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Webinar of the Financial Justice Dialogue series: Health and Food

SID - vor 6 Stunden 54 Minuten

The current global health (COVID-19) and climate emergencies are deepening the inequalities existent within of our global economic system and affecting our most basic rights, including health and food. Through this webinar we want to reflect about how the vulnerabilities of our global health and food systems, made more visible by the pandemic, are actually the result of decades of neoliberal policy choices and the expansion of global finance into many spheres of our lives. We also hope to highlight some potential ways forward.

Event Location: Online Event Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 15:00 to 16:30Contact Details: 

Join & discuss with us! Please use this link to register: https://forms.gle/XVGnxg9kRm4TrfAv7

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The COVID-19 Crisis in Health Systems and Global Governance

SID - 6. April 2020 - 18:03
Body: Never before has a virus blocked the planet’s gear the way COVID-19 did.  Three months after the first outbreak, it is dominating our lives and immagination: but instead of acting as a leveler, this time the virus is acting as an amplifier of the long-existing economic and social inequalities that cross societies, multiplying the danger of the virus and triggering a vicious circle with potentially devastating consequences. In a series of articles, SID’s Health Programme Lead, Nicoletta Dentico, analyzes how the virus exhalted the world's imbalances, the result of erroneus global policy prescriptions that have defined globalization so far. Using the inside view from the Italian microcosm, still one of the epicentres of the pandemic, she projects lines of coordinated work for the production and delivery of global goods in health, through better governance and social investments.  While exploring the links between the right to health and other social and economic rights and how they are in a constant tension with economic rules and financial profits, Dentico projects: “The renewed awareness of the key role played by a universal free public health setup, present in the hardest hit countries now – Spain has put all private hospitals under state control indefinitely – should spread like the virus and become a strong global demand. It takes a rights-based vision, beyond the financial resources, and I consider it the political point-of-no-return of the current viral crisis. In fact, the coronavirtue we must hold onto if we are serious about sustainable development for all.” Below is the list of the recently published articles: “The COVID-19 Crisis In Health Systems & Prospects For Recovery – The View From Italy” – Health Policy Watch “Chronicle of a pandemic foretold” – OpenDemocracy “We were warned again and again – we did nothing” – il manifesto (Global Edition) Articles in Italian: “Cronaca di una pandemia annunciata” – Sbilanciamoci! “Covid 19, Il virus delle disuguaglianze in azione e il "gioco" di scommettere sulla morte dell'altro” – la Repubblica “È la pandemia più annunciata della storia” – Famiglia Cristiana.it “Coronavirus, dietro al vaccino una grande partita geopolitica” - valori  For more information, please contact Nicoletta Dentico: ndentico@sidint.org     Image: Promoted: Introduction: 

PHOTO BY FABIO FEDELI

Nicoletta Dentico analyzes how the virus exalted the world's imbalances by triggering vicious circles with devastating consequences and shares the inside view from Italy. 

 

LHÜ-Info März 2020

SID Blog - 3. April 2020 - 15:41

WTO plans to do “business as usual”, despite the COVID 19 Crisis the global community is facing

SID - 2. April 2020 - 14:19
Body: Despite the ongoing pandemic of COVID 19 that is ravaging the world today, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is continuing to negotiate an outcome on fisheries subsidies. While Geneva, where WTO’s headquarters are located, is under lockdown and putting on hold all face-to-face meetings, WTO is willing to proceed with negotiations in the most non-transparent, non-inclusive and ad-hoc manner.    In a letter to Roberto Azevedo, WTO’s Director-General, and to all Geneva-based missions, 150 groups supporting fishers, farmers and workers call to immediately halt this process, due to the lack of adequate consultation. “This rush to conclude the negotiations in spite of the inability to hold direct discussions, when the Nur-Sultan June Ministerial Conference has been indefinitely postponed and all our countries and their people are battling the immense challenge of COVID 19, is baffling. Moreover, since the next Ministerial is most likely to be postponed to the middle or end of 2021 there is simply no rationale for continuing with the negotiations in such a haphazard and hasty manner.” Fisheries subsidies is a critical livelihood issue for millions especially in developing countries. An online negotiations process would further reveal the inequalities that exist not only inside countries but also among countries. The imbalances between the countries’ digital infrastructure, availability to join in and the possible miscommunication between missions and capitals under the current circumstances would expose the un-democratic manner and lack of inclusivity of this process. It would once again marginalize the concerns of the majority of WTO’s developing and least developed country members.   “Our countries would be much better served if delegates focused on domestic and global needs in fighting the COVID19 battle. In fact the WTO can actually help, for example, by easing intellectual property rules imposed through the WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and easing access to treatment for COVID19 affected patients”, concluded the undersigning groups   The letter is available in English, French and Spanish For media enquiries, please contact mackermann@sidint.org    Image: Promoted: Introduction: 

