supports or counteracts the funding of river basin management. We present the example of Mongolia, where in recent years the processes of RBO institutionalisation and fiscal decentralisation have occurred in parallel. More specifically, we analyse i) how competencies for various water governance functions between RBOs and other bodies at the sub-national level are formally allocated, ii) which de jure and de facto funding arrangements are in place, and iii) what this implies for the coordination and sustainability of water resource use.
We find that despite a broad division of labour among administrative units, a high level of overlap exists, for instance in the areas of data management, water law enforcement and implementation of water protection measures.
In terms of financing water governance, River Basin Authorities (RBAs) are primarily financed through the national budget and aimag (province-level) environmental authorities (AEAs) through sub-national province budgets. However, uncertainties exist regarding the allocation of water-use fees. In practice, funds available to RBAs only cover fixed costs. AEAs have somewhat higher budgets, but do not necessarily use these funds for water-related projects nor do they earmark water-use fees. Inconsistent legal provisions on water-use fees have led to competition between AEAs and RBAs, but also to initial collaborative arrangements. We conclude that in Mongolia, fiscal decentralisation and river basin management are, so far, hardly mutually supportive and we recommend a number of legal and financial adjustments. In particular, we recommend that
  • responsibilities be distributed more clearly to reduce overlap and uncertainty;
  • legal inconsistencies regarding water-use fees be clarified;
  • funding be arranged according to tasks; and
  • funding for RBAs be increased and minimum state-funding be provided to river basin councils (RBCs), so they can fulfil their mandates.

Scope and structure of German official development assistance: trends and implications for the BMZ and other ministries

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 07:38
The structure of German Official Development Assistance (ODA) is in a state of transition. Germany’s growing international role, the increasing importance of climate issues as well as the refugee crisis are contributing greatly to a significant increase in German ODA, which has more than doubled since 2012 and amounted to around EUR 22 billion in 2017. The coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and the SPD in 2018 has prioritised ODA-eligible expenditures and views development policy as a priority area. Significant changes can also be seen with regard to the scope and pattern of ODA expenditures:
The budget of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and its share of the federal budget have increased due to an upvaluation of development cooperation (DC). At the same time, the BMZ’s portion in Germany’s overall ODA fell from 73 per cent in 1995 to 33 per cent in 2016. Nonetheless, projections for 2017 based on the second government draft for the 2018 budget indicate a trend reversal. Projection for 2017: BMZ 37 per cent, with KfW market funds 45 per cent; Federal Foreign Office (AA) 14 per cent; Projection for 2018: BMZ 49 per cent, with KfW market funds 53 per cent; AA 13 per cent.
ODA-eligible contributions of other federal ministries have increased significantly. Both the ODA-eligible portion of the EU budget and the development policy contributions of the federal states have doubled since 1995. Market funds mobilised via the KfW as well as the eligible expenditures for refugees in Germany have been particularly important at times.
The following interpretations can be drawn based on those trends:
Largely positive interpretation from a development policy perspective: Development cooperation has become more important in recent years and is no longer a comparatively small area of activity that relates exclusively to the BMZ. New challenges have resulted from other ministries having a much stronger interest in maintaining and using resources for development cooperation. Germany’s ODA contributions have thus risen overall and the BMZ’s share of the budget has increased.
Largely critical interpretation from a development policy perspective: The distribution of funds among a larger number of actors is making it difficult to pursue a coherent development policy approach, and other policy areas are not primarily aimed at development policy objectives due to their tasks and interests. The current situation implies a loss of importance for the BMZ and thus the original development policy area.
Due to a rise in ODA contributions and the growing importance of a wide variety of development policy actors in Germany, there is now an increased need for greater coordination. The following is therefore recommended:
  • conduct systematic development policy reviews of all ODA projects of all ministries
  • more intensively coordinate Germany’s ODA con¬tributions through the BMZ in a steering group
  • concentrate ODA funds more towards the BMZ, which is the specialised department in development policy.

Reposicionar al UNDS, ¿pero dónde? – Propuestas para estar a la altura de los Países de Renta Media

Wed, 20/06/2018 - 14:47

Después de intensas negociaciones, la Asamblea General ha respaldado la reforma del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (UNDS por su sigla en inglés). La mayoría de los actores en Nueva York, incluidos el Secretario General António Guterres y los Embajadores ante las Naciones Unidas, se muestran optimistas de que el UNDS cumplirá con los múltiples atributos que le reclamó la Asamblea General en previas ocasiones (“más estratégico, responsable, transparente, colaborativo, eficiente, eficaz y orientado hacia los resultados”).

Sin embargo, la verdadera prueba de fuego para la reforma tendrá lugar en los países. Los gobiernos instan al UNDS a apoyar la implementación nacional de la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible. En particular, el grupo cada vez diverso de Países de Renta Media (PRM) demanda una colaboración más eficaz por parte de las agencias, comisiones, fondos y programas de la ONU en torno al desarrollo sostenible. De hecho, la Agenda 2030 y el papel de las Naciones Unidas en el éxito de la misma dependen, en gran medida, de los avances en los PRM de ambos sub-rangos: renta media baja y alta.

