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Ethiopia boosts access to electricity and renewable energy

GIZ Germany - 18. Februar 2019 - 1:47
: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 HH:mm:ss
Despite Ethiopia’s abundance of renewable energy, only a small proportion of its population has an electricity supply. However, this proportion is growing.
Kategorien: english

Agricultural insurance policies for farmers in Peru

GIZ Germany - 18. Februar 2019 - 1:47
: Wed, 07 Feb 2018 HH:mm:ss
In Peru, assistance is being provided to develop and expand agricultural insurance. Farmers can obtain cover for crop failures caused by extreme weather events.
Kategorien: english

Cornelia Richter takes up new post at United Nations agency

GIZ Germany - 18. Februar 2019 - 1:47
: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 HH:mm:ss
From 1 February 2018, GIZ Managing Director Cornelia Richter is taking up a new post as Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Rome.
Kategorien: english

Green Week 2018: A world without hunger is possible

GIZ Germany - 18. Februar 2019 - 1:47
: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 HH:mm:ss
Cotton, cocoa, mango: the German Development Ministry’s special exhibition shows how fair trade products are improving livelihoods all over the world.
Kategorien: english

Sub-Saharan Africa: More training, more jobs, more income

GIZ Germany - 18. Februar 2019 - 1:47
: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 HH:mm:ss
A broad alliance of governments, companies and civil society actors in Africa and beyond is bringing new economic power to the people.
Kategorien: english

HPG/LSE Senior-level Course on Conflict and Humanitarian Response - payment form

ODI - 18. Februar 2019 - 0:00

Thank you for making payment for participation in our Senior-level course in London in July 2019. You should have received an invoice advising on the amount that you need to pay. The fees cover the course tuition and materials, six nights' accommodation and a day excursion.

Refund policy
You have the right to cancel this agreement within 14 days. In addition, fees are refundable if attendance is cancelled before 5 May. Your acceptance letter details the applicable non-refundable amounts if attendance is cancelled after 5 May. Alternatively participation can be transferred to another candidate from your organisation up until the start of the course. If you wish to arrange a refund please contact

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Kategorien: english

2019 senior-level course on conflict and humanitarian response

ODI - 18. Februar 2019 - 0:00
An intensive course for humanitarian professionals taught by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Kategorien: english

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Harvested’ rainwater saves Tanzanian students from stomach ulcers, typhoid

UN #SDG News - 17. Februar 2019 - 8:50
The students in the Tanzanian town of Bagamoyo once had to decide between getting sick or being thirsty all day long.
Kategorien: english

#DevEnabled careers: Ben Clare

Devex - 15. Februar 2019 - 13:15
Kategorien: english

UN announces roadmap to Climate Summit in 2019, a ‘critical year’ for climate action

UN #SDG News - 14. Februar 2019 - 23:18
2019 is a critical year, the “last chance” for the international community to take effective action on climate change, General Assembly President Maria Espinosa said on Thursday, during a briefing to announce the UN’s roadmap to the Climate Summit in September.
Kategorien: english

Massive Protests in Haiti Spark a New Kind of Political Crisis

UN Dispatch - 14. Februar 2019 - 16:28

Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that quickly turned violent. Several people have been killed and a great amount of property has been damaged in these protests.

Haiti, of course, is no stranger to political crisis. But this crisis feels different, according to veteran reporter Jacqueline Charles.

Jacqueline Charles is the Haiti Caribbean reporter for the Miami Herald and in this conversation she explains the origins of this new protest movement and how it may play out over the coming weeks.

As she explains, these protests began, in part, over allegations of corruption surrounding a Hugo Chavez-era Venezuelan oil subsidy program, known as Petro Carbibe. But what began as an anti-corruption protest movement has morphed into something much broader that now threatens to bring down the government of President Jovenel Moise.

This crisis in Haiti has potential to unleash great instability in a very fragile country, which could have big international implications. This conversation does a very good job of giving you the background and context you need to understand events as they unfold. If you have 25 minutes and want to learn what caused this crisis and how it may impact peace and stability in the region, have a listen.

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The post Massive Protests in Haiti Spark a New Kind of Political Crisis appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

UN ECOSOC - 14. Februar 2019 - 15:24
The UN-brokered agreement between Athens and Skopje to formally recognize the “Republic of North Macedonia”, is a welcome, “historical” step that should be supported by regional and international Member States, António Guterres has announced.
Kategorien: english

Digital economies at global ‘’margins’’

OECD - 14. Februar 2019 - 10:48
By Mark Graham, Professor of Internet Geography, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford; Turing Fellow, The Alan Turing Institute; and Research Affiliate, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford Billions of people at the world’s economic ‘’margins’’ are experiencing a moment of changing connectivity. In Manila, Manchester, Mogadishu, the banlieues of Marseille and everywhere … Continue reading Digital economies at global ‘’margins’’
Kategorien: english

300 pages, 250 years, 8 generations

D+C - 14. Februar 2019 - 10:43
Yaa Gyasi’s first novel explores the brutal history of how the slave trade shaped West Africa and North America

Her plot spans eight generations over 250 years. On a mere 300 pages, she delves deeply into violence, trauma, abuse and dehumanisation. One might say that the book is really a collection of 14 short stories, with each one focusing on one particular individual. But there is an overarching plot. Chapter by chapter, the fates of the descendants of the first two protagonists unfold. The first episode is about an African woman who is forced to marry a slave trader, and the second about her half-sister, who is sold into slavery. The two women do not know one another. Indeed, none of the book’s heroines and heroes (Gyasi pays attention to gender issues) knows the full family history.

