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Giving women, youth and SMEs a chance in a contracting world

INCLUDE Platform - 25. März 2020 - 11:28
Best practices to increase employment and earnings for vulnerable workers and businesses

Women and youth globally face barriers to finding decent work and to starting and growing their own businesses. This will become even more challenging in a world facing sudden economic contraction like we see today in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, so maximising economic opportunities for them is essential.

Part of our work at INCLUDE is to gather knowledge on what works best to increase employment, earnings and skills in low- and middle-income countries, particularly for vulnerable groups. A recent blog series, written by Paul Thissen for 3ie, summarises the findings of three systematic reviews comparing interventions aimed at helping women, youth and SMEs in LDCs to improve their economic outlook. Here, we draw upon some of the blogs’ overarching conclusions, aiming to filtering out best practices for the coming period to these groups being hit hardest by the global recession. The blogs are then summarised individually in more detail below.

Highlights:
  • Numerous programs have attempted to reduce levels of unemployment and vulnerability by enabling entrepreneurship and stimulating job creation, but with varying success depending on program type, design, implementation, target group and location.
  • The positive effects of certain programs appear in both low- and high-income countries, for disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged youth alike. Even though some policies are context-specific, it seems that programs like skills training, business knowledge and, in certain forms, microcapital can be universally beneficial to those seeking jobs or trying to start a business.
  • A significant lack of evidence exists to support interventions in subsidised employment and employment services. The central argument is that these types of programs fail to remove structural barriers to work, rendering them superficial. Evidence for microfinance programs is also weak, although they are hard to compare given vast differences in design and implementation.
  • The strongest evidence is for interventions which promote skill development, business knowledge and business development. These interventions appear most effective when targeted at small (but not micro) firms, and often show the highest returns in low-income countries, making them a promising option for reducing certain inequalities.
  • A lack of data is available on what types of businesses are formed as a result of these programs, and what is their longevity. Moreover, increasing employment and earnings does not necessarily mean youth are no longer in poverty, or will never return to poverty. More information is needed on the long-term impacts and sustainability of interventions.

 

1. What gets youth into jobs around the world? Train them in a skill.

This blog highlights the positive effects of skills training programs in a wide range of contexts (low- and high-income, for disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged youth alike). This contrasts sharply with a lack of evidence supporting other active labour market policies, such as subsidised employment and employment services (e.g. job matching, interviews and resume writing). In particular, job-specific technical skills, literacy, numeracy and non-technical skills are found to be most effective. Skills programs tend to have the largest impact on earnings in low-income countries, which is promising for reducing inequalities between countries. The impact on inequality within countries depends critically on who has access to the programs.

2. Entrepreneurship promotion gets people working in low- and middle-income countries.

Entrepreneurship programs, particularly those which enhance business skills in conjuction with boosting access to capital (e.g. start-up grants and occasionally microfinance), have the biggest impact on employment and earnings of all types of intervention, and complement skills training programs. A few caveats emerge, however. First, the studies on entrepreneurship in the systematic reviews generally have smaller dataset, making conclusions on skills training more robust. Second, it is not clear whether these programs recruit youth who have already undergone skills training or select from the same pool of (unemployed) youth, and therefore whether these interventions can be compared in terms of impact or efficiency.

3. What works to get firms hiring? Support small businesses – but not the smallest ones.

This blog tackles the question of where to target interventions to encourage firms to hire more people. The review found that initiatives aimed at firm expansion were most effective for firms with 5-19 employees, and less effective for those with 20-250 employees. Micro firms (0-5 employees) also responded weaker to programs, which was attributed to the relatively high upfront costs of hiring one extra worker. Regarding the type of intervention, microfinance programs on their own were the least successful, although differences in design and implementation make it difficult to draw valid conclusions. It was not concluded which other types of program are more effective (the study looked at business development, technical assistance, training, tax simplification, matching grants and export promotion), though business development services seem to create better employment outcomes overall.

