Trade and Development – A forgotten issue? Gabriele Koehler

Post-2015 discussions are in full swing – debating what a new, sustainable development agenda ought to look like.  The Future we want – outcome document of the Rio Summit held earlier this year, noted that “sustained economic growth for reduction of poverty, inequality and vulnerability will require strengthened partnerships among governments, the private sector and civil society to make sure that international trade, national and foreign direct investments contribute to productive employment creation, economic security and investments in health, education, rural development, water and sanitation while safeguarding human rights and empowering women.” It speaks of a fair and stable global…

UK Aid to India Jayati Ghosh

Not too many tears may be shed in India on the announcement that Greening has now announced the end to UK aid to India in 2015, as the question is increasingly being asked within India: should the country continue to take such aid? An online poll on this website had asked readers to vote on this, offering various choices (yes/no/maybe/partly) on the basis of different approaches. Like many voting choices, this one is actually quite complicated. The problem is that the reasons provided for any of these choices are partly true, but also partly off-track! Consider the argument for eliminating aid, which is…

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and environmental sustainability, to insist on the centrality of employment and decent work, and to move away from the outdated and oversimplified North-South dichotomy.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)

Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households : Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries Isabel Ortiz, Jingqing Chai and Matthew Cummins

In the wake of the food, fuel and financial shocks, a fourth wave of the global economic crisis began in 2010, viz., fiscal austerity. Updating earlier research by UNICEF, this working paper examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 128 developing countries, comparing the three periods of 2005-07 (pre-crisis), 2008-09 (fiscal expansion) and 2010-12 (fiscal contraction). It discusses the possible risks of the adjustment measures for social expenditures and summarises a series of alternative policy options. poor_households (Download the full text in PDF format)

Prioritizing Expenditures for a Recovery for All Isabel Ortiz, Jingqing Chai, Mathew Cummins, Gabriel Vergara

This UNICEF paper examines government expenditure projections for 126 low and middle income countries and their potential implications for children and poor households during the ongoing fragile economic recovery. While recognizing the importance of macroeconomic stability, the paper questions if the projected fiscal adjustment trajectory in a number of countries is conducive to the objective of protecting vulnerable households and the achievement of development goals such as the MDGs. (Financing options for pro-poor social spending are also explored). unicef (Download the full text in PDF format)

The Millennium Development Goals Jayati Ghosh

In the year 2000, the UN General assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration, in which world leaders committed to achieving a set of 8 goals by 2015. Since then, these Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, have become the latest buzzword at different levels of the international development aid industry, and have spawned substantial employment generation for what are now called "development practitioners". The MDGs are certainly worthy and well-intentioned, stating goals that no sane person could really object to. They are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality and empowerment of women; to…