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INCLUDE is the knowledge platform on inclusive development policies.
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Social protection for a soft landing post-COVID-19?

16. Juli 2021 - 9:09

On 15 June, as part of the INCLUDE conference, a session on social protection in Africa was held. In this session, African policy makers, bilateral donors, and lead thinkers discussed best practices in social protection responses on the continent with a view to embed these responses in a structural manner in policies of African governments in the light of post-COVID-19. The session highlighted that social protection has become a major instrument in development policies, as it delivers positive results in terms of poverty and inequality eradication. However, budgetary restrictions present policymakers with hard trade-offs. Branding social protection programmes as a worthwhile investment could be one way to stimulate governments to engage with these programmes.  

Over the past two decades, the implementation of social protection programmes has seen a great increase in Africa. These programmes have been able to deliver results in terms of poverty reduction, sustainable and resilient economic growth, raising labour productivity and enhancing social cohesion. Institutions such as the World Bank and IMF previously in favour of structural programmes, are now in support of these programmes, convinced by the large evidence showing the positive impact of social protection.

However, there are still several hurdles to overcome in implementing social protection. Especially in contexts of (humanitarian) crises and currently the COVID-19 crisis. It seems that resilience of some programmes relapsed. This shows the urgency of building resilient systems that do not collapse when hit by a crisis. Moreover, budgetary deficits expose the need to select among different priority groups. This creates automatic trade-offs. Who should be considered a priority group? As policy makers, who do you invest in? Do you invest in high productive capacity youth, which can have positive spill over effects on the rest of the economy, or to the most extremely poor and vulnerable, including elderly people who will remain dependent on social protection? Policy makers from Africa stressed that the fiscal space to reach out to all vulnerable groups is simply not available and that indeed these trade-offs are unavoidable.

One way of addressing the gap in the fiscal space is by recognizing that social protection is an investment rather than a donation. A malnourished and stunted population will have negative effects on the productivity of the future labour force. Nevertheless, this will not entirely fill the fiscal gap and thus external donors should step in to support low-income countries. On top of this, African governments pledging to implement social protection must be held accountable to their promises. Civil society organisations could take up the role of watchdogs and monitor governments closely.

The potential of social protection to provide a soft landing post-COVID-19 is certainly there, but we need to make sure that resilient systems are in place building forward post-COVID-19 to properly implement social protection. After all, getting the chance to participate in society and living a dignified life are fundamental human rights, for all of us!

Are you curious to learn more about this session? Watch the live-stream recording!


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Kategorien: english

The (un)expected evidence: COVID-19 and inequalities

12. Juli 2021 - 16:27

On 8 June, as part of the INCLUDE conference, a session on the evident and surprising findings from INCLUDE’s study on ‘Equity in COVID-19’ were discussed together with researchers, policy makers and civil society representatives. Equity remains a challenge in policies and mitigation measures developed by national African governments. However, the COVID-19 crisis also provided an opportunity for innovations to spark.  

The findings

A preliminary synthesis was presented by prof. Dzodzi Tsikata who concluded that for many African countries, COVID-19 was a crisis within already existing crisis, considering the terrorism insurgencies, policy brutality and economic instability plaguing much of the continent. Despite widely diverging local contexts, most African governments adopted uniform policy responses to the pandemic, which raised serious questions as to whether country-specific realities were taken into account. Despite such surface-level uniformity, policy responses differed in intensity, target population, budgets and level of compliance on behalf of citizens. Most importantly, COVID-19 measures seemed to have deepened inequalities across the continent. Firstly, there has been a clear urban and formal economy bias in accessing COVID support. Secondly, measures that target vulnerable groups rely on already existing limited programs and have not been able to capture the new poor. Adjacent to that point, universal programs, such as water and electricity subsidies require the availability of and access to amenities, which is not the case for all.

Innovations and creative solutions

Amidst the crisis and the many challenges, researchers found innovations and solutions that were initiated by the government, private sector and civil society. Some of the examples mentioned were:

  • Ghana: the ‘Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund’ launched an online crowdfunding initiative titled #10GhanaChallenge. Ghanaians could contribute as little as ¢10 each to fund the realization of the first infectious diseases treatment facility in Ghana. On July 24th, 2020, the 100-bed Infectious Disease Centre at the Ga-East Municipal Hospital began operations officially.
  • Ethiopia: The government made intense use of technology in the education system and attempted to mobilize local resources to support vulnerable groups.
  • Rwanda: the taxi-moto associations pushed the government to lift the restrictions on their service provision. After a media campaign in which the associations appeared on a popular radio program and highlighted their concerns, the government decided to lift the ban. The introduction of robot-nurses. The robots, used in Rwanda’s treatment centres, can screen people for COVID-19 and deliver food and medication, among other tasks.
  • Uganda: The government produced biodegradable transparent face masks, the introduction of a thermal imaging detection system and low-cost ventilators.
  • Kenya: the government launched the ‘Great Covid-19 Innovation Challenge’ in order to harness the technology sector. Young people in particular rose to the challenge, leading, among others, to the development, by university students, of ventilators using locally available materials that would run on solar, electrical or battery power. Once approved by the government, the students will be able to create up to 50 ventilators.

Equity however remained an issue in these innovations as well, not all innovations were accessible for the poorer and vulnerable groups.


Policy reflections

Reflecting on these findings presented by the researchers, Dutch and African policy makers concluded that it is essential that knowledge generated and innovations developed in this crisis are institutionalised, preventing that with every new wave the wheel is reinvented. Moreover, they stressed the importance of addressing the formal economy bias and supporting people to unionise or form associations in order to voice their concerns, in such a way that they are actually heard by governments. Lastly, this session has been zooming into national responses and how they can be improved in terms of equity, but attention also needs to be given to the international dimension. African nations should be prepared for negotiations for global treaties regarding COVID-19 to be able to meaningfully partake in those.

Are you curious to learn more about this session? Watch the live-stream recording.


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Building forward more inclusively: mission possible?

5. Juli 2021 - 10:13

For many African countries, COVID-19 was a crisis within – and on top of – already existing crises. However, this pandemic has also present us with a chance to build forward more inclusively. The recommendations of the high-level speakers who opened the INCLUDE conference on ‘Building forward more inclusively’ revolve around the 3-E’s: the economy, equity and the environment. Read these recommendations, as well as the key takeaways from the conference, while awaiting the conference report, which will be released at the end of July.

Despite some positive signs of resilience, it is evident that COVID-19 has, and will continue to, exacerbate existing inequalities. Hence, the post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery in Africa should aim to tackle these inequalities and promote inclusive development, while adapting the current approach to development aid. The following recommendations, presented in the opening session of the INCLUDE conference on 8 June 2021, revolve around the 3-E’s – the economy, equity and the environment – and should be read keeping in mind that the impacts of climate change are as pronounced as those of COVID-19:

  • Recommendation 1: The focus of socio-economic recovery measures should be on youth, women, and other vulnerable and excluded groups and how to make them ‘bankable’.
  • Recommendation 2: Holistic social protection programmes, but also digitalization and innovation, can play an important part in the recovery process.
  • Recommendation 3: There is a need for quick, immediate and substantial financing that addresses structural barriers and promotes inclusive policies.
  • Recommendation 4: Donors must respect their pledges and financial commitments.
  • Recommendation 5: Increased cooperation should take place with and between African countries, and local actors should be given the space to take the driver’s seat in this process.
  • Recommendation 6: For more effective multistakeholder dialogues, the gap between research, policy and practice should be bridged with the help of established and dedicated knowledge platforms.

These recommendations were suggested by the high-level speakers who contributed to the conference opening:

  • Kitty Van Der Heijden, Director General for International Cooperation, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr Edward Brown, Senior Director, Research & Policy Engagements, African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET)
  • Jean-Paul Adam, Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • Steven Collet, Ambassador Business & Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This was only the beginning of 10 days of fruitful and productive exchanges between 50 expert speakers, session chairs and moderators, and a diverse audience. The sessions tackled themes around COVID-19 and inequality, youth employment, social protection and the African Policy Dialogues. The key messages from each of the 5 thematic sessions, as well as the opening and closing keynote speeches, are summarized as follows.

Key messages from conference sessions Opening session: After the COVID-19 shakeup: realities and opportunities for Africa’s development partners

To tackle the two multidimensional emergencies currently facing Africa, COVID-19 and climate change, an integrated approach that simultaneously accounts for the economy, equity and the environment is required.

Thematic session 1 – The (un)expected evidence: COVID-19 and inequalities

While the responses of African governments to COVID-19 have showcased innovative, digital solutions, in some cases they have also exacerbated existing inequalities, infringed on human rights and failed to institutionalize proper implementation frameworks to ensure resilience.

Thematic session 2 – Merging perspectives on decent employment for Africa’s youth post-pandemic

Barriers to decent youth employment can be overcome by following the principles of ‘human economy with the youth at its heart’: 1) the modernization of education systems; 2) the creation of more and better employment opportunities (by public and private sectors); 3) economic growth centred around inclusive private sector development; and 4) the promotion of meaningful youth participation.

Thematic session 3 – Uganda’s way: youth employment and participation post-COVID

Although structural issues related to too few jobs are to blame for youth unemployment in Uganda, the entire value chain of agricultural production seems to be the most promising growth sector for enhancing youth employment.

Thematic session 4 – Donor meets policymaker: modelling social protection responses on the continent

Social protection programmes are instrumental for poverty and inequality reduction. The success of their implementation, however, requires the involvement of several strategic development actors and pragmatic compromise in light of budgetary deficits.

Thematic session 5 – Resilience amidst COVID-19: approaches and strategies from the African Policy Dialogues (APDs)

The different responses of the Mozambican, Ghanaian and Kenyan governments to the COVID-19 pandemic, which have prompted ADP partners to undertake divergent policy influencing approaches in each country, underline the importance of localization and context-specificity in policy making during times of crisis.

Closing session – Conference highlights and innovation strategies for a post-pandemic African

To build forward more inclusively emphasis should be placed on three key issues: 1) youth and decent employment; 2) digital innovation and its institutionalization to ensure resilience; and 3) climate adaptation and mitigation.

The final report of the conference will be published towards the end of July. Until then, we invite you to re-watch the sessions on our YouTube channel. In addition, every week we will publish a news item spotlighting one of the sessions, so stay tuned for this series!


Het bericht Building forward more inclusively: mission possible? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Getting up to speed with inclusive development

1. Juli 2021 - 9:00
The INCLUDE team’s reading list: June 2021

One of INCLUDE’s core beliefs is that so much knowledge already exists, it just needs guiding to the right places and the right people in order to reach its full impact for policy and, ultimately, for development. Whether you are seeking information to guide policy, embarking upon a piece of research, or simply interested in broadening your knowledge and staying updated on inclusive development in Africa, we hope this source can be a good starting point.

As summer begins, there has been no slowdown in the quantity and quality of output from research and development organisations. Momentum continues around social protection, digitalisation and COVID-19 recovery. Here we share some of the latest research in these areas.