En efecto, todos los elementos esenciales de la Agenda 2030 están bajo presión en los PRM:

Sus economías se encuentran en plena transición desde la supervivencia hacia la prosperidad. Sus sociedades enfrentan una gran desigualdad al tiempo que modernización acelerada, y sus ecosistemas están bajo una presión demográfica y económica extrema. Los PRM también están luchando con desafíos transversales cada vez más urgentes, como la resiliencia climática, la migración, la seguridad y el estado de derecho.

A pesar de las demandas específicas de los PRM y su relevancia para el desarrollo sostenible, el UNDS sigue siendo en gran medida incapaz de atender sus prioridades estratégicas y operacionales. El UNDS no es el único actor de desarrollo que apoya a los PRM, pero necesita convertirse en un socio valioso para los gobiernos, especial­mente con vistas a asesorar y apoyar la implementación de la Agenda 2030 bajo el liderazgo de los gobiernos. Para aprovechar el momento actual del desarrollo global, la reforma en curso debe impulsar al UNDS para que esté a la altura de los PRM, comenzando con las siguientes áreas de acción:

1.       Un sistema totalmente alineado con las prioridades de los PRM: El UNDS debe estar al día con las iniciativas de los países en términos de gobernanza, planificación, estadísticas, y asociaciones.

2.       Proporcionar apoyo relevante de alta calidad: Más allá del enfoque de pobreza, el UNDS debe mejorar sus capacidades para prestar apoyo relevante a las prioridades nacionales cada vez más complejas de los PRM.

3.       Convertir la financiación en máxima prioridad: El UNDS tiene un papel clave que desempeñar para apoyar a los PRM expuestos a múltiples desafíos financieros, desde la decreciente Ayuda Oficial para el Desarrollo (AOD) a la deuda insostenible.

Repositioning but where – Is the UNDS fit for middle-income countries?

Mon, 18/06/2018 - 15:57
After intense negotiations, the United Nations General Assembly has endorsed the reform of the United Nations Development System (UNDS). Most players in New York, including Secretary-General António Guterres and ambassadors to the United Nations, are optimistic that the UNDS will now take the multi-adjective route requested by the General Assembly (“more strategic, accountable, effective, transparent, collaborative, efficient, effective and result-oriented”). However, the reform’s actual litmus test will take place at the country level. Governments are expecting the UNDS to support the domestic implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The ever-expanding and diverse family of middle-income countries (MICs), in particular are demanding increased and better engagement with the UN agencies, commissions, funds and programmes working on sustainable development challenges and opportunities. Indeed, the 2030 Agenda and the UN’s role in the agreement’s success are to a large degree dependent on progress in both lower and upper MICs. All essential elements of the 2030 Agenda are under stress in MICs: The MICs economies are transitioning from survival to prosperity; their societies are facing stark inequality and accelerated modernisation, and their ecosystems are under extreme demographic and economic pressure. MICs also are struggling with increasingly urgent cross-sector challenges, such as climate resilience, migration, security and rule of law. Despite the relevance and specific demands of MICs, the UNDS remains largely incapable of catering to their priorities at strategic and operational levels. The UNDS is not the only development actor that supports MICs in their efforts, but it needs to become a valuable partner for governments, especially in advising and supporting government-led implementation of the 2030 Agenda. To seize the momentum of global development, the ongoing reform must make the system “fit for MICs,” starting with the following fields of action: 1.     Fully align with MICs priorities: the UNDS needs to be up to speed with country initiatives in terms of governance, planning, statistics and partnerships. 2.     Provide relevant high-quality support: Beyond the poverty lens, UNDS should increase its capacities to deliver support that is relevant to complex national priorities of MICS. 3.     Make financing a top priority: the UNDS has a key role to play in supporting MICs exposed to manifold financing challenges, from decreasing Official Develop¬ment Assistance (ODA) to unsustainable debt.