4. Vocational training helps women find better employment.

This blog shows that vocational training raises earnings, employment and formal employment for women by 5%, 11% and 8% respectively. The study focused on training programs in medium- to high-skilled occupations and excluded studies on low-skilled jobs (auch as agriculture or domestic work). The largest impact was found for gender-specific programs (those tackling barriers created by gender norms) as well as programs in Asia & Africa. Programs with a life skills component or internship yielded large effects on earnings, but not on employment, suggesting that life skills are not enough to secure a job on their own, but can yield benefits within a job or firm.

 

These blogs originate from the 3ie 2020 Hindsight campaign. Access each of the blog posts by clicking the relevant link above. You can also read the full systematic reviews here, here and here, or through the 3ie evidence hub.

 

 

 

 

 

Het bericht Giving women, youth and SMEs a chance in a contracting world verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Reclaiming a legacy

D+C - 25. März 2020 - 9:52
Brazil aims to preserve the historical legacy of Quilombos, communities of escaped slaves

These settlements, known as Quilombos, are nearly extinct today. Almost all their residents have long since died, and most of those residents’ descendants have moved away. But Brazilian authorities now are trying to preserve some of these communities and tell their story – both as a sombre reminder of the evils of slavery and as a new cultural attraction for tourists.

Quilombos were essentially communities of active resistance formed by escaped African slaves, who were first brought to Brazil in the mid-1500s. Quilombos were established over the centuries until slavery was abolished in 1888. At least 10 such settlements were created. Most were small, but some of the more populous ones tried to cooperate with each other to protect their freedom.

Most Quilombos were established in the remote hinterland, but not all of them: Two were located in Armação de Búzios, approximately 175 km east of today’s Rio de Janeiro and a docking point for slave ships from Africa. Many of the slaves were taken onward to the locations north of Armação de Búzios, such as Rasa and Baía Formosa.

One of the few remaining live descendants of members of the Quilombo in Rasa is Dona Cecília Carivaldina de Oliveira, age 104. Although slavery was abolished before she was born, Dona Cecília lived many years in the Rasa Quilombo and heard eyewitness accounts of battles for land. She is still active in preserving the Quilombo culture, retelling the stories and recalling preparations for the annual carnival celebration and religious festivals.

Tourism officials and foundations are taking note of the cultural legacy of the Quilombos, working with local groups to create an ecological/ethnic route that highlights the region’s history.

A Quilombo preservation project in Baía Formosa focuses on reviving African traditions, allowing visitors to dig deeper into the culture of Afro-Brazilian slaves. “The idea is to take the tourists there and say: Look, here we were born, and my parents and great-grandparents too, and we were expelled from that place and now we seek to return there because it is our right,” says Beth Fernandes, president of the Quilombola Association of Baía Formosa.

In Armação de Búzios, meanwhile, volunteers are aiding the construction of a new cultural space, which will include a replica of a Quilombo kitchen creating traditional African recipes. The Quilombo settlements in Armação de Búzios could attract more foreign tourists, who are already coming to the city in large numbers, according to a study by the Tourism Ministry.

While most tourists still come to Armação de Búzios mainly for its beaches, surfing, fine dining and nightlife, they should also give a thought to the people who made the city what it is today, says Rosilene Pereira, the city’s counsellor of culture.

“We only talk about the beaches and the money that circulates here, but then I ask you: what do we say about our people?’’, she says. “We cannot forget how much suffering our people went through so that all this is possible.”

Thuany Rodrigues is a journalist in Brazil.
thuanyrodriigues@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

‘Concerted efforts’ needed to meet 2030 Global Goals in Asia-Pacific region

UN #SDG News - 25. März 2020 - 5:35
Action to reverse the depletion and degradation of the environment across Asia and the Pacific is a top priority if the region is to stay on course to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a new United Nations report launched online, for the first time, on Tuesday.
Kategorien: english

‘Concerted efforts’ needed to meet 2030 Global Goals in Asia-Pacific region

UN ECOSOC - 25. März 2020 - 5:35
Action to reverse the depletion and degradation of the environment across Asia and the Pacific is a top priority if the region is to stay on course to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a new United Nations report launched online, for the first time, on Tuesday.
Kategorien: english

Fear and freedom

D+C - 24. März 2020 - 10:08
Liberal democracy is worth defending because it can prevent cruelty argues Princeton professor

The onslaught of authoritarian populism on liberal democracy is evident in many countries and has led to heated media debate in recent years. As a public intellectual, Jan-Werner Müller, a German scholar who teaches political science at Princeton University, has been one of the most important contributors. In a new academic publication, he takes a close look at what makes liberal democracy worth defending.