  • This year’s Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) symposium ran from 18 May to 24 June, with series of webinars on Fintech for inclusion; Digital ID; Electronic payments; Gender equity; Consumer protection and Cybersecurity. The conference session recordings and working group papers are now accessible online on the FIGI website.
  • International Poverty Action (IPA) have published findings from three household surveys on consumer protection in digital finance user in Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya. The surveys addressed issues such as scams and fraud, complaints handling, transparency and hidden charges, competition and consumer choice, agent conduct and digital credit.
  • Why Digitalization and Digital Governance Are Key to Regional Integration in Africa – The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) potential might not be fully realized without stronger digital connectivity and effective policies that (1) promote the free flow of data and information across member states to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration and (2) reduce trade integration costs and address existing structural barriers to intra-regional trade in Africa. This article by the CGD discusses how digitalization can help to address structural barriers to trade in Africa.
  • How to provide online learning and skills training to youth in low-bandwidth areas – A UNICEF joint study estimates 2.2 billion people — or two-thirds of children and young people under age 25 — do not have internet access at home. The World Bank share strategies and delivery models from a Solutions For Youth Employment (S4YE) Knowledge Brief to address the bandwidth challenge and create an engaging experience while recognizing the local particularities of learners.
  • Digital innovations accelerated by COVID-19 are revolutionizing food systems: Implications for the UN Food Systems Summit – Recent publications by the IFPRI identify several emerging fundamental changes in individual business and supply-chain operations through digital technologies. These food system innovations have been almost entirely market-driven and introduced by private sector actors, but their ability to innovate heavily depended on the availability of adequate basic infrastructure, mobile information and communications technology (ICT) networks, and regulation put in place by past public investment and policies.
Education and training
  • The Pathway to Progress on SDG 4: A Symposium – Earlier this year, Girin Beeharry stepped down as the inaugural director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global education program, leaving behind a manifesto for international actors in the education sector. The heart of this manifesto is that we must reorient global aid for education around promoting foundational literacy and numeracy, unflinchingly monitor progress on that core goal, and hold all development institutions accountable for measurable results in this domain. A collection of 21 essays provides reflections and counter proposals to Girin’s essay by sector leaders, researchers, and practitioners.
  • PREPARE to Succeed: A Research Consortium on Progress and Resilience in Education – CGD’s education program is launching the Partnership for Research on Progress and Resilience in Education (PREPARE), a consortium of research institutions who will work together to produce rigorous evidence on the most important education challenges posed by COVID-19. To begin, PREPARE partners based (initially) in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan and Senegal are focusing on how to ensure children can re-enrol safely, determine what learning has been lost and how to reverse this, and understand the potentially large differential impacts of the pandemic on girls and vulnerable groups.
  • Hard skills or soft skills for the youth – In a new working paper for CEGA, Chioda et al set up two mini-MBA trainings for Ugandan students about to graduate from secondary school. One of these is predominantly hard skills, while the other focuses on soft skills. Both curricula had training on defining entrepreneurship, identifying business opportunities, and using technology in a small business. Three and half years later, it turns out they both work – more businesses, higher profits and yes, more employees!
Social protection
  • Social protection and job responses to covid-19 – This 15th edition of the living paper on global social protection responses to Covid-19, by Ugo Gentilini at the World Bank, presents a rich set of updates. The database shows that between March 20, 2020 and May 14, 2021, a total of 3,333 social protection measures have been planned or implemented in 222 countries or territories. This represents an increase of nearly 148% since December 2020. While social assistance and insurance soared by about 120% and 110%, respectively, active labor market interventions surged by nearly 330%. This increase is due to both augmented recent country-level action and enhanced data collection of experiences.
  • How did Mozambique support vulnerable urban and peri-urban households during the pandemic? This ILO report documents how the government worked in partnership with community-based organizations to register more than 945,000 new beneficiaries for six months of cash transfers, provided through the “Post Emergency COVID-19 Direct Social Support Program.”
  • Social assistance in Ethiopia during COVID-19 – In a pandemic, government assistance is effective only if it reaches the most affected families in time. A Brookings analysis examines how many and which households received support between March and October 2020, what kinds of support they received, where/whom the support came from, and how this support changed over time.
  • Agricultural insurance: The antidote to many economic illnesses – Brookings discuss how agriculture insurance can be an antidote to climatic shocks, which threaten global food security and stability, cripple livelihoods and disrupt value chains. Insurance de-risks lending to the farm sector enabling repayment of loans, reduces budget volatility of agriculture-related fiscal expenditures by transferring climatic risk to the private sector, increases fiscal space during shock years, and stimulates growth of the agriculture sector, which can unlock job creation potential. It can even reduce the scope for fiscal leakages and corruption.
  • It’s 2021 – How is Africa protecting its young people? – Chiamaka Nwachukwu, one of the moderators at INCLUDE’s recent conference on ‘Building forward more inclusively’, draws some clear and insightful messages from her session “Merging perspectives on decent employment for Africa’s youth post pandemic”, grounding them in the context of her home country, Nigeria, and reflecting on the implications for development policy and dialogue.
  • How COVID-19 is likely to slow down a decade of youth development in Africa – There are fears that the pandemic will result in a lockdown generation, characterised by structurally higher youth poverty, unemployment and inequalities. This article argues that to prevent this future, we must focus on youth entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Women and gender
  • Promoting an Inclusive Recovery by Prioritizing Gender: A “Care, Cash, and Data” Agenda for the IDA20 Replenishment – Against the backdrop of contracting fiscal space—in both donor and recipient countries—and competing priorities for IDA resources, establishing a robust agenda to promote gender equality for IDA20 is an imperative. To address the gendered impacts of the COVID crisis, CGD researchers working through the COVID-19 Gender and Development Initiative have proposed three priority focus areas: care, cash, and data.
  • How to Promote Young Women’s Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 Induced Economic Shocks: Lessons from Urban Mozambique – MUVA is a  UKAid funded program, implemented by Oxford Policy Management, which has worked to empower young women economically in Mozambique’s poorest urban areas since 2015. This blog focuses on two MUVA projects still in operation at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. These two projects for urban young women, a business accelerator and a teacher assistants’ internship and mentorship program, were severely affected by the pandemic triggered lockdown.
  • Project Profile IGNITE: Building Technical Innovation in Nutrition-Sensitive and Gender-Integrated Agriculture – The Impacting Gender & Nutrition through Innovative Technical Exchange in Agriculture (IGNITE) mechanism is a five-year investment implemented by Tanager, Laterite, and 60 Decibels to strengthen African institutions’ ability to integrate nutrition and gender into their way of doing business and their agriculture interventions. All the diagnostic toolkits and updates can be found on the project website.
  • Women and e-commerce in Africa – The report ‘Women and E-commerce in Africa’ by the IFC is the first large-scale use of platform data in the region to inform the extent of women’s participation on e-commerce and how online platforms can benefit women business Developed in partnership with the European Commission, with funding from the Umbrella Fund for Gender Equality and data from one of Africa’s largest platforms, Jumia, the report shows that closing earnings gaps between men and women on e-commerce platforms could add nearly $15 billion to the value of the African e-commerce market.
Development cooperation
  • Global aid increased in 2020, but support for the poorest countries is waning – The latest global aid data released by the OECD shows that aid is at an all-time high, as many donors increased their aid in response to the crisis in 2020. But without better targeting of ODA to where need is greatest, we risk leaving the poorest countries further behind.
  • Removing the Wedge between Process Actors and Knowledge Actors in Development Cooperation: A Step toward More Inclusive and Networked Global Governance – COVID-19 has exacerbated several pre-pandemic trends in international development cooperation—among the most obvious, the weakening of the multilateral system and its subdued response to crises. One manifestation of this trend is the noticeable wedge in the relationship between process actors and knowledge actors in development cooperation governance. This suggests the already-fragmented global development governance arrangements are getting less networked, inclusive, and effective.
  • How is ‘China’ helping to transform ‘Africa’? The need for a more sophisticated debate – There are many different narratives cast around in public and policy debate: China as the new imperial power, China as the radical developmentalist, China as just like any other donor/foreign power. None are very convincing. A report synthesising a number of research projects has been published recently, titled Africa’s economic transformation: the role of Chinese investment, and aims to get beyond the rhetoric and gain a more sophisticated, empirically-based analysis based on substantial UK-funded research efforts over recent years.
  • Covid-19 Diaries – A year of pandemic: No one is safe until everyone is safe – UNICEF has been working closely with the Government of Niger and its partners to increase the procurement and supply of vaccines, train health workers, and tackle trust and misinformation in communities. This report provides important insights into the impact of the pandemic on children in Niger, and highlights actions in health; nutrition; education; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); gender-based violence and social protection sectors.
  • COVID-19 is a developing country pandemic – Contrary to what was shown and believed a year ago, global health has not been subverted. In fact, compared to rich countries, the developing world appears to be facing very similar—if not higher—mortality rates. Its demographic advantage of a younger population may have been entirely offset by higher infection prevalence and age-specific infection fatality.
  • Long-run impact of COVID-19 on extreme poverty – It may be a year or two before the full impact of the pandemic is known. We know that economic recessions drive a rise in poverty, other things being equal. Yet other things were not equal in 2020. Countries responded to the pandemic with large social spending programs to mitigate the worst of the economic shock and keep families afloat. The pandemic might lead to a temporary rise in poverty in some places before returning to its pre-COVID trajectory as growth rates rebound in 2021 and 2022. In other places, however, growth was low pre-COVID-19 and is predicted to be low for the next decade.
  • COVID-19 and economic transformation in rural Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 situation looks uncertain, with localised outbreaks and a rise in infections south of the Limpopo in South Africa. This article by Ian Scoones, creator of the Zimbabweland blog, discusses the new restrictions (including the banning of gatherings, the limiting of business hours, a stipulation that offices should only be half full and the prevention of moving to and from ‘hotspots’) which seem like a set-back as things had got largely back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) in the previous weeks.
Other resources on inclusive development
  • Four reasons why analysis of economic policy and religion go hand-in-hand in sub-Saharan Africa – Religion is not the focus of many policy minded economists studying sub-Saharan Africa; yet, there are important overlaps. The economics of religion is a growing sub-field which provides new tools and theories to explore the ways religious beliefs and practices affect economic outcomes. This policy brief written by Amma Panin aims to convince of the importance of the overlap between religion and policy in sub-Saharan Africa by highlighting recent advances in how economists study religion, with results that touch on institutions, beliefs and governance.
  • From Displacement to Development: How Ethipia Can Create Shared Growth by Facilitating Economic Inclusion for Refugees – This case study is part of the “Let Them Work” initiative by Refugees International (RI) and the Center for Global Development (CGD). It outlines the barriers refugees face in Ethiopia to economic inclusion; the impacts of these barriers; and the steps that the government of Ethiopia, international organizations, donors, and the private sector could take to overcome them.
We encourage anyone from our platform, close network and wider audience to get in touch with recommendations for this reading list and to help us with our goal of sharing and disseminating knowledge. Please mail your suggestions to with the subject “Contribution to INCLUDE reading list“.

Het bericht Getting up to speed with inclusive development verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

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Forthcoming call for proposals on our new research programme: save the date!

28. Juni 2021 - 12:00
Making basic services more inclusive through digitalisation.

We are very excited to announce the theme of INCLUDE’s new research programme! The call will be available on July 8th, so save the date and share with anyone you think might be interested to apply!

Details about the programme

The main goals of this research programme will be:

  1. To take stock of digital basic service interventions in different African countries (especially since the boom in digital services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic).
  2. To assess how inclusive these interventions are, in terms of reaching and improving the wellbeing of poor and vulnerable citizens.
  3. To analyse progress in the enabling environment for inclusive digital transformation (incl. physical infrastructure, digital skills, regulation, political economy, and institutional capacity) at the national and sub-national levels to see where efforts and investments could be prioritised.
  4. To extract lessons and best practices for scaling digital basic services and making them more inclusive in order to reach and support those furthest behind.

Key elements of the research will include:

  • A focus on government-to-citizen services which affect the wellbeing of the poorest and most vulnerable people in Africa – education, social protection, healthcare – as well as inter-governmental services like digital administration and identity.
  • A look at the relationship between existing continental / national policy frameworks for digital transformation and the experiences on the ground to help narrow the gap between vision and reality.
  • Going beyond mere access to basic services, to also look at usage, affordability, relevance and participation (different aspects of inclusion which might explain why certain interventions may not work and help to guide action in this area).
  • Disaggregated evidence on the impacts of digitalised services on rural and urban populations, women, youth, the elderly, and people with different kinds of disability, with a link to subnational governance and local implementation.
  • An examination of the political economy aspects of digitalisation, to understand the impact of e.g. democracy, transparency, data privacy, online civil space, the role of the private sector, and incentives for different stakeholders.
Background and structure of the research

There has been a steep rise in digital basic services interventions in Africa in recent years (especially since the COVID-19 outbreak), but knowledge/awareness of these interventions is insufficient and fragmented, and the impacts on inequality are unknown and highly contested. Moreover, progress on the critical enabling conditions for digital transformation in Africa, which are laid out in the African Union Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030), is not well documented, particularly at the country level, making it difficult to guide policy in this area.

INCLUDE has decided to address these issues in a new research programme running from 2021-2022. First, case studies will be conducted at the country level, comprising an in-depth context assessment, a mapping of digital service interventions, and an analysis of inclusion (looking at design, implementation and outcomes). This will then conclude with a synthesis that compares digital developments in basic services through a sectoral lens in order to extract some best practices and facilitate learning across countries (for example, highlighting high-impact areas for scaling and integration like digital data and payment systems).

The structure, methodology and format of the case studies/synthesis can be found in the forthcoming call for proposals along with a breakdown of the research questions. In the meantime, download the foundation document for this programme (below), which contains a full background analysis which conceptualises and frames the issues at the core of the programme.