Unfinished business: an appraisal of the latest UNDS reform resolution

Wed, 30/05/2018 - 09:07
Can the United Nations Development System (UNDS) become a resourceful, well-organised partner for member states in implementing the 2030 Agenda? The UNDS is the biggest multilateral development actor, accounting for $18.4 billion, or 33 per cent, of multilateral aid in 2015. Its functions range from providing a forum for dialogue, decision-making and norm-setting, to research, advocacy, technical assistance and humanitarian aid. Numerous governments, including those of high-income countries, are counting on the UN’s assistance for advancing their development in a sustainable way. More than any other development organisation, the UNDS needs to adjust in order to fulfil these expectations.
In May 2018, UN member states set the course for reforming the UNDS by agreeing on a draft resolution. The resolution contains five potentially transformative decisions that will bring the UNDS a step closer to being “fit for purpose”, the term under which the reform process was initiated more than three years ago. The global structures of the UNDS are to be strengthened, making the system more strategic and accountable; Resident Coordinators are to coordinate more effectively and objectively; their funding will be guaranteed by a new 1 per cent levy on tightly earmarked contributions; common business operations are to be advanced, with potential efficiency gains of $380 million per year; and the UN’s vast network of country offices is to be consolidated for more efficiency and effectiveness.
In the context of a resurgence of nationalist agendas and mistrust of multilateral approaches in many corners of the world, agreement on the draft resolution is a significant achievement.
However, the resolution falls short of the reform proposals suggested by the Secretary-General and others. Member states chose, yet again, an incremental approach. Key novelties of the 2030 Agenda, such as universality and policy integration, have not been translated into meaningful organisational adjustments. There is still a long way to go if the UNDS is to become the UN’s universal branch, facilitating the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in and by all countries of the world.
Nevertheless, the resolution is a viable starting point. Member states must play their part in making the reform a success. They need to push for reform in the respective governing boards across the system – this should be the most obvious and effective way of advancing the reform. They could ask the heads of all UNDS entities to subscribe to the reforms and to initiate all necessary adjustments. Furthermore, they should ensure coherence within their own governments and speak with one voice – for the implementation of the reforms, as well as for the acceleration of the implementation of Agenda 2030.
A more reliable funding for the UNDS as a whole, and specifically for the strengthened country coordination, will also be decisive for the changes to be effective. Member states across all income groups should show their support for the reforms and engage in the Funding Compact. They should be prepared to bolster multilateralism in uncertain times by stepping up core contributions and reducing tight earmarking. Specifically, they could link an increase in core-funding to advances in the area of common business operations, which would improve efficiency and enable smoother collaboration among UN agencies.

Data for development: an agenda for German development cooperation

Wed, 23/05/2018 - 11:09
Data is a central but underestimated prerequisite for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda. Although technical innovations such as smartphones or the internet of things have led to a data explosion in recent years, there are still considerable gaps in the availability and use of data in developing countries and development cooperation (DC) in particular. So far it is not possible to report regularly on the majority of the 230 indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Already in 2014 an independent panel of experts, called for nothing less than a data revolution to support the implementation of the SDGs in their 2014 report to the UN Secretary-General, A World that Counts. Data is one of the key requirements for planning, managing and evaluating development projects and strategies. The aim of the data revolution for sustainable development is 1) to close data gaps with the aid of new technologies and additional resources, 2) to strengthen global data literacy, promote data use and enable equality of access, 3) to create a “data ecosystem” that follows global standards in order to improve data quality, enable data aggregation and prevent abuse.
The data revolution for sustainable development is a challenge for all countries. There is a lot of room for improvement in both partner countries and all areas of German policy making. This paper focuses on German DC.
Overall, the subject of data has to date received little attention in the organisations of German DC and their projects. The demand for evidence- and data-based work is often limited to evaluation.
A results framework to support portfolio management in German DC does not exist. Monitoring at project level is often not sufficient, as data quality is frequently poor and capacity is lacking. In the partner countries the implementing organisations (IOs) often introduce parallel structures for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in order to keep track of the measures implemented, instead of using and strengthening national statistical systems as much as possible. Collected data and project progress reports are usually not published.
The following recommendations can be derived from the analysis:
  • German DC should agree on common data standards and principles for data use, such as Open Data by Default. At the same time, personal rights should also be ensured.
  • The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) should work with all German DC actors (other ministries, IOs, non-state actors) to develop a data strategy that takes into account the different data sources and types, builds upon common standards and principles and aims to promote a data culture in all areas of German DC.
  • At international level the German government should take an active role in the realisation and further development of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data.
  • Germany should increase its financial contribution to the development of data and statistics in partner countries, stop the use of parallel M&E systems in the medium term and promote the support of national statistical systems in all DC measures.

L’accès à l’information environnementale: vecteur d’une gouvernance responsable au Maroc et en Tunisie?

Wed, 23/05/2018 - 08:59
En Afrique du Nord, les problèmes environnementaux sont une source croissante de contestation politique. La pollution et la rareté des ressources se répercutent négativement sur les conditions de vie et les revenus de groupes déjà vulnérables, et causent des protestations. La gouvernance environnementale est un processus souvent très centralisé qui ne tient pas compte des besoins des citoyen(ne)s. Dans un contexte politique plus fragile depuis 2011, le double défi posé par l’aggravation des problèmes environnementaux et l’agitation sociale qui en résulte exige de nouvelles approches. Face à ces défis, une gouvernance environnementale responsable aiderait non seulement à traiter les problèmes environnementaux et les besoins des populations, mais contribuerait aussi à la transformation des relations sociétales vers une gouvernance plus démocratique (c.-à-d. transparente, responsable et participative).
L’accès à l’information environnementale joue un rôle crucial à cet égard : seuls des citoyen(ne)s au fait de la disponibilité, de la qualité et de l’utilisation des ressources naturelles, peuvent débattre, prendre des décisions éclairées et revendiquer leurs droits. Les institutions chargées de renforcer la transparence peuvent contribuer à ce que les acteurs publics et privés rendent compte de leurs décisions. Les normes internationales connexes peuvent informer ces réformes (Déclaration universelle des droits humains, Déclaration de Rio et Convention d’Aarhus). À l’échelon national, les chartes et lois environnementales et les nouvelles constitutions du Maroc et de la Tunisie promeuvent une gouvernance participative et responsable.
De récentes évaluations menées dans ces deux pays indiquent que les gouvernements et les partenaires de développement devraient :
Renforcer la gouvernance environnementale responsable à travers la promotion de l’accès à l’information environnementale. Cela inclut la participation des institutions démocratiques aux questions environnementales et le renforcement des capacités connexes, l’appui aux organisations chargées de la redevabilité, et une meilleure compréhension des nouveaux droits par les citoyen(ne)s et les administrations. Par ailleurs, les communautés doivent avoir les moyens d’agir et d’établir de nouvelles coalitions intersectorielles, en plus d’intégrer ces pays dans des initiatives internationales pour une gouvernance responsable.
Appuyer l’obligation de rendre compte dans le secteur de l’environnement. Des initiatives internationales telles que les Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD) et les politiques d’atténuation et d’adaptation aux effets des changements climatiques peuvent ici insuffler un nouvel élan. En outre, les décideurs doivent avoir davantage conscience des liens entre la gouvernance de l’environnement et son incidence potentielle sur les droits humains et la stabilité politique. L’accès à l’information environnementale, les cadres juridiques y relatifs et les capacités institutionnelles requièrent eux aussi un soutien accru. Enfin, des études transparentes d’impacts environnementaux et sociaux de projets ainsi que l’intégration des mouvements de contestation, de l’administration et du secteur privé dans des dialogues constructifs peuvent contribuer à prévenir et traiter les contestations.

