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Shifting our approach on migration from security to development

OECD - 22. Juli 2022 - 16:29

By Xavier Savard-Fournier, International migration specialist & Reporter and analyst of international affairs

The securitisation of migration – the inclusion of migration in the realm of security affairs – can be understood as the will to control who belongs ‘in’ and whom to keep ‘out’. Security-led migration narratives and policies against migrants are predicated on seeing “others”, often non-white [forced] migrants, as a threat to the cultural, economic, and security aspects of society. These biases do not take into account what such migrants can bring to the development of host societies and sending countries, including through remittances.

The post Shifting our approach on migration from security to development appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

Mega-drought, glacier melt, and deforestation plague Latin America and the Caribbean

UN #SDG News - 22. Juli 2022 - 15:37
From the Amazon to the Andes and the snowy depths of Patagonia, extreme weather and climate change are causing mega-drought, extreme rainfall, deforestation and glacier melt across the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, according to a UN report published on Friday.
Kategorien: english

Over 100 million people belong to India’s scheduled tribes

D+C - 22. Juli 2022 - 10:23
India’s Adivasi communities’ have traditional norms – and a special legal status

Officially, Adivasis are classified as “scheduled tribes”, but the designation and status vary from state to state. Some communities are listed as a scheduled tribe in one state but not in others, so they may lose special rights when they migrate.

To an outsider’s eye, the lifestyle of an Adivasi forest village may look unorganised, but it is based on carefully crafted customary laws. For example, villages in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh depend upon forest produce for their income. In March and April, they collect mahua flowers, with people plucking blossoms seemingly at random. How­ever, there is a set of rules which govern what they do. According to their custom, each tree is allocated to a specific household, the members of which may collect its flowers.

Adivasi customs often diverge considerably from what is considered normal in Indian mainstream society. In the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, for example the tradition of Ghotul allows unmarried men and women to explore their compatibility before marriage. The couple can spend a fortnight together getting to know each other in a domicile they share. Afterwards, they may marry or go separate ways. This practice is far more liberal than arranged marriages with husband and wife often meeting for the very first time on their wedding day.

104 million people  

According to India’s 2011 census, 104 million people belong to the country’s scheduled tribes. They constituted almost nine percent of the total population and more than 11 % of the rural population. They speak more than 100 languages and vary in terms of their social structure, customs, language, religion, food habits, dress, economic sustenance and cultural manifestations.

Even in densely populated areas, Adivasi communities tend to live in separate villages, though they interact regularly with others. In forest areas, however, tribes are largely left to themselves. Conflicts arise when corporate powers with government backing want to extract resources from their lands (see main story).

In late July, Droupadi Murmu, was elected Indian president by the parliament. She is the first one from a tribal community, but is known as a well-aligned politician in her party, the Hindu-supremacist BJP. The president’s role is largely symbolic, so she will not make a major difference to forest villages in central India.

Suparna Banerjee recently obtained her PhD in development studies from Bonn University. Her book on forest-related conflicts in central India will be published by Routledge soon.

Kategorien: english

Building Back Better? Dubious Strategies to close the SDG Financing Gap

Global Policy Watch - 22. Juli 2022 - 0:06

By Isadora Jahanfar Tholin*

With less than eight years left to 2030, countries around the world are struggling to even come close to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a huge part of why has to do with financing. More specifically, USD 3.3-4.5 trillion per year is needed to close the so-called financing gap. There are several reasons why this massive gap exists. First, states are not living up to their commitments of contributing 0.7% of their GNI towards Official Development Assistance (ODA) – a type of financing aimed at economic development and welfare of developing countries. Second, when the SDGs were being negotiated in 2015, Member States agreed that the private sector too would have to contribute to financing development. But here is where it gets tricky: private capital owners are not accountable to anyone if they choose to not invest, and as University of London professor Ulrich Volz, among others, highlighted at a meeting on financing for development during this year’s HLPF “hoping for private capital” to finance the gap, will not be enough, instead there needs to be structural change. While little can be done to combat the accountability problem of private investors, efforts have been made to stimulate private corporate actors to invest in sustainable development anyway through – the buzzword at this year’s ongoing HLPF: social impact bonds (SIBs).