Download the foundation document


For questions about this call please contact Hannah Itcovitz, Knowledge manager INCLUDE Secretariat (

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Merging perspectives on decent employment for Africa’s youth – post pandemic

24. Juni 2021 - 11:24

High level stakeholders from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Institute of Development Studies (IDS), International Labour Organization (ILO), Mastercard Foundation (MCF) and Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) were gathered at a virtual roundtable to discuss on their views and experiences on decent youth employment creation post-pandemic. Chiamaka Nwachukwu, Coordinator of the African Union Youth Hustlers Program, moderated the session with great energy, facilitating interaction among the speakers and the audience.

Human economy

Among the biggest challenges, according to ILO, stands the indecency and informality of jobs available for youth in Africa. Drew Gardiner from ILO expressed concern about the million jobs that have been lost during the pandemic as due to the high number of informal jobs social protection is often lacking. In order to address structural youth employment challenges, Dr Cheikh Tidiane Dieye (AfCFTA) advocated for a ‘human economy’, through investment in structural transformation and bold economic policies. In fact, as agreed by Dr Marjoke Oosterom (IDS), the development narrative is steadily shifting from a youth unemployment crisis to a jobs crisis – focusing rather on structural transformation than on youth skilling and training. Looking at the future solutions, Shona Bezanson (MCF) stressed that there are great economic opportunities in the education sector – not only because we need more skilled youth, but because there is demand for qualified workforce in the sector.


Sprint Multimedia GH / Daniel Attah for GNBCC

Youth: co-creators of solutions

From a Dutch MFA policy-maker point of view, Ambassador for Youth, Education and Work Tijmen Rooseboom explained the focus on listening to young people to understand their needs and create the right enabling environment for decent youth employment. Indeed also the other panelists agree with Tijmen that youths need to be put at the centre, by involving them as co-creators of solutions. Dr Marjoke Oosterom suggested that youths involvement should be integrated in policy-making at the appropriate Ministries’ levels. According to Dr Dieye there are great opportunities in the agri-food sector, particularly with a unified Pan-African market, and Drew Gardiner also stressed the importance of the digital economy – and the need for social protection in this sector.


This session showed the complexity of both challenges and opportunities for youth decent employment post-covid: the pandemic has made the African job market tougher for youths, but also allows for policy-makers and practitioners to change the development agenda. Now the eyes are set on structural transformation through the three E’s (education, economic growth and enhancing youth participation), and also the three Youth At Heart priorities: skills, jobs and the voice of youth.

Are you curious to learn more about this session? Watch the live-stream recording.

This news item was drafted by Maya Turolla for the Youth At Heart website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Find the original posting here.

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It’s 2021, how is Africa protecting its young people?

23. Juni 2021 - 13:18

Last week I moderated a session at the INCLUDE conference: ‘Building forward more inclusively’ on “Merging perspectives on decent employment for Africa’s youth post pandemic”, with a focus to build forward better. I will be sharing reflections and insights from this session, as well as my own experience being a young African living in Africa, and my work with other young dynamic leaders on the continent.

About 500 million jobs were lost during the COVID19 pandemic, and the majority of these job losses affected young people who had an even higher rate of unemployment before the pandemic as compared to older adults. In my country Nigeria, the general unemployment rate was 33.3% as of the 4th quarter of 2020. Now 60% of the Nigerian working population is less than 34 years old, but the unemployment values for that demographic stands much higher than the national average- 53.4% for those aged 15 to 24 and 37.2% for people aged 25 to 34. The burden of unemployment is even worse for young women who have the so-called “disadvantage” of being both young and female in Africa. I use Nigeria as an example because I am Nigerian, and live in Nigeria, and these numbers are more than just statistics, they are the reality that I live with every day. In a few short points I will share the summary of our discussion on the major challenges on youth employment in Africa:

  1. There just are not enough jobs. The private sector is not strong or diverse enough to provide employment for this youthful dynamic population. A weak private sector, high unemployment rates and unfavourable government policies that stifle growth and innovation has caused our cities to suffer and has stunted development.
  2. Still a large proportion of our educational systems are not providing young people with not only the skill, but also the opportunity to be economically valuable in the job market. Basic education is the bedrock of development, and many African countries have not fully maximized the potential for relevant and innovative educational systems for young people.
  3. In the jobs that do exist, there is much to be desired regarding social protection- such as fair wages, non-exploitative and fair working conditions, and basic social rights like health insurance, parental leave, etc. A great number of young people are also engaged in informal employment- which in itself may not be the problem as far as Africa is concerned. The problem is that they do so with no safety net. They do so in an environment with failing infrastructure, inflation and sky high prices of basic amenities like food, electricity, healthcare and housing.

Really, Being a young person in Africa today many times means that sometimes you start your struggle 100 steps below your counterparts.

I will move on to discuss major points on the way forward because that is indeed the focus of this entire conference and the discussions.

However, I elaborated those challenges because in order to look to the future, we must understand and fully appreciate how the past led us to the present.

The first and most overarching recommendation that came out strongly from the conversations on the way forward is that there must be intergenerational co-leadership, and collaboration. It is no news that on the continent, young people are largely missing from the big and most important tables, even when they have the required skill and experience. Young people have to co-create whatever solutions or policies that will affect them, and not just be the end users of already formed policies. And it is crucial that this process is inclusive, thorough and devoid of tokenism. We have to partner with young people who live in the reality of these challenges, and have them come to the drawing board to decide the next steps. Oftentimes young people are included only at the end- many times to “publicize what has been done” or lead advocacy or bring a “youthful feel” to an already designed and implemented campaign. Where were those young people during the ideation and conception phase? And when we do include young people, do we ensure that we reach out to the best people for the job? The fresh faces? The ones whose voices matter even though they may not have a big platform? Do we put effort, time and energy into ensuring we find those voices, and listen to what they have to say? A good model which we have used is reaching out to existing country structures for young people such as youth councils and civil unions, civil society organizations, universities, and networks working with grassroots youth. Without these components, it will be difficult to create policies that are relevant to the experience of young people today and are sustainable for our future development.

A second recommendation is the strengthening of the private sector with emphasis on access to financial services and favourable policies for SMEs. My colleagues at the Youth Charter Hustlers Program also make an important case for the necessity to create a bridge from school-life to work-life through internships, work study programs, etc that are non-exploitative and place value on the young people being employed.

Finally, the AfCFTA African Continental Free Trade Area provides a unique opportunity for the explosion of the youth job market on the continent through inter-regional trade, removing barriers and allowing access to a wider market. I recently tried to buy a product from a young woman living in southern Africa. It was stressful and tasking, and it would have been much easier for me to order from London. But together, we figured out a way to make it work. For the AfCTA to survive long term, it has to be driven by young people. We have seen young people innovate by utilizing technology through digital payment services and social media platforms to connect businesses across the continent. This model is thriving despite the barriers separating these countries. How about if it is made even easier? How about we study the young people’s model, and incorporate into the wider discussion of the AfCTA to see how this burgeoning economy can be made to grow with political backing and the huge financial resources the more established institutions have to offer?

I will close with this- there have been several social movements across the continent, calling to hold African leaders accountable, and to fulfill their social contract to provide for and protect their people. The majority of these movements have been led and driven by young people. There is dynamism, leadership qualities and strength to be found among African youth. The best possible outcome would be achieved when this huge potential is tapped into, and young people are included at the big and important tables from the very beginning, to closely collaborate and work on policies together with our current leaders.


This blog was first published on Access the original post here.

Het bericht It’s 2021, how is Africa protecting its young people? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

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Getting up to speed with inclusive development

1. Juni 2021 - 9:00
The INCLUDE team’s reading list: May 2021

One of INCLUDE’s core beliefs is that so much knowledge already exists, it just needs guiding to the right places and the right people in order to reach its full impact for policy and, ultimately, for development. May was another abundant month in terms of research output and knowledge gained, and we are excited to share here what our secretariat have been reading. Whether you are seeking information to guide policy, embarking upon a piece of research, or simply interested in broadening your knowledge and staying updated on inclusive development in Africa, we hope this source can be a good starting point.

