Author Archive

UN Women’s new report: Transforming economies, realising rights

April 29, 2015

On Monday, the UN Women’s new flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16: Transforming Economies Realising Rights, was released in London.

TProgress 2015 ENGLISH cover-155widthhe publication argues that the current economic framework is not working for women and has ‘shifted power relations in ways that undermine the enjoyment of human rights and the building of sustainable livelihoods’. Usefully, it goes on to provide some very concrete examples of what governments (and donors and even INGO’s) can do to tackle these challenges (for more on this see the infographic on pg 10 of the executive summary). (more…)

Jobs and Livelihoods: What should we be focussing on?

April 9, 2015

Towards the end of March, the International Development Committee [1] report on ‘Jobs and Livelihoods’ was released. This inquiry looked at DFID‘s economic development strategic framework (EDSF) to determine what impacts it could make on increasing jobs.

The report noted the importance of ‘improving livelihoods’ rather than just focussing on formal sector jobs which, (even where there is success in creating these) may not be accessible to many women and men living in poverty. Most encouragingly, the IDC also focussed on the informal economy (more…)

DFID’s approach to economic development: answering David Kennedy’s call to engage

November 27, 2014

On Monday I was the lucky recipient of a last-minute ticket to the PWC International Development Conference when a colleague wasn’t able to attend any more. David Kennedy, the newly appointed Economic Development Director General, gave an impressive-20-minute-no-notes opening address focussing on DFIDs approach to economic development.

David Kennedy speech

David Kennedy speaking at the PWC International Development Conference, 24 November 2014. Source: twitter

He emphasised throughout that DFID are still developing much of their thinking and that they would welcome discussion on this. He ended by saying, “if you have any other questions or thoughts, send me an email, I’d love to engage” – and so, taking this offer at face value, here are my three points:

(more…)

What is the social impact of the World Bank’s support to regulatory reform? Don’t ask the Bank

November 25, 2014

The World Bank Group’s Independent Evaluation Group highlights that the Bank’s support to business regulation reforms fails to capture the social impact of regulatory reform. In this blog, first published by the Bretton Woods Project we look at this critique in more detail.

(more…)

Comment on the DCED Proposal of a Business Environment Indicator for the Post-2015 Framework

November 7, 2014

business environment indicator for the post-2015 framework

Should an indicator that measures improvements in national business environments be included in the post-2015 framework? This is a question that the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) has recently posed. They have proposed 4 options for such an indicator.

The world is currently waiting to see whether the Open Working Group (OWG) proposed set of global goals and targets will be reopened for negotiation. The indicators, on the other hand, should not be agreed through a process of intergovernmental negotiation. Indicators need specific technical expertise and are too complex to become political footballs. The UN Statistical Commission have indicated through their briefing note that they will have a role to play in convening this process, and will include relevant input from member states and other stakeholders.

In this blog I specifically comment on the DCED proposal drawing on CAFOD’s experience and research on what a pro-poor business environment looks like. (more…)

Thinking small about inclusive growth  

September 8, 2014

TS & IGToday I’m posting my fourth and final blog in this inclusive growth mini-series (you can click here for the first, second and third blogs).

Working on economic justice issues here at CAFOD one of my main areas of work is on small businesses: the role that these play in economies and to the lives of the poorest women and men and the support that they need (you can see some of our other small business blogs here). So what’s the connection…? Do small businesses have a role to play in inclusive growth? (more…)

Inclusive Growth – some steps in the right direction

September 1, 2014

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: (more…)

Definitions matter

August 26, 2014

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.

(more…)

What’s so inclusive about growth?

August 18, 2014

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. (more…)

Thinking small… who, me?

November 13, 2013

In February this year I walked into our Freetown office, in Sierra Leone, and was greeted with “Think Small! You’re here! Welcome!” – who needs a name when one has a project so closely associated with you? (more…)