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Development

Diversifying African Trade: The Road to Progress

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Although African trade flows are accelerating at a healthy rate, most African governments have struggled to diversify their economies and to achieve inclusive, sustainable growth. “As Africans, we should be proud of our recent economic growth performance,” noted African Union (AU) Commissioner for Trade and Industry Fatima Haram Acyl in 2014, “but there should be no room for complacency.”
Increased trade could transform the African continent, which is home to thirty-three of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) and accounted for only 3 percent of global trade in 2014. African nations that have implemented reforms supporting the free movement of goods, capital, and people have reaped a substantial development dividend and are ranked among the fastest growing economies in the world.
This report examines the current state of trade in Africa, identifies obstacles hindering economic diversification and growth, and offers policy recommendations based on these findings. It addresses the economic and geopolitical implications of the global collapse of commodity demand and China’s recent slowdown, as well as how regional trade agreements and regional economic communities (RECs) offer better opportunities for African economies to unlock growth.
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Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.
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The murky future of global water quality: New global study projects rapid deterioration in water quality

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Abstract in English: 
While California’s four-year drought is forcing the most severe mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history, another water crisis is brewing that will affect far more people and a much greater territory – the planet at large.

According to a global study by the International Food Policy Research Institute and Veolia, the world is on a path toward rapidly deteriorating water quality in many countries. The first-of-its-kind study indicates that up to 1 in 3 people will be exposed to a high risk of water pollution in 2050 from increased amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous. Up to 1 in 5 people will be exposed to a high risk of water pollution reflected by increased levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

Even using the most optimistic socio-economic models, water quality is projected to rapidly deteriorate over the next several decades which, in turn, will increase risks to human health, economic development and thousands of aquatic ecosystems in developed and developing economies alike.
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12
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The White House and the World: Practical Proposals on Global Development for the Next US President

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 20, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The United States has been the leader of the free world for decades, championing a liberalized open global economy, the modernization of states, and a system of global institutions and rules that has lifted millions out of poverty. However, US development policy has remained narrowly focused on aid as the major tool for building prosperous societies abroad — even as the rise of China and other emerging markets and the dramatic increase in private capital and remittance flows are putting a growing premium on other, underexploited US tools for encouraging growth in the developing world.

In this series, we present more than a dozen concrete and practical policy proposals — ranging across trade, energy, migration, investment, and climate policy, as well as greater effectiveness of US foreign aid programs — that will promote growth and reduce poverty abroad.

Each can make a difference at virtually no incremental cost to US taxpayers. Together they can help secure America’s preeminence as a development and security power and partner.
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138
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The Future of the Multilateral Development Banks

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, October 9, 2015
Abstract in English: 
US leadership in multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and regional development banks is flagging. These institutions, rated as some of the most effective development actors globally, provide clear advantages to the United States in terms of geostrategic interests, cost-effectiveness, and results on the ground. Those are among the reasons the United States played a leading role in creating the institutions and has continued to support them over many decades. Yet the US position in these institutions is less certain today. As a multilateral development bank (MDB) donor, the United States has fallen behind other countries, and it is increasingly seen as an obstacle to expanding MDB capital to address higher demand in the developing world for lending
and investment.
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14
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Working With a Rising India: A Joint Venture for the New Century

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Call it an American consensus: India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. India’s economy is a fast-growing emerging market, increasingly important for international business, and Indian businesses have become investors in the United States. Geopolitically, India’s growing military capabilities can help protect the sea lanes and deliver humanitarian assistance quickly throughout the South Asian region, and increasingly across the greater Indo-Pacific. India’s long-standing stability anchors the volatile Indian Ocean region and helps ensure that no single power dominates the Asia Pacific, leading to a stable balance of power. India’s sheer scale means that complex global challenges, such as climate change, cybersecurity, and health, cannot be solved without it. Additionally, India’s diverse, plural democracy stands out in a world in which authoritarianism poses new threats to the interests of the United States and its allies.
Today, India has a window of opportunity for significant change. There are two Indias, one that appears poised for global success, and one that continues to struggle with weighty economic, social, and developmental challenges. Both exist at the same time—but against the backdrop of slowing global growth, India has a greater chance to stand out. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi elected to office on a campaign focused on job creation and economic growth rather than the welfarism of the past, India may at last be able to translate its long-heralded power potential into reality.
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95
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The Futures of Low-Carbon Society: Climate Change and Strategy for Economies in APEC Beyond 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 1, 2010
Abstract in English: 
Human societies have always been climate dependent, but we are only now coming to grips with the fact that our climate also depends on us. As the second decade of the 21st century gets underway, we now recognize that we are faced with two challenges created by our ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. First, the atmosphere is warming, setting the stage for a host of problems from droughts, extreme weather events, coastal erosion and inundation, to which we have to adapt. And second, we must begin implementing strategies to slow down our greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the scale of these impacts while putting in place corresponding adaptation measures.

