Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners

United Nations Department of Political Affairs and United Nations Environment Programme

Mediation has been underutilized by the international system in addressing disputes over natural resources, for three main reasons. First, issues in these conflicts tend to be very technical in nature and, as such, require that mediators themselves have extensive technical expertise or have access to it. In many places, such specialized knowledge is either not available or not ...» more

Economic growth and fragility

There is fairly consistent evidence of a correlation between low levels of economic development and state fragility. However, there is less comprehensive literature available looking at the role economic growth has played in helping countries break out of fragility. The strength and basis of the economy are important factors affecting the stability and resilience of states, ...» more

Income inequality in Latin America: Recent decline and prospects for its further reduction

Giovanni Cornia

The paper reviews the extent of the income inequality decline that took place in Latin America in 2002-10 and then focuses on the factors that may explain such decline. These include a lowered skill premium following an expansion of secondary education among the poor, and the adoption of more equalising tax, labour market subsidies and macro policies by a growing number of ...» more

Political economy constraints for urban development

Experts highlight evidence gaps in particular on the political economy of urban service delivery; social and political participation by urban poor people; the relationship between urbanisation, urban poverty and urban violence; the relationship between state fragility, state legitimacy and the national political settlement; and what works and what does not in tackling political ...» more

Women’s networks in MENA

There is a large number of women’s networks in the region, ranging in size and influence. Grassroots networks exist alongside high-level political and policy networks. Most are focused on women-only activities. The key areas of activity are: improving women’s entrepreneurship and developing women as business owners and business leaders; peacebuilding; reducing violence ...» more

Political economy of energy in southern Africa

Some African states, with encouragement from international donors, have developed regional power sharing arrangements as a strategy to deal with the continent’s energy problems. Power pools aim to balance electrical loads over a larger network, lower electricity prices, and expand access by encouraging trade and investment in the sector. The Southern African Power Pool ...» more

Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work to Achieve Women’s Economic Empowerment

Deepta Chopra

It is widely known that women's economic empowerment can lead to economic growth. However, it is important to understand women's economic empowerment as not simply about labour force participation, but also about the choice to work, the choice of sector, location and working hours. Taking unpaid care work into account in policies and programmes has the potential to ...» more

World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2015

Vladmir Andrianov, et al.

This report assesses the employment and social impacts of the recent global slowdown and examines longer term socio-economic consequences associated with the prolonged period of economic turbulence that started in 2008. The world economy continues to expand at rates well below the trends that preceded the advent of the global crisis in 2008 and is unable to close the ...» more

Inclusive growth

Woman in small shop Ghana

Absolute poverty has fallen substantially over the last 30 years, with most of this reduction attributable to rapid economic growth in developing countries. Yet growth often does not meet the needs of the poor. Economic growth in the absence of measures to ensure the sustained equitable distribution of its benefits has frequently perpetuated the concentration of wealth in the ...» more

What works for rural development in fragile states? Evidence from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Nepal and Bolivia

Schultze-Kraft, M., Rew, M., Kuss, M.

What works for rural development in fragile states and how can rural development contribute to mitigating fragility? This report highlights the major challenges rural development encounters in fragile settings. It looks at empirical evidence from five countries in South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America (Afghanistan, Nepal, Yemen, the Democratic ...» more

The $138.5 billion question: When does foreign aid work (and when doesn’t it)?

Jonathan Glennie, Andy Sumner

When does foreign aid work and when doesn’t it? This paper considers peer-reviewed, cross-country, econometric studies, published over the last decade in order to propose areas with policy implications related to the conditions under which aid is more likely to be effective. The paper discusses the nature of evidence on aid and why assessing its impact is so difficult. It looks ...» more

The South Asia Women’s Resilience Index: Examining the role of women in preparing for and recovering from disasters

The Economist Intelligence Unit

This report discusses the findings of the South Asia Women’s Resilience Index (WRI).The WRI draws upon a range of indicators in four categories—Economic, Infrastructure, Institutional and Social—to assess the capacity of a country to adapt to and recover from quick onset events that fall outside the range of those that are normal or anticipated.Key findings:Most South Asian ...» more

East African prospects: an update on the political economy of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda

David Booth, Brian Cooksey, Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, Karuti Kanyinga

Under what conditions are equity- and productivity-enhancing reforms likely to prosper in sectors of the East African economy? How likely is it that these conditions will be present in the next decade? What specific features of the current political-economic situation are most relevant from the perspective of practical organisations committed to supporting progressive changes? ...» more

Armageddon or Adolescence? Making Sense of Microfinance’s Recent Travails

David Roodman

This paper reviews the triumphs and troubles of the microfinance industry. It then sets forth a frame for assessing the impact of microfinance, one that helps put the recent challenges in perspective. It offers some thoughts, in light of these difficulties, about key tasks going forward. It concludes that microcredit stimulates small-scale business activity, but the best ...» more

Redistribution, Inequality, and Growth

Jonathan Ostry, Andrew Berg, Charalambos Tsangarides

This paper examines the relationship between inequality, redistribution and growth. Earlier work on the inequality-growth relationship has generally confounded the effects of redistribution and inequality. The focus of this study is on the medium and long term, both growth over five-year periods and the duration of growth spells. This paper is the first to make use of a ...» more

Taxation, Redistribution and the Social Contract in Brazil

Marcus Melo, Armando Barrientos, André Coelho

This paper examines the political and political economy factors explaining Brazil’s success in raising tax revenue and assesses its contribution to a Brazilian ‘Development Model’. The recent rise in tax/GDP ratio in Brazil raises several intriguing questions. First, there is substantive macroeconomic and fiscal policy continuity since the mid-1990s, with fiscal stability ...» more

Secure property rights and development: Economic growth and household welfare


There remain debates on the association between secure property rights and long-term economic growth. Some evidence support this association, others critique the methods of analysis used in studies which find an association. Some studies argue that the link is not observed in important case studies; and others query whether strengthened property rights are the most important ...» more

The political economy of economic growth in India, 1993-2013

Kunal Sen, Sabyasachi Kar, Jagadish Sahu

What are the causes of India's economic growth? This paper from the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre examines the political economy causes of India’s growth. It reviews the acceleration in the early 1990s, the periods of high growth in the 1990s and early 2000s, and the subsequent slowdown since 2011. It argues that India’s post-reform growth ...» more

Fragile States 2014: Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in Fragile States


What financial resources are available to fragile states – internationally and domestically – to fund their development? What role does aid play? What can be done to close the gaps in resources for development? This report looks at these questions, highlighting the need to focus more on domestic revenue generation as a source of state revenue, and also as a cornerstone of ...» more

Shockwatch Bulletin. Global monetary shocks: impacts and policy responses in sub-saharan Africa

Zhenbo Hou et al.

This Bulletin examines how global monetary shocks in 2013 affected a range of emerging and sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, and analyses potential policy issues in responding to these. These policies include the potential role of exchange rate policy as one of a range of policies that African countries can use to respond to global monetary shocks. It provides a ...» more