Access to environmental information: a driver of accountable governance in Morocco and Tunisia?

Mon, 07/05/2018 - 10:14
In Tunisia, Morocco and other North African countries, en¬vironmental problems increasingly lead to political protest. Industrial pollution and a lack of clean drinking water adversely impact the living conditions and income op¬portunities of already marginalised groups and trigger unrest. Environmental governance in the region is often highly centralised, and takes no consideration of the needs of the citizens in the use of natural resources. In a political context that remains unstable following the 2011 uprisings, the double challenge of mounting environmental problems and related social unrest calls for new approaches. Reinforcing accountable environmental governance could help, not only by addressing environmental problems and needs, but by contributing to the overall transformation of societal relationships towards more democratic (i.e. transparent, accountable and participative) governance in the longer term.
Access to environmental information plays a crucial role in this regard: only if citizens know about availability, quality and use of natural resources, can they make informed choices and claim their rights. When public institutions address these rights, they can increase sustainable wealth for present and future generations. Institutions charged with strengthening accountability can also include citizens in their monitoring exercises, and help to hold public and private actors legally responsible for their decisions and behaviour. Related international standards can inform such reforms: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rio Declaration and the Aarhus Convention confirm the importance of access to environmental information. At national levels, environmental charters and Morocco’s and Tunisia’s new constitutions stress the need for participatory and accountable governance.
As recent assessments in Morocco and Tunisia reveal, governments and development partners can support access to environmental information and thereby accountable governance.
First, they can do this by strengthening accountable environmental governance and access to environmental information across sectors. This includes engaging democratic institutions in environmental issues and building up related capacities and know-how, supporting accountability organisations and rules, and improving citizens’ and the administrations’ understanding of new rights. It also entails empowering communities and forging new cross-sectoral coalitions, besides integrating the countries into international initiatives for accountable governance.
Second, governments and development cooperation can support accountability in the environmental sector, including by taking advantage of international initiatives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate mitigation and adaptation policies also provide opportunities for strengthening accountable environmental governance. Moreover, policy-makers need to be more aware of the links between environmental governance and its potential impact on human rights and political stability. Access to environmental information, related legal frameworks and institutional capacities also need further backing, including support to articulate related claims. Finally, comprehensive and transparent environmental and social impact assessments of public and private projects, and engaging protest movements in constructive dialogues with the administration and the private sector can help in preventing and addressing related social unrest.

EU engagement with Africa on migration: a change of approach required

Mon, 07/05/2018 - 08:42
Migration was an important issue at the November African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) summit. While the tone of discussion was somewhat improved on that of recent years, divisions between the two continents remain great. Europe and Africa still have fundamentally different positions in relation to migration, with the EU and many European member states prioritising prevention and return, while African governments focus more on remittances and legal migration opportunities. However, Europe’s current approach does not acknowledge these differing interests and instead seeks to impose its own agenda in ways that threaten to undermine important African ambitions.
In recent years, the EU has launched initiatives aimed at curbing migration from Africa that have caused significant controversy, notably the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and the Migration Partnership Framework (MPF). These initiatives suffer from a number of weaknesses. The EUTF is based on the flawed premise that development assistance can prevent migration. It diverts aid to migration goals, and its projects often do not comply with development principles such as transparency, ownership and alignment. Meanwhile, the MPF seeks to use positive and negative incentives across a range of external action areas to encourage partners to cooperate with the EU’s migration goals – primarily on prevention and return. So far, results have been limited and it has soured relations with some partner countries.
The case of Ethiopia illustrates the limitations of the EU’s current approach. The country is an important regional player on migration and refugee issues and has been largely constructive in multilateral migration processes, such as Khartoum and Valetta. While Ethiopia is an MPF priority country and a recipient of large amounts of EUTF funding, the goals of the EU and Ethiopia on migration have not been aligned. The EU is frustrated that Ethiopia has not cooperated on returns, while Ethiopia is disappointed that the EU has offered little in terms of legal migration and that EUTF funding has led to multiple, uncoordinated projects that are disconnected from local priorities and are implemented by outsiders.
It is clear that the EU needs to change its approach to migration in Africa, beginning with the recognition that Europe will need African migration in years to come. The EU should explore how Africa and Europe can work together to foster intra-African movement that supports Africa’s economic growth, to ensure protection for refugees and vulnerable migrants, and to allow both continents to benefit from safe and orderly African labour migration to Europe. It should also move from attempting to address “root causes” of migration with short-term development funds, to examining how Europe could readjust its trade and investment policy in Africa to create more decent jobs and opportunities. Importantly, the EU must continue to press African governments to live up to their responsibilities to provide a decent life for citizens so they do not have to migrate in such large numbers and insecure circumstances.
Critically, the EU must be honest about conflicting interests and positions among its own member states and work towards effective common migration and asylum systems. However, such a change in approach requires European leaders to shift the current political discourse around migration to a more constructive one.

