Global Development Institute Blog

Global Development Institute Blog

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

Digitally removing the middleman for development: Trouble brewing in East African tea?

Digitally removing the middleman for development: Trouble brewing in East African tea?

Chris Foster, Presidential Fellow at the Global Development Institute, 

One of the benefits often associated with digital technologies is the potential for disintermediation – or put more simply “cutting out the middleman”. This concept forms the basis for many hopes for development around digital technologies [1].

In the early days of digital technologies, it was found that they often failed to cut out the middleman due to the “digital divide” where digital skills, infrastructure quality and cost limited the use of technologies in smaller firms. But as firms have adopted technologies and with appropriate applications these foundational claims for digital development are important to revisit. read more…

The “global Britain” report: rule-breaking in foreign aid will not strengthen UK soft power

The “global Britain” report: rule-breaking in foreign aid will not strengthen UK soft power

By Heiner Janus, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and PhD researcher at the Global Development Institute and Dr. Niels Keijzer, DIE

A new report on the future of “Global Britain” proposes several radical reforms of the UK’s spending on international development. Apart from suggesting major cuts in the aid budget, the report calls for broadening the definition of aid, diverting funds to peacekeeping and integrating the Department for International Development (DfID) into the Foreign Office.

The report, “Global Britain: A Twenty-First Century Vision”, was written by Bob Seely, a Tory MP and James Rogers, a member of the Henry Jackson Society think tank. It informs a Foreign Office review headed by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the UK’s geopolitical role after leaving the European Union. In a foreword, Boris Johnson states that it is time to “turbo charge” Britain’s global reach and influence.

read more…

Hrishipara daily financial diaries: Tracking transactions, understanding lives part 2

Hrishipara daily financial diaries: Tracking transactions, understanding lives part 2

Since May 2015 we have been recording the daily money transactions of up to 70 households living near a small market town in central Bangladesh. These ‘daily financial diaries’ shed light on the money-management behaviour of low-income households, described in papers which can be found on the project’s website. Up to now we have explored matters that face all our ‘diarists’, such as savings and credit, income and expenditure, health, and education.

Tracking transactions, understanding lives’ is a new series focusing on individual diarists. We aim to create vivid pictures that give readers a sense of what these lives are like. We hope this will help researchers and activists design better interventions for low-income households. read more…

The roles of the state in global value chains: the growing debate and agenda

The roles of the state in global value chains: the growing debate and agenda

By Rory Horner and Matthew Alford, January 2019

In a new paper in the GDI Working Paper Series we argue that the state-GVC nexus is, and will continue to be, especially significant in shaping development outcomes.

Research on global value chains (GVCs) has broken with state-centric approaches to understanding development, providing a more contemporary perspective on trade, industrial organisation and development outcomes. Partly based on a belief that little else was possible in a liberal economic context, the key emphasis in research on GVCs (and related global production networks (GPNs)) has been on how states facilitate GVCs – including both domestic firms and global lead firms. Yet other roles of regulator, producer (state-owned enterprises) and buyer (public procurement) are significant, and are now attracting growing attention.

read more…

How can we eradicate poverty by 2030?

The Project Syndicate created a video on the research done by Antonio Savoia and Niaz Asadullah on whether state capacity made an impact on achieving the MDGs.

 

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.
Call for papers for Effective States and Inclusive Development conference on ‘rethinking the politics of development’

Call for papers for Effective States and Inclusive Development conference on ‘rethinking the politics of development’

We are delighted to announce a flagship international conference convened by Effective States and Inclusive Development research centre, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester.

Confirmed plenary speakers include world leading experts Anne Marie Goetz (New York), Merilee Grindle (Harvard), Lant Pritchett (Harvard), James Robinson (Chicago), Prerna Singh (Brown) and E. Gyimah-Boadi (Afrobarometer, Ghana).

Pratap Mehta (Ashoka), Dan Slater (Michigan ),  are to be confirmed.

From Politics to Power? Rethinking the politics of development 9-11 September 2019, Manchester, UK

Politics was finally brought into the mainstream of international development around a decade ago. However, whilst most development academics and agencies accept that politics plays a central role in shaping development in the Global South, the incorporation of politics within development theory and practice remains partial and subject to backsliding. This international conference will take stock of what work on the politics of development has achieved to date, identify further opportunities for incorporating the full range of scholarship on politics and development, and set out future research agendas for the field.

This flagship conference will showcase the findings of the Effective States and Inclusive Development research centre (ESID), which has been researching the politics of state capacity and elite commitment to development since 2011. ESID findings will be presented and debated alongside the much broader range of research into the politics of development.

read more…

Migration, fake news and reality

Migration, fake news and reality

Gabriele Restelli, PhD Researcher, Global Development Institute

The United Nations recently approved the Global Compact for Migration. This has come shortly after the endorsement of the other compact, for refugees. These agreements have sparked tensions, protests and even a government crisis in Belgium – especially within right wing parties and movements who allege that the controversial nature of these compacts impedes national sovereignty and adversely impacts security.

Although it is hard to understand what is controversial about a non-binding pact to foster international cooperation, it is fair to wonder why the world needs a global compact on migration to begin with. It has often been argued that unprecedented levels of mobility and migration require unprecedented intergovernmental efforts at tackling such a globally relevant phenomenon.

Indeed, in absolute terms, more individuals than ever before are on the move; but that’s simply because the world population has now increased to seven billion. Global migration data show no evidence of discontinuity in overall international migration trends, that is: the total number of people living outside their country of birth (migrant stock) has remained relatively stable as a percentage of the world’s population since 1960, ranging from 3.1% to 3.3% in 2015. Similarly, only 0.75% of the world’s population emigrated in 2014 (migrant flow) – just like in 1995. read more…

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