150 Civil Society groups urge WTO’s DG and Member States to halt the fisheries subsidies negotiations during COVID19 and calls for WTO’s engagement in the efforts to address this crisis. 

 

Curb your enthusiasm: Corona may slow down multilateral process, but must not derail global climate policy

DIE Blog - 2. April 2020 - 14:00

Last night the UK government together with UN climate officials announced that the UN climate change conference “COP26” that was set to convene in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2020, will be postponed into 2021 in response to the ongoing Corona crisis. Concomitantly, the UNFCCC has decided to reschedule its intermediary round of negotiations, which were set to convene in Bonn in early June, to 4-12 October 2020. This hardly comes as a surprise, yet poses and unprecedented challenge for multilateral climate process, which stands at the doorstep of a new era even without “COVID-19.”

The script was a different one for the current season of global climate governance. Even the lacklustre outcome of its latest episode, the UN Climate Change Conference “COP25” in Madrid in December 2019, did not curb expectations for 2020 to become a “super year” for climate. It still marks the beginning of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This entails inter alia the submission of updated, more ambitious pledges for climate action (technically: nationally determined contributions or NDCs) by all parties to better align national policies with the Paris Agreement’s global objectives. In most parts of the world, electorates, civil society and media had pushed climate policy to the top of public agendas. The European Union, by announcing its Green Deal and carbon neutrality by 2050, even signalled to resume the kind of leadership that had long been missing on the international stage. All of this was anticipated to build momentum in the run up to “COP26,” which should finally resolve the remaining disagreements over how to implement the Paris Agreement, including with a view to market mechanisms.

With the Corona pandemic spreading across the global stage, that hopeful script has come under pressure. As far as established routines go, unprecedented adjustments abound and the processes of UN climate governance are no exception. Yet, postponing technical meetings or negotiation sessions must neither halt the implementation of the Paris Agreement in its tracks nor derail it.

Quite to the contrary, as the social and economic fallout of the Corona crisis begs for unprecedented measures, states should embrace the instrumental value of the NDCs in shaping their economic recovery measures. Rather than pushing back national climate policy for short-sighted growth stimulus, the multilateral commitment to NDC updates could be harnessed to guide transformative measures that are increasingly pressing anyway and, hence, curb the impulse to resort to business as usual as soon as the virus retreats. Indeed, stimulus investments should be geared towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement. That is to say, all economic activity must be compatible with halting global warming at 1.5°C and at the same time boost the resilience of societies and economies to deal with the unavoidable impacts of ongoing climate change.

This is not to downplay the urgency of addressing the immediate impacts of the Corona crisis, but to turn towards a sustainable way forward that avoids the dead ends of apparent quick-fix solutions. Short-term economic impacts, as a result of Corona containment policies, are unavoidable. Yet, the very reason why climate action was not pushed forward hitherto was due to concerns on short-term economic impacts, notwithstanding the prospect of substantial gains in the long-run. Hence, the current disruptions should help rather than hinder policy adjustments and investments that pursue emissions reductions and a responsible use of natural resources while at the same time creating decent jobs and stimulating economic growth.

Expert reports like those of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate or the Global Commission on Adaptation are readily available to underpin how low carbon economies could generate tremendous growth opportunities as well as millions of new jobs. Moreover, measures tailored to address the impacts of climate change, such as increasing the resilience of health, food or infrastructure systems would also enhance countries preparedness to dealing with other forms of disruption, such as those caused by pandemics or disasters.