Do trade deals encourage environmental cooperation?

Tue, 10/04/2018 - 15:51
Trade agreements have mixed effects on the environment. On the one hand, trade generates additional pollution by raising production levels. Trade rules can also restrict the capacity of governments to adopt environmental regulations. On the other hand, trade agreements can favour the diffusion of green technologies, make production more efficient and foster environmental cooperation. Whether the overall effect is positive or negative partly depends on the content of the trade agreement itself. Recent studies have found that trade agreements with detailed environmental provisions, in contrast to agreements without such provisions, are associated with reduced levels of CO2 emission and suspended particulate matter (Baghdadi et al., 2013; Zhou, 2017). It remains unclear, however, which specific provisions have a positive environmental impact and how they are actually implemented. This briefing paper discusses how provisions on environmental cooperation in trade agreements can contribute to better environmental outcomes. It is frequently assumed that the more enforceable environmental commitments are, the more likely governments are to take action to protect the environment (Jinnah & Lindsay, 2016). This assumption leads several experts to argue in favour of strong sanction-based mechanisms of dispute settlement in order to ensure the implementation of trade agreements’ environmental provisions. Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that softer provisions can result in increased environmental cooperation, which can in turn favour domestic environmental protection (Yoo & Kim, 2016; Bastiaens & Postnikov, 2017). The European Union privileges this more cooperative approach in its trade agreements, and a recent European non-paper (2018) stresses that a sanction-based approach is a disincentive for ambitious environmental commitments and can result in a political backlash. To shed light on this debate, this paper examines the design and the implementation of cooperative environmental provisions of trade agreements. Our analysis is based on three main data sources. First, we make use of the TRade & ENvironment Dataset (TREND) which provides information on 285 types of environmental provisions included in 688 trade agreements signed since 1947 (Morin et al., 2018; see also for an online visualisation tool for the data). Second, we draw on official documents to better understand how these provisions are implemented domestically. Third, we fill the gaps using information provided by 12 interviewees who work for 7 different governments. This briefing paper is organised in four parts. We first provide an overview of some general trends in treaty design. In sections 2 to 4, we then take a closer look at selected types of provisions that prove particularly relevant due to their prevalence: (a) general commitments to cooperate on environmental issues; (b) clauses creating international environmental institutions; (c) provisions on technical and financial assistance from one party to another. We find that both the implementation of these provisions and their contribution to environmental protection vary depending on the degree of legal precision, the budgeting of financial resources and governments’ political commitment. Based on these findings, we suggest that trade negotiators should i) lay out precise clauses with specific targets and clear time frames, (ii) specify in the trade agreement where the funding for cooperation activities will be sourced and (iii) create forums where civil society actors can engage in a dialogue with policy-makers on the implementation of trade agreements.

From damage control to sustainable development: European development policy under the next EU budget

Tue, 27/03/2018 - 08:24
The EU is one of the leading global players in international development, trade, peace and security. Therefore, a key part of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is the one reserved for action beyond EU’s borders. This budget heading is called ‘Global Europe’ (also referred to as Heading IV). Under the current budget for the period of 2014 to 2020, including the inter-governmental European Development Fund (EDF), over 90 billion euros are available for the EU’s external action. The lion’s share of this is reserved for development cooperation. In previous years, the EU has dealt with new challenges in external action mostly by creating specific initiatives and new financial instruments. At the start of the negotiations on the next MFF, Heading IV thus appears to be rather complex and fragmented compared to other headings.
In addition to the fragmentation of the instruments, the EU has also failed to make clear strategy level choices. Recent EU strategies create an impression that nearly everything is a priority, overstretching the EU’s financial as well as implementation capacity. This lack of a clear direction has allowed member states’ governments to put forward their own strategic interests (mostly related to migration and sec¬urity). Given the tight budget situation of the EU, a clear direction for Heading IV needs to be developed that helps to address a number of bottlenecks and trade-offs. These relate to (i) the overall volume, (ii) the thematic choices, (iii) the re¬cipients of EU funding and (iv) the architecture of Heading IV.
Concerning volume, it is important to acknowledge that the other, larger budget headings will determine the budgetary space for EU development policy. Despite discussions on increasing member state contributions, Brexit is likely to result in a smaller overall budget. New political priorities (such as migration and security) are expected to further squeeze funding for sustainable development. Choices thus need to be made in terms of issues and geographic focus.
As for the thematic choices, the short-term involvement in crisis response needs to be combined with a clear strategy for engaging with partners on the 2030 Agenda and SDGs through geographic and thematic programmes. The partners’ SDG strategies and the EU’s added value should guide this engagement.
Geographically, the EU needs to strike a balance between the cooperation with middle-income countries (MICs) and a focus on the poorest countries. This can only be achieved by focusing geographic allocations to LDCs, neighbouring countries and sub-Saharan Africa, while engaging with MICs in other regions through thematic programmes.
In addition, Heading IV needs to be strongly rationalised, both in terms of the number of instruments and initiatives and of the rules for managing these. A key prerequisite in this regard – also for the proposal of a single instrument in Heading IV – would be the ‘budgetisation’ of the inter¬governmental EDF, which would allow for a truly European development policy.