Social protection
  • What have we learned about cash transfers? – Four big-picture messages from the vast research on cash transfers for high-level policymakers, extracted from a recent World Bank brief. 1) Conditional cash transfers (CCTs) are part and parcel of social protection strategies in many countries. 2) Unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) are becoming more popular. 3) UCTs and CCTs can be deployed together to better achieve the twin goals of current poverty reduction and human capital accumulation. 4) Economic inclusion programs can build on cash transfers to achieve sustained poverty reduction.
  • “Two Birds, No Stones”: A Global Initiative to Combine Rural Social Protection with Climate Resilience – The need for more robust social protection programs in lower-income countries is clearer than ever, and we have a chance to tackle the other most pressing problem of our time, climate change, in the design of those programs. The CGD proposes a three-part initiative by the G7 and G20 leadership, supported by both the international development and climate change communities, to tackle this dual challenge.
  • Do Workfare Programs Live Up to Their Promises? Experimental Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire – This World Bank working paper evaluates the longer-term impacts of a public works intervention among urban youths in Côte d’Ivoire, who self-selected to work for seven months at minimum wage and received training on basic entrepreneurship or job search skills. Fifteen months after the program ended, savings stock remain higher, but there are no lasting impacts on employment or work habits and behaviours, and only limited impacts on earnings.
  • Social protection for agriculture and resilience: Highlights, lessons learned, and priorities for One CGIAR – A collection of research on the impact of social protection programs and complementary interventions on agricultural growth and nutrition, including impact evaluations of national food and cash transfer programs (e.g., the Takaful and Karama Program in Egypt, the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia, and the Programme de Filets Sociaux “Jigisemejiri” in Mali), and pilot studies, policy papers and review studies in many low- and middle-income countries.
  • Tanzania is making education financing work better for all children to leave no one behind – Five years ago, Tanzania ended all fees to attend school, leading to a surge in enrolment among poor and disadvantaged children and children with disabilities. Part of GPE’s current grant to Tanzania is incentivizing the government to spend its education resources more efficiently and equitably in order to deal with this increased enrolment.
  • Following FACTS to Recover and Revamp Nigeria’s Education System During and Beyond COVID-19 – This brief, written by the Centre for the Studies of the Economies of Africa (CSAE) for RISE (organisation for Research on Improving Systems of Education), highlights a simple and smart approach to recover the expected learning loss and revamp Nigeria’s education system, conveniently summarized in the acronym FACTS: Foundational learning, Assessment, Curriculum alignment, Technology and Special needs.
  • Should Governments and Donors Prioritize Investments in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN)? – This essay by the CGD examines the potential channels by which FLN skills—which most systems teach in the early grades of primary school—may impact later schooling and subsequent life outcomes, and the existing evidence for each channel. The authors find widening trajectories in school between students who master FLN skills in early grades and those who do not, but mixed evidence on the returns to FLN skills in earnings and other adult outcomes. They discuss the allocation of investment at different levels of education and between different skills, as well as the political obstacles to FLN investments.
  • From Evidence to Policy and Practice: Improving Urban Education in East Africa – This is the second phase of the urban education project by the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) that seeks to ensure improved access to quality education for children living in urban informal settlements through evidence-based advocacy in three countries in East Africa – Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. The first phase created a strong voice among state and non-state education stakeholders on the need to focus on the education of urban poor. The second phase aims at consolidating existing evidence and conducting population and education projections in order to gauge the future demand for education in the context of urbanization in East Africa and as evidence tool for planning and engagement.
  • Digital financial services, enabled by fintech, have the potential to lower costs, increase speed, security and transparency and allow for more tailored financial services that serve the poor at scale. This World Bank Group report from last year addresses the binding constraints and enablers for developing and growing digital financial services (including regulatory frameworks, infrastructure, and ancillary government support systems) and examines different approaches at the country level.
  • Keeping class in session: A case study of EdTech and the COVID-19 response in Kenya – In this study, the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) synthesise existing evidence and examine stakeholder responses with regards to the use of distance learning solutions during COVID-19 period and beyond in Kenya. The study focuses on the different EdTech solutions employed, their effectiveness in terms of reach and usage for marginalised and vulnerable children, and decision making around EdTech.
  • From digital promise to frontline practice: new and emerging technologies in humanitarian action – New and emerging technologies can support the shift from reaction to anticipation by enabling earlier, faster and potentially more effective humanitarian action This study by the United Nations Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) examines opportunities for solving technology-related problems across the humanitarian programme cycle, challenges posed by new and emerging technologies in humanitarian contexts, and enablers of technology in the humanitarian sector.
  • A new system for digital education in Malawi – A secondary teacher developed digital resources to ensure more students have access to quality learning materials in Malawi, a crucial need during the pandemic and school closures. The Padziwe Ecosystem for Digital Education is a collection of software applications and hardware aimed at supporting learners, teachers and schools in the teaching and learning process. This is the second blog in a series showcasing the winners of the African Union ‘Innovating Education in Africa’ program.
Health and nutrition
  • Increasing immunization in low- and middle-income countries – In this brief, Innovations for Poverty Action’s (IPA) Path-to-Scale research team has compiled evidence from demand-side interventions to increase vaccination acceptance and uptake in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to help inform COVID-19 vaccination programming
  • Africa’s processed food revolution and the double burden of malnutrition – With rapid urbanization, higher incomes, and employment opportunities for women, demand for convenient (processed) foods is expanding rapidly and supply chains have transformed—shifting production towards cheap processed foods and distribution through supermarkets and local convenience stores, mostly in urban areas. A recent study involving the IFPRI associates Africa’s rapidly changing food markets with the double burden of undernutrition and obesity.
  • 2 decades on, Nigeria falls short of landmark health pledge – A report by the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (or PACFaH@Scale) and the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), a local group dedicated to capacity building for the expansion of social capital and accountability in Nigeria, shows that the Nigerian government has fallen short of its Abuja Declaration commitment to ensure 15% of its annual budgetary allocation goes toward health, reaching just 4.7% over the last two decades. This article by Devex highlights key takeaways from the report explaining this outcome.
  • Measuring children’s development in low and middle income countries: getting it right – Through a systematic review (SR) soon to be published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research, the authors of this UCL report identified 43 current tools to provide comparative robust data about children’s development and their learning contexts. It includes 34 tools for assessing children’s development across countries, five to measure the home environment and four to measure early childhood education settings to inform research and practice.
Work and income
  • Enterprise Formalization: Tailored registration, tax and social security requirements for MSEs – This Thematic Brief is part of a series of publications by ILO on Enterprise Formalization. It investigates ‘entry level’ mechanisms and related business registration, tax and social security reforms to tailor existing requirements to the needs and characteristics of micro and small enterprises. Such schemes can make the formalization process easier and more attractive.
  • Employment creation potential, labor skills requirements, and skill gaps for young people: A Senegal case study – In this paper, Brookings analyze specific “industries without smokestacks” and their potential contribution to economic growth and job creation in Senegal. The paper recommends policies to remove the many hurdles that exist in Senegal’s regulatory framework and deter private enterprise development.
  • Kenya’s slum vendors rely on savings groups to survive COVID-19 – The limited access to capital for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) further diminished during the pandemic, as their two sources of credit — financial institutions and suppliers — were greatly affected. Faced with these challenges, a growing number of vendors in Kenya’s slums turned to credit unions and savings groups, which could provide loans without collateral, to boost their businesses.
  • How universities in Africa can build job skills for young people – This short report by ESSA and the REAL centre at the University of Cambridge uses evidence from the African Education Research Database to address how universities and colleges in sub-Saharan Africa can work with employers to increase employment for young people in Africa, including redesigning courses, entrepreneurship training, digital innovation and career guidance.
Economic growth and structural transformation
  • When industrial policy fails to produce structural transformation: the case of Ethiopia – Despite the increasing foreign investment in many African economies, their participation in trade, and the economic growth that follows from it, structural transformation has remained limited. In this LSE article, Kasper Vrolijk looks at Ethiopia’s industrial policy and argues that the government has failed to sufficiently emphasize innovation in—and technology transfer to—domestic firms, leading to minimal “upgrading” of low to high value-added activities.
  • Structural transformation, economic development and industrialisation in post-Covid-19 Africa – This study by the ODI looks at the challenges facing industrialisation in African countries, in particular the issues for the policy framework needed to support it. The report identifies three important elements for economic recovery from the pandemic, and three focus areas which can be used for Africa to play an increasingly positive role on global industrialisation efforts in the decade ahead.
Other readings on inclusive development
  • World Development Report 2021 – The latest edition of this annual World Bank report provides a blueprint on how to harness the power of data for development, to ensure no one is left behind. The report looks at the social contract for data; building trust around information; data as a force for public good; data infrastructure; competition, regulation and data protection; governing data; and improving data systems, among others.
  • Afrobarometer launches SDG Scorecards to provide citizens’ perspectives on progress toward Sustainable Development Goals in Africa – The scorecards highlight five-year trends in citizens’ experiences and evaluations of their country’s performance on selected indicators of democracy and governance, poverty, health, education, energy supply, water and sanitation, inequality, gender equity, and other priorities reflected in 12 of the 17 SDGs. The first scorecards are available now, with 31 in total over the next few weeks.
  • Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) is a tool created by the Centre for Global Development for comparing performance across dimensions of aid quality across 49 of the largest bilateral and multilateral agencies. QuODA provides a quantitative assessment of providers efforts, composed of 17 indicators grouped into four dimensions: Prioritisation, Ownership, Transparency & Untying, and Evaluation.
  • Women’s voices in civil society organizations: Evidence from a civil society mapping project in Mali – A new issue brief by IFPRI and CGIAR looks at how women’s voices can be amplified in a situation of prevailing patriarchal norms, and what should be done so that these voices are not only heard, but also acted The brief suggests that Malian women have high participation rates in nearly all types of CSOs, but face constraints in translating that participation into political influence.
We encourage anyone from our platform, close network and wider audience to get in touch with recommendations for this reading list and to help us with our goal of sharing and disseminating knowledge. Please mail your suggestions to with the subject “Contribution to INCLUDE reading list“.

Het bericht Getting up to speed with inclusive development verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Continuing the legacy

1. Juni 2021 - 9:00

On 1 July, the first transition of coordinators for the INCLUDE knowledge platform Secretariat since its establishment in 2014 will become a reality. Marleen Dekker, the ‘face’ of the platform and coordinator of INCLUDE, will hand over her role to Anika Altaf.

Marleen Dekker has taken on a new role as director of the African Studies Center (ASCL). She looks back at memorable times as coordinator of INCLUDE. Her eight year involvement boasted a trajectory in which the knowledge platform took shape and established itself; a time in which Marleen thoroughly enjoyed working with INCLUDE’s network and platform members, who have provided insights that contributed to making evidence and Southern policy perspectives heard. Marleen mentions the African Policy Dialogues and the multiple research programmes on inclusive development themes, some finalized and some ongoing, as key activities through which this was achieved.

“I am handing over this role to Anika, who has proven, as coordinator of the ‘Equity in COVID-19’ research programme, to be able to successfully embody the spirit of INCLUDE and promote its ideas and ambitions.” Marleen is proud of the current Secretariat, which is shouldering the weight of INCLUDE’s work: “The team has shown that even in challenging circumstances, they are able to map out knowledge and evidence and translate this in a succinct manner, without losing sight of what is ongoing in Africa and the Netherlands”. Marleen would like to thank all the members who relentlessly shared their vision, knowledge and experience, and remained eager and committed to the cause.

Anika Altaf, INCLUDE’s new coordinator

Anika Altaf is excited to take on the INCLUDE coordinator position from 1 July. She shares that “INCLUDE is a truly unique knowledge platform. We are driven by knowledge from research, policy and practice and we know how to translate this knowledge and make it useful and accessible to policymakers. We are able to do this due to our strong Secretariat and with the support of INCLUDE’s platform members and broader network. Over the past years, INCLUDE has become an important partner for different stakeholders in inclusive development. I am looking forward to continuing these partnerships and working together to promote inclusive policy making in Africa, hopefully in a way that the INCLUDE platform will not be needed in the future.”

Het bericht Continuing the legacy verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Two INCLUDE-related projects awarded additional grants to continue work on inclusive development

26. Mai 2021 - 15:22

NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development has awarded 22 projects within the WOTRO Impact and Innovation Grants (I&IG) that build on previously funded NWO-WOTRO projects. The grant offers the researchers the opportunity to 1) enhance the project’s societal impact (Cluster Societal Impact Grant) or 2) develop an innovative, societally relevant research idea that stems from the findings of the project (Cluster Innovation Seed Grants). Two of these projects are led by researchers from former INCLUDE programmes, both falling under the Cluster Societal Impact Grants. A brief description of each project and their associated former research programme can be found below.

Analysing community-based legitimacy through the development of a toolkit for advocacy organisations working with intermediaries in the Global South dr. M. (Maaike) Matelski (F), VU University Amsterdam

This project builds on the programme ‘Supporting new roles of civil society organisations for inclusive development‘ (2016-2020), which examined the assumptions of the Theory of Change underlying the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ civil society policy framework ‘Dialogue & Dissent’ that focused on tackling the causes of poverty and inequality. The research conceptualized the multiple dimensions of legitimacy for advocacy in civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in the Global South.

The project zooms in on aspects of legitimacy valued by local constituencies in rural and remote areas, who form the CSOs’ intended beneficiaries. The project will operationalise community-based legitimacy in the form of a toolkit developed for advocacy CSOs, as well as web(v)logs that target a general audience. The primary focus is on the role of intermediaries on the community level, who form part of an informal local aid chain that has not been systematically identified in academic literature, and whose position and activities might be affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The project formulates specific best practices and recommendations to CSOs, donors and policy makers in order to reduce the tension between CSOs’ aspired representation of local communities, and the challenges experienced by their intermediaries.


Relevance and impact of community ownership in the implementation of Low-cost Post-Traumatic Stress Programme (SHLCPTS) to support women’s social-economic resilience in Northern Uganda dr. P. (Primrose) Nakazibwe (F), Ndejje University

This research follows on from the Research for Inclusive Development in Sub Sahara Africa (RIDSSA) programme (2014-2018), which developed policy description and practical advice for transformation processes in Africa through the role of strategic actors, productive employment policies and cost-effective social protection programmes. The research found a significant effect of the intervention on social-economic resilience. Given the positive results, the question is, what happened after the research ended?

The research investigates how a self-help, low-cost post-traumatic stress relief (SHLCPTS) grassroots intervention contributes to societal change, enabling the inclusion, empowerment, and effective participation of vulnerable groups in sub-Saharan Africa. The research adds to the literature of development studies by providing empirical evidence of how culturally contextualized interventions strengthen communities. This research investigates (i) the mechanisms through which the communities have strengthened the cultural adaptation and ownership of the trauma-relief-tool and engaged in reaching a larger group of participants (ii) determining the psychological and social processes through which the adjusted intervention contributes to the treatment of trauma to explain the changes achieved (including reduction of domestic violence); and (iii) the use of the findings by policymakers at district and national level for policy formulation.

The information in this news item was extracted from the NWO-WOTRO webpage which details all 22 projects awarded Impact and Innovation Grants (I&IG). Read more information and learn about other research projects here.

Het bericht Two INCLUDE-related projects awarded additional grants to continue work on inclusive development verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Africa Day: Beyond the Celebration

25. Mai 2021 - 13:21

On 25th May each year, Africa Day is commemorated diversely in the continent and the diaspora. I would like to share some thoughts about what I believe must be an important day of reflection and re-commitment in our continent.

On 25th May 1963, the first African continental intergovernmental organization was created, following the independence of most countries. The Organization of African Unity (OAU), mother of the current African Union (AU), was born with the adoption of its Charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during a diplomatic conference hosted by the then Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

Africa Day should not be confused with African Union Day (AU Day), commemorated on the 9th of September each year, marking the day the Assembly of Heads of State decided to transform the OAU to the AU in Sirte, Libya on 9/9/99.

The OAU was founded by 32 countries. Later, 23 other nations have gradually joined the body over the years. OAU was an unprecedented commitment to Africa’s aspiration for the total political liberation of the continent from colonialism as well as the unity and solidarity among its people. While the main objectives of the OAU were to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid and to promote unity and solidarity among African States, the new African Union aimed for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”

The transformation of the OAU to the AU created the hope of greater unity and solidarity of African countries and among African people. The desire to build a people-oriented and people-centered institution is the main distinguishing feature between the African Union and the former Organization of African Unity, which was exclusively state-focused. People called it the “Club of male Heads of State.”