Given these synergies between climate action and sustainable development, using the current crisis to make the necessary investments now rather than later, would be the most sensible course of action. Moreover, such an approach would be opportune for developed and developing countries alike, albeit in different ways. For developed countries, there is the imperative for structural change to decarbonise their economies anyway. Developing countries in turn also stand to benefit from the synergies between climate action and sustainable development, including through ambitious NDCs that include commitments conditional on substantial developed country support.

The 2008 financial crisis was seen as a lost opportunity for a ‘green’ recovery, as countries have focused their efforts to re-establish the status quo ante. Arguably, during that crises, countries lacked operational plans ready to be implemented under time pressure. Besides, global consensus on the severity of the climate crisis was still several years off. Today, the Paris Agreement does not only provide a sense of direction, but also the NDCs as instruments to guide countries toward a sustainable and more crisis-resilient course.

The more states would subscribe to that logic, the higher the chances that the dynamic of a decentral drive to harness NDCs for economic recovery might catalyse progress at the multilateral level, probably more so than the technical haggling of an ordinary subsidiary bodies session may dare dreaming of. If anything, the COVID-19 episode should remind all how interconnected the world has become. That is to say no country, however powerful, will achieve a happy end by itself. Ironically, this could trigger the very upward spiral of climate ambition that the bottom up approach of the NDCs was meant to initiate in the first place, but that somehow got lost, once the Paris Agreement was achieved. Most current NDCs may not be sufficiently comprehensive and elaborate to meet this challenge, but the current situation highlights why it is so important to push on with adequate updates of these national plans already this year.

Ultimately, the guest starring villain by the name of Corona creates the kind of unexpected cliffhanger that can drive a successful series forward. Following a cliffhanger, by definition, the plot can develop in different ways. Imminent policy decisions, including on economic recovery packages, will direct how the coming episodes unfold. Either way, the show must go on! Once COVID-19 will be overcome, the fever curve of global warming will still require flattening, and fast.

Der Beitrag Curb your enthusiasm: Corona may slow down multilateral process, but must not derail global climate policy erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

Lessons for Global Cooperation from the COVID-19 Pandemic

DIE Blog - 1. April 2020 - 16:16

Picture by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

The COVID-19 (or coronavirus) disease has led to a major pandemic that has spread to virtually all countries of the world. Although at the time of writing the epidemic has mainly hit South East Asian and Western countries (see Figure below), it is likely that Developing Countries (DCs) will also be heavily affected in the weeks to come.The pandemic is a systemic challenge of much greater gravity than the 2008 global financial crisis. The economic slump is likely to be greater and to last longer, but this time hundreds of thousands of people may die and the lives of virtually everyone will be affected. The response to the 2008 crisis was marked by an intensification of international cooperation; the G20 was newly convened at the leaders’ level to coordinate fiscal and monetary policies of the richest countries and implement financial sector reforms. Conversely, the current crisis has thus far been characterized by almost complete absence of global action. Failure to successfully address this crisis globally may be the nails in the coffin for already frail global governance. On the other hand, it is precisely at a time of crisis that radically new institutions can emerge, as it was the case a decade ago. The goal of this post is to analyse the current and future prospects for global cooperation in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Source: Our World in Data

 

A distinctive lack of global action

Since the discovery of COVID-19 in December 2019, countries have acted in almost complete isolation from one another. Only on 25th March did the United Nations (UN) launch a $2 billion global response plan to fund the fight against COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries. Currently only Norway has endorsed this plan, so it is unclear when it will be operative. On 26th March the first G20 meeting on the matter ended with a grand statement that the G20 was “committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic”. However, no concrete financial pledge was made in addition to the unprecedented $5 trillion committed to national fiscal packages. On the same day, the President of the European Union Commission stressed the lack of communitarian spirit within the European Union by declaring: “When Europe really needed an all-for-one spirit, too many initially gave an only-for-me response.” Global institutions do have financial instruments to help poor countries dealing with epidemic diseases. However, some of these instruments, like the World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, have been criticized for their heavy and restrictive conditionality – especially the need for a relatively high number of deaths to occur before the lending can begin (Brim & Wenham, 2019).

