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Development

A new energy strategy for the Western Hemisphere

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 6, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The Western Hemisphere has a unique advantage in global energy markets. It is rich in natural resources, from conventional fuels such as oil and natural gas, to critical minerals such as lithium for batteries. The region is also poised to become a leader in newer and emerging energy resources. It has, for example, abundant potential for solar and wind energy and other advanced energy technologies, such as nuclear energy. It enjoys high and rapidly growing levels of renewable energy, especially in power generation, largely based on significant levels of legacy, utility-scale hydropower.1
Many of the Americas’ subregions share cross-border electric power or liquid fuel interconnections. The vast majority of its nations share common values, including a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and shared prosperity. The countries of the Americas are bound together through market-based trade, mutual investment, and deep cultural and security ties. Moreover, the hemisphere is indispensable to US energy security. The United States derives the majority of its imports of oil, gas, and electricity from its neighbors and there is considerable potential for trade in increasingly high-value minerals.
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24
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Implementing the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169: Towards an inclusive, sustainable and just future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 3, 2020
Abstract in English: 
In 1989, the ILO adopted the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169. Since then, the Convention has been ratified by 23 countries, and has guided and inspired governments, trade unions and employers’ organizations as well as indigenous peoples across the world in their work to promote and protect indigenous peoples’ rights.
Thirty years have passed since the adoption of Convention No. 169. This report presents the social and economic situation of indigenous women and men today by looking at key aspects such as population, employment and poverty, as well as the important strides made in public policies, particularly with regard to institutions, consultation and participation. It highlights the critical role of the Convention as a framework for social justice, peace, participatory democracy, and inclusive and sustainable development for all – which is necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and undertake meaningful climate action.
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160
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Megatrends in Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The reports are not academic research as such. The authors are academically qualified researchers, however, and they base their findings on academic studies. In this study, six major trends in Africa are defined as megatrends: population growth, climate change, urbanisation, migration, techno­logical development and democratic development.
Megatrends in Africa are deep and long-term transformation processes that are irreversible. They can and should be mitigated, but will inevitably require adaptation as well. The trends also have an element of foresight, in regards to how they are set to develop in the future.
All the megatrends are interlinked and affect each other. Population growth and climate change can be seen as mega-megatrends that have an especially strong effect on the other trends.
The study contains reports on all six megatrends, which are examined through a Pan-African lens. The study also includes a summary of all megatrends and the interaction of their effects.
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56
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Foresight Conference 2019 Report : Society 4.0

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Foresight Conference 2019 is organised by the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF) in Singapore. The conference will be held on 25 and 26 July 2019, with the theme “Society 4.0”. This is CSF’s fifth Foresight Conference, which brings thought leaders and practitioners from different backgrounds together to explore emerging issues of global significance.
We loosely use the term “Society 4.0” to mean the society that will be and is already being shaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Just as the First Industrial Revolution mechanised production via water and steam power and consequently reshaped economic, political and social structures, the 4IR is likely to have an equal or even more disruptive impact on the texture of society.
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38
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Transforming Infrastructure: Frameworks for Bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Infrastructure