Beyond the Celebration

First, it’s important that Africa Day is commemorated in all African countries and the entire diaspora. It should be a day on which we tell African stories to our young generations. The stories of our past glories, the stories of a future hope… Africa Day should also be a day of re-commitment to our Shared Values and our common Agendas, both the Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals of which we are fully part. The AU has a set of Shared Values that centre around democracy and good governance, the rule of law and human rights, peace and security, and continental development and integration. Africa Day should be a day of a renewed African solidarity. A day of remembrance that an important part of our continent is still devastated by the ongoing unjustifiable conflicts, a day of determination to fight extreme poverty and all kind of inequalities and discriminations in Africa.

I still have memories of the Lomé Summit in 2000, when the new Constitutive Act of the AU was adopted. Managing the Civic Education Division of the National Radio of Togo, Radio Lomé, I broadcasted a radio show titled “from the OAU of Heads of State to the AU of Citizens” to my 2 million listeners. I can remember the excitement and the big hope of African citizens to be part of a new continental organization that aimed to pave the way to a stronger democracy, human security, prosperity, development.

Since its inception, the African Union has raised the normative bar for the socio-economic and democratic development ambitions of the continent. But the adoption of norms, treaties, policy frameworks is not enough to take us to the “Africa We Want” We must realize the promises by effectively implementing those instruments and regularly hold each other accountable to them. It is time to close the gap between continental promises and the daily reality of most citizens.

How is our Union Doing Today?

Are citizens genuinely given a chance to participate in the Union’s processes fully? Are we implementing fundamental principles that aim to secure a democratic Africa, the respect of human and people rights, and unlock potential for development?   Are we managing our natural resources responsibly for the benefit of the continent and its people? How are we preparing our youthful population to take over? Are we harnessing our demographic dividend as promised in the related Roadmap? Are we abiding by our shared values? How consistant are the responses of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to the issue of unconstitutional change of government or Coup d’Etat that is still happening in our continent?

Between 2014 and 2021, over 20,000 Africans have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean Sea trying to run away from our continent. Many others died in the Saharan desert before reaching the Sea. Why are they leaving the continents?

34 out of the 54 African Countries are labeled as “Least Developed Countries,” while at the same time billions of dollars are illegally taken out of the continent through illicit financial flows (IFF), according to the Thabo Mbeki Report.

Africa is said to possess over 90% of the world’s chrome resources, 85% of its platinum, 70% of its tantalite, 68% of its cobalt, 54% of its gold, plus significant oil and gas reserves. The continent is also home to uranium, manganese, diamonds, phosphate, and bauxite deposits in very high quantities. It has timber and other forest resources added to its vast arable land for agriculture.

We need to reflect on the many questions being asked by our people today: Have we really and genuinely moved from the OAU to the AU? Or are we still turning around with old practices? Why is 60% of the African Union budget still paid by external donors? What are the implications of such a fact on the integrity and effectiveness of our Union?

Ways Forward to the Africa We Want

We need to create a conducive environment for development to flow. The rule of law, democracy, and good governance ideals are critical to establishing peace and security in the continent. We promised to silence the guns in Africa by 2020, but we failed to do so and postponed the deadline to 2030. We are failing because we are doing the same things, using the same approach over and over again and excepting a different result.

Conflicts: Beyond Military Solutions: The AU itself has identified 21 current conflicts in the 55 countries that make up the Union. Root causes of most conflicts in Africa are to be found in extreme poverty, deep structural inequalities, discrimination, underdevelopment, unfair sharing of natural resources, political repression, mismanagement of our diversity, and climate change.

Military operations alone will not bring peace to Africa. We need to prioritize addressing governance crisis, promote inclusive dialogue, provide social services and boost development. Military interventions should only be at the service of this approach. Young people mostly used by warlords are vulnerable because they have nothing to lose.

During its special sessions, I have made submissions to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on how we can silence the guns and make peace happen in the continent. Check it out here.

Prioritizing the Demographic Dividend: The age structure of our population has important impacts on our economic development. The “demographic dividend” refers to economic benefits arising from a significant increase of working-aged adults vis-a-vis those who are dependents. These working-aged adults must be healthy, educated, trained, skilled and, decent jobs and other economic opportunities should be created to meet their demand. Having a youthful population is not enough to catalyze development and prosperity.  All African countries should effectively implement the AU Roadmap on harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa.

Stop the Outflow of Capital: Every year, $89 billion leaves the African continent as Illicit Financial Flows, according to a UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report. These are movements of money and assets across borders that are illegal in source, transfer, or use. It includes illicit capital getting out of the continent, tax and commercial practices like wrong invoicing of trade shipments, and criminal activities such as illegal markets, corruption, or theft. The shocking fact is that the billions lost annually to IFF are almost equal to the Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) altogether. These are missed development opportunities. Tackling IFF requires international cooperation and actions both within the continent and outside.

Commissioned by the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, a High-Level Panel led by President Thabo Mbeki made practical recommendations to tackle the IFFs.  We need to go back to those recommendations and implement them fully.  If not, our journey to 2030 and 2063 will remain a dream.

Wishing you all a thoughtful Africa Day!

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!

God Bless Africa!

This blog is the most recent article published on Désiré Assogbavi’s long-standing blog, The blog is a civic initiative to share information, updates, analysis and perspectives on African politics in general, the African Union, its various organs and their functioning, policies & politics.

Het bericht Africa Day: Beyond the Celebration verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Webinar series round up: ‘What and when is a job decent according to youth in Africa?’

4. Mai 2021 - 12:15

The webinar series on ‘What and when is a job decent according to youth in Africa?’, organised by Francis (Restless Development) in conjunction with INCLUDE, consisted of 9 webinars in different countries over a period of 6 months. Participants were youth representatives from a range of NGOs, think tanks, research institutions and private firms. The objective of the series was to bring effective and meaningful youth participation to the debate on decent work, including perspectives from vulenrable and marginalised groups, in the hope of moving towards employment and labour policies that align with the real needs, goals and experiences of youth in Africa.

The series was structured around key questions which sought to explore:

  • Whether youth identify with common definitions of decent work
  • How the crucial components of decent work vary between and amongst different groups of young people
  • The potential for decent work in the formal and informal sectors
  • If/how COVID-19 has changed the aspirations of youth in terms of what they seek in employment opportunities

Here, we are proud to round up the webinar series with a concluding video, which merges the highlights from all 9 webinars, and a synthesis report, which documents the series’ key findings and lessons learned.  At the bottom of the page is a link to each webinar, with more details on the local discussion and a video specific to that country.


Watch the concluding video:

Read the synthesis report:

This report documents the overall takeaways from the 9 webinars, and highlights similarities and differences between countries and social groups regarding decent work. We also added our own reflections on how the webinar findings fit within the broader research and policy debate on decent jobs for youth.

Download synthesis


Read more about each webinar:
  1. Passion, financial freedom and dignity – what is a decent job according to Ugandan youth?
  2. Dignity, personal development and self-employment – What is a decent job according to Rwandan youth?
  3. Fair, safe and room to grow – What is a decent job according to Zambian youth?
  4. Protected, equal and secure – what is a decent job according to Kenyan youth?
  5. Adaptive, protected and gender equal – what is a decent job according to Malawian youth?
  6. Social security, fair income and personal fulfillment – What is a decent job according to Tanzanian youth?
  7. A fair income, better prospects, economic and social progression – what is a decent job according to Ghanain youth
  8. Security, safety and respect for mental health – What is a decent job according to Nigerian youth?
  9. Dignity, hope and security – what is a decent job according to Tunisian youth?

Het bericht Webinar series round up: ‘What and when is a job decent according to youth in Africa?’ verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Getting up to speed with inclusive development

1. Mai 2021 - 9:00
The INCLUDE team’s reading list: April 2021

One of INCLUDE’s core beliefs is that so much knowledge already exists, it just needs guiding to the right places and the right people in order to reach its full impact for policy and, ultimately, for development. Whether you are seeking information to guide policy, embarking upon a piece of research, or simply interested in broadening your knowledge and staying updated on inclusive development in Africa, we hope this source can be a good starting point.

In constructing this April edition of our monthly reading list, we were particularly excited by the amount of new evidence on social protection, education and digitisaiton, as well as the number of studies that overlap different policy areas – we see this as a good thing, as it builds our understanding of the complexities of development.