It is likely that more global action will be undertaken as the crisis unfolds. But given the inexorable dynamics of exponential growth driving the diffusion of the pandemic, this may be too little too late. The current lack of global concerted action is not only concerning, but also surprising. The eradication of a global pandemic is, in game theory parlance, a “weakest link” game. In other words, if the virus is not eradicated in every country, every country will lose, because sooner or later, the virus will reappear. It is obvious that developing countries (DCs) lack the financial capacity of rich countries to tackle the virus. Measures like lockdowns, which, sooner or later, national governments are bound to enact, rest on substantial “fiscal space” – that is, a large capacity to become indebted to be able to pay unemployment subsidies or emergency living incomes to the millions of workers who have been temporarily made redundant. DCs lack such fiscal space; hence the risk that contagion rates will be sweeping in DCs is high (Hausman, 2020). The fact that international help is not being rolled out suggests either myopia by rich countries or the frightening prospect of a world where people from poor and heavily infected countries are banned from travelling—let alone migrating—to rich countries, as in a de facto Apartheid where epidemic walls replace physical walls. Such a scenario would represent the collapse of one of the key pillars of current globalization.

Are there reasons for hope?

First, evolutionary theory and social sciences argue that people affected by trauma, either due to war or to natural disasters, tend to develop a heightened propensity to cooperate with others (see Bauer et al., 2016, for a review). This is because in a life-threatening situation an individual tends to rely more on others for help and is more highly disposed to reciprocate such help. Societies may then become more cohesive as an effect of this crisis. It is, however, an open question whether this renewed cooperative spirit may have a parochial character, that is, a tendency to favour people exclusively from one’s own group of reference, –typically one’s nation–, or a more cosmopolitan character. It is all too clear that some political leaders are using the COVID-19 crisis to stir nationalist sentiments, as US political leaders labelled COVID-19 the Chinese virus, and Chinese authorities issued unfounded claims that the virus was introduced to Wuhan laboratories by the US Secret Service.

Second, people may change the way they form expectations about the future. The so-called confirmation bias induces people to ignore new information when this contradicts previously held beliefs, especially when this information makes desired outcomes less likely. A confirmation bias may be at the roots of why people ignore the threat of climate change. The COVID-19 crisis may bring home to many people that the climate is not immutable and that low-probability events can be catastrophic. More generally, this crisis may increase the awareness that the rational strategy for societies in the long run is to put strong preventive and insurance mechanisms in place to guard against the possibility of natural disasters. Donald Trump’s disbanding of the National Security Council pandemic response unit, arguably to maximize private profits and GDP growth, is an obvious example of what should not be done.

Third, a side-effect of the COVID-19 crisis is that economies are forced to take a de-carbonising path, as more activities—either work-related or social—will be carried out from home. This will save tons of greenhouse gas emissions currently produced by travel. We have already observed drastic reductions in pollution in areas affected by lockdowns. However, the magnitude of this effect is not clear and there may be rebound effects once the crisis is over. An inequality aspect also exists, as typically labour-intensive low-skilled jobs cannot be replaced with internet-mediated interactions.

What are the prospects for future global cooperation?

Global governance has been lacking in the current crisis. This inaction may be due to sluggishness, to irresponsible wishful thinking by political leaders, to the obstinate dominance of a nationalistic approach to global problem-solving, and to ill-founded willingness to prioritize economic objectives over wellbeing objectives—particularly the protection of human lives. While a simple commitment “to do whatever it takes” works for monetary policy, it is inconsequential for fiscal policy if not followed by facts. The G20 should take urgent and coordinated actions to counter the viral pandemic but also the consequent economic and social pandemics in both developed and developing countries. This requires financial capacity in addition to what is spent for national interventions. Essential first steps include funding the UN intervention plan and jointly cooperating towards finding a coronavirus vaccine. History teaches us that radical social change is often built in the aftermath of crisis. We could envisage a scenario in which people will feel hard-hit by this crisis and retrench into nationalistic mode even further, similar to what happened after the 2008 financial crisis. But we could also envision a future in which people realise that the current “me-first” approach (Snower, 2020) is ultimately self-defeating due to its intrinsic inability to deal with global systemic risk. Multilateralism and even stronger global governance may re-emerge from the ashes of the current crisis, especially if accompanied by inclusive redistributive policies in the transition and if responsible political leaders are voted into power. As former UK Prime Minster Gordon Brown said, a quantum leap in global governance must be demanded now that the world is discovering its fragility. Global threats demand global solutions, and it has to be hoped that a revived cosmopolitan spirit among people around the world will support the emergence of stronger global institutions. These may take the form of global agencies for the prevention and cure of natural disasters. Climate change will pose an even greater threat than that created by the COVID-19 emergency. Our only hope is that humanity learns from its current mistakes and is ready to face such a threat in unity and solidarity, rather than divided and self-centred.