The terms “liberal” and “liberalism” have a long history in political theorising. They mean different things to different people. In the USA and Canada, for example, liberals endorse social-protection systems and generally belong to the centre-left. In Australia, by contrast, the Liberal Party is the established conservative force, which under its current leader, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, looks ever more populist. It expresses xenophobia and denies climate science, for example.

“Populism”, of course, is another term that is not defined precisely in public debate.

In a previous book (2016) with the title “What is populism?”, Müller did a great job of defining the term (see Focus section in D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2017/02). It basically means that a political leader or party claims to represent the people directly, discredits the legitimacy of all other political forces, and agitates against what it calls an exploitative elite as well as abusive minorities. Typically, populists cast themselves in the role of victims, and once they rise to power, they do what they can to do away with any restraining checks and balances. In D+C/E+Z, we use Müller’s definition when we speak of “populism”.

His new book focuses on the various meanings of “liberalism” and rejects several of them. Müller does not endorse market radicalism, for example, which imposes strict discipline on anyone who must work for a living, but basically allows financially potent forces to do what they please. It is wrong to argue that only state agencies limit freedom, private-sector corporations can do so too.

Preventing cruelty

Müller argues that a just social order must protect the vulnerable from powerful forces’ cruelty, and that only a liberal democracy can do so systematically. This idea was first spelled out by Judith Shklar (1928 – 1992). She was a secular Jew from Eastern Europe who escaped the Nazi Holocaust and later became a Harvard professor of philosophy. Adopting her theory, Müller writes that the starting point for designing a fair social order is to pay attention to the victims of cruelty. He wants fear of cruelty to guide policymakers in ways to make that fear obsolete.

Müller does not pretend that every liberal democracy always lives up to this ideal, but insists that they can do so, while other political systems are plainly not even designed to serve that purpose. Self-declared majoritarian victimhood, the driving ideology of populists, for example, is geared to authoritarian governance and the hounding of minorities.

The book has so far only appeared in German, and Müller says an English version will be prepared, but he cannot say when at this point. The German title “Furcht und Freiheit” means “Fear and Freedom”. The message is important, but this essay is not easy to read because the author delves deeply into the history of political philosophy. He elaborates, for example,

  • that France was once considered to set a liberal example (autocratic Napoleon introduced the Code Civil which did away with aristocrats’ privileges and defined business-facilitating individual rights),
  • that prosperous elites historically preferred liberal democracy to unqualified democracy (because a stringent constitution would constrain the masses’ political desires) and
  • that the liberal idea of equal opportunity only developed rather late and did not lead to consequential government-interventions in markets everywhere.

The vast panorama Müller paints of what has historically been considered to be “liberal” is fascinating. The book’s strong point is to ground the demand for liberal democracy in the overarching ethical imperative of preventing cruelty.

However, it does not offer diagnostics for what is currently happening around the world.

Climate change is only mentioned in passing, for example. Moreover, Müller does not deal with the oligarchic super elite that tends to promote populist nationalism. Its members include billionaires like the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch or the Mercers. These super rich people benefit from international opportunities, but resent regulation. It has been argued that this is precisely the reason they promote nationalism (see article in Monitor section of D+C/E+Z 2019/09).

The background is that regulation increasingly requires supranational cooperation and cannot be enforced by national governments acting on their own. In this context, the insistence on national sovereignty does not make governments more powerful. It reduces their scope for shaping the global order which, so far, has benefited oligarchs more than anyone else. Müller told D+C/E+Z that he is working on a new book that will tackle related questions – and it will first appear in English.

References

Müller, J.-W., 2019: Furcht und Freiheit – Für einen anderen Liberalismus. Berlin, Suhrkamp.
Müller, J.-W., 2016: What is populism? Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press (in German: Was ist Populismus? Berlin, Suhrkamp).

