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Publikationen des German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
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Governing the Interlinkages between the SDGs: Approaches, Opportunities and Challenges (Introduction)

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:30

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simultaneously, will require an integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and increased policy coherence. In response to the challenges, in recent years a growing body of literature has proposed a variety of methods and tools to identify and assess interlinkages between the SDGs, both globally and in individual country contexts. With regards to political-institutional preconditions, it is assumed that factors such as regime type, the quality of governance and state capacity influence governance for SDG implementation. Debates about good governance have been decisively shaped by intergovernmental organizations in the context of development cooperation. The evolution of governance mechanisms thus depends on the broader social, political, and institutional context in a society. Characteristics of policy mixes include the consistency of their elements and the coherence of processes. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.

The role of good governance in reducing poverty and inequality: evidence from a scoping review of interlinkages between SDGs 16, 10 and 1

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:27

Targets under SDG 16 of the 2030 Agenda include institutional principles of good governance, which are considered key enablers for all other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite their systemic importance, existing literature on SDG interlinkages has thus far provided limited coverage on how exactly aspects of good governance enable or constrain the improvement of social and economic systems. To fill this gap, this chapter presents the results and key findings from a scoping review of scholarly literature dealing with interlinkages between institutional aspects of SDG 16 and the achievement of poverty reduction (SDG 1) and reduced inequalities (SDG 10). The results of the review reveals that empirical evidence from across the globe testifies to the positive contribution of accountable, transparent and inclusive governance to the reduction of poverty and inequality.

Governance mechanisms for coherent and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda: A cross-national comparison of government SDG bodies

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:25

This chapter introduces various criteria for the assessment of national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) governance mechanisms. It proposes criteria for assessing the institutional design of national governance mechanisms for SDG implementation regarding their potential to foster coherent and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Empirically, by applying these criteria to 137 country cases, it paves the way for future empirical analyses, in particular comparative cross-national analysis on institutional factors leveraging coherent and effective sustainability governance. Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the governance mechanisms adopted for its implementation have been compared and analysed in several international policy reports, which focus on different dimensions of policy integration. To ensure efficient coordination, government SDG bodies should be backed by the highest levels of government while allowing line ministries to contribute both their sectoral expertise and working experience.

Governance of the water-land-food nexus for integrated achievement of the 2030 Agenda: the case of Lower Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:24

Coordination across sectors and levels is crucial for avoiding trade-offs and achieving synergies among SDGs that are directly dependent on water and land resources. However, there is an insufficient understanding of the factors that influence the effectiveness of institutions and governance mechanisms to achieve coherent policy design and implementation. The aim of the chapter is to address this knowledge gap by means of a case study of institutional arrangements for water and land governance in the lower Awash River Basin in Ethiopia. Analysing from a polycentric governance perspective, we find that the existing coordination mechanisms do not facilitate participation and representation of interests of local communities, and local governments while designing and implementing national plans. Ineffective policy instruments for ensuring environmental and social safeguards are leading to major trade-offs between goals of local food security and national economic growth by depriving pastoralists of their rights to communal land and water.

Implementing the 2030 Agenda under resource scarcity: the case of WEF Nexus Governance in Azraq/Jordan

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:23

The chapter presents a case study of the Azraq area in Eastern Jordan where agricultural, domestic and environmental users compete for shrinking groundwater resources. Responding to key research questions in this volume, it analyses the WEF nexus situation through the lens of pertinent SDGs, evaluates the government’s policy-mix as well as coordination mechanisms in light of the 2030 Agenda‘s core principles and asked for the role of political-institutional context factors. The chapter finds strong trade-offs among several SDGs and their targets related to SDGs 2, 6, 7, 8, and 15, including within SDG 6. The government’s recent policy-mix to govern access to groundwater combines regulatory and market-based instruments. It has had some effects on farmers, but enforcement privileges individuals with personal connections (wasta), negatively affecting leave no one behind. In the monarchy, centralized top-down governance prevails and inter-sectoral and multi-level coordination are limited, negatively affecting interconnectedness and indivisibility. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are rare and a past plan for participatory groundwater management in Azraq was never implemented. Overall, the case shows limits of Jordanian autocratic regime to deal with the complexities of the 2030 Agenda in view of resource scarcity.

