Inclusive Growth – some steps in the right direction

September 1, 2014 by

Last weeIG steps in the right directionk I emphasised the need for strong definitions when using ‘inclusive growth’ in strategies and work plans. I also highlighted some possible ingredients that should be considered for this.

But once we are clear what it is, what are the steps that we should be taking towards achieving inclusive growth?

Given the diffuse and varied definitions of inclusive growth, it is surprising that there is considerable consensus in the literature on how to achieve or operationalise it. As our working definition highlighted, growth will not automatically be inclusive. Proactive intervention and strategies are needed to ensure wider development outcomes. Briefly, these include 7 aspects: Read the rest of this entry »

Definitions matter

August 26, 2014 by

Attempting to pin down the (seemingly) secret ingredients of ‘inclusive growth’

IG recipe for success

When it comes to policies and strategies, definitions matter. They provide the boundary lines for what will be tackled. They set the objectives that will determine spending choices. Importantly, they are a vital step towards greater transparency and accountability.

Inclusive Growth is a widely used term. In 2014 the IMF, European Commission and DFID have all used this term in their work plans or strategies and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has included it as a part of the post-2015 development agenda.

For such a ubiquitous term, the meaning of inclusive growth is incredibly hard to pinpoint. There are also surprising differences in approach amongst organisations and institutions. At times, the word ‘inclusive’ is inserted before ‘growth’ but the approach looks unexpectedly similar to a standard economic growth package.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s so inclusive about growth?

August 18, 2014 by

Inclusive growth

Franklin Roosevelt once said “We are trying to construct a more inclusive society…. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out”.

Fast-forward to 2014 and it would seem that an ‘inclusive society’ is harder to achieve than hoped with US inequality levels soaring.

So back to the question – What’s so inclusive about growth?

Historically? Well as the case of the US shows(along with many other experiences from around the world) nothing really. As the OECD highlights, there are three problems that even the record levels of growth of the 1990s and decade of 2000s failed to tackle: poverty, unemployment and inequality. Read the rest of this entry »

Post-2015: how many goals is too many?

July 31, 2014 by

When Moses came down the mountain, he had ten commandments. Unfortunately, there is no such clarity within the post-2015 process on how many goals are the right number for a new global development framework.

Charlton Heston as Moses

Charlton Heston as Moses

The MDGs had 8. Although few people apart from real development policy wonks can remember every goal, the international community is now trying to reach consensus on what the upper limit is for a framework that is both concise and communicable. Is it 10 or 12? Could it even be 17?

Read the rest of this entry »

Low carbon credit where low carbon credit is due

July 24, 2014 by

By Rob Elsworth, Climate and Energy Analyst, CAFOD

The Government has announced that the UK’s fourth carbon budget will not be revised. This means that the legally binding target of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2023-2027 against 1990 levels will be required.

The Government has made the right decision, for which they should be commended.

From a CAFOD perspective, the Government’s decision sends a hugely important message of encouragement to governments and civil society around the world about shifting towards more sustainable development. CAFOD’s work with partners on moving towards a more sustainable future is strengthened tremendously by the UK’s own commitment to a low carbon future.

Read the rest of this entry »

OWG report shoots but does it score?

July 21, 2014 by

While much of the world spent this year watching the World Cup, some of us were watching a very different kind of international tournament. The Open Working Group, mandated by Rio+20 in 2012 to produce a set of proposals for Sustainable Development Goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals when they run out in 2015, delivered its outcome document this weekend. I for one was gripped.

I imagine some negotiators felt like this when agreement was reached

I imagine some negotiators felt like this when agreement was reached

I’m sure there are many comparisons that could be made between the skill and agility of footballers and the skill and negotiating agility of the negotiators (the only physical stamina required is the ability to endure marathon negotiating sessions, with the final one lasting some 35 hours), different tactics adopted, countries playing on the offense or defence. But unlike the World Cup, where Germany held the trophy aloft, in the post-2015 debate we all stand to win or lose.

So in this global game, who (or what) are the winners and who are the losers?

Read the rest of this entry »

Setting the moral compass for the post-2015 framework

June 24, 2014 by

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the President of the UN General Assembly’s High Level Event on human rights and rule of law. I tried to reflect what we’ve learnt through the grassroots research carried out by Participate and the global participatory processes led by Beyond 2015 – ultimately, that people experiencing poverty and marginalisation want the opportunity to meaningfully shape the decisions that affect their lives.

Are the messages from these people in Uganda...

Are the messages from these people in Uganda…

Read the rest of this entry »

Doubling climate ambition: from Rio to Paris via New York

June 9, 2014 by

It is no secret in the world of international politics that 2015 brings together two key processes that will significantly influence the wellbeing of people and planet over the coming decades.

However the Post-2015 framework and the UNFCCC have until now been treated as quite distinct, led by different negotiators and government departments. This is despite the fact that they will be agreed within weeks of each other (end of September and beginning of December 2015); have significant overlap in the issues covered (see below); will both need to be implemented through national development plans and will be seeking finance from similar (existing, new and innovative) sources.

new report by international environment and development organisations including CAFOD, WWF, ODI, Oxfam, Christian Aid and CAN International argues that only by treating the Post-2015 and UNFCCC processes as complementary, rather than unrelated, separate or competing, can they raise the necessary ambition for climate action. In fact, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has convened a Climate Leaders Summit in September 2014 aiming to raise ambition for both processes. Read the rest of this entry »

What makes a green economy a fair one too?

April 25, 2014 by

Guest blog post by Kate Raworth


Kate Raworth is a Visiting Fellow in Economics at IIED. Her research focuses on rethinking economics in the faces of extreme social inequalities and planetary boundaries. She blogs at and tweets @KateRaworth

Ask any country’s leaders about their nation’s strategy for the next decade, and chances are, its colour will be green. ‘Green economy’ and ‘green growth’ policies are moving to centre stage in a surprising number of countries, including many low- and middle-income ones. From Vietnam and Barbados to Ethiopia and Mozambique, there’s a new focus on combining environmental sustainability with economic growth – particularly by cutting or curbing greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring a rising GDP.

For the sake of ecological integrity, that’s good news – but what about social justice? Green policies to transform key sectors – ranging from energy and transport to infrastructure and agriculture – bring many implications for women and men in vulnerable and low-income communities. And it would be dangerous to assume that they will automatically bring benefits. Indeed, without care, green policies could well do the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »

Is access to justice for poor communities really so risky for British business interests?

April 8, 2014 by

justiceimagesIn 2011 and 2012 the UK Government submitted official briefings to the US Supreme Court in relation to two high profile legal cases alleging corporate involvement in grave human rights abuses in the Niger Delta and Papua New Guinea.

These briefings questioned the right of the affected communities to use the US Courts to bring cases against Shell and Rio Tinto respectively. On 7 April the Guardian reported on the backstory to this decision, including the links between Shell and Rio Tinto and the Foreign Office’s official intervention in relation to these US Court cases.

The article is based on documents drawn from the CORE corporate responsibility coalition’s freedom of information requests.

They raise key questions about how and why the Government chose to prioritize what it saw as business interests in the Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum & Shell case.  Read the rest of this entry »


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