Kategorien: english

Meet Christian Malarciuc, New Project Manager in the Sustainable Lifestyles (SL) Team

SCP-Centre - 24. März 2020 - 9:56

Christian, a former market researcher, will support the CSCP in projects focusing on behaviour change and will work closely with NGOs and businesses in fostering more sustainable lifestyle practices.

Why did you want to work for the CSCP?

As someone who has always been interested in both the theoretical as well as practical underpinnings of sustainability issues, I was very much drawn to the CSCP’s position as a Think and Do tank. Beyond this, what really appealed to me was the internationality of the team and diversity of projects as I studied in different countries and enjoy delving into different topic areas. Also, I very much share the CSCP’s approach to collaboration and focus on facilitating communication among different stakeholders. Because that is exactly what we need more of today in my opinion.

What drew you to work in sustainability?

I have always been driven by a curiosity to understand why things are the way they are. My bachelor’s degree in Arts & Culture helped me to see the interdisciplinary nature of things and how the interplay between different factors gives rise to the kind of society we live in. Sustainability issues, and our discussions about them, present a fascinating gateway into precisely these systemic dynamics as they force us to (re)consider the kind of values we uphold and aspire to as a society, thereby putting into question traditional practices and structures. It is this potential for systemic change that has always intrigued me about ‘sustainability’ as a subject, leading me to do a master’s degree in Environmental Governance.

What would you highlight from your past experience and how does that relate to the CSCP?

I think I was lucky enough to study programs that shared the CSCP’s focus on interdisciplinarity and building connections between different areas and stakeholders in society. It is a mindset which I share and which provides a great foundation for the kind of work we do here. In terms of practical experience, I used to work in b2b market research which helped me gain an understanding of the needs and challenges that private companies face as well as provided me with great knowledge about research methods. Since part of our work within the Sustainable Lifestyles (SL) team focuses on helping businesses and organisations foster more sustainable lifestyle practices, I look to contribute my knowledge towards smart behaviour change interventions that really make an impact.

What are the topics/projects that you are most excited about in your new job?

The main project that I am working on is called weiter_wirken and it is based on the model of our Academy of Change (AOC). The project is about capacity building and aims to support NGOs and initiatives from the NRW region to increase the impact of their projects that focus on fostering sustainable lifestyles. Behaviour change insights constitute a highly complex and just as important area, which many NGOs do not yet incorporate into the design of their projects and campaigns. With weiter_wirken, as with the Academy of Change, we want to fill in this knowledge gap and support organisations in designing more impactful behavior change projects and activities.

For further questions, please contact Christian Malarciuc.

 

Der Beitrag Meet Christian Malarciuc, New Project Manager in the Sustainable Lifestyles (SL) Team erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Rule-bound governance should matter

D+C - 24. März 2020 - 9:09
As civil-society space is shrinking in India, ODA agencies should consider their stance

India has a long history of INGO engagement. Their work tends to focus on marginalised groups, including women, for example, as well as Dalits, Adivasis or Muslims. INGOs have been critically perceived by previous governments, but the Modi government is taking things further. In particular, it radically restricted their funding channels under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA). The offices of globally active civil-society organisations such as Amnesty International or Greenpeace have seen funding cancelled. Moreover, their offices were raided with the pretext of law enforcement.

According to the government, foreign NGO funding was reduced by about 60 % from 2014, when Modi became prime minister, to 2017. Some 4800 non-governmental organisations, most of them Indian ones, lost their license to operate in 2017 alone. Things will get tougher. The new Financial Bill 2020 requires NGOs to renew registrations every five years.

The current government is striving for Hindu supremacy (“Hindutva”). Its anti-minority affects Muslims most of all (see box by Arfa Khanum, Tribune section of D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2020/03) but other minorities as well. Christian organisations, for example, are facing harassment. Compassion International was accused of facilitating religious conversions and told to shut down.

The phenomenon of a shrinking space for civil society is currently evident in many countries, including, for example, Russia, Brazil or the Philippines. Inward-looking nationalists have a pattern of entrenching their power with aggressive identity politics, but not solving pressing problems of poverty or environmental destruction.

