Religious Identity and Inequality in the MENA region

The Middle East region (and Egypt in North Africa) is considered to be rife with religious tension. Proponents of this view argue that this is so because religion constitutes a significant part of the political culture in the Middle East and in particular, in states with a Muslim religious tradition. However, more generally, a 2009 comparative study (Akbaba 2009) of religious ...» more

Understanding Sectarianism in MENA countries

There is some debate about how sectarianism, particularly as it relates to the Middle East is commonly conceptualised. For many in the Middle East, it has come to be defined as the process of ascribing political and social claims or rights on the basis of religious adherence and belonging. However, scholars stress the importance of developing an appropriate conceptual framework ...» more

Gender and Elections in Afghanistan

Press coverage around the recent presidential elections in Afghanistan emphasised the low turnout of women voters, highlighting the shortage of female staff at polling stations, proxy voting by male family members, and the threat of retributive violence against women voters and candidates as key factors. However, the academic literature is largely silent on these issues, both ...» more

Urbanisation and Urban Poverty in Bangladesh

Access to housing and security of tenure is a key issue for the urban poor of Bangladesh. Often they are forced to settle in informal settlements on marginal lands where they fall prey to mastaans, or middle men, who charge extortionate rents for land and services and often use coercive methods. These settlements often have little or no access to basic services such as water ...» more

Gender Equality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

There are many issues around gender equality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: poverty and strongly gendered social roles have increased the burden of women’s household responsibilities; after the deaths or imprisonment of their male relatives, women have been obliged to take on additional roles as heads of households; women’s rates of participation in politics and in ...» more

Aid Interventions on Gender and Conflict

Many experts point out that the impact of aid interventions on gender, especially in post-conflict settings, is rarely measured. Most of the literature on aid programmes that is available often takes a more critical perspective, with a view to suggesting what could have been done better. As a result, there is relatively more information on the strategies which are considered ...» more

The Humanitarian Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on the Asia Pacific Region

Preliminary estimates by the ILO indicate that in 2009 unemployment in Asia-Pacific could increase by between 7 and 23 million workers. The countries experiencing the greatest impact will be those with slowing economies and rapid labour force growth, such as Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines. Emerging economies whose growth depends heavily on exports to the United States ...» more

Religion and Democracy in Secular States

The literature notes that various approaches have been adopted by democracies in dealing with the relationship between religion and the state. These range from excluding religion as a political force altogether (such as in Turkey); to constitutionally privatising religion (such as in France and the US); through to recognising the communal nature of religion (such as in Israel). ...» more

Service Delivery and Stabilisation

There is very little evidence on the impact of stabilisation service delivery initiatives on producing a peace dividend, or providing the basis for longer-term sustainable reform.Nevertheless, the most commonly cited potential benefits of service delivery in post-conflict environments are that visible delivery enhances state legitimacy, strengthens the social contract and ...» more

Mapping Research on Migration

This query aims to identify research organisations with long-term programmes on the links between migration and development. There are a large number of institutes working on the issue of migration in the UK, US, and particularly Europe. Most of their work focusses on national and European migration trends, and the integration, exclusion, and citizenship of migrants within host ...» more

Research on Tribal Governance in Yemen

From the information that is readily and publicly available it seems that a great deal of research on tribal structures in Yemen was undertaken in the 1980s, and primarily from an ethnographic perspective. The research for this query was able to find far less recent work, especially being undertaken at an organisational level. However, there do seem to be a number of individual ...» more

Policy Transfers and Learning

Actors involved in the policy transfer process can include governments officials, civil servants, pressure groups, policy entrepreneurs and experts, transnational corporations, international, regional and non-governmental organisations, think-thanks, and consultants. Approaches to policy transfer include ‘lesson-drawing’; ‘policy band-wagoning’; ‘emulation’; ‘harmonisation’; ...» more

Climate Change and State Fragility

There is very little literature available that explicitly discusses the interplay between climate change and state fragility. The general assumption is that the social and economic impacts of climate change are likely to generate demands which they will be unable to meet and may be overwhelmed by. In fact, increased demand for adaptation and mitigation activities may divert ...» more

Poverty Reduction Actors in the MENA Region

Development actors in the MENA region have been the subject of scholarly attention for some years. This report prioritises literature from 2000 onwards. Much of the recent literature seems to focus on the role of Islamic organisations. Many analysts highlight the large number of these that are already operational in many countries of the region, mostly providing services to ...» more

The Hawala System

The Hawala system is an informal funds transfer system with a vast gobal reach, most prevalent in South Asia, the Middle East, and some parts of Africa. The increase in immigration levels in recent years, and consequently, migrant worker remittances to developing countries, has resulted in a resurgence of Hawala. Hawala systems remain popular because they provide financial ...» more

Women in Business in the Pacific Islands

There is a dearth of data and statistics on women’s economic activity in the Pacific Islands. Part of the problem is that women’s economic activity has predominantly been in the informal sector or within households, and has thus been either poorly remunerated or not at all. Much of the literature stresses the need for gender-disaggregated data to allow policy-makers to factor ...» more

Social Assessment in Disaster Reconstruction

A ‘social assessment’ has broadly two functions: to assess the social impact of the disaster itself; and to analyse and manage the social consequences of reconstruction interventions. There seems to be relatively little material on the latter in post-disaster contexts. This query therefore focuses on the two related components of such an assessment.The first is meaningful ...» more