What Are Social Impact Bonds?

If the name sounds confusing it’s probably because it is. In fact, they are not bonds in the traditional sense of government or corporate-issued instruments, but actually ‘pay for success’ contracts in which a socially conscious investor can choose to invest from a portfolio of projects to boost development in a wide range of areas, including education, social welfare, employment, health, environment and food security. The project relies on set project-based measures of success which an independent evaluator will monitor throughout the set timeframe. If and only if, the project has met the agreed goals set by the end of the project timeline, the investors receive their initial investment together with agreed upon returns from the government.

So what is the problem with SIBs? First of all, many of these projects are tackling issues that fall within the category of human rights, specifically economic and social rights. Robust sustainable development is contingent upon states being able to invest in their social infrastructure, not owing money to private investors looking for profit. SIBs are part of a trend that is contributing in doing the opposite. Second, there is a real issue in trying to quantify progress related to economic and social issues, such as welfare and education, because these are intangible and complex processes. Relying on a set of metrics to measure social development has already been widely criticized. Third, we need to remember that even the most compassionate private capitalists in the end are driven by profit, not goodwill. In free market logic, it is therefore only rational for investors to be investing in projects with a track record of reaching the pre-set goals. By implication, this means that stakes are high for the most vulnerable groups in society which might require an ‘unattractive’ project investment with little chances of reaching the set goals in a given time period.

Financializing Rights—A Contradiction in Terms?

As many critics have pointed out, these social bonds are essentially fictitious commodities and a way to depoliticize social welfare and financialize rights. Framed in this market logic, access to education and health care now become commodities and transfers power from sovereign states to private investors (mostly) based in the Global North. This financing instrument threatens countries’ right to choose which development strategies are best for them.

Finally, the looming paradox lies in that while various UN agencies, such as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), encourage SIB implementation to finance the SDGs, the instrument itself reinforces the existing power relations that the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda supposedly seek to change, with their transformative dimensions and risk putting into further debt the many developing countries that already struggle with a debt crisis that has worsened since the pandemic.

It is unsustainable and dangerous to assume that private capital benevolently will step up and bridge the financing gap in debt ridden countries and SIBs as a financing instrument are a step in the wrong direction. What is needed is robust public capital, as well as reform and the re-focus of the multilateral development banks in order to achieve long-term robust sustainable development. Structural change is needed, and reliable, public capital is our best chance to fulfill the 2030 Agenda and for developing countries to achieve sustainable development.


* Isadora Jahanfar Tholin is a graduate student in International Affairs at The New School.

The post Building Back Better? Dubious Strategies to close the SDG Financing Gap appeared first on Global Policy Watch.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Climate change: New approach needed to gauge animal health impact on emissions

UN ECOSOC - 21. Juli 2022 - 22:33
Animal health is important to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but greater investment is needed to evaluate the impact, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partners said in a report published on Thursday.
Kategorien: english

Lebanon: At ‘a crossroad between rebound or collapse’

UN ECOSOC - 21. Juli 2022 - 21:41
The dire impact of Lebanon’s unrelenting socio-economic crisis prompted the UN Special Coordinator to warn the Security Council behind closed doors on Thursday, that the country stands at “a crossroad between rebound or collapse”.
Kategorien: english

How central Indian forests become sites of conflict

D+C - 21. Juli 2022 - 16:16
When tensions escalate, Indian laws to protect the ecology and grassroots communities hardly make a difference

India’s indigenous communities are collectively referred to as “Adivasis” and officially enjoy special protection as “scheduled tribes” (see box next page). To a large extent, they remain marginalised nonetheless. Many villages do not have much contact to the outside world. The villagers live according to customary laws that have evolved over centuries. They allow Adivasi communities to make use of natural resources whilst also serving as stewards of the forests.