Der Beitrag Lessons for Global Cooperation from the COVID-19 Pandemic erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

Three questions to… Anna-Katharina Hornidge

DIE Blog - 1. April 2020 - 8:12

Since 1 March 2020, Professor Dr Anna-Katharina Hornidge has been the new Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). The newsletter editors asked her about the initial goals and challenges she sees for her work at the DIE and what is moving her these days.

Anna-Katharina Hornidge neue Direktorin des DIE, Photo: Benjamin Westhoff, ©DIE

Editors: What are you looking forward to most in your new role as Director of DIE?

Anna-Katharina Hornidge: I am looking forward to, together with the entire team of DIE, fill this very special field of expertise and partnership that we cover here at the institute. It lies between empirical development research and theory discussion, an explicitly communicated orientation towards applying the research, policy advice as well as university teaching and training. This broad setup offers us the exciting opportunity to constantly challenge ourselves scientifically and within the policy realm.

 

Editors: What role do you currently see for global cooperation and development research in times of Corona?

Anna-Katharina Hornidge: The Corona crisis is testing the structures of global cooperation and collaboration. Are they, and the claim to solidarity that defines them, viable and workable in times of increasingly demarcated borders? Many of our partner countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America will be severely affected by the crisis. Some are affected already. The task of development research and policy is to support health systems, the economy and social systems in our partner countries in overcoming the crisis in the interests of the global common good. Germany must ask itself what role it wants to play in the international system of states during and after the crisis – and act accordingly now. Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which we will assume in the second half of this year, is an opportunity to demonstrate a pioneering role in development policy.

 

Editors: What would you like to be able to say after 100 days in office?

Anna-Katharina Hornidge: My original plans were to establish a marine governance research focus. Additionally, it is our aim to jointly develop further the third-party funding strategy of the institute. In terms of content, I would like to reflect on the Institute’s current research strategy together with the scientists, and we want to address the question of what kind of science, policy advice and training the DIE stands for under its new management. These points continue to play an important role. However, they have been complemented by the current global situation: At the moment, the focus is on keeping an eye on the health and special situations of our staff and at the same time ensuring that we continue fulfilling our mandate as an institute also under the current circumstances. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for the special commitment of all employees of DIE in these dynamic times: I would like to thank all those in the administration who support me and the management in realizing flexible solutions, and all academic staff members who continue to ensure research, training and consulting for the institute in this situation characterized by substantial uncertainty. I would also like to thank the lively network of DIE, you and many other partners and friends of the institute, who continue collaborating virtually and creatively. On the basis of this great support, I am nevertheless looking forward to the first and all following weeks in office with much joy and optimism.

Der Beitrag Three questions to… Anna-Katharina Hornidge erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

Drei Fragen an… Anna-Katharina Hornidge

DIE Blog - 27. März 2020 - 15:47

Seit 1. März 2020 ist Professorin Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge neue Direktorin des Deutschen Instituts für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). Die Newsletter-Redaktion war mit ihr im Austausch darüber, welche ersten Ziele und Herausforderungen sie für ihre Arbeit am DIE sieht und was sie in diesen Tagen bewegt.

Redaktion: Worauf freuen Sie sich am meisten im Rahmen Ihrer neuen Aufgabe als Direktorin des Deutschen Instituts für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)?

