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Critical visions of development from the Global Development Institute: Uniting the strengths of IDPM and BWPI.

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Chronic and transient poverty in El Salvador: What are their determinants and how to better fight against poverty

Chronic and transient poverty in El Salvador: What are their determinants and how to better fight against poverty

By Werner Peña

Read  Werner Peña’s working paperWhat are the determinants of chronic and transient poverty in El Salvador?’

The situation of being in poverty can be experienced by households with different intensities over time: some can be trapped in poverty while others can move in or out from it from time to time. These differing experiences allow for the differentiation between chronic poverty and transient poverty. Chronic poverty means living in deprivation for long periods of time. On the other side, transient poverty means being vulnerable to risks that can cause households to fall into poverty. Thus, to better understand poverty, it is important to analyse the characteristics and determinants of these two faces of the same coin. To carry out this exercise, in a recent GDI Working Paper, I analysed the determinants of chronic and transient poverty in El Salvador.

The analysis was based on the construction of two un-intended panel data at household level using the main Salvadoran household survey, one for the period 2008-2009 and another for the period 2009-2010. The proposed determinants of chronic and transient poverty were grouped in five categories: demographic characteristics, access to economic resources, educational characteristics, labour characteristics and residence characteristics. The econometric techniques were the multinomial logit model and simultaneous quantile regression.

Regarding the first three categories, the main results were the following:

The demographic characteristics suggest that chronic poor households have a higher proportion of youth or children aged 16 years or less, compared to non-poor households, which causes the dependency ratio to be far larger in chronic poor households. In addition, the multinomial logit models show that a high percentage of children 16 years old or younger increases the odds of being chronic and transient poor in the same way as the dependency ratio does. These results have implications for the main human development cash transfer programme in El Salvador called “Comunidades Solidarias”, as this cash transfer is given in a fixed amount to poor households, no matter the number of children they have. To better fight against chronic poverty, transfers might be given based on the number of children, as is done in other Latin American countries.

Regarding the access to economic resources, the possession of assets is scarce for transient poor households and even scarcer in chronic poor units. An interesting finding is that receiving government transfers increases the odds of being in chronic and transient poverty. This might be related to the size of the monthly cash transfer of Comunidades Solidarias. The amount of the transfers only represents 5.9% of the urban poverty line and 8.44% of the rural poverty line in 2010.

These findings call attention for at least three kinds of policies. First, the implementation of programmes that provide opportunities and incentives for poor households to accumulate assets is a critical effort in the fight against chronic poverty. Second, it is important to increase the amount and coverage of the cash transfer provided by Comunidades Solidarias. In addition, the exit strategy of Comunidades Solidarias can and should be reviewed. Currently, the exit strategy is mainly based on age limits, and households close to exiting the programme will most likely require further assistance to fully escape from poverty. Third, for transient poor households, the design of an emergency cash transfers schemes might help overcome the impacts of short run shocks, and prevent the depletion of their assets which can cause them to fall into (chronic) poverty.

The educational characteristics show that human capital accumulation through education is an important determinant to reduce the odds of being in chronic and transient poverty. Human capital accumulation through education also increases real household income. However, the accumulation of human capital is very low in chronic poor households. For instance, in the baseline of panel the 2008-2009, most adults have 6 years of education or less (73.90%). This points out the necessity to invest more in the education of chronic and transient poor households. In this regard, programmes aimed at incentivising and retaining children and adolescents in school can help households improve the labour prospects of their youngest members.

 

Dr Saman Kelegama: scholar, policy influencer and caring human being

Professor David Hulme pays tribute to Dr Saman Kelegama

The sad news of Dr Saman Kelegama’s untimely death had shocked friends and academic collaborators across the world. At Manchester, as elsewhere, we feel the loss. Our condolences go out to all of his family and colleagues – we understand how deeply you will grieve.

Saman had been Sri Lanka’s leading economist and public policy analyst since the 1990s. He directed the Institute of Policy Studies in Colombo for many years until his death, applying his sharp intellect and well heeled diplomatic skills to ensure evidence and careful analysis informed debates about economic and social conditions across the country. He was a real scholar, thinking deeply about theory, methods, data and analysis, while feeding ‘useful knowledge’ into national policy debates at times that were often very politically charged.

