Past Highlights

China’s Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debate

04 Mar 2015
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Institute of Development Studies (IDS); Authors: Yanbing Zhang, Jing Gu and Yunnan Chen

This research aims to investigate the recent evolution of China’s discourse on development and aid. More precisely, how do China’s policymakers and influential scholars understand and debate China’s role in the field of international development aid, specifically in the context of China as a ‘rising power’? However, to reflect upon Chinese discourse in this manner is contrary to the Chinese perspective itself, where development and aid are rarely referred to in relation to each other. Instead, in the Chinese mind-set, to this day, national development and foreign aid seem to be two unrelated issues.

Good Governance Facades

23 Feb 2015
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Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI); Authors: Kalle Moene and Tina Søreide

Fashions come and go in the development community. When a policy idea becomes popular, some governments implement a cosmetic variant of the policy. What looks like development, are institutional façades; pretty from the outside, ugly from the inside. A good governance façade can be introduced deliberately to mislead observers and stakeholders to cover political theft. This paper argues that rents can be extracted under the cover of executing good policies; that nominally beneficial policies permit corrupt decision-makers to hide in plain sight.

Adapting Development: Improving Services to the Poor

09 Feb 2015
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Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Authors: Leni Wild et al.

This paper argues that if we are to avoid reproducing the pattern of uneven progress that has characterised the MDG campaign, there must be more explicit recognition of the political conditions that enable or obstruct development progress. In this context, domestic reformers and their international partners must pursue innovative and politically smart ways to tackle the most intractable problems. The report is, therefore, aimed at governments, domestic reformers and at the external actors (donor agencies, NGOs and others) that can support them to do development differently.

New Patterns of Structural Change and Effects on Inclusive Development. A Case Study of South Africa and Brazil

04 Feb 2015
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United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER); Author: Joshua Greenstein

This study explores the question of structural change and inclusive development in South Africa and Brazil. The results here suggest that current patterns are in some ways contradictory to received models of development and distribution, and, further, that redistribution alone is insufficient in creating inclusive development if the patterns of structural change do not sufficiently involve people in the processes of growth, particularly through accessible and remunerative employment.

China’s Contribution to Development Cooperation: Ideas, Opportunities and Finances

27 Jan 2015
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The Foundation for International Development Study and Research (Ferdi); Authors: Justin Yifu Lin and Yan Wang

Conventional economic theories seem to be inadequate in explaining the diverse and multipolar world we live in. Having lost confidence in the Washington consensus, developing countries are increasingly looking East for development experiences and ideas: what worked, why and how. This paper examines China’s role in development cooperation from the angle of structural transformation as a major driver of growth and job creation. Being a bit ahead in the structural transformation process, China can contribute ideas, tacit knowledge, implementation capacity, opportunities as well as finances. Based on a joint learning model, developing countries choose partners based on their respective comparative advantages, instruments of interaction and degree of complementarity.

Realising the Potential of Civil Society-led South-South Development Cooperation

23 Jan 2015
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Institute of Development Studies (IDS); Author: Tshidi Moilwa

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the BRICS countries and Mexico are leading a huge range of South-South Development Cooperation (SSDC) initiatives. These organisations have a significant role to play in the post-2015 development cooperation landscape as envisaged by the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) and other global policy initiatives. However, in order to realise this potential, more systematic documentation of the evidence on the positive impacts of their SSDC efforts is required as well as greater recognition by traditional donors, rising power country governments and fora such as the GPEDC of the important role that these organisations can play in shaping a more global approach to international development policy and practice.

Multipolarity and the Future of Regionalism: Latin America and Beyond

12 Jan 2015
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German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA); Author: Jorge F. Garzón

This paper inquires into the effects of an emerging multipolar world on the international institution of regionalism. While IR scholarship has been making a strong case for the regionalization of world politics since the 1990s, the fact that most of the rising powers are also the sole regional powers of their home regions has led some scholars to argue that the advent of multipolarity can only strengthen this general trend toward a more regionalized international order. In this contribution, the author challenges these arguments by proposing an alternative way of thinking about how multipolarity is developing.

Financing the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals: A Rough Roadmap

05 Jan 2015
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Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Authors: Homi Kharas, Annalisa Prizzon and Andrew Rogerson

This report looks ahead to major international meetings in 2015 and beyond and is addressed to actors shaping the agenda there. It aims to identify a limited menu of recommendations for change that could be agreed collectively at those meetings. Finding space for agreement among 190-plus countries, of which the vast majority do not self-identify with terms like ‘donor’ or ‘recipient’, will not be easy. It builds on a burgeoning literature that converges on a likely new set of international Sustainable Development Goals and asks what must be done to implement them, including how best to fund them.

Transition Experience 2.0: A New Way to Close the Gap between the Central European Human Rights and Development Policies

15 Dec 2014
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Institute of International Relations (IIR); Author: Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň

The application of Transition Experience 2.0 can mobilise the limited foreign aid resources by enlarging the scope of the supported human rights groups abroad to social and environmental movements as well as by applying the rights-based approach to their development cooperation programmes and emphasizing their political dimension. Further impacts can be achieved by coordinating strategies and applying one public diplomacy brand to human rights and development policies without merging them and by using Transition Experience 2.0 as a starting point for a serious discussion on policy coherence for development.

Redistribution as Social Justice for Decarbonising the Global Economy

04 Dec 2014
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Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Author: Andrew Martin Fischer

The neglect of global redistribution could undermine the capacity of Southern countries to face the broader development challenges, which are already immense even in the absence of decarbonisation. A key question is how to organise global redistributive transfers in a manner that does not continue to subordinate Southern populations to Northern interests. The challenge for decarbonisation is the forging of a political will for redistribution that is motivated by climate change rather than geopolitics, and that respects national ownership and self-determination.