The Forest Rights Act of 2006 acknowledged the symbiotic relationship between Adivasis and their natural habitat. It explicitly gives village assemblies a role in managing the forests and empowers them to safeguard their culture.

India’s Supreme Court has interpreted these rights in a quite expansive way. In a landmark case, it banned further mining of bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills. Vedanta Aluminium wanted to exploit the resource, but the court decided in favour of the Dongria Kondh, an Adivasi community, in whose eyes the hills are a religious site.

Mining, resource exploitation and economic growth

Unfortunately, things are not often resolved this way. There is a huge gap between what the government perceives as development and how indigenous communities live (for the example of the Andaman islands, see Anup Dutta on The government is keen on mining, resource exploitation and economic growth. It tends to side with corporate interests. For several reasons, laws meant to protect the Adivasis are often not enforced and even blatantly violated:

  • The legal situation is bewilderingly confusing, as national and state-level legislation are often inconsistent.
  • The Adivasis speak languages of their own, but the laws are written in English and Hindi. Both feel alien to them, and may actually be incomprehensible. Moreover, the Adviasis typically lack access to lawyers. Moreover, it can be very difficult to go out to court for cultural reasons.
  • Officers of state agencies typically do not understand any Adivasi language.
  • Across India, the implementation of laws tends to be incomplete, not least because formal legislation often does not fit grassroots realities. Hierarchies of wealth and caste often supersede the rule of law.
  • Indian state agencies have a reputation of corruption.

The situation is particularly tense in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state, where iron-ore mining and logging are going on. The Gond, Halba and other local Adivasi communities do not benefit from the resource exploitation.

They depend on the forest for medicinal herbs, burying their dead, religious rituals, grazing cattle, fetching fuels and collecting food. The forest cover has been continuously degraded, however. Neglect of local people’s customary forest rights is a primary reason. Bastar is one of India’s most backward regions. Relevant issues include low literacy rates, inadequate health care and poor infrastructure.

Growing tensions since liberalisation set in in 1990s

The government’s market-driven development paradigm means that demand for natural resources has been growing fast in the past three decades. Both the forest and mining sector are largely unregulated. Since the onset of liberalisation in the early 1990s, tensions have increased dramatically in forest areas like Bastar. Recurring grievances include displacement, lack of proper relocation and meagre compensation for land claimed by government institutions.

While the Forest Rights Act was definitively a step in the right direction, it was always at odds with some state-level regulations. Ordinary Adivasis are unable to navigate the legal complexity.

In this scenario, left-wing extremists were able to build bases among the deprived. Some Adivasis – though certainly not all – joined them. Violent clashes have become common. Apart from the formal security forces, right-wing vigilante groups play a role too (see Nandini Sundar on

Around the world, anti-insurgency strategies often prove incompatible with the rule of law. That is not different in central India. Wrongful convictions and allegations of involvement with extremist groups occur frequently. Indeed, activists who insist on principle enshrined in the constitution and national laws are often labelled “terrorists” and prosecuted accordingly.

Divisive education

In this setting, even outside interventions that look benign can actually be divisive. An example is the Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS), a large residential school for Adivasis in Odisha state. The school is cooperating with corporations like Adani, the mining conglomerate, and training youngsters to become skilled labourers in that sector.

This approach is not as noble as it might seem. Yes, it does provide an educa tion to young people, but it also co-opts them and pits them against the interests of their communities. More generally speaking, educational institutions often make the young Adivasi generation give up their language, food habits and indigenous clothing.

For 30 years, Adivasis have been continuously displaced from their own land and forced to become contract labourers for the mining sector. One result is migration to other states, but it means considerable sacrifices. An Adivasi group’s special rights are often limited to the state where it has traditionally lived. In the diaspora, moreover, indigenous languages are likely to wither away fast and many cultural traditions cannot be maintained.

Each Adivasi group is unique. Each has its traditions and culture which date back centuries. The groups have constantly tried to preserve their lifestyles, adhering to their own norms and customs. Conflicts only begin when their land is found to be rich in natural resources which the government wants to see exploited for commercial purposes.