India’s government has created a narrative according to which anyone who opposes it is anti-national and even a potential security threat. Since December, it has been facing an unprecedentedly broad-based and non-violent social movement that wants to uphold India’s secular constitution, which forbids discrimination on religious and other grounds (see Arfa Khanum in Tribune section of D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2020/03). In response, Hindutva proponents have been using hate speech (“shoot the traitors”). The pogrom they launched in Delhi in late February claimed more than 50 lives (see blog post on our D+C/E+ Website).

India’s economy is in a downturn. The recent insolvency of Yes Bank, a major private-sector outfit, is compounding the problems. International financial-market turmoil will certainly not help. Many Indians, including Hindus who do not endorse the government’s ideology, fear that oppressive Hindutva action will make things worse.

India is a major recipient of official development assistance. Only a small share is channelled through INGOs. Financially more important providers include multilateral organisations such as the UN Development Programme or the World Bank and bilateral government agencies such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) or German Development Cooperation (GIZ). They are only involved in politically sensitive issues like human rights or the rule of law to a limited extent because they focus on things like infrastructure, energy and climate protection. However, it is well understood that good governance is essential for related projects to succeed, so rule-bound governance must matter to them too.

For several reasons, they cannot withdraw from a nation with 14 % of the world population fast or entirely. To a large extent, moreover, ODA programmes are geared to global public goods such as climate protection. On the other hand, multilateral and bilateral agencies’ infrastructure funding gives the Modi government scope for pursuing other agendas.

International media have become aware of how dangerous Modi is and INGOs are not giving up the fight for equality and human rights. For diplomatic reasons, multilateral and bilateral agencies cannot spell out criticism in public, but if they told India’s current leadership that they wanted to get more involved in governance issues, Modi and his cabinet might get the message.

Richa Arora is an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – SWP).
https://www.swp-berlin.org/en/

Kategorien: english

Ensuring Disability Rights and Inclusion in the Response to COVID-19

UNSDN - 23. März 2020 - 20:55

Asia and the Pacific is home to an estimated 690 million persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities face barriers to full and effective participation in society, with many having intersecting disadvantages when disabilities interact with other characteristics, including gender, age, ethnicity, income and place of residence.

Many persons with disabilities are poor and in vulnerable employment without adequate social protection. ESCAP research indicates that the difference in poverty rates between persons with disabilities and the general population can be as high as 20.6 per cent, and persons with disabilities are two to six times less likely to be employed than those without disabilities.

These disadvantaged circumstances make persons with disabilities more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those with existing health conditions.

Certain containment measures, including social distancing and self-isolation, may be difficult: persons with physical disabilities may need assistance from attendants to fulfil physiological requirements while persons with intellectual disabilities may require guardians to support their daily needs. The livelihoods of persons with disabilities are also at serious risk due to the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, governments have the responsibility to mainstream disability inclusion into pandemic responses to ensure that the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities are safeguarded.

Read more about “Ensuring Disability Rights and Inclusion in the Response to COVID-19”.

Resources:
COVID-19 Outbreak and Persons with Disabilities by UNDESA

Source: UN ESCAP

Kategorien: english

Do International Criminal Tribunals Actually Deter War Crimes?

UN Dispatch - 23. März 2020 - 18:51
Can war crimes tribunals prevent war crimes and crimes against humanity?

Ever since the Nuremberg Tribunals of Nazi officers following World War Two, the question of whether or not the criminal prosecution of war criminals can prevent and deter war crimes has been hotly debated by scholars and practitioners of international affairs.

A new study in the journal International Security by Dr. Jacqueline McAllister examines this question directly. Jacqueline McAllister is an assistant professor of political science at Kenyon College. Her article, titled “Deterring Wartime Atrocities: Hard Lessons from the Yugoslav Tribunal”  investigates the circumstances the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, known as the ICTY, was able to deter war crimes during the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.

She finds that, indeed, there were some circumstances in which the ICTY deterred war crimes–but for that to happen, the conditions have to be just right.

We discuss what those conditions are, how she arrived at her findings, and what implications her study has for other war crimes tribunals, like the International Criminal Court.

