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Development

Identifying Future Disease Hot Spots - Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index

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Publication date: 
Monday, September 12, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Recent high-profile outbreaks, such as Ebola and Zika, have illustrated the transnational nature of infectious diseases. Countries that are most vulnerable to such outbreaks might be higher priorities for technical support. RAND created the Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index to help U.S. government and international agencies identify these countries and thereby inform programming to preemptively help mitigate the spread and effects of potential transnational outbreaks.
The authors employed a rigorous methodology to identify the countries most vulnerable to disease outbreaks. They conducted a comprehensive review of relevant literature to identify factors influencing infectious disease vulnerability. Using widely available data, the authors created an index for identifying potentially vulnerable countries and then ranked countries by overall vulnerability score. Policymakers should focus on the 25 most-vulnerable countries with an eye toward a potential "disease belt" in the Sahel region of Africa.
The infectious disease vulnerability scores for several countries were better than what would have been predicted on the basis of economic status alone. This suggests that low-income countries can overcome economic challenges and become more resilient to public health challenges, such as infectious disease outbreaks.
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96
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The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 assesses the competitiveness landscape of 138 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
This year’s edition highlights that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity. It also highlights that monetary stimulus measures such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms. Final key finding points to the fact that updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets.
Switzerland, Singapore and the United States remain the three world’s most competitive economies.
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400
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Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa

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Sunday, June 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This paper looks to uncover the growth traps and opportunities for the South African economy, with a focus on underlying labour market dynamics. We explore the potential of South Africa’s demographic dividend. We also consider the structure of the labour market and the growth-employment interactions, which uncover the skills-biased labour demand path of the economy and a rising trend in the use of labour brokers to source temporary workers. Finally, we show a new labour market trend has emerged: a rise in the share of public sector employment along with higher conditional returns to public sector workers than to those in the private sector.
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41
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OECD‑FAO Agricultural Outlook 2016‑2025

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Publication date: 
Monday, July 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025 is a collaborative effort of OECD and FAO. It brings together the commodity, policy and country expertise of both organisations and input from collaborating member countries to provide an assessment of medium-term prospects of national, regional and global agricultural commodity markets. The Outlook provides supply, demand, trade and price estimates of major agricultural commodities for 41 countries and 12 geographical regions. The special theme chapter of this year’s edition focusses on the prospects and challenges of the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prices for the main crops, livestock and fish products all fell in 2015, signalling that an era of high prices is quite likely over for all sub-sectors. Meat prices fell from record highs in 2014, dairy product prices continued declines that started in 2013 and 2014, while crop prices fell further from their peaks in 2012.The main factors behind lower prices have been several years of robust supply growth, weakening demand growth due to the overall economic slowdown, lower oil prices and further accumulation of already abundant stocks.
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137
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Global Economic Prospects: Divergences and Risks

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Growth prospects have weakened throughout the world economy. Global growth for 2016 is projected at 2.4 percent, unchanged from the disappointing pace of 2015, and 0.5 percentage point below the January forecast. Emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are facing stronger headwinds, including weaker growth among advanced economies and persistently low commodity prices, as well as lackluster global trade and capital flows. Divergences between commodity exporters and importers persist. Conditions remain markedly challenging for commodity exporters, which continue to struggle to adjust to the new era of depressed prices. In contrast, commodity importers are showing greater resilience to headwinds, although the expected growth windfall from low energy prices has been surprisingly modest. Global growth is projected to pick up slowly to 3.0 percent by 2018, as stabilizing commodity prices provide support to commodity exporting EMDEs. Downside risks have become more pronounced. These include deteriorating conditions among key commodity exporters, softer-thanexpected activity in advanced economies, rising private sector debt in some large emerging markets, and heightened policy and geopolitical uncertainties. While policy space for monetary and fiscal stimulus is narrow, structural reforms could boost growth both in the short and the long term.
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173
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Toward global water security

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report assesses the conditions under which a global Water Grand Strategy (WGS) might be created and implemented by stakeholders in the United States within the next one to two years. While numerous American organizations are addressing water challenges the world over, no explicit policy or vision coordinates their multiple endeavors. As a result, the United States does not maximize its influence in finding solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.
This report evaluates the need for a WGS and explores the possible ends of such a strategy. It summarizes what the United States is already doing in the water space,1 and identifies the current model’s strengths and weaknesses. It outlines a process for forging a “Whole of America” water strategy—a stakeholder-driven process—and addresses key implementation challenges.
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22
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Reviewing the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - “Early Movers” Can Help Maintain Momentum

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
At the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 the heads of state and government of all the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Several countries, including Germany, committed to move rapidly on implementation. During the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2016, twentytwo countries volunteered to conduct national reviews of their implementation. Moreover, UN member states plan to adopt a resolution on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda before that meeting. What initiatives would be most helpful for maintaining the momentum and making ambitious progress on implementing and reviewing the Agenda?
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4
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An Arctic Redesign: Recommendations to Rejuvenate the Arctic Council

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, March 14, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Arctic Council was launched in 1996 as an informal, consensual, and cooperative mechanism without either legal personality or operational mandate. It was designed to enhance measures to collectively protect the Arctic’s environment and to explore sustainable development opportunities. The Arctic Council turns 20 years old in 2016, and it has grown larger and more complex - welcoming new observer states such as China and India, initiating two legally binding agreements on search and rescue and oil spill response, and creating a permanent Secretariat. As the increasingly dynamic Arctic environment undergoes vast physical and geopolitical transformations, is the 20-year old Arctic Council’s organizational structure adequate and fit for its purpose? Can the Council remain at the center of Arctic-related activities under its current mandate? Is a substantial rethink of the Council’s governance structure necessary to ensure its productivity and longevity for the next 20 years? This report considers these questions and outlines four possible scenarios and strategies for Arctic Council reform and repair, as well as the implications for the Arctic Council in the future.
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28
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Inspiring Future Cities & Urban Services: Shaping the Future of Urban Development & Services Initiative

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The report highlights the emerging technologies and business models that are changing the way urban services are delivered and proposes a 10-step action plan to enable cities to navigate the journey of urban transformation.
Cities are growing at a rapid rate, with the global urban population set to increase by 2.5 billion by 2050. People continue to migrate to cities for better economic, social and creative opportunities. Growing cities are dense in terms of land use and, at the same time, are difficult to govern because of their diverse social and economic fabric.
While cities battle issues such as climate change, social segregation and economic development, they increasingly have to do so with fewer resources as they face budgetary constraints and battle with suboptimal devolution of funds and functions. City administrations are using emerging
business models and technologies to deliver services. The use of technology and changing ownership models have disrupted the way excess capacities within cities are efficiently utilized. However, technology is not a silver-bullet solution to urban problems. To holistically address such problems cities need to transform planning, governance and regulatory aspects.
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60
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Security and Public Order Report

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The security situation facing the Middle East is grave and appears to be trending toward greater violence and instability. The Middle East Strategy Task Force's Security and Public Order report, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, demonstrates that states of the region have tended to focus on traditional, external threats but the internal threats they face—from domestic unrest, state failure, and civil war—have become both more common and dangerous.

It is highly unlikely that these security problems will solve themselves or that regional states will be able to resolve them on their own. Given the ongoing importance of Middle Eastern energy resources to the international economy, the region’s central geographic location, its multiplicity of terrorist groups, and the extent of regional anger at numerous other countries for their predicament, it would be a mistake to assume that these security problems will not affect the wider world. Already the problems of terrorism and refugees generated by Middle Eastern upheaval have made many Americans, Europeans, Russians, and Middle Easterners want to take action themselves.
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48
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