Social protection
  • Ethiopia’s social safety net effective in limiting covid-19 impacts on rural food insecurity – Over the past decade, Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) has yielded many positive results in addressing household poverty and food insecurity in the low-income districts it targets. As the pandemic suddenly raised economic stresses on poor households, a new study by the IFPRI shows the PSNP has been effective in blunting those impacts, demonstrating the value of social protection programs in longer-term development strategies.
  • Towards shock responsive social protection – This research examines how social protection programs, processes, and delivery systems in the six Maintains countries – Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Uganda – have been used to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and to understand the enabling and limiting factors. The study provides policy recommendations to inform and influence investments in social protection systems to prepare for future shocks.
  • Ghana’s school lunch program linked to improved learning – Extensive research shows that providing meals can improve children’s school participation, as well as their physical and psycho-social health, with most benefits accruing to more disadvantaged children. However, evidence on their effectiveness on learning is more limited—focused mostly on small-scale experiments run by NGOs—and has mixed results. This recent evaluation by IFPRI of Ghana’s national school meal program finds positive impacts on standardised test scores, especially for the poorest children and for girls.
  • RCT results on cash transfers for child immunisation – IDinsight and Hanovia Limited measured the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program implemented by New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE) in North West Nigeria on childhood immunization coverage. The RCT found that the program increased immunization coverage for children between 12 and 16 months of age, improved the timeliness (within 1 month) of the Measles vaccine, and potentially reduced vaccine supply constraints.
  • Distortionary effects of conditions attached to cash transfers – This World Bank blog provides new evidence for the distortionary effects of CCTs on beneficiary behaviour in the context of migration. It discusses the issue of setting transfer levels correctly (which is important for fixed budget programs since transfer size determines program coverage) and suggest that smaller transfers provided to a larger share of program applicants could avoid significant trade-off in poverty and inequality reduction.
  • The care economy costs women. It’s time to pay up, advocates say at CSW – As pandemic recovery begins, short-term, gender-sensitive responses can be rolled into long-term plans for systemic change. UNDP’s short-term social protection scheme, unveiled March 4, proposes that low-income countries redirect 0.07% of their monthly GDP to a temporary basic income for women experiencing severe socioeconomic stress due to the pandemic.
  • Will Every Child Be Able to Read by 2030? Defining Learning Poverty and Mapping the Dimensions of the Challenge – In 2019, the World Bank and UNESCO Institute for Statistics designed a new metric to spotlight low levels of learning and track progress towards SDG 4. This paper provides the technical background for that indicator, Learning Poverty, including calculations at the country, regional, and global levels, and a heterogeneity analysis by gender, region and other variables. It also backdates the indicator and compares historical rates of progress with the rate of progress needed to halve Learning Poverty by 2030.
  • How well are remote learning tools reaching students in Kenya? – This post by CEGA describes the results of a phone survey of 2,973 eighth grade students and parents from 198 schools across Busia County, Kenya. The survey collected data on secondary school attitudes, household characteristics, and learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to identify factors influencing learning, drop-out and transitions to secondary education. It examined student access to the five EdTech initiatives used during the pandemic: radio, television, mobile/ internet platforms such as YouTube, the “Education Cloud”, and SMS messaging.
  • How to improve technical and vocational education and training for youth in developing countries – This list of publications, based on the March 2021 edition of the Knowledge4Jobs newsletter, focuses on lessons learned and good practices for improving access, equity, quality, and relevance of TVET systems and institutions in the wake of COVID-19. The list includes numerous studies from Africa, on topics such as: improving the quality and relevance of TVET to aid school-to-work transitions; support for TVET institutions, teachers, and students in the early stages of the COVID crisis; the scope for socioemotional skills to help navigate the turbulent impacts of COVID-19 on employment; the role of incentives in education and skills programs for out-of-school youth; and how to include youth voices in employment programs.
  • The Gender Gap in Universities and Colleges in sub-Saharan Africa – Women’s enrolment in universities and colleges globally increased by 9% from 2011 to 2020. However, just 24% of academic staff in tertiary education across sub-Saharan Africa are female. Private returns to overall education are much higher for women (12%) than men (10%), showing that education is a good investment for women and girls and needs to be prioritised. This mini report by Martin Mulwa, Research Manager at ESSA, discusses the evidence on gender inequality in education and what can be done about it.
  • Essays on innovation and recovery for Africa – In this essay series, policy experts and researchers from ACET and the Development and Economic Growth Research Programme (DEGRP), in partnership with ODI, explore the critical role of innovation in Africa’s recovery from COVID-19. Essays will look at innovation from a thematic perspective, identify areas in which innovation can contribute to effective responses and offer high-level policy recommendations.
  • The rise of mobile money in sub-Saharan Africa: Has this digital technology lived up to its promises? – Mobile money has been touted as a revolutionary tool for expanding access to financial services in low resource environments. This post by J-PAL asks whether this technology lives up to its promises, by looking at the impacts on household resilience, household savings, transparency and formalisation, employment decisions and poverty among women, and by highlighting key challenges and risks to its success.
  • Beliefs and behaviors about COVID-19 in Uganda’s capital – This project examines the social, health and economic impact of COVID-19 on 2700 residents in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. It assesses levels of knowledge about COVID-19, compliance with public health policies, and citizens’ perceptions of government performance, and maps these at the local level using GIS tools, with implications for spatially-targeted policies.
  • Modelling remittances flows with web scraping – Target 10.c of the Sustainable Development Goals aims at a reduction of transaction costs of migrant remittances to less than 3 percent and at the elimination of remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 percent. Information on the geographical location of money transfer agents was harvested and mapped, in combination with geocoded population data for nine sub-Saharan African countries, to allow identification of undersupplied populations in terms of physical access to money agents and inform policies aimed at facilitating financial inclusion as an instrument to combat poverty.
  • Inventions boom in ‘assistive tech’ offers wider benefits for all – The Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization said that assistive technologies are increasingly finding their way into mass-market consumer applications. The result offers the possibility of greater autonomy for users in negotiating their environment, work and home life through robot helpers, brainwaves and smart transformation.
Health and sanitation
  • Addressing the COVID-19 crisis’s indirect health impacts for women and girls – This working paper by the CGD illustrates how the pandemic, associated response measures, economic contraction and different coping strategies intersect with underlying gender norms and inequality in ways that differentially affect the health and wellbeing of women and girls in LMICs. The paper examines some ways national governments have sought to maintain provision of essential health services and reviews the extent to which donor institutions have prioritized financial, technical, and other forms of support to mitigate disruptions.
  • Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and perinatal outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis – This paper by the Lancet global health institute reviews 40 studies on the effects of COVID-19 on maternal, fetal, and neonatal health. The study shows an increase in maternal deaths, stillbirth, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, and maternal depression, with considerable disparity between high-resource and low-resource settings. There is an urgent need to prioritise safe, accessible, and equitable maternity care within the strategic response to this pandemic and in future health crises.
  • Key to addressing obesity in Africa lies in education, food systems – All African countries with available data are off track to meet global targets on adult obesity. But obesity has failed to gain the attention and action needed to achieve control because the food crisis in Africa is usually viewed in the context of undernutrition, malnourishment, and famine. Though nutrition activists say urgent action is needed, they have also warned that to deal with the crisis, governments must start by reimagining food systems and educating populations.
  • Continuing vital health services in Guinea-Bissau during COVID-19 – Door-to-door distributions of 1.3million bednets have now been carried out across all 11 regions in Guinea-Bissau, covering a target population of close to 2.3 million people. This strategy protects against diseases like malaria, TB and HIV whilst ensuring social distancing and avoiding large gatherings of people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Work and income
  • Taking stock of COVID-19 labour policy responses in developing countries – This Jobs Watch brief by the World Bank provides an analysis of labor market and social protection responses to the COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on policies targeted to workers and firms, using data from the global COVID-19 SPJ Policy Inventory. The analysis can inform governments of approaches that can be taken when introducing or adapting their crisis mitigation measures. To our knowledge, this is the first summary of labor market policies adopted by developing countries in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Youth aspirations and the reality of jobs in Africa – Evidence from ten African countries shows that what youth value most is job security, such as work in the public sector, while agriculture-related work or medium-skilled jobs in manufacturing are the least attractive. This has little in common with current and projected labour demand in the region. This OECD publication presents a two-pronged approach to addressing the misalignment between youth employment preferences and employment opportunities: i) helping young people shape career aspirations that are realistic and that can fit with the world they will be entering, and ii) improving the quality of jobs with due regard to the job conditions that matter for young people.
  • Youth-to-youth mentorship approach in agripreneurship development – This brief presents the youth-to-youth mentorship experience promoted by the Youth Inspiring Youth in Agriculture (YIYA) Initiative in Uganda in 2017. Based on actual mentorship experiences, it proposes eight youth-to-youth mentorship models, and provides recommendations on how to harness the full potential of youth-to-youth mentorship in youth agripreneurship development initiatives.
  • The Impact of Cash Transfers on Female Entrepreneurs’ Business Outcomes during Covid-19 in Kenya – A one-off cash grant was given to 753 female microenterprise owners in May 2020 in Dandora informal settlement in Nairobi using M-PESA. on their behaviors and business outcomes during Covid-19. Cash transfers helped female entrepreneurs maintain their livelihoods, increasing firm profit, inventory spending, and food expenditures. The transfers also caused a re-opening of previously closed businesses. Since beliefs played an important role in affecting Covid-19 mitigation efforts in this setting, researchers suggest there may be an important role for public health information campaigns to be used in tandem with cash transfers.
  • African Development Review special issue on the impact of COVID-19 on African economies – paper on COVID-19 and food prices in Sub-Saharan Africa; the short-term economywide impacts of COVID-19 in Ethiopia; the causal relationship between corruption and irresponsible behaviour in the time of COVID-19: evidence from Tunisia; and online and face-to-face learning: evidence from students’ performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Drivers of Disparity: How Policy Responses to COVID-19 Can Increase Inequalities – This policy briefing assesses the channels through which macroeconomic policy responses in Nigeria and Uganda negatively affect or exclude specific groups, with the aim of resetting policies to achieve more inclusive outcomes that will support economic growth and development in the post COVID future. It finds that the urban poor and the informal sector are being excluded as a result of the poor coverage of cash transfer programmes and the implementation of policies mostly applicable to the formal sector.
Economic growth and structural transformation
  • Industrial policy for local economic transformation: a synthesis of literature – this paper by ILGS seeks to provide evidence on what an industrial policy means, how industrialised and developing countries have used it to transform their economies in terms of specific programmes, how they have translated industrial policies to local programmes and implications to Ghana’s local economic transformation and development policies and programmes.
  • Four ways Mozambique can achieve a faster jobs transformation and capture the demographic dividend – The Jobs Diagnostic produced for the Let’s Work Mozambique Country Pilot shows that over the last 20 years, the pattern of economic growth has become progressively less inclusive, reducing its scope for poverty reduction. This blog outlines four strategies to accelerate the shift into higher value-added activities and better livelihoods for the mass of low-paid workers in Mozambique.
  • Food price spikes see inflation rear its head in emerging markets – A mix of currency depreciation, rising commodity prices and coronavirus disruptions have caused food inflation to soar in many developing countries. Shopping for staple foods such as rice, beans, oil or potatoes now means making hard choices.
We encourage anyone from our platform, close network and wider audience to get in touch with recommendations for this reading list and to help us with our goal of sharing and disseminating knowledge. Please mail your suggestions to with the subject “Contribution to INCLUDE reading list“.

Het bericht Getting up to speed with inclusive development verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Dignity, hope and security – what is a decent job according to Tunisian youth?

8. April 2021 - 12:07

As we approach the end of this webinar series, we hand over our ongoing discussion on “What and when is a job decent?’ to youth in Tunisia. For Tunisian youth, amongst other things, a  ‘decent job’ must provide a fair income, security, social protection, better prospects, dignity and hope. Unfortunately, decent job opportunities are rarely available to youth in Tunisia.

On the rare occasions that youth find decent jobs, it is predominantly in the formal sector and concentrated in urban areas. Tunisian youth hardly encounter decent jobs in the informal sector due to rampant corruption. Jobs available in the informal sector omit key characteristics of a decent job such as a fair income, social protection and security. Youth are often coerced into signing contracts that offer little or no decency in order to survive and provide for their families. The participants highlighted how ‘the surviving state’ has become the new norm in Tunisia as youth have given up on their decent job aspirations. With that being said, even the formal sector falls short of the decent job requirement, as it also does not offer appropriate working conditions and fair incomes. In addition, women in Tunisia are confronted with issues concerning their security, as they are more exposed to harassment and aggression at work, and this is detrimental to female labour market participation. In order to change the narrative in Tunisia, the participants underscored a number of solutions: regulate the informal sector; promote job creation and innovative entrepreneurship schemes; eliminate corruptions in the informal sector; and finally, improve the quality of jobs available to young women in Tunisia.

The webinar was centred around the following two questions:

1. Is a decent job only possible in the formal sector? 

Youth in Tunisia are mainly exposed to informal employment, partly because of the labor market distortions, which could be addressed through reform. Stable employment, including long or medium-term contracts with social security benefits, is cited among the main career aspirations for Tunisian youth. Unfortunately, the informal sector fails to provide either of these. This sector is dominated by seasonal and temporary contracts as well as day-labor arrangements. The participants frequently mentioned the short-term nature of most contracts as a major aspect of job insecurity. Because of this, youth have adopted a survival mindset which only strives to get as much money as they can, as soon as possible, to stay alive (thus aborting their decent job aspirations). After the revolution, Tunisia experienced significant inflation and an increase in the cost of living. This has exacerbated the unemployment issue as young people are struggling to survive. The participants recognised that Tunisia is well positioned to be a champion in entrepreneurship and innovation, if it acknowledges the potential of its aspiring generation of self-employed youth.  

2. Is ‘decent job’ different for men and women

Despite the progress that has been made in the last decade towards gender equality, exclusion based on gender remains a daunting problem for young Tunisian women trying to enter the workforce. Not only are they excluded from adequate economic participation, they are also isolated from decision-making processes. Unlike their male counterparts, women struggle to find a decent job that guarantees their safety. Social propriety and familial concern for women’s safety confine most women to their homes and limit their participation in the labour market. The lack of economic diversification means that there are fewer decent job options that are considered appropriate for women. Generally, the female participants were discontented with the informal sector and the risk of exploitation that comes with it. Moving forward, the participants called for more regulation in the informal sector to avoid women’s exploitation. In addition, they advocated for a change of mindset amongst Tunisians to eliminate the stereotypes of women that hinder their future prospects.

This webinar took place on 24th of March and was moderator by Francis Arinaitwe (board member, Restless Development), with contributions by: Khaled Junior Hafaiedh (Professor, University of Technology Esprit) Maroeune Belhadj (Consultant), Nadia Ben Aissa (Member of the Independent Commission of Human Rights), Nardine Zouaoui (Communication & Soft Skills Lead at HP).

Het bericht Dignity, hope and security – what is a decent job according to Tunisian youth? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

African Policy Dialogue update – Education reforms in Kenya

6. April 2021 - 13:20

The APD on ‘Education reforms in Kenya’, led by the People’s Action for Learning Network (PAL Network), assesses the extent to which the current education reforms address inclusion and equity in education. Below is a summary of the work emerging from this APD.

To ensure that key stakeholders are involved in APD activities, this APD has identified stakeholders in the education sector in Kenya. These actors are those with the capacity and power to influence education reforms from government agencies, teachers associations, research institutions, teacher training colleges, parents’ associations, donor agencies, the media and parliament. [Read the stakeholder report here].

This APD also published a report on education policy scan in response to the basic education curriculum framework principle. The report shows that although the Ministry of Education has formulated several policies to guide the competency-based curriculum (CBC) implementation of the, implementation of these policies and their positive effects on learning remain a challenge. The key policy gaps include lack of comprehensive data, lack of indicators and continuous reporting by the Ministry of Education, lack of baseline data prior to the development of policies and lack of clear methodologies and criteria to determine which policy contributes to which change in the sector. These gaps make it difficult to determine the effectiveness of education policies. [Read the policy scan here].

To assess outcomes of the current education reforms, a framework, this APD has developed quality indicators of the competency based curriculum. In the coming days, this APD will propose strategies to address these gaps in order to enhance inclusion and equity in education in the country.

Finally, this APD produced a blog post titled ‘A girl. A picture. A story.’, which documents (with images) the daily experiences of a young Kenyan girl during school closures. The story emphasises how the absense of oppotunities to continue and complete education is a key factor preventing intergenerational mobility, individual growth and local development. [Read the policy scan here].

For more information on this African Poliy Dialogue, including factsheets, webinars, and the full reports mentioned above, click here. For information on other African Policy Dialogues, click here.