A European peace facility could make a pragmatic contribution to peacebuilding around the world

Mon, 26/03/2018 - 09:58
The question of how the EU should finance peacebuilding in developing countries has challenged policy-makers and pundits for many years. At one level this is a technical and legal issue of budget lines and financing rules. It nevertheless touches on the much deeper political and even moral issues of whether the EU should use development aid to finance security provision, how best the EU can respond to the legitimate needs of partners in conflict-affected countries and what kind of civil and/or military engagements the EU can support as part of its external relations. The question has come to resemble the proverbial can being kicked along the road by successive European Commissioners, Council working groups and parliamentary committees. It has come to a head again because intra-EU negotiations for the next Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 are starting in earnest. This time, a sensible proposal is on the table which can potentially provide a pragmatic and workable solution, at least for a while.
In December 2017, the European Council requested the Foreign Affairs Council to adopt a recommendation on a dedicated instrument for Capacity Building in Support of Security and Development (CBSD) for the post-2020 EU budget by the spring of 2018. In this context, the High Representative (HR) of the EU for Foreign and Security Affairs, Federica Mogherini, proposed that the EU create a European Peace Facility (EPF). While she did not provide any details, the general idea is that the EPF would be an ‘off-budget’ fund to finance peace support operations and the capacity building of partner countries’ security sectors.
The fact that HR Mogherini’s proposal sounds similar to another EU peacebuilding instrument – the African Peace Facility (APF) – is no accident. It is precisely due to problems experienced by the APF that the EPF is needed. Chief among these is the need to be able to provide stable, predictable funding to the African Union’s peacebuilding activities and peacekeeping missions. This has proved more difficult than it should have been because of a second problem: the legal restrictions on financing military activities from the EU’s budget. Overcoming this dilemma is only possible through an off-budget instrument which can meet the legitimate requirement of financing peace support operations while respecting one of the EU’s core principles.
The design of such an instrument presents political, legal and technical challenges for the EU’s decision-makers. The most promising model for the EPF is to set it up as a multi-donor trust fund, open for direct contributions from member states. This model has the advantages of flexibility regarding EU budget rules, additionality (it could finance a mixture of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA eligible expenses, rather than diverting aid to security activities) and visibility, since the EPF can be a global instrument based on the proven logic of the APF.
The model has disadvantages as well, particularly that in the current crisis-driven climate there is strong pressure to use this kind of instrument for protecting Europe against real or perceived threats, such as terrorism or irregular migration. Some member states, and even parts of the Commission and EEAS, are highly likely to try to exempt the EPF from oversight by the European Parliament. The governance of the instrument is crucial, if it is to fulfil its mission of supporting developing countries’ efforts to provide a secure basis for development.

How to identify national dimensions of poverty? The constitutional approach

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:42
With the signing of the 2030 Agenda, the international community has committed to ending poverty in all its forms. This first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) recognises poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon that goes beyond the simple lack of a sufficient amount of income. However, the way the SDG 1 and, in particular, Target 1.2 – “reduce … poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions” – are formulated poses challenges for its operationalisation.
Which specific dimensions of poverty should a country focus on? How can we identify them? Is it possible to agree on a universal set of dimensions with which to compare poverty across several countries?
Recently, significant advancements have been made in the measurement of multidimensional poverty; however, how dimensions of poverty are selected is often overlooked. Empirical studies have employed different approaches, ranging from a data-driven approach to the use of participatory methods or surveys to detect context-based dimensions. This Briefing Paper discusses the pros and cons of the existing approaches and argues in favour of a new one, called the Constitutional Approach. The central idea is that the constitution of a democratic country, together with its official interpretations, can be a valid source of ethically sound poverty dimensions.
What is the value added of the Constitutional Approach? And what are the policy implications of adopting it?
  • The approach is grounded on a clear understanding of what poverty is, rather than an ad hoc approximation of it based on data availability. Only with a clear definition can poverty be measured, and anti-poverty strategies adequately designed and implemented.
  • By drawing on norm-governed national institutions that have shaped societal attitudes, the resulting list of dimensions is more legitimate and likely to be accepted and used by national policy-makers and endorsed by the public. The selecting of valuable societal dimensions is not just a technocratic issue but must be grounded in shared ethical values.
  • The approach does not require the collection of additional information to understand which poverty dimension should be prioritised. However, one must consider that this approach is only suitable for democratic countries, whose constitutions: are the result of a broad-based participatory process, still enjoy wide consensus and recognise at least the principle of equality among all citizens.
  • To compare multidimensional poverty at the global level, the approach could be extended by examining a core list of overlapping dimensions across several countries.
Given the above strengths, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which has a vital role in the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network, could recommend this approach to governments to track country progress in SDG 1.