The loss is not just for Sri Lanka – it is felt deeply across South Asia and amongst all who study the region. Saman was a leading member of the region’s economic associations and policy analysis networks, thinking carefully about the work of colleagues and constructively guiding them into more rigorous and accurate studies and developing regional perspectives.

Beyond his academic and policy work, Dr Saman Kelegama was a kind and caring human being. My professional image of Saman is of him presenting excellent papers at scholarly meetings. My personal memory of Saman will be of cups of tea in the garden of the Galle Face Hotel in the 1990s, gently mulling over ideas about the ways in which human progress might be achieved across the world.

 

UK political parties are shifting from ‘international’ to ‘global’ development

UK political parties are shifting from ‘international’ to ‘global’ development

By Dr Eleni Sifaki, Research Associate, Global Development Institute

The geography of global development in the 21st century is shifting. Horner and Hulme call for a shift in academic development studies and development policy from ‘international development’ to ‘global development’ to address emerging global inequalities that transform dichotomies between developed and developing world.

Today the world is faced with global development challenges that transcend North/South divisions such as climate change and the refugee crisis. The 2015 SDGs reflect this change in understanding of development, as they are universal, applying to all countries irrespective of their development status.

In light of this shift in the geography and consequently the understanding of development, I have been working with David Hulme to examine the extent to which political parties in the UK have a) shifted from ‘international’ development to a recognition of ‘global’ development in response to economic, environmental and social challenges, and b) the extent of their commitment to global development. read more…

How can development academics help change the world?

How can development academics help change the world?

Chris Jordan, Communications and Impact Manager, Global Development Institute

For most development-focused academics, the main reason they join the profession is to contribute towards positive social change.  Contrary to the increasingly outdated image of out of touch academics, IDS’s James Georgalakis recently observed, “hard as I look, I can’t see any ivory towers – only scientists desperately worried about fake news, academic freedoms and results-based research agendas.”

Traditionally, many joined Development Studies departments following years of practice in NGOs and international organisations, seeking the space to inform or challenge the broader intellectual frameworks that guide development, rather than working on individual projects. The academics I work with at the Global Development Institute are incredibly well networked, attuned to the big issues on the horizon and motivated to do something about them.

But despite the practical orientation of development studies and the intrinsic drive of most academics working within the discipline, it’s not always clear exactly how academics with particular specialisms, at different stages of their career, can most effectively contribute to changing the world for the better.

Academics in the UK are now working in a context in which ‘Impact’ is demanded more and more by donors and assessment agencies. There are clear benefits to this agenda, which helps to raise the status of engaged, problem-solving research and can provide the resources researchers need to ensure their ideas gain traction beyond academia. But there’s also a risk that the impact agenda ends up instrumentalising research, possibly squeezing out the potential for more conceptual and theoretical work.     read more…

A Climate Resilient Approach to Social Protection

A Climate Resilient Approach to Social Protection

Dr Joanne C. Jordan, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK

Climate change is one of the biggest environmental and development challenges of the 21st century. But we will not all face this challenge in the same way, as the impacts of climate change are unevenly distributed; people that are marginalised in society are especially vulnerable to climate change because of intersecting social processes that create multidimensional inequalities.

Climate change and the inequalities in its impact are a key challenge for social protection programmes aimed at combating extreme poverty in the Global South. Climate change is likely to intensify the types of risks that those enrolled in social protection programmes will experience in the future.

However, there are few projects that integrate both climate change resilience and social protection objectives, despite both aiming to reduce the risks experienced by vulnerable people. Later this year I will carry out research examining what the ‘Infrastructure for Climate Resilient Growth in India’s  (ICRG) experience can tell us about the effects of building a climate resilient social protection approach in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGS) and other public works programmes.

  read more…

Listen: Sally Cawood discusses domestic violence in Bangladesh

Listen: Sally Cawood discusses domestic violence in Bangladesh

Sally Cawood, PhD researcher at the Global Development Institute discusses domestic violence in the slums of Bangladesh in our latest podcast.