Peace must be restored. The big issue is whether the indigenous communities can keep living the way they do or whether they must assimilate. Mutual learning is important. For it to happen, the Adivasis’ constitutional and legal rights must be upheld. They must get their rightful say in what happens with their land. The assumption that modern Indian society is more civilised is misleading. Current consumerism is unsustainable, whereas Adivasi culture is not only compatible with ecological diversity and climate mitigation, but actually conducive to both.

Suparna Banerjee recently obtained her PhD in development studies from Bonn University. Her book on forest-related conflicts in central India will be published by Routledge soon.

Kategorien: english

Is the United States “Inflating” the Military Threat From China?

UN Dispatch - 21. Juli 2022 - 16:08

Official and unofficial pronouncements from many sectors of the American foreign policy and political establishment routinely portray China as a major military threat to the United States — even claiming that this threat is existential.

This is part of a pattern that my guest today calls “threat inflation” which he argues leads to policy decisions that paradoxically leaves the US less secure.

Michael D. Swaine, is director of the East Asia program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He is the author of a new report titled “Threat Inflation and the Chinese Military” which shows how US officials may be exaggerating the military threat from China and what he argues are problematic policies that stem from inflated threat perceptions.


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The post Is the United States “Inflating” the Military Threat From China? appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Zambia and DRC partnering in battery production

D+C - 21. Juli 2022 - 15:48
Zambia and the DRC hope to become massive producers and refiners of cobalt for electric vehicle batteries

Zambia and DRC have vibrant mining sectors. They form part of the so called “Copper belt” which stretches from the Central African Republic, the DRC and Zambia. This region accounts for the world’s largest supply for cobalt, a mineral used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

A June 2020 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicts that some 23 million electric vehicles will be sold over the coming decade. “The market for rechargeable car batteries, currently estimated at $ 7 billion, is forecast to rise to $ 58 billion by 2024,” the UN report says.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a body that researches and publishes market data on the lithium-ion battery and EVs supply chain, states that global demand for cobalt has tripled since 2011 in the battery sector alone. It further predicts that demand for cobalt will reach 190,000 metric tons by 2026.

Whereas the precious metal cobalt is sourced largely from the DRC and Zambia, refining and value addition to the metal takes place elsewhere, in countries such as Belgium, China, Finland and Norway. Zambia has advanced its manufacturing sector with potential to produce car batteries.

For this reason, the southern Africa country has sought for a partnership with its neighbour DRC to boost their mining and manufacturing sectors to be able to take advantage of the global demand for cobalt and lithium-ion batteries. By doing so, they hope to shorten supply lines between cobalt refineries and battery-making plants.

The two governments recently signed a memorandum of understanding; “Zambia–DRC Battery Council” which they hope will make them massive producers and refiners of cobalt for electric vehicle batteries. “Our focus is job creation for the people of our two countries through economic diversification, job and wealth creation for the economic and social transformation of our citizens,” said president Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia when he signed the agreement in Lusaka alongside his DRC counterpart president Felix Tshisekedi.

The move by the two countries has received support from environmentalists and climate change activists who see it as a step in the right direction. “If our country effectively mines cobalt and copper for the electric vehicle battery value chain, it’s going to be a win for Zambia, a win for the EVs industry and a win for the environment as we look to cut fossil-fuel emissions on a global scale,” said Robert Chimambo, a local environmental activist.

Zambia’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister Stanley Kakubo expressed support for the partnership saying: “The joint Zambia-DRC battery precursor initiative has a vision to create a competitive electric vehicle battery value chain aimed towards sustainable development and inclusive growth. It is in line with the country’s development aspirations to bring about a more diversified and industrialised economy which will contribute towards job creation and the improvement of the Zambian people’s livelihoods.”

Several Chinese, Japanese, US and European automakers have assembly plants in South Africa for traditional cars but electric car producers like Tesla are absent. It is only hoped that as EVs become more popular and initiatives like that of Zambia and DRC take off, the situation will change.

Derrick Silimina is a freelance journalist based in Lusaka.

Kategorien: english

Islamist extremists operate like typical insurgents

D+C - 21. Juli 2022 - 14:30
In West Africa’s security crisis, local contexts have international ramifications

According to the conventional wisdom, West Africa is currently witnessing a struggle between violent Islamism and democratic statehood. Is that the ground-level reality?
The conventional wisdom is not very helpful. If it were, we would not be witnessing a spill-over of the crisis from the Sahel region to the southern fringes of the Sahara to coastal states. Let me deconstruct both concepts. The recent wave of coups has shown that typically there was only a democratic façade. Yes, there had been elections with voters casting ballots, but the elected leadership was largely ignoring people’s demands. There was no real social contract, according to which people have rights and duties and which defines how the state relates to its citizens. This disconnect is especially pronounced in remote rural areas.

And what about violent Islamism?
We did interviews with hundreds of people who are involved in violent extremism at the grassroots level. We found that foot soldiers and lower-level leaders are engaged for various reasons, but rarely as a result of religious indoctrination. The top leadership uses fundamentalist rhetoric, which they may believe in, but faith doctrines are quite obviously not motivating all members of their organisations.

So what were the drivers?
There are many, but the need for protection is a key motivation. People want to be safe, and they want their families, their communities and their income generating activities to be safe too. If a family member joins a specific extremist group, that group will generally not attack his family.

That sounds like a typical Mafia-type protection racket.
My point is that there is actually no major difference between jihadists and other armed groups, whether you consider rebels, Mafia gangs or vigilantes. They all need to recruit fighters, need means of operation and need financial means. The idea that extremist violence was all about religious fundamentalism did not allow us to see that the modus operandi is not new at all. It makes more sense to think in terms of an insurgency. The patterns of recruitment are the same. The extremists are very good at linking their operations to locally specific grievances which result from failures of governance. Basic social needs are not met, starting with security and ranging from infrastructure to the rule of law and economic opportunities. Moreover, many people feel neglected or even abandoned by state agencies.

So the conflict is driven by the disconnect between the governments and their peoples? Vladimir Antwi-Danso of the Ghana Armed Forces Command & Staff College recently pointed that out too (see
We are witnessing a comprehensive failure of governance. In the lack of a meaningful social contract, the political system, the legal system and the economy aren’t working – and certainly not in ways that would allow people to prosper. Instead, many see their very survival at risk.

What about economic drivers?
Well, we keep being told that unemployed young men join the extremists, but that is not the full picture. Our research showed many recruits actually want protection for existing income generating activities. In central Mali, for example, some wanted their families’ cattle herds to be safe – and not only from robbers, but also taxation by a government agency that they see as unfair. In other cases, people said they were hunters, but the government considered them poachers. People involved in illegal artisanal gold mining have also sought protection with violent groups.

Are there lessons for policymakers?
Yes, of course. Projects geared to job creation are not enough when people also need the preservation of existing income generating activities. That should be on the agenda too, as well as attempts to make them more attractive. The issue of protection and the role of states as providers of impartial security are also key. This should not be only the job of international agencies. National governments should lead. All too often, how­ever, state action comes late or is not perceived to be fair, so frustration grows.

Do tribal, linguistic and faith differences matter?
To some extent, they do, but not in an essentialist way. Both state actors and extremists exploit such differences in manipulative ways. We have to be careful about using easily available categories. There are not only clashes between communities, but within communities too – for example, when leadership is contested.

What are the international dimensions? ­After all, the conflict is spilling over from one country to another.
It would indeed be wise to pay more attention to international linkages. Our research showed that motorbikes which were used for attacks in the border region of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger had been brought to the region from Nigeria via Benin. That is a long supply chain. The extremists need fuel, ammunition and arms, for example. They make money, for instance by selling stolen cattle or illicitly extracted gold from the Sahel to coastal countries. Better policing of the trade routes might make a difference. However, that would have to be done in ways that do not cause additional frustrations. At the ISS Africa we insist that all interventions should be based on a deep evidence-based understanding of local contexts. The goal must be to put out flames, not to stoke the fire. And if governments invest more in preventive action, it could avoid flames from starting in the first place.

Who should assume responsibility? The governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) or of the more encompassing AU?
The national governments have a role to play. And both ECOWAS and AU are relevant. For a long time, the conventional wisdom focused on the Sahel as though it had no connections to the rest of the region and the continent. Linkages and supply chains are still largely being neglected, and some of them extend beyond ECOWAS.

Is there a role for the UN?
Yes, and it is already paying close attention, with the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the UN office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). The ultimate fear is that West Africa could become a breeding ground for international terrorism. UN involvement is important, and so is EU involvement.

The French mission in Mali failed however.
Yes, many mistakes were made. We should remember, however, that things were difficult from the outset. Various responses from ECOWAS and the AU were being discussed in 2012 and 2013, but the USA and the UK opposed an African-led mission funded with UN assessed contribution. So it caught everyone unprepared when, in January 2013, separatists and violent extremists looked likely to march on Bamako, Mali’s capital, soon. After the French Serval intervention and the holding of election in 2013, the compromise was to complement a UN stabilisation mission with a French counter-terrorism operation.

And that was nobody’s preferred choice?
No, but it was what could be agreed upon and funded. The French counter-terrorism objective was to defeat the extremists by eliminating the leadership. The problem is that this strategy does not address the underlying frustrations on which the extremists thrive. So when some leaders are killed, new leaders step in fast. More attention should have been paid to what allows extremists to recruit, operate and expand. That was not necessarily the French troops’ job alone, but it should not have been neglected. Adding to the problems, Malian soldiers felt belittled by their French counterparts, and post-colonial resentments kept growing. All of this played a role in the French decision to withdraw.

Are you saying that there can’t be a military solution, so we must focus on a political solution?
This is not a question of either/or. The military response is necessary, but it is not sufficient. Other issues matter too, in particular taking into account the needs of the people, and this requires crafting solutions that will address multiple governance deficits on the political, justice, security and economic fronts.

How do you assess the Russian involvement in Mali?
There is a lot of propaganda on all sides, so the picture is not clear. What is clear is that there were high levels of dissatisfaction with existing military and security arrangements in place in Mali since 2013. The Russian support has given Mali’s army a feeling of being almighty, not least due to new equipment they always wanted. They now have capacities for aerial surveillance and airstrikes. In addition to human-rights abuses, the great risk is that efforts towards a stronger army may distract Mali’s military regime from the underlying, non-military problems which, to achieve stability, must also be addressed.

Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni heads the Dakar-based Regional Office for West Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS Africa). The head office is in South Africa.

Kategorien: english

Ahead of the curve: Innovations in education

Devex - 21. Juli 2022 - 14:26
Kategorien: english

Spiralling gender inequality is not inevitable: here’s how we can fix it

OECD - 21. Juli 2022 - 13:27

By Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director, Oxfam International

The more we listen to women’s rights leaders across the world, the harder it is to ignore the reality that we have been witnessing profound and staggering setbacks to gender equality.

Despite the huge progress we have made, it was already tragic that it would take an estimated 99 years to achieve gender equality. This has now been set back by a generation in the wake of the pandemic, to 135 years.

Women the world over have faced an ignored pandemic of increased gender-based violence.  Nearly 1 in 2 women have reported that they or a woman they know faced violence during the pandemic. Over eleven million girls may not go back to school after the pandemic.

Around the world, women are bearing a heavier load of unpaid care work – estimated even before the pandemic at 12.5 billion hours each day. This free labour keeps societies running but traps women at the bottom of the global economy.