Anna-Katharina Hornidge: Ich freue mich darauf, mit dem gesamten Team am DIE, dieses ganz besondere fachliche und partnerschaftliche Feld, das wir hier am Institut bearbeiten, auszufüllen. Dieses liegt zwischen empirischer Entwicklungsforschung und Theoriediskussion, einem offen kommunizierten Anwendungsbezug, politischer Beratung sowie universitärer Lehre und Ausbildung. Das ist eine breite Aufstellung, die uns die spannende Möglichkeit bietet, uns wissenschaftlich und gegenwartspolitisch immer wieder selbst herauszufordern.

Redaktion: Welche Rolle sehen Sie derzeit für globale Kooperation und Entwicklungsforschung in Zeiten von Corona?

Anna-Katharina Hornidge: Die Coronakrise unterzieht die Strukturen globaler Kooperation und Zusammenarbeit einem Test. Sind sie und der sie definierende Solidaritätsanspruch trag- und arbeitsfähig in Zeiten zunehmender Grenzziehungen? Zahlreiche unserer Partnerländer in Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika werden massiv von der Krise betroffen sein. Einige sind es bereits. Die Aufgabe von Entwicklungsforschung und -politik ist es, im Sinne eines globalen Gemeinwohls Gesundheitssysteme, Wirtschaft und Sozialsysteme in unseren Partnerländern bei der Bewältigung der Krise zu stützen. Deutschland muss sich fragen, welche Rolle es in und nach der Krise im internationalen Staatengefüge spielen möchte – und entsprechend jetzt handeln. Der Vorsitz Deutschlands im Rat der Europäischen Union, den wir in der zweiten Hälfte des Jahres übernehmen, stellt hier eine Möglichkeit dar, eine entwicklungspolitische Vorreiterrolle zu demonstrieren.

Redaktion: Was würden Sie gerne nach 100 Tagen im Amt sagen können?

Anna-Katharina Hornidge: Meine ursprünglichen Pläne sahen vor, einen Meeresgovernance-bezogenen Forschungsschwerpunkt zu etablieren. Außerdem wollen wir die Drittmittelstrategie am Institut weiter ausbauen. Inhaltlich möchte ich die aktuelle Forschungsstrategie des Institutes gemeinsam mit den Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern reflektieren und wir wollen uns mit der Frage befassen, für welche Wissenschaft, Politikberatung und Ausbildung das DIE unter der neuen Leitung steht. Diese Punkte sind weiterhin wichtig und ich werde sie angehen. Sie wurden aber durch die aktuelle globale Situation ergänzt: Im Moment steht im Fokus, dass wir die Gesundheit und die besonderen Lebensumstände unserer Mitarbeiter*innen im Blick haben und gleichzeitig sicherstellen, dass wir unser Mandat auch unter diesen besonderen Umständen als Institut erfüllen. Ich möchte mich daher an dieser Stelle ganz besonders für das besondere Engagement aller Mitarbeiter*innen des DIE in diesen dynamischen Zeiten bedanken: Ich danke allen im administrativen Bereich, die mich und die Geschäftsleitung darin unterstützen, flexible Lösungen zu realisieren, und allen wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeiter`*innen, die in dieser durch große Unsicherheiten geprägte Situation Forschung, Ausbildung und Beratung des Instituts weiter sicherzustellen. Mein Dank gilt außerdem dem lebendigen Netzwerk des DIE, Ihnen und vielen weiteren Partnern und Freunden des Instituts, die unsere Kooperationen gerade virtuell und kreativ weiter aufrechterhalten. Auf Basis dieser großen Unterstützung blicke ich daher dennoch positiv und mit viel Freude auf die ersten, und folgenden, Wochen im Amt.

Der Beitrag Drei Fragen an… Anna-Katharina Hornidge erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

Research Team Botswana continues work virtually

DIE Blog - 27. März 2020 - 15:39

On 26 January 2020, together with our team leader Sebastian Ziaja, we took off on our research trip to Botswana to investigate e-government and democracy in Botswana. Faster than expected, the Corona developments caught up with us and brought us back to Germany from one day to the next only seven weeks later. However, even though our research stay was shortened by a few weeks, we were able to implement our plans and had a very exciting time in Gaborone.

