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Poverty

Strategic Foresight: How to Enhance the Implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Countries

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Publication date: 
Monday, January 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This publication is the third in a series of newsletters dedicated to raising awareness of global trends analysis and how future scenarios may affect Latin America. It summarizes a report by the UN Economic and Social Council on the importance of strengthening strategic predictive capabilities for policy makers, particularly in developing countries.

The report, Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda, delineates the priorities of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

The summary accompanies a presentation by Dialogue senior fellow Sergio Bitar to the commission in May 2015 in Geneva, designed to complement the main ideas and proposals in their report. We are also pleased to include an essay by Amy Zalman, CEO and president of the World Future Society, on governance as it relates to anticipating global trends.
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10
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Achieving Zero Hunger

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Thursday, October 1, 2015
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This paper provides estimates of investment costs, both public and private, required to eliminate chronic dietary energy deficits, or to achieve zero hunger by 2030. This target is consistent with achieving both the Sustainable Development Goal 2, to eliminate hunger by 2030, and the Sustainable Development Goal 1, to eradicate poverty. The study adopts a reference 'baseline' scenario, reflecting a “business as usual” situation, to estimate the additional investment requirements. In this scenario, around 650 million people will still suffer from hunger in 2030. We then estimate the investment requirements to eliminate hunger by 2030. Hunger is eliminated through a combination of social protection and targeted “pro-poor” rural investments. The first component aims to bring the poor immediately to the US$1.25/day poverty line income in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms through social protection for a “Transfer to cover the Poverty Gap” (PGT). The second component requires additional investment to accelerate pro-poor rural growth of incomes and employment particularly in rural areas, where most of the poor live, than in the business as usual scenario. Targeted pro-poor rural, including rural and agricultural, investments are required to raise the earned incomes of the poor. This would, in turn, reduce the need for social protection to cover the PGT. The analysis is complemented by looking at alternative ways to achieve such pro-poor rural growth.
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39
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Reducing poverty in Africa Realistic targets for the post-2015 MDGs and Agenda 2063

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Monday, August 25, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The eradication of extreme poverty is a key component of the post-2015 MDG process and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. This paper uses the International Futures forecasting system to explore this goal and finds that many African states are unlikely to make this target by 2030. In addition to the use of country-level targets, this paper argues in favour of a goal that would see Africa as a whole reducing extreme poverty to below 20% by 2030 (15% using 2011 purchasing power parity), and to below 3% by 2063.
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28
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Africa's current and future stability

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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This paper first presents a summary of recent conflict trends in Africa, largely drawing on data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. Then, to provide a picture of the potential future impact of changes in Africa’s development and security prospects up to 2063 (a timeline that ties in with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 initiative), the paper models the implications of three alternative futures for Africa. These are a 'Base Case’ scenario (the current trajectory), an "African Renaissance" scenario (a best-case scenario) and a ‘Politics of the Belly’ scenario (in which the trends analysed take a negative course).
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24
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South African Futures 2035: can Bafana Bafana still score?

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015
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Using updated population forecasts, this paper presents alternative growth scenarios for South Africa up to 2035, and their implications for employment, politics and poverty. ‘Bafana Bafana Redux’ is the expected current trajectory. This scenario takes into account the impact of policy incoherence and the electricity supply crisis on South Africa’s long-term prospects. With concerted effort and much greater focus, an improved future, dubbed 'Mandela Magic Lite’, is possible – but neither scenario has a significant impact on structural unemployment. South Africa will only achieve long-term stability and prosperity with a leadership committed to inclusive political and economic practices.
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32
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Violent Islamist extremism and terror in Africa

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Thursday, October 1, 2015
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This paper presents an overview of large-scale violence by Islamist extremists in key African countries. The paper builds on previous publications of the Institute for Security Studies on the nexus between development and conflict trends, and it seeks to provide an overview of the evolution of the associated terrorism through quantitative and contextual analysis using various large datasets. The focus is on the development and links among countries experiencing the worst of this phenomenon, especially Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as the impact of events in the Middle East on these African countries.
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32
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Future (im)perfect? Mapping conflict, violence and extremism in Africa

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Thursday, October 1, 2015
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The central challenge for sub-Saharan Africa is to build accountable, capable governments that can deliver security and inclusive growth. Research into the drivers, trends and characteristics of violence in Africa may help achieve these goals. This paper firstly presents global and African trends in armed conflict since 1960, while looking at armed conflict within the broader context of political violence using recent event data. The fatality burden between key affected countries is also discussed. The paper then turns to an examination of the high levels of non-state conflict in the Middle East and Africa compared to the rest of the world and the systemic imbalances that drive instability. Finally, challenges in measuring the relative contribution of violent Islamist extremism to political violence are presented.
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24
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Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2016

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Sunday, January 10, 2016
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Africa is at a tipping point in 2016. Despite all the success the continent has achieved in recent years, new and old dangers—economic, political, and security-related—threaten to derail its progress. With sound policymaking, effective leadership, and enough foresight, however—Africa can meet and defeat these challenges as well as the many more to come.

In this year's Foresight Africa, the Africa Growth Initiative and its colleagues discuss six overarching themes that place Africa at this tipping point and give their view on what they perceive to be key areas for intervention to keep Africa on its current rising trajectory. This year's format is different from years past, encompassing viewpoints from high-level policymakers, academics, and practitioners, as well as utilizing visuals to better illustrate the paths behind and now in front of Africa.
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110
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Income Inequality: The Gap between Rich and Poor

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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Income inequality is rising. A quarter of a century ago, the average disposable income of the richest 10% in OECD countries was around seven times higher than that of the poorest 10%; today, it’s around 9½ times higher. Why does this matter? Many fear this widening gap is hurting individuals, societies and even economies. This book explores income inequality across five main headings. It starts by explaining some key terms in the inequality debate. It then examines recent trends and explains why income inequality varies between countries. Next it looks at why income gaps are growing and, in particular, at the rise of the 1%. It then looks at the consequences, including research that suggests widening inequality could hurt economic growth. Finally, it examines policies for addressing inequality and making economies more inclusive.
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122
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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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