Het bericht African Policy Dialogue update – Education reforms in Kenya verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

African Policy Dialogue update – Productive and decent work for youth and women in Uganda

6. April 2021 - 13:15

A lot of activitiy is ongoing in the APD “Assessing opportunities for productive and decent employment and effective strategies to promote job creation in strategic agro-industrial value chains in Uganda”, led by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC). Below is a summary of recent outputs from this APD.

A Policy Brief assesses the ‘Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment prospects for Uganda’s youth in the Middle East’The messages from this report were highlighted in a newspaper article COVID-19 shut out externalisation of labour for Uganda citizens’:

‘The containment measures adopted in the main destinations, e.g. Saudi Arabia, as well as those adopted in Uganda, limit international travel, thus raising concerns on whether increasing employment opportunities through labour exports, is still a viable source of employment for the youth… Covid-19 has not only threatened the job security of migrant workers, but also their salaries and the level of remittances, which consequently affects the welfare of their families back home… The World Bank projects that if this economic downturn persists, a sharp decline in the demand of migrant workers is inevitable and it could result in a rethinking of migration regulations governing work visas.’

The APD produced two further reports on ‘The role of labour externalisation in fostering sustainable Agro-Industrial value chains in Uganda‘ and ‘The value addition of fish in Uganda‘. The videos below share the outcomes of the dialogues linked to each of these reports.

The role of labour externalisation in fostering sustainable Agro-Industrial value chains in Uganda Dialogue

Due to few decent wage employment opportunities in Uganda, young people take up vulnerable jobs and are compelled to seek for employment opportunities in the Middle East. The government of Uganda has streamlined labour export by facilitating registration of over 100 labour agencies, fast tracking verification of jobs abroad and plans to revise of the 2011 National Employment Policy. Labour externalisation is beneficial in terms of skills development, remittances and investments back home. These benefits can be enhanced by developing channels for workers abroad to invest back at home, strengthening pre-departure training and orientation to prepare those heading abroad for jobs, facilitating the formation of associations for migrant workers to pool together their resources, emphasising on skills acquisition that migrant workers can apply at home upon their return. [Read full report here.]


Dialogue on the value addition of fish in Uganda

Fish can promote agro-industrialisation due to its positive trade balance, many opportunities for value addition and backward and forward linkages with other chains. However, there is limited value addition along the fish value chains due to lack of processing facilities, inadequate capital and skills. Strategies to spur agro-industrialisation along fish value chains include training of youth on fish farming techniques, value addition, marketing and managing fish by-products; using different techniques to promote value addition for each fish species; organizing fish maws traders into associations; and developing regulations to streamline and license fish maw businesses. [Read full report here.]


For more information on this APD, including factsheets, upcoming seminars, and the full reports mentioned in this news item, click here. For information on other African Policy Dialogues, click here.

Het bericht African Policy Dialogue update – Productive and decent work for youth and women in Uganda verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

African Policy Dialogue update – Local Government Practitioners Forum in Ghana

6. April 2021 - 13:00

The ‘Local Governance Practioners’ Forum’, led by the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), has continued facilitating dialogues with diverse policy actors to share research evidence and practice on local governance transformation in Ghana. Below are two videos developed from the dialogues held by this APD.

Stakeholders reflect on Ghana’s 2019 aborted elections and lessons for forging ahead

The referendum was to enhance greater citizen participation in local governance, which is expected to increase the likelihood of local governments addressing priority needs. Measures to ensure a successful referendum in future are: broad consultations and consensus among key actors, adequate voter education, coordination of actors spearheading the referendum, building the capacity of civic educators and addressing low voter turnout.

Documentary of Ghana’s local governance and development processes

The documentary highlights the local governance system challenges, including limited engagement between residents and their local governments, inadequate provision of services by district assemblies, disconnect between local government priorities and problems that residents experience, inadequate resources and delay in disbursement of funds and local government chief executives who are more accountable to the national government than local government residents.

The documentary proposes strategies to transform local governments to become developmental agencies. This is by amending the constitution to allow for direct election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, promoting wage employment creation by prioritising direct support to small and medium enterprises and investing in One district One Factory policy programmes, devising innovative ways to generate revenues, promoting municipal-citizen partnership and promulgation of the municipal finance bill.


For more information about this African Policy Dialogue, including factsheets, policy briefs and upcoming events, click here.

Het bericht African Policy Dialogue update – Local Government Practitioners Forum in Ghana verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

What’s the latest economic research on Africa?

4. April 2021 - 10:43
A Round-up of Nearly One Hundred Studies from CSAE 2021

From 15-26 March, for the second time, the annual conference by the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University was held virtually. The conference received nearly 100 papers on topics from political economy, to service provision in health and education, to agriculture, labour, trade, and environment. This post by David Evans summares the findings of these papers, noting the research method used next to each study (explanation in the box below). The countries most heavily represented are Kenya (8 papers), Uganda (7), Ghana (5), and Tanzania (5), Ethiopia (4), Nigeria (4), Mozambique (3), Rwanda (3), and South Africa (3). Nine papers drew on data from multiple African countries, and there are single studies from a wide range of other countries, including the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Togo.