Research-team Botsuana, ©DIE

Arriving in the capital of Botswana, we were welcomed by bright sunshine. On the same day, we had our first meeting with our project partner Professor David Sebudubudu, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Botswana. In the following two weeks, further meetings with partners and relevant actors followed, such as Statistics Botswana, Afrobarometer and the Water Utilities Corporation. The goal for our research stay was to conduct an experiment on digital tax returns and a survey on e-government in Gaborone. After the questionnaire had been prepared and we had trained 27 research assistants, our survey was ready to start. In three intensive weeks, we were able to conduct more than 2,123 interviews. Before the survey, we had conducted an information campaign in cooperation with Botswana Unified Revenue Service in order to inform taxpayers in Gaborone about the option of e-filing (filing tax returns over the internet).

In the following week, events took a turn for the worse due to the worldwide corona pandemic. Our planned presentation of our preliminary research results at the University of Stellenbosch had to be cancelled. Likewise, the planned presentation of our final research results at University Botswana, as well as further background interviews should not take place. During the course of March, the decision was made to return to Germany early.

After an intensive time spent together, we are now working on our research report from our homes with regular video conferences. We are very very excited about the results of our analysis and would be happy if you continue to follow us on our Twitter channel: @EgovBotsTeam.

Best greetings and all the best for the time to come.

Der Beitrag Research Team Botswana continues work virtually erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

Forschungsteam Botswana setzt Arbeit virtuell fort

DIE Blog - 27. März 2020 - 15:36

Hier ein Erlebnisbericht von den Mitgliedern des Forschungsteams Botsuana:

Das ging schneller als gedacht: Am 26. Januar 2020 starteten wir gemeinsam mit unserem Teamleiter Sebastian Ziaja unsere Forschungsreise zum Thema e-Government und Demokratie in Botsuana. Knappe sieben Wochen später sollten uns die Corona-Entwicklungen einholen und uns von einem auf den anderen Tag zurück nach Deutschland bringen. Doch auch wenn unser Forschungsaufenthalt verkürzt wurde, konnten wir unser Vorhaben umsetzen und hatten eine sehr spannende Zeit in Gaborone.

Forschungs-Team Botswana, ©DIE

In der Hauptstadt Botsuanas angekommen, empfing uns strahlender Sonnenschein. Noch am gleichen Tag hatten wir unser erstes Treffen mit unserem Projektpartner Professor David Sebudubudu, dem Dekan der Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften an der Universität Botsuana. In den kommenden zwei Wochen folgten weitere Treffen mit Partnern und relevanten Akteuren, wie Statistics Botswana, Afrobarometer und der Water Utilities Corporation. Das Ziel unseres Forschungsaufenthaltes war es, ein Experiment zur digitalen Steuererklärung sowie eine Umfrage zu e-Government in Gaborone durchzuführen. Nachdem der Fragebogen überarbeitet und wir 27 Forschungsassistent*innen geschult hatten, konnte unsere Umfrage losgehen. In drei intensiven Wochen führten wir mehr als 2.123 Interviews durch. Vorab organisierten wir in Kooperation mit dem Botswana Unified Revenue Service eine Informationskampagne, um Steuerzahler*innen in Gaborone über die Möglichkeit des e-Filings (elektronische Abgabe der Steuererklärung) zu informieren.

In der folgenden Woche überschlugen sich die Ereignisse aufgrund der weltweiten Corona-Pandemie. Die erste Vorstellung unserer Forschungsergebnisse an der Universität Stellenbosch musste abgesagt werden. Ebenso sollten die geplante Präsentation an der Universität Botswana sowie weitere Expert*innengespräche nicht mehr stattfinden. Im Laufe des März fiel schließlich die Entscheidung vorzeitig nach Deutschland zurückzukehren.

Nach einer intensiven gemeinsamen Zeit arbeiten wir nun mit regelmäßigen Videokonferenzen weiter an unserem Forschungsbericht. Wir sind gespannt, auf unsere Analyseergebnisse und freuen uns, wenn Sie uns weiterhin auf unserem Twitter-Kanal folgen: @EgovBotsTeam.

Beste Grüße und alles Liebe für die kommende Zeit.

Der Beitrag Forschungsteam Botswana setzt Arbeit virtuell fort erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

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