These challenges are particularly problematic for countries and economies in the Asia Pacific. On the one hand, the region is slated to face some of the greatest climate related impacts relative to other regions of the world. On the other, developing economies in the region will see substantial expansions of their middle classes and the greenhouse gas emissions their lifestyles generate.

The future scenario(s) aimed to illustrate how social, economical and political demand could be harnessed to move the Asia Pacific along a path toward putting far less carbon into the atmosphere by 2050. Science and technology development, including technology transfer, that respond to such demand was seen a key driver of this transition and thus was a major focus of the project. The future scenarios and policy recommendations developed from this project were meant to reflect the economic and social conditions among APEC economies and be consistent with their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities. While the project’s main focus was on longer-term perspectives, recommendations were to be developed for APEC and member economies that spell out short-term actions that could be taken to more quickly reduce the region’s carbon
footprint.
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40
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Kenya’s Vision 2030: An Audit From An Income And Gender Inequalities Perspective

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This report constitutes an attempt to audit Kenya’s Vision 2030 from both an income inequalities and a gender inequalities perspective, and to assess the ability of the Vision to respond to both of these persistent development challenges. Historically, Kenya has been one of the most unequal societies in the world. The launch of Vision 2030 thus provided a key opportunity to suggest ways of better conceptualizing and addressing these inequalities for the good of development in the country. The rationale for this audit was grounded in what is now a well-acknowledged fact, that both income and gender inequalities hinder development. They have been found to negatively affect development efforts and present a challenge to the sustainability of development gains at individual, household and country level. The objectives of the audit are to contribute to enhancing development planning and resource allocation towards greater equity and equality. The audit is intended to help build understandings of government actors engaged in development planning and resource allocation, as well as their partners in civil society and the private sector, on the impacts of inequalities on development performance generally and specifically.
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160
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African Futures 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
Major transitions are rapidly reshaping Africa. Populations are growing substantially and urbanising. Economic growth has accelerated over the last decade. New technologies, including mobile phones and solar cells, are sweeping across the continent. Longstanding confl icts have been or are being addressed. On the broader stage, but with important regional implications, the rise of China, India and other major emerging countries are changing our trading and investment patterns.

Yet major uncertainties face us. How rapidly will we bring communicable diseases under control and advance the education of our citizens? Can Africa diversify its economies and employ its growing populations in manufacturing and services, as well as successfully managing the wealth generated by its raw materials? Will climate change increase pressures on agriculture or will Africa have its own green revolution? How will the continent build the extensive infrastructures that it desperately needs? What will be the quality of our governance? How will external actors, both governments and fi rms, approach and affect Africa?
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66
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“Just Imagine!”: RICS Strategic Foresight 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
In a changing world of work and governance, there is a widespread perception that the traditional professions are under siege. Their authority and status, their exclusive access to specialised knowledge, and their right to regulate their own affairs are all seriously being challenged. No longer able to claim special privileges as disinterested, altruistic occupational groups acting detachedly in the public interest, professions are finding their traditional values and loyalties eroded.

The challenge is coming not only from a better informed and less deferential public, but also from governments sensitive to public concerns, from the media which reflect and amplify them, and from the organisations in both public and private sectors which employ their members.

Representatives of ‘old’ professions are being asked to work in entirely different ways, and ‘new’ professions are emerging all the time in areas like management, culture, meditation, counselling and the environment.

Do we still need ‘professions’ based on the 20th century model (itself a creation of the 19th century before) – self‐appointed, self‐assessed and self‐serving guardians of standards, values and social stability?
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113
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