Guide to methodological hashtags

#DID = Difference-in-differences

#ES = Event study

#FE = Fixed effects

#IV = Instrumental variables

#LIF = Lab in the field

#PSM = Propensity score matching

#RCT = Randomized controlled trial

#RD = Regression discontinuity

#SC = Synthetic control

  • How do conflict and land access affect households’ choice of herd size and type of livestock? In Nigeria, exposure to conflict reduced herd size and encouraged diversifying across (and focusing on smaller) species. Access to land counteracts most of these effects: it increases herd size and encourages specialization, but still with smaller livestock. (Fadare, Zanello, and Srinivasan) #DID
  • How does conflict affect agricultural productivity? What about conflict and land cultivation? In the Central African Republic, the presence of conflict in the previous year reduces farmers’ land preparation (as measured by fewer fires to clear the land) and their agricultural production. “These decreases are suggestive of the abandoning of farmlands due to conflict.” (Blankespoor, Touray, and Katayama) #DID
  • Civil conflict in Mali “had a negative impact on agriculture production and livestock holdings.” Food assistance countered the negative effect of conflict on livestock holdings, but not on farm production. (Masset et al.) #DID
  • Subsidizing watchmen to prevent theft on farms in Kenya improved output per acre by 15 percent without displacing crime to nearby villages. Farmers were more likely to try new crops or plant more, but the benefit experienced by individual farmers does not outweigh the cost of hiring a watchman. (Dyer) #RCT
  • Electrifying villages in Ethiopia made them more likely to benefit from an irrigation system, which then went on to improve their agricultural labor productivity. (Dorinet) #IV
  • How do public health interventions affect agricultural productivity? In Burkina Faso, eliminating schistosomiasis (a water-based disease endemic in low- and middle-income countries) could increase crop yields by 7 percent on average and by 32 percent in areas with high rates of infection. The construction of dams and reservoirs, while they directly boost agricultural yields, can also have negative indirect effects by facilitating the spread of the disease. (Rinaldo) #IV
  • Comparing land on two sides of rivers in Mozambique suggests that land better connected to roads is more likely to be cultivated but not necessarily managed differently. (von Carnap et al.)
  • In Uganda, a mobile phone-based marketplace for agricultural commodities increased trade flows and reduced price divergence, but only for the largest farmers who could reach the scale required to find buyers on the platform. (Bergquist and McIntosh) #RCT
  • Groundnut farmers in Senegal were offered a new contract that guaranteed a price premium and provides training and credit for the purchase of a new technology to improve quality. (The technology reduced fungi on the groundnut plants.) The farmers were “significantly more likely to purchase and use the technology” and “to comply with international quality standards” (for farmers in areas where the quality of groundnuts was traditionally low). (Deutschmann, Bernard, and Yameogo) #RCT
  • Village-level data on land use and crop suitability in Uganda suggest that agricultural productivity “could be increased by one third just by reallocating crops, even among “narrowly defined areas serving the same urban markets.” (Morando)
  • Farmers who received free weekly updates on their mobile phones about the cashew market (news, prices, and marketing advice based on trends) engaged in more sales, whereas other farmers “tended to concentrate their sale in one large transaction.” Average price for sale was lower in the group receiving updates, but total value of all sales was significantly higher. (Pereira et al.) #RCT
  • Firms in Zimbabwe face financial access constraints (i.e. higher demand for funds than what’s available), especially “productive, young, and small firms.” A smaller number of financially constrained firms invests, leading to lost productivity, but average employment growth seems to be unaffected by constraints. (Kamutando)
  • A two-decade large-scale road and electricity network expansion in Ethiopia increased welfare by at least 11% compared to no investment. “Access to an all-weather road…increases services employment, at the expense of manufacturing.” But access to a road together with access to electricity increases manufacturing. (Moneke) #IV
  • A field experiment in Ethiopia subsidized formal employee search (“online and offline job boards and newspaper advertisements”) with no impact on vacancy creation and hires. After the subsidy ran out, firms went back to informal network-based hiring, although some firms observed “a lasting and significant increase in their demand for white collar workers.” (Hensel, Tekleselassie, and Witte) #RCT
  • Offering a digital phonebook to small firms in Tanzania increased “relational contracting” (receiving and giving benefits beyond what’s usual in anonymous transactions) with their suppliers and decreased it with their customers, but there’s no evidence that it actually increased the number of customers or suppliers. (Rudder) #RCT
  • Installing monitoring devices that track real-time vehicle driving behavior and daily productivity of commuter minibuses in Kenya improved efficiency and reduced risky driving. Owners with access to the monitoring device reduced daily revenue targets for drivers. In turn, drivers worked longer hours “but engaged in substantially less damaging driving such as off-road driving, earning about the same amount of revenue as before” while saving the owner maintenance costs. After six months, owners were expanding their minibus businesses. (Kelley, Lane, and Schönholzer) #RCT
  • Does financial misconduct impair market efficiency? In Ghana, two anti-misconduct information campaigns for mobile money vendors and consumers were designed to improve price transparency (“what to ask while at banking points”) or to inform users how to monitor and report (“how to report transactional glitches or misconduct”). The programs decreased incidence of vendor misconduct, increased uptake of transactional services, and improved savings behavior. “While overall poverty levels did not decrease, it significantly decreased for female customers” by eliminating “existing gender gaps in uptake and savings behavior.” (Annan and Sanoh) #RCT
  • Following the devastation of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in 2019, cash grants to micro businesses “had a positive effect on firm income, profit, savings and roof repair.” The grant had a stronger impact in locations that experienced more severe damage. (Berkel, Fisker, and Tarp) #RCT
  • In a market with perfect competition, cash transfers will increase demand, which should mean higher prices. New businesses then come in to drive prices down, benefitting transfer recipients. But what happens when new businesses cannot compete? A cash transfer program for refugees in Kenya only allowed the money to be spent at licensed businesses. This resulted to higher profit for the licensed businesses but also inflated prices. (Delius and Sterck) #PSM
  • Access to high-speed internet in Africa increased innovation within firms, particularly in firms with “advanced digital skills.” It also boosted entrepreneurship in the service sector. (Houngbonon, Mensah, and Traore) #DID #IV
Households, inequality and poverty
  • When Malawi faced multiple droughts and floods during 2014-2016, households exposed to weather shocks in sequential years reduced both food and non-food consumption, as compared to households exposed to just one weather shock, who were able to maintain their food-consumption levels. Household poverty level was not a significant predictor of aid receipt during weather shocks, suggesting a need for better targeting. (Kilic) #IV
  • Households in Côte d’Ivoire where husbands attended a training for rubber farming without their wives saw a 26 percent drop in total harvest and an 18 percent drop in yield. (This isn’t unusual since newly planted rubber plants can take six years before they mature for harvest.) But households where husbands and wives both attended the training planted 20 percent more rubber seedlings and kept their yield constant using “older trees and other crops.” (Donald, Goldstein, and Rouanet) #RCT
  • Entrepreneurs in Benin who formalize their microbusinesses–both women and men–have more control over household revenue and contribute less to household expenses and their partners’ personal expenses. Women entrepreneurs who formalize their businesses are much more willing to pay to hide a windfall from their spouse. (Pouliquen) #RCT
  • Pre-pandemic face-to-face surveys followed by later phone surveys in Nigeria reveal that “lockdown measures increased households’ experience of food insecurity by 13 percentage points and reduced the probability of participation in non-farm business activities by 11 percentage points.” (Amare et al.) #DID
  • Weekly financial diaries in Kenya reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced work income by almost a third and reduced income from gifts and remittances by more than a third. Households postponed loan repayments, gave out fewer gifts and remittances, and lent less money to others. (Janssens et al.)
  • Households in rural Uganda lost 60 percent of their non-farm income as a result of lost business and labor income during the pandemic lockdown. Coping mechanisms included cutting 40 percent of food expenditure, using up to half of savings, borrowing more, and using the additional available labor in farming and livestock. (Mahmud and Riley)
  • Who needs an impact evaluation? 20,000 forecasts of the impacts of experiments in Kenya show that “average predicted effects track experimental results well.” People similar to those receiving the intervention predict results well for interventions likely to be familiar to them, but academics predict better on average. The average forecast of each group is more accurate than 75 percent of the individual forecasts, evocative of the “wisdom of crowds” idea. Among academics, confidence, citations, and experience doing research in East Africa do not predict accuracy of forecasts. (Otis)
  • Nigerian women who received cash transfers are more likely to start a business of their own (6 percentage points). One year after the transfers stopped, beneficiary women and their neighbors (spill-over effects!) are more likely to have a business than in villages without the cash transfer program. (Friedman et al.) #RCT
  • Can hosting refugees create market opportunities? In Uganda, home to the largest refugee population in Africa, a decrease of one kilometer in distance from refugee households increases “hosts’ wage income by about 25 percent.” But the effects fade for distances over five kilometers. (d’Errico et al.) #IV
  • A field experiment in Ethiopia invited unemployed youth to self-affirmation and goal-setting workshops. The workshops improved the likelihood of employment, days worked, and earnings for men (especially those men who believed they had little control over their lives), but did not shift outcomes for women. Getting women into the labor force “requires addressing access to childcare” and expectations around household obligations. (Mejía-Mantilla and Walsh) #RCT
  • Can you learn how to use LinkedIn more effectively? A randomized evaluation in South Africa trained workseekers to join and use LinkedIn: it improved their employment rate by 7 percentage points. Effects persisted a year later. (Wheeler et al.) #RCT
  • Early childbearing was associated with “a large, negative, and significant … effect on literacy and educational attainment,” and with reduced labor market prospects (via literacy), according to data from Cameroon, Uganda, Ghana, and Gabon. (Age at menarche serves as an instrumental variable.) (Burger et al.) #IV
  • “South Africa currently has the highest rate of youth unemployment … in the world.” Individuals who are unemployed once are highly likely to be unemployed again, such that “early policies reducing short-run unemployment would have long term effects.” (Eigbiremolen)
  • New university graduates in Mozambique tend to have over-optimistic expectations about how much they’ll earn. Providing information on earnings by previous graduates lowered the salary expectation of new graduates, initially by 7 percent and then by 13 percent in the long run. The only thing that lowered expectations more was the receipt of an actual salary offer. (Jones) #RCT
  • After South Africa introduced a minimum wage for agricultural workers in 2003, employers in the agricultural sector were more likely to fire workers during a bad year. (Sharp) #DID
  • The opening of industrial mines in Mali decreased children’s working hours by 8.6 hours per week, with bigger effects for girls. The effects came “through higher household income and increased mothers’ presence at home.” But the reduced working hours for children did not translate to improvements in children’s educational outcomes. (Son) #DID
  • A cash transfer in Kenya improved the diets of both the households receiving the transfer and non-recipient households in the same communities, potentially through “sharing the … transfers among social network members.” Recipients also increased their savings and access to credit. (Ongudi and Thiam) #DID
Macro productivity
  • “Using data on 84 developing countries over the period 1980-2013, we find a positive long-run association between aid and taxes… Higher bureaucratic costs of aid (as measured by high donor fragmentation) create instability in aid,” which reduces local tax collection. (Tagem)
  • In Tanzania, insecure land property rights are “associated with resource misallocation and market incompleteness.” A model predicts gains for both agricultural and non-agricultural output from land reform. (Manysheva)
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries that were “eligible for official debt relief experience a larger decline in borrowing costs compared to similar, ineligible countries.” The drop in borrowing costs is bigger for “countries that receive” more debt relief. (Lang, Mihalyi, and Presbitero)
  • Is Africa de-industrializing? No. After conditioning on income, population, and fixed differences across countries, “manufacturing output shares show positive and statistically significant trends over time… Africa is not deindustrializing, although there has not been any significant industrial development since the 1970s.” (But Southern Africa is the exception!) (Mensah)
  • Across 48 African countries over 17 years, “an increase in corruption by one standard deviation is associated with a decrease in the proportion of capital expenditure from 29% to 16%… it seems more beneficial for corrupted bureaucrats to manipulate public spending in favor of current rather than capital expenditures.” (Sedgo and Omgba)
  • International financial institutions have encouraged a shift in taxation towards domestic sales taxes, especially the value added tax. However, these taxes are regressive, since poorer households spend more on consumption. Indeed, simulations in Togo suggest that such a shift increases poverty! (Adandohoin)
  • In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a randomly assigned tax reduction at different levels shows that lowering tax rates actually increased revenues. Better tax collectors allow a higher optimal tax rate. (Bergeron, Tourek, and Weigel)
  • A community-driven development program in Somalia that required community contributions (i.e., via matching grants) “had positive effects on the capacity of communities to undertake development projects, to raise informal taxes, and to produce higher quality public goods.” (van den Boogaard and Santoro) #RCT
Political economy
  • Do armed groups “use sexual violence as a strategy to extort economic resources” from civilians? Data from sexual violence against civilians by armed groups in “all African countries” from 1997 to 2018 reveal that “one standard deviation increase in the value of gold mined in artisanal mining areas – a labor intensive and easy to conceal resource – increases sexual violence by two-third of the sample mean.” (Fourati, Girard, and Laurent-Lucchetti)
  • How can climate change drive conflict? “Ethnographic and conflict data in Africa from 1989 to 2018” suggest that “droughts in pastoral areas lead to conflict in neighboring agricultural areas.” As arid regions of Africa expand, “agro-pastoral conflict is caused by the displacement of pastoral groups due to low precipitation in their homelands.” (McGuirk and Nunn)
  • During the Rwandan genocide, villages that experienced more male-targeted violence may have also experienced a power vacuum that empowered women: “women in high-violence villages are healthier, better educated, wealthier, hold more decision-making power, are less likely to accept and experience domestic violence, work in better jobs, and enjoy more sexual and financial autonomy.” (Rogall and Zárate-Barrera) #IV
  • Do cash transfers sway elections? In Kenya, cash transfers in advance of an election neither affected turnout in the national election nor swayed household members’ opinions of local candidates. “Voters (correctly) do not attribute the programme to their local leader.” (Orkin and Walker) #RCT
  • Political inequality takes multiple forms: “gaps in citizens’ voice (input inequality), in the degree of responsiveness of political systems (throughput inequality), and in the ways political decisions favor different groups of citizens differently (output inequality).” An experiment with consultative meetings in Kampala, Uganda found “clear evidence” of the first type of inequality and moderate evidence of the second, with men and Luganda speakers benefiting, but no evidence of output inequality. (Bosancianu, Garcia-Hernandez, and Humphreys) #RCT
  • A school reform in Liberia that outsourced public school management to private operators increased school attendance and test scores. But it also lost votes for the responsible party’s presidential candidate. Why? Potentially because the reform led to a highly-publicized dismissal of teachers by a private operator which reduced “teachers’ support for the incumbent government – especially among unionized teachers.” (Sandholtz) #RCT
Service provision in health and education
  • Providing monetary incentives to community-based volunteers in Zambia — to be paid out if more women were referred or accompanied to antenatal care visits — did not significantly increase the number of visits overall; it just increased the number of accompanied visits. Institutional deliveries rose. (Chama-Chiliba et al.) #RCT
  • “The malaria control program in Nigeria that involves community health workers resulted in lower malaria prevalence, but had a significantly negative impact on physical growth for children under five.” What?! This was potentially because the malaria program’s increased demand for community health workers reduced poor households’ access to other health services. (Dong) #RCT
  • Training teachers in Ghana to target instruction to the current learning level of the student boosted learning outcomes. Adding training of school managers did not further boost learning, although it did boost measures of management quality. (Beg, Fitzpatrick, and Lucas) #RCT
  • A school feeding program in Rwanda improved student test scores (“with the impact accruing over time”) and narrowed the gender gap in student performance, yielding an estimated “11:1 return on investment.” (Mensah and Nsabimana) #DID
  • How has education quality changed over time? Data from 87 countries between 1950 and 2000 show that “cross-country differences in education quality are strikingly persistent: top performers like Burundi and Vietnam have seen table performance over decades. A few large developing countries…have experienced significant declines in education quality, while almost no country in our sample has seen a significant improvement.” (Le Nestour, Moscoviz, and Sandefur)
  • In Tanzania, setting goals improved students’ time use, study effort, and self-discipline but did not improve test scores, mostly because most students (two-thirds) set unrealistic goals. Adding recognition of students with high performance led to smaller gains than setting goals alone. (Islam et al.) #RCT
  • Based on data from school construction in Egypt in the 1960s and 70s, “the opening of a new university in an individual’s province increases the likelihood of obtaining a university degree … by 11 percent. The impact is driven mainly by women, as social norms limit their mobility to get higher education elsewhere.” (Elsayed and Shirshikova) #DID
  • Using the 1980 education reform in Zimbabwe which increased access to education, the study finds that “schooling has a significant negative effect on HIV status and the propensity to stigmatize people living with HIV and AIDS.” (Njowke and Kijima) #RD
  • What do we learn from 145 recent empirical studies of education in Africa? Structured pedagogy, mother tongue instruction, and school feeding all deliver learning gains. (Evans and Mendez Acosta) #Review
  • Across 350 public primary schools in Tanzania, “approximately 96% of teachers support the idea of teacher performance pay, while 61% favour at least some performance-linked element in a future salary increase.” A small “majority of parents (55%) prefer performance pay over school grants.” (Mbiti and Schipper) (Working paper)
  • In Rwanda, 20 percent of teachers leave their jobs each year. There is high teacher turnover in schools with low learning levels, low pupil-teacher ratios (yes, you read that right), among early-career teachers, and among male teachers. 23 percent of “exiting teachers are not replaced the following year.” Teacher turnover leads to lower learning outcomes. (Zeitlin) (Open source)
  • In Kagera (Tanzania), “if females manage to get post-primary education (which we know is harder), this helps them much more than males to get a skilled or professional job” (excerpt from the presentation). (Kamanzi et al.) #IV
Trade, environment and spatial development
  • How different is China from other investors in Africa? “The main drivers behind location choice are similar for Chinese and non-Chinese investors,” but Chinese investments are more responsive to the size of the market. In particular, “Chinese investors target the large and growing economy of South Africa much more frequently than other investors.” (Benfratello, D’Ambrosio, and Sangrigoli)
  • “An additional dry rainy season” in a given area of Kenya leads to a drop in population growth in that area, with most of the out-migration (about 58 percent) by men. (Gittard) #FE
  • “The competition created by industrial fishing vessels overfishing African seas and depleting fish stocks” increases “the number of asylum seekers to OECD in general and of male asylum seekers to European OECD countries in particular.” (Hu and Libois) #FE
  • Trade liberalization in Ghana may have “led to the trend of de-industrialization that many African economies are experiencing.” (Ayoade-Alabi) #SC
  • Fewer Chinese workers go to parts of Africa with high malaria risk, although this is less true for Chinese workers from parts of China with “historically high malaria risk.” (Cervellati et al.)
  • Droughts in Niger exacerbate the seasonality of food prices, with lower millet prices right after harvest but much higher prices later during the lean season. (Kakpo et al.)
  • An agricultural extension program in Uganda boosted agricultural productivity and actually “reduced deforestation by 13” percent. “Suitably designed programs improving agricultural productivity may also enable conservation.” (Abman et al.) #RD
  • Human settlements in Ghana over the last 40 years have grown, mostly near roads and the coast. Looking to the future, “we predict a sharp increase in the proportion of the country that is densely built-up by the middle and the end of the century… Based on current trends, we do not expect urban growth in Ghana to take the form of urban sprawl.” (Fafchamps and Shilpi)


The information in this article was originally published on the Centre for Global Development (CGD) website. Access the original article here, which includes evidence from all countries, including some outside Sub-Saharan Africa. Alternatively, visit the conference website here.

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