 

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The post Do International Criminal Tribunals Actually Deter War Crimes? appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Sustainability through public procurement: the way forward – Reform Proposals

GDI Briefing - 23. März 2020 - 15:54

Public procurement amounts to about 16 percent of the EU Member States’ GDP. A major contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is possible by enhancing sustainable procurement practices. The 2014 EU Public Procurement Directives (Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU) have largely clarified the scope for permissible sustainable procurement decisions, but the adoption of Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is still limited. The rules could be more permissive and thoroughly take into account all the different aspects of sustainability. Even more urgent and essential is to push for behavioural and organisational changes in the ways contracting authorities perform their buying functions to maximise positive, sustainable impacts. It is critical to change procurement management practices so that the sustainability demanded in contracts is properly verified along the entire supply chain and remedial actions are taken where non-compliance is detected.

We make three main proposals:

1. That the EU invests significantly in the professionalisation of contracting officials, procurement strategists and financial auditors.

2. That the EU makes it mandatory for contracting authorities to map and monitor their supply chains for risks of breaches of environmental and social rules, including those protecting human rights.

3. That the EU makes the legislative environment more ‘SPP friendly’.

Kategorien: english

Loaded after Covid: priming policy for after the pandemic

Simon Maxwell - 23. März 2020 - 13:20

Loaded after Covid: priming policy for after the pandemic

 

 

 

The pandemic has a long way to go, and there is little point trying to fine tune policy until it is over. This is an emergency with no time to think. The priority is to secure lives and livelihoods.

No-one knows how long the global pandemic will take to run through its first, second and third waves; nor what the final cost will be in terms of human life. There are many uncertainties. However, we can be pretty certain that the world will be

  • Poorer;
  • More indebted;
  • With less fiscal space;
  • Probably more unequal;
  • More regulated;
  • More inward-looking;
  • Probably less secure; and
  • Probably with new power brokers.

Many people think that the post-pandemic period could be a moment of opportunity for new sustainable development policies (economic, social, and environmental): see e.g. Helen Mountford from WRI. Others think this could be a moment to rethink capitalism – see e.g. Larry Elliott in the Guardian. But for any option, it is easy to think of the opposite as being equally likely: not more environmentalism, but less; not more global governance, but less; not more regulation of the market, but, eventually, less. See David Steven and Alex Evans on the risks to the existing world order.

This suggests that it might be interesting to have some scenario analysis describing the world in, say, 5 years time. Think of two axes. The first is a world which is more or less market-friendly. The second is a world which is more or less committed to, or compatible with, the SDGs. Thus

These options need names:

A: The unacceptable face of capitalism. A world of robber barons. Think the US before Theodore Rossevelt.

B: Capitalism with a human face. A world of liberal social democrats. Getting to Denmark.

C: The repressive state. A world of autocrats. North Korea?

D: The paternalistic state. The nanny state.

So

What do the options look like?

A: Trade rebuilds, role of the state in countries rolled back from pandemic levels. But countries are more self-interested and lack of resources means more short-termism. Not much interest in aid and development, except in a utilitarian context (stopping migration).

B: This is really back pretty quickly to the status quo ante (but NB from a wealth-reduced starting point). The WTO, the UNFCCC, the UN all back in business. Countries commit to the SDGs, at home and internationally.

C: is characterised by high levels of state involvement (in all ways, from ownership to regulation to state spending), probably with limits to individual freedoms, and in this case with not much interest in the SDGs, certainly internationally, and probably nationally as well.

D: has similar state involvement, and similar limits on personal freedom, but with policy committed to achieving the SDGs. A highly transactional relationship with multilateral institutions, however.

People will have different views on which of these is preferable. Probably those in our field would want to be on the right hand side. But there might be different views about the top and bottom. At the top, unrepentant globalisers and advocates of the free market. At the bottom, protectionists and advocates of nationalisation. New Labour versus Old Labour? Blair versus Corbyn?

The immediate task is to interrogate the structure of the scenarios, and change it if necessary, then to fill in the details of the different quadrants. At some point after that, value-driven (or maybe just evidence-based) positions have to be taken on what to do next in terms of policy, and when. Then there will be questions about how to get there – the psychological and behavioural drivers of change. On this, see Rebecca Nadin’s piece on the ODI blog.