To grow or not to grow? Revisiting economic growth as a Sustainable Development Goal in light of the degrowth debate

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:22

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) merge the three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic. This chapter focuses on the specific goal of economic growth and the controversy surrounding it. It explores the SDGs of interest: economic growth, inequality, environmental footprints and poverty. In fact, it frames the decrease in inequality in terms of different growth rates rather than explicit redistribution of income and wealth. The inequality targets seem to be aligned with the economic growth ones but diametrically opposed to any degrowth notion. In fact, reaching the Paris Goals is nearly impossible under high economic growth and past trends of decoupling rates. We have shown this by developing a simple model of economic growth and Kaya decomposition. The growth vs. degrowth debate might welcome the “agrowth” perspective because it does not view growth necessarily as good or bad and is more flexible in adopting to the development needs of individual countries.

Modelling the interaction between climate mitigation and income inequality: the use of integrated assessment models and the case of India

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:20

This chapter discusses the main challenges to be solved in terms of integrating national inequality and redistribution in climate modelling; and considers the research on revenue recycling mechanisms from micro-macro level studies on climate policies. It explores the case of India, based on the availability of data, the prevalence of inequality today and the importance of mitigation and in particular of energy system decarbonization. The chapter further adds to the literature that uses integrated assessment models (IAMs) to address sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their links. By linking environmental and socio-economic systems, IAMs are in a good position to assess the long-term prospects of the 2030 Agenda. The chapter stresses how the interaction between climate policies and inequality needs to be sufficiently considered if a policy maker has the objective to mitigate global climate change and inequality simultaneously as in the SDGs.

Poverty, inequality, and growth: the East Asian experience

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:19

This chapter focuses on the poverty, inequality and growth trends in four low and middle-income countries in East and South East Asia – namely the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Mongolia, in the decade post-2000. Having understood the landscape of social policies, including health and education in the four East Asian countries, it discusses how successful have the countries been in reducing poverty and inequality. The chapter assesses social protection systems, including access to health and education in East and South East Asia from two key parameters: level of public expenditure on social protection, health and education, and coverage or universalization of different programs. The main argument against universal coverage is the high public expenditure. Higher levels of economic growth are associated with increasing inequality levels. In a study by the Centre for Equity Assessment, they assess how progressive a fiscal policy is in order to reduce poverty and inequality within the tax-transfer framework.

Governing the interlinkages between the SDGs: conclusions

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 15:18

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts of the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book explores challenges in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that result from the interdependent and interlinked nature of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It presents a method to extract and harness existing knowledge about interlinkages between different aspects of a selected subset of SDGs. The book provides an overview of current evidence from Integrated Assessment Modelling, which are the state-of-the-art modelling tools in the climate community. It discusses a perceived conceptual flaw in SDG interlinkages thinking. The book also presents various criteria for assessing national SDG governance mechanisms regarding their potential to promote coherent and effective implementation of the SDGs. It elaborates on the concept of multilevel metagovernance. As a framework, the concept is concerned with the creation of actionable mechanisms to spur collaboration between actors from different levels of authority.

Loss and Damage: ein Wendepunkt multilateraler Klimapolitik

Tue, 28/02/2023 - 10:54

Das Thema klimabedingter Schäden und Verluste ist im Rahmen der jüngsten VN-Klimakonferenz "COP27" in Scharm El-Scheich, Ägypten, in den Vordergrund der internationalen Klimaverhandlungen gerückt. Dieser Kurzbeitrag ordnet die betreffenden Ergebnisse der COP27 in den größeren Kontext der multilateralen Klimagovernance ein und betont ihre besondere Relevanz für das Vertrauen in den internationalen Klimaprozess. Er argumentiert, dass die Beschlüsse der COP27 einen Wendepunkt darstellen, der nicht zuletzt den mangelnden Fortschritten hinsichtlich der globalen Klimaschutzanstrengungen geschuldet ist.