EU budget reform: opportunities and challenges for global sustainable development

Wed, 28/02/2018 - 13:19
With the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU will define not only the financial but also the political priorities until 2030. Which political objectives the EU intends to pursue in the future will therefore be a key issue during the MFF negotiations. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Develop¬ment Goals (SDGs), which the EU played a key role in shaping, should guide this debate.
In terms of EU domestic policy, the 2030 Agenda should help the European budget be more strongly tuned towards socially disadvantaged groups, reduce the EU’s environ¬mental footprint and promote sustainable economic growth. This, in turn, would enable the MFF to bolster public support for Europe. In terms of EU foreign relations, the 2030 Agenda requires the EU to not only focus on short-term security and migration policy interests but to allocate resources in the budget for supporting long-term sustainable development. This would allow the EU to position itself as a frontrunner for sustainable development – internationally as well as towards industrialised, emerging and developing countries.
Two questions are central to the role of the 2030 Agenda in the next MFF: Where does the EU have the biggest deficits with respect to implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? And in which areas can the MFF make important contributions? We make five proposals on how to include the 2030 Agenda into the next MFF. These proposals complement one another and should be followed in parallel:
(1) Embed the principles of the 2030 Agenda in the MFF: Individual principles of the 2030 Agenda, such as Leave no one behind, universality and policy coherence for sustainable devel¬op¬ment, call on the EU to take the SDGs into con¬sidera¬tion not only in its foreign but also domestic policies, for example in agricultural or structural funds. Moreover, these principles require the EU to reduce the negative impact of EU policies on third countries and to promote positive synergies.
(2) Assign the SDGs to individual headings: The MFF should assign the global SDGs to individual headings and set minimum criteria for those SDGs and targets that each heading should contribute to. All headings should promote the three dimensions of sustainability – social, environ¬mental and economic.
(3) Mainstream sustainability principle: The principle of sustainability should be mainstreamed across all headings, e.g. the current climate mainstreaming, should be supple¬mented by objectives for social and economic sustainability.
(4) In heading IV (foreign relations), the EU should align its strategies for bilateral cooperation with the partners’ SDG strategies. In addition, three to four thematic flagship programmes should be created for cooperation with countries of all income groups, such as in the areas of urbanisation, inequality or climate change.
(5) Cross-cutting issues: The successor to the Horizon 2020 programme should invest more in research on sustainability. EU Impact Assessments should take greater account of the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The next MFF should set clear guidelines for sustainable procurement.

Promouvoir la décentralisation avec succès: le potentiel de l‘approche multi-acteurs

Wed, 07/02/2018 - 09:18
L’Objectif de Développement Durable 17 accorde une importance essentielle aux approches multi-acteurs et multi-niveaux pour l’atteinte des Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD). Quels avantages et quels effets une approche multi-acteurs a-t-elle dans des programmes de décentralisation?
L’approche multi-acteurs a pour objectif l’implication de toutes les parties prenantes qui sont importantes pour un processus de réforme, issus de la politique, de la société civile et de l’économie privée. Dans le cadre des programmes de décentralisation, cette approche prévoit, la plupart du temps, une coopération simultanée avec les acteurs politiques (offre) et la société civile (demande). Elle doit s’appliquer à tous les niveaux d’un Etat (donc national, régional et communal).
Il y a jusqu’à ce jour peu d’études qui indiquent la contribution qu’une approche multi-acteurs pourrait apporter au succès de la décentralisation et comment elle pourrait déployer pleinement son potentiel. Cet article défend l’argumentation selon laquelle l’approche multi-acteurs et multi-niveaux soutient l‘effectivité ainsi que la durabilité de la décentralisation. Un aspect im¬portant, pour la promotion de la décentralisation, c’est une coopération horizontale et verticale dans un système multi-niveaux:
  • Le renforcement simultané de l’offre et de la demande augmente l‘effectivité des réformes de la décentralisation. L’exemple de la participation citoyenne montre ce qui suit: la collaboration avec la commune facilite l’accès de la société civile; la collaboration avec la société civile lui permet une participation plus effective. Si la participation citoyenne est ainsi renforcée, elle contribue plutôt à l’amélioration des services communaux.
  • Si la collaboration a lieu dans un système multi-niveaux, la décentralisation peut être promue de façon plus durable: les acteurs internationaux peuvent, par exemple, aux côtés de la société civile, intégrer des expériences du niveau communal dans la législation nationale et accompagner finalement la mise en œuvre au niveau communal.
Pour exploiter pleinement le potentiel de l‘approche multi-acteurs et multi-niveaux, il est important de connaitre ce qui suit:
  • Les acteurs internationaux devraient trouver un équilibre quant à l‘appui des acteurs étatiques et non étatiques dans les processus de décentralisation. La demande (non-étatique) retient souvent moins l’attention. En voulant appuyer les différents acteurs, il ne s’agit pas de choisir entre l’un ou l‘autre, mais de prendre les deux à la fois.
  • La participation citoyenne devrait mener à des résultats visibles, afin que la disposition à s’engager au plan de la société civile soit établie à long terme. C’est pourquoi le suivi de la participation citoyenne du côté de l’offre et de la demande est important.
  • La continuité et l’intensité de l‘appui sont importants pour un succès durable des réformes.
Ces résultats proviennent d’un projet de recherche de l’Institut Allemand de Développement / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) qui mesure l’effet des programmes de gouvernance.