 

Note: This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.
Expulsions: a concept for 21st century global development

Expulsions: a concept for 21st century global development

By Dr Tom Gillespie, Lecturer in Poverty, Inequality & Pro-Poor Politics

Rory Horner and David Hulme’s recent GDI working paper calls for a shift away from the 20th century paradigm of international development, based on the division of the world into Global North (developed) and South (developing), towards a 21st century paradigm of global development, based on a recognition that development issues are universal and cut across this North-South divide. Horner and Hulme’s argument that we need to fundamentally rethink the geography of development resonates with Saskia Sassen’s recent GDI Lecture based on her 2014 book Expulsions. In her hugely engaging lecture, Sassen lamented the tendency in the social sciences to create insular silos of knowledge and focus on rarefied disciplinary debates. In order to understand contemporary social and economic transformations, she argued, we must identify the common dynamics that connect apparently unrelated phenomena. The book does this by exploring the “subterranean trends” (Sassen, 2014, p.5) that cut across familiar distinctions, such as Global North and South, and connect a diversity of issues including austerity in Europe, mass incarceration in the United States, corporate land grabs in Africa and environmental destruction globally. Sassen concludes that the common dynamic that connects these issues is one of ‘expulsion’: whereas post-war capitalism was characterised by the inclusion of people as workers and consumers, capitalism since the 1980s has been increasingly characterised by the extraction of profits and the expulsion of unwanted people and places from the economy. read more…

Hamza Arsbi on making a difference through his social enterprise in Jordan

Hamza Arsbi on making a difference through his social enterprise in Jordan

By Hamza Arsbi, who is currently studying at the Global Development Institute for an MSc in International Development.

This month, The University of Manchester honoured a group of students, alumni, and staff at the Making a Difference Awards for the amazing work being done across the University on social development projects. I received the Outstanding Contribution to Social Enterprise award for my organisation, the Science League, an initiative with the mission to increase access to education and provide students with the skills needed for the 21st century.

I started the Science League with a group of my friends while I was completing my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Jordan in 2012. It came out of a personal frustration with how the educational system failed to equip me with skills to face real world problems. As a result I decided to create educational programs to show children a different perspective and a nuanced view of life through science. read more…

The Global Development Institute is Hiring

The Global Development Institute is Hiring

We have big ambitions at the GDI and to make them happen, we need the best research and teaching staff.  If you have an outstanding track record and a commitment to social justice, then please come and join us.

Click on the job titles for more information:

 

Senior Lecturer in Agrarian Change and Food Security

Permanent from September 2017. Closing date: 30/06/2017

 

Senior Lecturer in Environment and Climate Change

Permanent from September 2017. Closing date: 30/06/2017

 

Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Urban Transformation

Permanent from September 2017. Closing date: 30/06/2017

 

Senior Lecturer in Technology, Labour and Sustainable Global Production

Permanent from September 2017. Closing date: 30/06/2017

The segmented globalisation practices within India’s pharmaceutical industry

The segmented globalisation practices within India’s pharmaceutical industry

By Dr Rory Horner, Lecturer in Globalisation and Political Economy

In a new paper published in Global Networks, Rory Horner and Jim Murphy argue that significant discontinuities are present between the business practices Indian pharmaceutical firms deploy in South-South production networks vs. those in South-North trade.

The geography of global trade is shifting rapidly, with actors in the global South playing much more prominent roles as both producers and consumers in global trade. South-South trade has expanded rapidly, yet South-South value chains and production networks have received less attention than North-South oriented value chains to date.

India’s pharmaceutical supply, often termed the “pharmacy of the developing world”, is one of the most crucial, and fascinating, examples of South-South trade. More than 50% of India’s pharmaceutical exports by revenue, and even more by volume, go to other countries in the global South. They are significant economically, but perhaps even more importantly for public health – having the potential to increase access to medicines through relatively low-cost generics. Yet, although it is well-known that large volumes of pharmaceuticals are exported from India, relatively less is known about the underlying supply chains.

read more…

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