Practising organizational autonomy at the community level: evidence from advocacy projects in Uganda and Vietnam

Thu, 26/01/2023 - 12:29

Organizational autonomy is assumed to be a crucial prerequisite for well-functioning civil society organizations (CSOs). While the literature largely concentrates on how donors and governments constrain professional CSOs’ autonomy, this chapter focuses on sub-national organizations’ day-to-day engagement with the state and with the intermediary organizations that are funding them. By comparing how a Ugandan CSO and a provincial chapter of the Women’s Union in Vietnam practise autonomy, the chapter shows that autonomy, in itself, has no set value. Practising autonomy is relational, changes over time, and can take on different meanings. The observed relationships with state authorities were not exclusively constraining; they also enabled the organizations to implement politically sensitive projects at the community level. The chapter thus proposes that scholars and practitioners pay more attention to modes of collaboration at the intermediary–sub-national level nexus. This could, among other things, enable actors to capitalize on the advantages provided by adaptive management approaches.

Embrace multipolarity: Germany must act European for the Global Common Good

Thu, 26/01/2023 - 11:33

To promote a more peaceful world, Germany needs to move past primarily national strategies and start thinking European. The best way to do that: support a strong global role for the European Union.

Die Rechte indigener Gruppen und lokaler Gemeinschaften stärken und den Verlust der Artenvielfalt stoppen

Thu, 26/01/2023 - 10:16

Vom 7. bis 19. Dezember 2022 fand im kanadischen Montreal die 15. Konferenz der Vertragsparteien (COP) des Übereinkommens über die biologische Vielfalt (CBD) unter dem Vorsitz Chinas statt. Trotz der schwierigen geopolitischen Lage, konnten sich die Regierungen auf ein neues globales Rahmenwerk zur biologischen Vielfalt (Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, GBF) einigen. Das neue Abkommen ist besonders wichtig um SDG 14 (Leben unter Wasser) und SDG 15 (Leben an Land) zu erreichen. Das in Montreal beschlossene Abkommen geht jedoch vielen Beobachter*innen nicht weit genug. Die Staaten müssen stärker mit indigenen Gruppen (indigenous peoples, IPs) und lokalen Gemeinschaften (local communities, LCs) zusammenarbeiten und von ihnen lernen, um das GBF umzusetzen. Besonders wichtig für IPs und LCs sind laut Minority Rights Groups International die Berücksichtigung eines menschenrechtsbasierten Ansatzes, die Anerkennung des Rechts auf freie, vorherige und informierte Zustimmung und die Anerkennung des Rechts auf eine saubere und gesunde Umwelt.

Host community attitudes towards internally displaced persons: evidence from Al-Bab, Syria

Thu, 26/01/2023 - 09:01

Considering the unique context of the Al-Bab area in Syria hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), we tested the role of economic individual self-interest in shaping a host community’s attitude towards IDPs. The findings from analyzing data collected from 496 households indicated that self-interest had a significant effect on their attitudes. Interestingly, when positive and negative attitudes were isolated from each other, the findings revealed that the factors shaping the former may not always be the same for the latter. The particular value of this study is in exploring the host community’s attitude towards IDPs, something which has not been studied and thus contributes to enhancing our knowledge about the attitude towards newcomers.

On the effects of transfer pricing regulations: a developing country perspective

Mon, 23/01/2023 - 14:49

Multinational profit shifting by mis-pricing of intra-firm trade is a major concern for less developed countries (LDCs). Many have enacted transfer pricing rules in order to constrain this type of tax avoidance behavior.  Yet, not much is known on the rules' fiscal and economic effects. We offer a first empirical assessment, drawing on data for more than 120 low and middle income countries for a 30-year-period. Our results suggest that the introduction of transfer pricing regulations significantly increased corporate tax revenue collection in LDCs. The effect is fiscally sizable but fades out over time. We do not find indication for negative investment responses to the regulations.