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Transforming Infrastructure: Frameworks for Bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Infrastructure
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, November 3, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have fundamentally altered society in ways both seen and unseen. This digital transformation has changed how people live and work, and everything in-between. One area of daily life, however, seems to be largely missing out on this revolution: infrastructure. It remains one of the least digitally transformed sectors of the economy. While individual examples of highly advanced infrastructure systems exist, the sector at large lags behind others in innovation, a fact made all the more apparent by infrastructure’s ubiquity. When the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Infrastructure gathered for its annual meeting in Dubai in November 2018, it sought to understand why.As it began to think through solutions, the Council found a situation full of opportunity. Infrastructure is far from being a staid industry devoid of innovation – indeed, new technologies and ideas are flourishing. Integrating these innovations, which could change the way infrastructure is designed, developed and delivered, requires aligning stakeholders, implementing effective strategies and creating fertile enabling environments. This will allow existing innovation into the space and provide opportunities for new ideas.The Council thus decided to create a guidebook, contained here, that explores major questions about how to bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution to infrastructure. The guidebook surveys some of the fundamental issues and provides robust frameworks that can help public- and private-sector decision-makers decide how to create the right enabling environments for their situations. It also contains case studies to help illustrate how public- and private-sector entities can work together to integrate exciting existing technologies into infrastructure and spur the creation of new innovations. Overall, the content illustrates three main imperatives: (1) The importance of focusing on community outcomes, not physical assets: It is tempting to define future infrastructure requirements in terms of specific assets: “this city needs light rail” or “we must expand our motorway” are some examples. Defining projects in terms of social outcomes, such as delivering affordable public mobility between specific points, leaves an opening forechnological innovation to deliver those outcomes. (2) The need to adopt a “flexible architecture” approach to infrastructure planning: The technological transformation of infrastructure can be accelerated by recognizing that, while technology-driven disruption cannot be predicted, it can be allowed for and positively leveraged. Planning traditional infrastructure with a more flexible architecture is a way of achieving this; it allows for change and innovation at the edges while protecting and extending the life of core elements. It also permits the use of policy frameworks to allow new innovations to move from idea to commercial success. (3) The necessity of recognizing and respecting infrastructure’s “data layer”: As the world moves into an era of ubiquitous sensors and an ever-connected internet of things, infrastructure assets will become data assets. These technologies offer great potential to increase the social and economic value of infrastructure assets through predictive maintenance, real-time optimization and peak demand management. Much like traditional infrastructure assets such as airports, utilities and community facilities, these data pools will become highly valuable and highly sensitive assets, requiring owners with the right character operating under the right oversight.For planners and policy-makers, there is potential for enhancing efficiency, value and user experience for the publics they serve. Infrastructure owners have the prospect of improving long-term viability, project development and asset management. Technology providers could develop new innovations, forging new partnerships and technologically transforming a new sector. Using this guidebook, decision-makers can begin the conversation on how technological innovation can be nurtured in infrastructure to continue to meet the callenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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Work for a brighter future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Abstract in English: 
New forces are transforming the world of work. The transitions involved call for decisive action. Countless opportunities lie ahead to improve the quality of working lives, expand choice, close the gender gap, reverse the damages wreaked by global inequality, and much more. Yet none of this will happen by itself. Without decisive action we will be heading into a world that widens existing inequalities and uncertainties. Technological advances – artificial intelligence, automation and robotics – will create new jobs, but those who lose their jobs in this transition may be the least equipped to seize the new opportunities. Today’s skills will not match the jobs of tomorrow and newly acquired skills may quickly become obsolete. The greening of our economies will create millions of jobs as we adopt sustainable practices and clean technologies but other jobs will disappear as countries scale back their carbon- and resource-intensive industries. Changes in demographics are no less significant. Expanding youth populations in some parts of the world and ageing populations in others may place pressure on labour markets and social security systems, yet in these shifts lie new possibilities to afford care and inclusive, active societies. We need to seize the opportunities presented by these transformative changes to create a brighter future and deliver economic security, equal opportunity and social justice – and ultimately reinforce the fabric of our societies.
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78
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The World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work studies how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today. Fears that robots will take away jobs from people have dominated the discussion over the future of work, but the World Development Report 2019 finds that on balance this appears to be unfounded. Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. Firms adopt new ways of production, markets expand, and societies evolve. Overall, technology brings opportunity, paving the way to create new jobs, increase productivity, and deliver effective public services. Firms can grow rapidly thanks to digital transformation, expanding their boundaries and reshaping traditional production patterns. The rise of the digital platform firm means that technological effects reach more people faster than ever before. Technology is changing the skills that employers seek. Workers need to be better at complex problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability. Digital technology is also changing how people work and the terms on which they work. Even in advanced economies, short-term work, often found through online platforms, is posing similar challenges to those faced by the world’s informal workers. The Report analyzes these changes and considers how governments can best respond. Investing in human capital must be a priority for governments in order for workers to build the skills in demand in the labor market. In addition, governments need to enhance social protection and extend it to all people in society, irrespective of the terms on which they work. To fund these investments in human capital and social protection, the Report offers some suggestions as to how governments can mobilize additional revenues by increasing the tax base.
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151
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The Future of Work in Africa : Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This companion report to the World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work addresses the key themes of creating productive jobs and addressing the needs of those left behind. It builds on and contextualizes some of WDR 2019’s main messages to key specificities of the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region. It focuses on how global trends especially the adoption of digital technologies (DTs) may change the nature of work in SSA by creating new opportunities and challenges. The report is structured around three main issues that will shape the future of work in Africa, namely the human capital needs of a young and rapidly growing largely low-skilled labor force, the prevalence of informal workers and enterprises and the social protection policies to mitigate risks resulting from disruptions to labor markets. The report highlights important unanswered policy questions where new research, supplemented by new data, could yield learnings with high policy payoffs in the SSA context.
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188
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ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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Europe Should Promote Data for Social Good

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 3, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Data-driven innovations have the power to address some of the most pressing social challenges in Europe. While many government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are using data in their attempts to tackle a range of social issues from high unemployment to the refugee crisis, more can be done. To accelerate progress, public and private-sector leaders should take steps to collect data on disadvantaged populations, facilitate cross-sector collaboration on data projects for social good, and implement policies that encourage data use, reuse, and sharing in support of social goals.
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22
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