Image: https://www.123rf.com/photo_35795120_virus.html?term=virus&vti=moupolclfvjiwe9o3q-1-80

Kategorien: english

Das Corona-Virus als Chance für die internationale Zusammenarbeit

GDI Briefing - 23. März 2020 - 12:00

Das neuartige Corona-Virus hält die Welt in Atem. Die Infektionszahlen steigen in vielen Ländern exponentiell. Die isolierenden, abschottenden Maßnahmen zahlreicher Staaten haben massive Auswirkungen auf beinahe alle wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Bereiche. Sie gehen einher mit einem wachsenden Unsicherheitsgefühl in der Bevölkerung. Die schwer überschaubaren Auswirkungen der Pandemie dominieren die Diskussion. Die Corona-Krise sollte aber auch als Chance verstanden werden. Denn wenn wir aus ihr lernen, kann sie auch besondere Möglichkeiten im Sinne der Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung und für eine Intensivierung der internationalen Zusammenarbeit eröffnen.

Das Globale Nachhaltigkeitsziel (SDG) 3 widmet sich den Themen Gesundheit und Wohlergehen. Die gegenwärtige Krise verdeutlicht den Mehrwert intakter Gesundheitssysteme für alle SDGs. Krankheit gefährdet Bildung, politische Teilhabe, Einkommen und damit Existenzen. Gesundheit mag nicht alles sein – doch ohne Gesundheit ist alles nichts. In den SDGs hat sich die internationale Gemeinschaft auch explizit der Bekämpfung von Infektionskrankheiten wie Aids und Malaria verschrieben. Das Ziel, diese bis 2030 zu beseitigen, scheint jedoch in weiter Ferne. In den letzten Jahren starben bei rund 38 Millionen HIV-Infizierten jährlich noch 770.000 (2018). Von 219 Millionen Malaria-Infizierten (2017) starben 435.000, zum größten Teil in Afrika.

Die entsprechenden Zahlen für das neuartige Corona-Virus (rund 295.000 Infizierte und 13.000 Tote; 23.3.2020) wirken demgegenüber zunächst noch wenig dramatisch. Dass die Pandemie dennoch beispiellose Aufmerksamkeit erfährt, liegt in der besonderen gesellschaftlichen und politischen Bedrohungswahrnehmung: Dieses Corona-Virus ist für den Menschen neu, die Übertragung verläuft sehr schnell von Mensch zu Mensch, der Ausbreitungs- und Krankheitsverlauf ist schwer vorherzusagen, es entfaltet sich ausbruchsartig auch in Europa und überfordert selbst unsere Gesundheitssysteme. Im Gegensatz zu bekannten, besser berechenbaren Infektionskrankheiten, die sich über lange Zeiträume und in großer geographischer Distanz entwickeln, berührt der Diskurs um das Corona-Virus daher auch hierzulande die nationale Sicherheit. Genau diese Form der gesellschaftlichen Verarbeitung kann jetzt ein Katalysator für notwendige Reformen sein.

Gesundheitskrisen mit enormem Handlungsdruck waren in der Vergangenheit Beschleuniger für Innovationen und strukturellen Wandel, wie es die Beispiele Pest (Auslöser erster internationaler Zusammenarbeit im Gesundheitsbereich) oder SARS (Reform der Infektionskrankheitenkontrolle) belegen. In Zeiten nationalistischer Tendenzen müssen nun Weichenstellungen zugunsten stabiler Strukturen für internationale Zusammenarbeit vorgenommen werden. Der für 2020 geplante Wiederauffüllungsgipfel der Impfallianz Gavi, die den ärmsten Ländern der Welt Impfstoffe zu niedrigeren Preisen ermöglicht, ist eine Gelegenheit dafür. Die Corona-Krise zeigt einmal mehr, wie fatal sich schwache Gesundheitssysteme lokal und global auswirken. Diese zu stärken, in fragilen Ländern wie in Mitteleinkommensländern, ist ein wichtiges Betätigungsfeld für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit insgesamt.