Readers, by contrast, get to see the full picture. Gyasi elaborates how identities and attitudes were shaped. Her fictive writing reveals deep emotional truths, with personal traumas breeding long-term anger, fear and depression.

The first chapters are disturbingly brutal, marked by torture, rape and murder. People are torn away from their families and have no control of their fates. Until the end of the novel,  life generally remains harsh and mostly unforgiving, but the protagonists increasingly have more choices and the final generation is free in the sense of contemporary North American aspirations of education and individual prosperity. Moreover, they personally know their grandparents. Family ties are stronger, though still fragile.

Many important  historical events are mentioned, but some are not. For example, Gyasi skips America’s civil war. The general trend is towards emancipation in both the collective and the individual sense. Ghana becomes an independent nation, and leaders of the freedom movement are inspired by the assertiveness of black intellectuals from the USA. On the other hand, the author juxtaposes civil-rights activism in America with the heroin epidemic that haunted black urban communities in the 1960s.

Gyasi deserves praise for not depicting West African history as merely one of colonial exploitation. She shows how tribal conflicts facilitated the slave trade and certainly does not romanticise history. She makes an effort to come to terms with it.

Gyasi was born in Ghana, but grew up in the USA. It is not hard to see that Marjorie, the protagonist of the second last episode, resembles her. In the final chapter, both branches of Gyasi’s fictive family tree are reunited, but neither Marjorie nor Marcus, the final chapter’s main protagonist, are aware of sharing a distant ancestor – the mother of the two half-sisters the plot starts with.

Yaa Gyasi, 2016: Homegoing. New York: Knopf (Paperback: 2017, London, Penguin)

Kategorien: english

Can we understand the prospects of development without understanding its environmental dimension?

EADI Debating Development Research - 14. Februar 2019 - 8:59
By Imme Scholz Development Studies aim to understand the root causes of poverty and its reproduction and how social inequalities emerge and are stabilized. This is a broad endeavour with a number of academic disciplines contributing, with quite a few success stories if we look at the economic and the social dimensions. However, while maintaining …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

‘New tech’ business model threatens decent work conditions, warns UN

UN ECOSOC - 13. Februar 2019 - 17:59
Unemployment is down globally but workers’ conditions have not improved, the UN said on Wednesday, warning that some businesses driven by new technology “threaten to undermine” hard-won social gains of recent decades.
Kategorien: english

‘New tech’ business model threatens decent work conditions, warns UN

UN #SDG News - 13. Februar 2019 - 17:59
Unemployment is down globally but workers’ conditions have not improved, the UN said on Wednesday, warning that some businesses driven by new technology “threaten to undermine” hard-won social gains of recent decades.
Kategorien: english

Forest as commons and women’s land rights: Reflections from India

Oxfam GROW - 13. Februar 2019 - 17:11
Blog: Forest as commons and women’s land rights: Reflections from India13 February 2019

How can we harness the power of collective rights of marginalized women in India to strengthen, safeguard and enrich their lives and the land, forests and waters they protect?

Kategorien: english

Crowdfunding the Sustainable Development Goals

UN Dispatch - 13. Februar 2019 - 16:27

GoFundMe for the Sustainable Development Goals? It’s more feasible than you may think.

A new study from the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School says crowdfunding may be a viable strategy for financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to UN estimates, achieving the 17 highly ambitious global goals by 2030 will cost a hefty $5 trillion to $7 trillion a year – about $4 trillion of which is required in developing countries. Yet every year, we fall about $2.5 trillion short. With only 11 years left until 2030, experts are submitting a variety of suggestions.

Some say we should increase trade and aid (official development assistance). Others point to blended finance, using public or philanthropic funding to increase private sector investment in sustainable development, and impact investing in businesses with the expectation of a positive social benefit as well as financial return.

But the authors of this study say the UN should think like a startup and launch a crowdfunding platform, along the lines of Indiegogo or GoFundMe, specifically to raise money for projects that align with the SDGs.

According to the report, crowdfunding has grown rapidly in the last few years and will continue to do so. In 2016, crowdfunding campaigns raised over $144 billion. Of that, $560 million were donations (as opposed to a loan, for shares in an entity or in exchange for a non-financial reward). Although global growth in crowdfunding was largely driven by China, the U.S. drives donation-based funding. In 2016, Asia-Pacific crowdfunded $103 billion, but of that, only $165 million were donations. Meanwhile, the Americas raised a third of that ($35 billion), but nearly twice as much in donations ($339 million).