Successfully promoting decentralisation: the potential of the multi-stakeholder approach

Tue, 06/02/2018 - 14:02
Sustainable Development Goal 17 assigns an important role to multi-stakeholder approaches in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What are the advantages and impacts of a multi-stakeholder approach in decentralisation programmes?
The multi-stakeholder approach aims to involve all stakeholders from politics, civil society and the private sector that are relevant for a reform process. In the context of decentralisation programmes, this approach usually allows for simultaneous cooperation with political actors (supply side) and civil society (demand side) and applies to all state levels (i.e. national, regional and local).
There have been few studies until now on how a multi-stakeholder approach can contribute to the success of decentralisation and how it can develop its full potential. This paper argues that the multi-stakeholder approach supports the effectiveness as well as the sustainability of decentralisa¬tion. Important is the horizontal as well as vertical cooperation in the multi-level system when promoting decentralisation:
  • Simultaneously strengthening the supply and demand side increases the effectiveness of decentralisation reforms. The example of citizen participation shows that support to local authorities makes it easier for civil society to gain access, while support to civil society enables it to participate more effectively. By strengthening citizen participation in this way, citizen participation is more likely to lead to the improvement of municipal services.
  • If cooperation takes place in a multi-level system, decentralisation can be promoted in a more sustainable manner: for example, international actors – together with civil society – can bring experiences from the local level into legislation and subsequently support its implementation at the local level.
To fully exploit the potential of the multi-stakeholder approach, the following is important:
  • International actors should find a balance in supporting state and non-state actors in decentralisa¬tion processes. The (non-governmental) demand side often receives less attention. Supporting different actors is not about an ‘either-or’ situation but rather an ‘as well as’.
  • Citizen participation should lead to visible results so that the willingness to participate in civil society is established in the long term. This is why the follow-up of citizen participation on both the supply and demand side is important.
  • Continuity and intensity of support are important for the sustainable success of the reforms.
  • The results stem from a research project of the German Development Institute on the impact assessment of governance programmes.

Regional migration governance: contributions to a sustainable international migration architecture

Wed, 17/01/2018 - 10:30
The global migration governance is in a period of transition. There are two main reasons for this: First, the division between an international refugee regime based on the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees and a (labour) migration regime is problematic in light of ‘mixed’ migratory flows. Second, the current global migration architecture is characterised by institutional fragmentation and a lack of normative standards. The Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees currently being negotiated are intended to address these shortcomings.
Among the crucial questions to be addressed is the role of regional cooperation in a future global migration architecture. This is because the majority of cross-border migration and displacement takes place within regional spaces. Regional cooperation on migration currently occurs in three formats, all of which focus on different issue areas: 1) Migration-related activities of regional organisations (ECOWAS, IGAD, for instance); 2) regional consultative processes (RCPs) and 3) inter-regional cooperation processes (such as Khartoum and Rabat Processes).
Experiences from Africa suggest: Groundbreaking norms, for example for the free movement of persons or on refugee rights have been developed on the regional level. This is not least due to some advantages of regional migration governance over global formats. Joint interests tend to be identified more easily, distinct regional features can be better addressed and forging common ground in the formulation of a coherent and developmental migration policy is generally not as difficult.
However, in Africa as yet the implementation of regional norms has been deficient. Moreover, the agendas of inter-regional cooperation formats are often strongly influenced by economic and security- interests of Western donors. In this context, the promotion of the protection of refugees’ and migrants’ rights tends to be neglected. Also regional migration interests risk to be undermined.
Therefore, additional to regional migration policies, it is necessary to establish binding, universal standards under international law as regards the rights and protection of refugees and migrants. At the same time, the regional level ought to be strengthened. It can provide important impulses for expanding standards of protection and implementing orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration.
The international community has to take this into account in the negotiation of the two global Compacts. The con-tributions of German and European development policy ought to focus on the following:
  • Building capacities: Regional organisations ought to be supported financially and technically in all areas of migration, not only in security-relevant aspects.
  • Fostering interaction: Regular exchange among regional organisations and global actors as well as civil society actors should be strengthened.
  • Increasing influence: The weight of regional organisations in global policy processes and in the review and follow-up of the Compacts must be enhanced.

__________________ Anne Koch: Research division “Global Issues”, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)
Benjamin Etzold: Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC)