Computer outages Jayati Ghosh

It is a truth that should now be universally acknowledged that, everywhere in the world, our lives are driven by computers – or more specifically, by the workings of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and therefore the internet. And our dependence on them is not just temporary or partial: it is continuous and overwhelming. It is not just people who actively use computers – whether on desktops or laptops or tablets or mobile telephones – whose lives are driven by them and by internet access. Increasingly, (and certainly in urban areas) almost all forms of transport, most forms of financial…

Development for Whom? Jayati Ghosh

Calls for a new development paradigm grow louder each day, especially in rapidly growing countries like India. Award-winning development economist Jayati Ghosh explores prospects for such a new model of equitable and sustainable development with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute. What drew you to the field of development economics? I was interested in how societies function and how social change occurs, so I began by studying sociology. But it seemed that this discipline just skimmed the surface, that deeper underlying economic contexts and processes were crucial for understanding social change, and that without such knowledge, much would…

On the Cusp of A Genuinely Transformative Agenda? Gabriele Kohler

At least 2.2 billion people are affected by multidimensional poverty (UNDP HDR 2014),[1] and probably one billion by hunger. Income, wealth and health inequities are spiraling. There are currently over 40 million people in acute distress as internal or cross-border refugees.[2] The planet is suffering from perhaps irreversible climate change and biodiversity loss, man-made and system-generated. To address these unprecedented attacks on human rights and human development, four parallel but interrelated negotiation processes are currently underway in the multilateral sphere –  on the post-2015 development agenda, on climate change, on an update of the women’s agenda,  and  on financing for…

Why Asia is Probably Poorer than We Think Jayati Ghosh

The first target of the first millennium development goal (MDG) is to halve extreme poverty. It has been interpreted in terms of income poverty alone, relying on counting people living below the arbitrary global poverty line of $1.25 per day. According to this measure, there has been a global reduction of income poverty that indicates the target has already been met. Most of this is due to rapid poverty reduction in Asia, especially East and South-East Asia and more recently in South Asia, so it is generally felt that the region is a success story. But does this rather basic measure leave…

More of the Same, Just Prettier Gabriele Kohler

The High-level Panel of Eminent Persons today released its recommendations for the Post 2015 Development Agenda on the MDGs. It incorporates some of the demands of the world’s democratic and social movements. Thus, it formulates several universalist, rights-based goals: eradicate absolute poverty and end hunger, end child deaths, provide universal health, ensure universal reproductive rights, universalise primary and lower secondary education and access to water and sanitation. The Report stresses the necessity to change consumption and production patterns and ensure sustainable development. It commits to human rights, gender equality, and freedom from fear feature. It proposes stand-alone and crosscutting targets…

Human Security and the Next Generation of Comprehensive Human Development Goals Gabriele Koehler, Des Gasper, Richard Jolly and Mara Simane

2015 marks the target year of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the UN in 2000. The goals have not yet been fully achieved due to various reasons, and the unfulfilled agendas need immediate attention. This paper makes a case for extending the MDGs beyond 2015 but significantly reshaping them: to make progress towards goals more explicitly rights-based and participatory, to prioritise economic and social equity and environmental sustainability, to insist on the centrality of employment and decent work, and to move away from the outdated and oversimplified North-South dichotomy. Human_Security (Download the full text in PDF format)

Provincial Migration in China: Preliminary insights from the 2010 population census Andrew M. Fischer

In anticipation of the forthcoming release of the 2010 national population census of China, this paper compares the limited population data that have been released so far with annual data on natural population increase since the 2000 census in order to construct a rough but robust measure of net migration for each province in China between these two censuses. The results emphasise the extent of net out-migration from much of interior and western China as well as the degree to which rapid population growth in five coastal growth poles has been due to net in-migration. provincial_migration (Download the full text…

Affordable Medicine: A big step forward C.P. Chandrasekhar

India’s long struggle to ensure access to affordable medicines for its people recently took a positive and interesting turn. In early March 2012, just before he demitted office, Controller of Patents P. H. Kurien passed an order on an application filed by Hyderabad headquartered Natco Pharma requesting a license to produce a cancer drug (Sorafenib  Tosylate), the patent for which is held by German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer. Bayer produces and markets the drug under the brand name Nexavar, which is used in the treatment of patients diagnosed as being in the advanced stages of affliction with liver or…

Statement by Former Staff Members of UNCTAD: Silencing the message or the messenger …. or both? Geneva, 11 April 2012

Since its establishment almost 50 years ago at the instigation of developing countries UNCTAD has always been a thorn in the flesh of economic orthodoxy. Its analyses of global macro-economic issues from a development perspective have regularly provided an alternative view to that offered by the World Bank and the IMF controlled by the west. Now efforts are afoot to silence that voice. It might be understandable if this analysis was being eliminated because it duplicated the work and views of other international organisations, but the opposite is the case - a few countries want to suppress any dissent with…