The report says that with estimates of global charitable giving at about $400 billion annually, the crowdfunding figures reveal great potential for a growing industry.

The thing is the UN already has several SDG-related crowdfunding platforms. But according to the report’s authors, they’re “misaligned with the best practices, strategic choices and industry standards of … top-performing platforms.”

The UN’s main SDG crowdfunding platform, DigitalGood, was launched in 2015 by the United Nations Development Programme. Its top fundraiser is Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – best known for his role as Jaime Lannister in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones – who has raised just over $31,000 since July 2017. The second-highest campaign raised $11,000. A quick glance at the rest of the top fundraisers list shows the platform really hasn’t taken off.

However, the study says that key changes could make an SDG crowdfunding platform a viable option for raising significant contributions. For example, the platform should track the contribution and progress toward SDG indicators. It should also primarily be for social entrepreneurs to develop social-innovation projects with opportunities for match-funding by corporations, foundations and governments.

In a 2016 article for the Guardian, Blair Glencorse, executive director of the Accountability Lab, suggested that an SDG crowdfunding process should be led by those in the developing world.

“Citizens could themselves suggest, design and monitor projects that would be of greatest benefit, submit these to an online platform for potential support and even pledge their own resources (financial or human) to back their ideas,” he wrote.

Of course, a global crowdfunding process and resulting projects would require careful oversight and coordination, Glencorse notes, but existing models do, too.

The SDGs have often been criticized for being too broad and too complex. But the authors of the report argue that it can actually provide an excellent framework that channels the generosity of people around the world into 17 critical priorities.

“If successful,” they say, “the SDG-linked model will demonstrate how organizations can redirect donation-based crowdfunding from separate initiatives to an integrated, global collective in tackling today’s toughest social problems.”

The post Crowdfunding the Sustainable Development Goals appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Like a magnet

D+C - 13. Februar 2019 - 10:50
ECOWAS has made considerable progress, but still has ample room for improvement

Right after World War II, when most of sub-Saharan Africa was still under colonial rule, West Africans made several attempts at regional integration. The first effort dates back to 1945 and was driven by France. The CFA franc was created as the joint currency of francophone countries. It had a fixed exchange rate with the French franc, tying the economies closely to the monetary policy of the colonial power. Today, the Central Bank of the UEMOA (Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine – West African Economic and Monetary Union) is based in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. The CFA franc now has a fixed exchange rate with the euro.

After several failed attempts to involve all countries of the region, regardless of language or size, in regional cooperation, Nigeria and Togo launched yet another initiative in 1972. It resulted in the Treaty of Lagos, which was signed on 28 May 1975 and established the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).

The main goal was to foster economic cooperation and promote intra-regional trade. Because of chronic instability and civil wars, however, ECOWAS soon had to focus on issues of regional peace and security (see interview with Vladimir Antwi-Danso in D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2018/02, Focus section).

Vincent Foly is the editor of La Nouvelle Tribune, a newspaper in Benin. In his eyes, the ECOWAS is perhaps the most successful regional organisation in Africa. He says it has achieved much in terms of ensuring free movement of people and goods. An agreement on a customs union has boosted its reputation. The specialised agencies of ECOWAS are funded with a common import levy, and that system is running well.

The positive image of the regional bloc, says Vincent Foly, seems to be acting like a magnet. Morocco, a country in northern Africa, has applied for membership in February 2017. It is still awaiting official admission.

Mauritania, a former member state of the ECOWAS which left the organisation back in 2000, signed a new associate-membership agreement in August 2017. The step made economic sense: ECOWAS is home to 300 million people and covers about one-sixth of Africa.

On the other hand, it has not con­cluded an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. Only a preliminary agreement is in force, which applies to
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

But not all works well within the bloc. Foly says ECOWAS has “feet of clay” because political rivalry amongst heads of state and government continues to undermine efforts at full integration.

Other observers see more serious flaws. Luc Fernand Kpelly, a journalism instructor, argues that ECOWAS basically only unites “heads of states who bribed their way to power”. In Kpelly’s opinion, moreover, the former colonial powers, namely France, Britain and Portugal, continue to manipulate the regional bloc for their own national interests. “France often hides behind Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire to torpedo all promising effort at full integration,” he says.

Overall, the ECOWAS has not been able to achieve a full harmonisation of member countries’ macroeconomic policies. There is also a lack of promotion of the private sector as the driving force towards achieving economic integration. Divergent and often counter-productive taxation policies in individual member states constitute another serious bottleneck. Stronger trade within ECOWAS could make the region more resilient to external shocks, but so far, governments have not done much to make that happen. Mass poverty remains a huge challenge, and the informal sector tends to keep people trapped in misery – for example in Benin (see my comment in Debate section of D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2018/10).

Plans to establish a monetary union for all ECOWAS members have been spelled out for a long time, but have not made much progress. In view of the problems the Euro-Zone has run into that may actually be a good thing. Indeed, some critics argue that UEMOA is hurting the francophone members by subordinating them to European exigencies.

Karim Okanla is a media scholar and freelance writer from Benin.

Kategorien: english


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