Exklusives Flüchtlingsschutzregime, koloniale „Andere“ und Geschlechterdichotomien

Fri, 20/01/2023 - 09:05

Obwohl das internationale Flüchtlingsrecht und der Flüchtlingsschutz vorgeben, für alle als Flüchtlinge kategorisierten Menschen weltweit zu gelten, ist deren Entstehung und Anwendung auf das Engste mit den geopolitischen Kämpfen der Großmächte verbunden. Infolgedessen sind unterschiedliche Konzeptualisierungen von Flüchtlingen entlang der globalen Nord-Süd-Linie entstanden. Der Beitrag interessiert sich für koloniales Othering im Kontext von Fluchtmigration und verknüpft analytisch drei Bereiche: das internationale Flüchtlingsrecht, die politischen Diskurse über Flüchtlingsschutz und die geschlechtsspezifischen Auswirkungen auf Flüchtlinge, insbesondere im postkolonialen Afrika. Wir zeigen, dass der ursprüngliche Fokus der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 auf Flüchtlinge in Europa zur strukturellen Vernachlässigung und zum Othering von Flüchtlingen beigetragen hat, die ‚anderswo‘ in der Welt situiert waren. Während und nach der Dekolonisierung in Afrika haben politische Diskurse über Schutz diese Dynamiken intensiviert; der Schwerpunkt lag nicht auf rechtlichem Asyl, sondern auf humanitärer Hilfe. Dadurch wurden die ‚anderen‘ Flüchtlinge als hilfsbedürftig, apolitisch und feminin dargestellt, was westliche Geschlechterdichotomien (re)produzierte.

Transnational migration and reconfiguration of the family in Zimbabwe

Fri, 20/01/2023 - 09:02

The unprecedented transnational migration ensuing from the economic crisis in Zimbabwe has sociocultural impacts on both migrant and non-migrant family members. This article, which draws from qualitative research with migrants and non-migrants, discusses how migration upsets cultural configurations of the family in terms of marriage, parenthood, childhood, the gender and age division of labor, and family relations. Transnational migration has destabilized traditional family structures by creating relations and gender roles that challenge cultural and social values relating to both the nuclear and extended families. Transnational migration has also transformed the family’s place in the migrant’s life and vice versa in ways that deviate from the cultural norm.

On the real consequences of anti-profit shifting laws: transfer pricing documentation rules and multinational firm investment

Fri, 20/01/2023 - 08:05

Over recent years, a growing number of countries have enacted rules that require multinational enterprises (MNEs) to document their intra-firm trade prices and show that they are set as in third-party trade. The  intention is to limit opportunities for strategic trade mis-pricing and profit shifting to lower-tax affiliates within the multinational group. Using the introduction of the French transfer price (TP) documentation requirements in 2010 as a testing ground, we show that the rules exert real effects and shape MNEs’ investment behavior. Affected businesses significantly lower their investments in France. Moreover, there are  cross-border effects on affected firms’ foreign group locations in low-tax countries, where investments equally decline. Our analyses show that investment responses are largely driven by increases in firms’ effective tax costs; there is no indication that MNEs respond to compliance burdens associated with the laws.

Planetary health literacy: a conceptual model

Tue, 17/01/2023 - 11:28

Education for planetary health could be one of the key levers of the much-needed civilizational turn toward a sustainable and healthy future. Education goes beyond information provision and passing on of knowledge and includes competencies to transfer knowledge from one decision situation to another. There are a range of different literacy concepts from various research perspectives that aim to improve such competencies. While many contain aspects highly relevant for planetary health, there is still no comprehensive and integrative planetary health approach. To fill this research gap, we present a conceptual model of planetary health literacy. By zooming into the model, further details on the necessary core competencies of accessing, understanding, appraising, and applying information in order to make judgements and take decisions regarding planetary health can be found. Zooming out of the model allows a holistic planetary health perspective and shows the potential and opportunities of planetary health literacy for the health of humans and ecosystems. Planetary health literacy encompasses both a life-course and a transgenerational approach, at the individual, societal, and global level. Future educational programs focusing on planetary health could integrate the conceptual model to increase planetary health literacy of individuals, including relevant health literacy agents, and of societies.