Deutschland sollte das Momentum auch dafür nutzen, den Wert multilateraler Formate zu betonen. Die Corona-Bedrohung zeigt, dass isolierte Maßnahmen einzelner Staaten unzureichend sind und sogar negativ sein können. Globale Kooperation kann grenzüberschreitenden Gesundheitsbedrohungen wirksamer begegnen, wenn längst bekannte Schwierigkeiten in der globalen Governance und Finanzierung adressiert werden. Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) sollte in ihrer Finanzierung nicht von Beiträgen nichtstaatlicher Akteure wie der Gates Foundation abhängig sein. Damit Impfstoffe, Medikamente und medizinischer Bedarf schnellstmöglich entwickelt, bereitgehalten und eingesetzt werden können, müssen internationale Organisationen, Staaten und die leistungsfähigsten Anbieter unabhängig von ihrem nationalen Hintergrund gemeinwohlorientiert kooperieren. In diesem Sinne könnte sich Deutschland auch in der anstehenden EU-Ratspräsidentschaft für eine Stärkung der globalen Gesundheitskooperation einsetzen, etwa indem der Handlungsspielraum des Europäischen Zentrums für die Prävention und die Kontrolle von Krankheiten (ECDC) erweitert wird.

Auch digitale Formate (Online-Meetings, Video-Konferenzen u.a.) haben erhebliches Potenzial, zu internationaler Kooperation und der Umsetzung der Agenda 2030 beizutragen. Bisher ist es vor dem Hintergrund der Klimakrise nicht gelungen, Mobilität so zu gestalten, dass Emissionen und Schadstoffe ausreichend gesenkt werden. Nun zwingt die aktuelle Notlage Unternehmen und öffentliche Akteure zu einer raschen Anwendung moderner Kommunikationslösungen. Die Krise ist mehr als ein Weckruf. Sie liefert Anlass und Legitimität für einen tiefgreifenden Wandel, der in Strukturen mit starken Pfadabhängigkeiten mitunter fehlt. Dazu gehört neben der nötigen Infrastruktur auch ein kultureller Wandel hin zu modernen Technologien und der Einübung guter Praxis für Zusammenarbeit im virtuellen Raum. So können Initiativen zur Erreichung gesundheitsbezogener und weiterer Nachhaltigkeitsziele von der Corona-Krise profitieren. Auch wenn derzeit das Gefühl von Unsicherheit und Bedrohung dominiert – die Seuche könnte der internationalen Kooperation am Ende sogar mehr nützen als schaden.

Kategorien: english

To be it, girls and boys need to see it

OECD - 23. März 2020 - 10:26
By Gabriela Bucher, Chief Operating Officer, Plan International Why representation is key to eliminating gender-based violence. We entered Women’s Month during a landmark year for girls’ and women’s rights, when a number of hallmark standards for women’s human rights globally — from the Beijing Declaration to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 — are being … Continue reading To be it, girls and boys need to see it
Kategorien: english

UN to create global coronavirus fund to assist developing countries

EURACTIV.com - 23. März 2020 - 8:57
The United Nations will create a fund to support the treatment of coronavirus patients worldwide, Norway’s foreign ministry said on Monday (23 March).
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Reaching ‘beyond the possible’ in Hawaii to meet sustainability goals

UN #SDG News - 23. März 2020 - 5:00
The people and government of the US state of Hawaii will reach “beyond the possible” to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality; The SDGs are a set of targets agreed by countries around the world to reduce poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all, by 2030. Hawaii introduced its own initiative, Sustainable Hawaii, in 2016 in support of the SDGs.
Kategorien: english

Reaching ‘beyond the possible’ in Hawaii to meet sustainability goals

UN ECOSOC - 23. März 2020 - 5:00
The people and government of the US state of Hawaii will reach “beyond the possible” to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality; The SDGs are a set of targets agreed by countries around the world to reduce poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all, by 2030. Hawaii introduced its own initiative, Sustainable Hawaii, in 2016 in support of the SDGs.
Kategorien: english

ODI goes ‘digital first’ as evidence and ideas remain priority

ODI - 23. März 2020 - 0:00
Chief Executive at ODI, Sara Pantuliano, shares how ODI will continue delivering impact with evidence and research throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kategorien: english

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