The post Spiralling gender inequality is not inevitable: here’s how we can fix it appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

UN summit galvanizes action for development agendas in Africa

UN #SDG News - 20. Juli 2022 - 23:43
The development of Africa was spotlighted at a key UN meeting on Wednesday, with attention focused on advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.    
Kategorien: english

UN summit galvanizes action for development agendas in Africa

UN ECOSOC - 20. Juli 2022 - 23:43
The development of Africa was spotlighted at a key UN meeting on Wednesday, with attention focused on advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.    
Kategorien: english

The promise of modern services in traditional economies

Brookings - 20. Juli 2022 - 22:04

By Gaurav Nayyar, Mary Hallward-Driemeier, Elwyn Davies

The process of structural transformation in now-industrialized economies was typically linear—first moving from agriculture to manufacturing, and later from manufacturing to modern, knowledge-intensive professional services. But growth in less industrialized countries over the past three decades has not conformed to this pattern. “Modern” services have provided productive growth opportunities in “traditional” economies, i.e., those without a large manufacturing base—either through serving final demand abroad or leveraging domestic demand from sectors other than manufacturing. These opportunities, in turn, have contributed to job creation.   

Serving demand in foreign markets 

Much like manufactured goods, the production of modern services—computer programming, business process outsourcing (BPO), and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) of accounting and architectural and engineering services—is fragmented across countries. This can occur when the development, maintenance, and training for software-related code is performed in one country and delivered digitally to customers in another. This labor cost arbitrage is reflected in the inverse relationship between the share of cross-border delivery (i.e., “mode 1” trade under the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services) in total exports of information and communications technology (ICT) and professional services and per capita income levels (Figure 1). Service providers in some developing economies—such as India, the Philippines, Ghana, Costa Rica, and Lebanon—particularly benefited from the export of offshore services.  

Figure 1. Developing economies have leveraged exports of offshore business services   Share of cross-border delivery in total exports of ICT and professional services vs. levels of per capita income, 2017

Source: Author’s calculations based on WTO TiSMoS database and World Development Indicators.

BPO services have been pivotal in the evolution of the Philippines from an agriculture-based economy where manufacturing has played only a limited role. Costa Rica was a pioneer in attracting offshore BPO services to Latin America, and Ghana has emerged as the top BPO hub in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, Lebanon has emerged as a regional hub for exporting financial services in the Arab world. India has long been the poster child for exporting software and other KPO services. And it is now home to one-fourth of the world’s online freelancers on English-language labor outsourcing platforms, such as Upwork and Freelancer.

Leveraging linkages with sectors other than manufacturing

Modern professional services—either upstream (R&D and product design) or downstream (branding and advertising)—increasingly account for much of the value added in the supply chain of manufactured goods. And firms in industrialized countries have used their established manufacturing core to diversify into related but higher value-added services. For example, traditional manufacturing firms such as Apple, Dyson, or H&M locate the R&D, design, and branding services at their headquarters in the United States or Europe while largely offshoring production jobs to lower-cost locations.

In less industrialized countries, linkages with sectors other than manufacturing have made important contributions to the growth of these modern services. For example, Chile used its mineral resources to diversify into the provision of sophisticated engineering services. And Uruguay now exports advanced information technology (IT) services for the livestock industry. There is also a range of information and computer-related services embedded in mobile-phone applications that are often linked to other services, such as retail, hospitality, and entertainment. This market for app development—supported by local language and cultural considerations—is booming everywhere, including in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The jobs dividend

The productive growth opportunities among modern professional services are associated with job creation. For example, the share of wages in the export of business services from the Philippines exceeds that in the export of ready-made garments from Bangladesh. The share of wages accruing to unskilled workers is, however, lower in the former compared to the latter. For every $1,000 of ready-made garment exports from Bangladesh, about $160 can be attributed to unskilled labor value added. For the same value of business services exports from the Philippines, less than $90 can be ascribed to unskilled-labor value added. This skill bias narrows with indirect job creation attributable to linkages with other sectors. When a sector’s inputs to economy wide production are included, the contribution of labor value added generated by unskilled labor for every $1,000 of exports is $130 for business services in the Philippines compared with $160 for apparel in Bangladesh (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Labor value-added content in exports: Bangladesh’s ready-made garments industry vs. the Philippines’ business services sector, 2015 

Source: Authors’ calculations based on the World Bank’s Labor Content of Exports Database. 

In conclusion, the growing promise of ICT and other professional services should not be forgotten in economies without a large manufacturing base. If anything, the advent of digitalization during the pandemic has brought a new momentum to these sectors where remote delivery is possible, opening new opportunities for services-led growth. Even traditional economies must capitalize on this momentum provided by modern services.

Kategorien: english

Sri Lankans are crying for food, fuel and a government they can trust: The world needs to listen

OECD - 20. Juli 2022 - 13:28

By Elizabeth Holbourne, Speechwriter and Editor, OECD Development Centre

Since the unfolding of the economic crisis in March, young middle-class Sri Lankan professionals who have seen their purchasing power vanish, students, families and people desperate for change, have taken to the streets, taking part in largely peaceful demonstrations. Sri Lanka’s protests (#GotaGoGama) calling on the government to address the endemic corruption that has plagued the country for decades have prompted mass resignations and forced the president to resign and flee the country.

People want food and fuel but they also want justice, accountability and good governance. The next government must listen. So should the rest of the world.

The post Sri Lankans are crying for food, fuel and a government they can trust: The world needs to listen appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

A Remarkable Hilary Pennington’s Speech: Disability Rights and Its Intersectionality with Gender

#C20 18 - 20. Juli 2022 - 12:50

Around 30 representatives from international women with disabilities activists, national women’s activists, and organizations of persons with disabilities attended the GEDWG side event ‘Promoting Disability and Gender Equality in the G20 Policies and Commitments to Ensure Inclusive Economic Growth’ in Nusa Dua, Bali, July 20, 2022.

The Executive Vice President of the Ford Foundation Hilary Pennington made a highlight in her keynote speech.

“As an international forum of 20 major economies, G20 should adopt the disability rights and its intersectionality with gender into its commitment and policies to be aligned with the UN CRPD principles. The G20 should also make a commitment to tracking expenditures to promote inclusion in national and international development cooperation,” said Hilary.

Therefore, Mike Verawati, C20 GEDWG Coordinator, also emphasized that disability is an integral part of the global development agenda. Women with disabilities are affected by construction, which impacts layered injustice. Gender and disability issues must be the framework of G20 countries, and Indonesia as the executor of the presidency must also have a strong commitment to ensuring that the voices of women, women with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups are accommodated.

“15% of the world’s population are people with disabilities. Of this, 80% of the lives reside in developing countries. It is important for civil societies to guard the G20 agenda and encourage gender equality, disability and social inclusion to become the heart of every framework for global economic development,” she added.

Co-chair of C20 Herni Ramdlaningrum also shared that there are so many interconnections between taxation and disability, including the import tax rate for goods needed by people with disabilities.

“In the Regulation of the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia Number 224/PMK.011/2012, goods for special purposes of the blind and disabled people are actually excluded from the import tax. However, in reality, the tax is still imposed. And it’s, of course, one important thing we need to speak about,” said Herni.

She continued that C20 members aim to ensure the G20 leaders are recognized and commit to protect people with disabilities’ rights, including the right to go to school, to live in one’s community, to access health care, to start a family, to engage in political participation, to be able to play sport, or to travel, and to have decent work.

Writer: Sita Mellia

Kategorien: english, Ticker

The ecological consequences of ‘economic development’: the expansion of gold mining in the Volta Grande do Xingu

EADI Debating Development Research - 20. Juli 2022 - 8:28
By Amélie Foko’o Magoua, Anna Chevalier, Cassandra Ajufoh and Tomaso Ferrando On June 5th, a group of inhabitants of the agrarian reform settlement Ressaca in the Brazilian state of Para organized a collective action to take back public land previously turned over to Belo Sun Ltd, a Canadian mining company. The action, conducted with the …
Kategorien: english, Ticker


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