Bold steps to address the global pollution crisis

By Rich Fuller, President, Pure Earth, and Founder, Global Alliance on Health and Pollution

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Image by Yogendra Singh/Pixabay

A sense of urgency for action against pollution is building. Air pollution and climate agendas both acknowledge the immediate threat to human health and longer-term changes to the planet’s habitability. Uncontrolled industrial pollution in some lower middle-income countries is visible worldwide, and citizens in numerous cities, each experiencing versions of “airpocalypses”, fear for their children’s health and are demanding change. Corporate leaders are responding to demands from board members and consumers for clean supply chains and the development of toxic chemical “footprint” metrics. Pollution is a threat to biodiversity, and air pollution contributes to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Such growing public and political attention provides an opportunity for collaborative action to improve health and grow economies.

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Civic space is shrinking, yet civil society is not the enemy

By Lysa JohnSecretary-General, CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation 1


Global collaboration is new. It is also under threat. That puts our greatest chance at working together to protect people and planet – as encompassed in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in jeopardy.


This blog marks Civil Society Days hosted by the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate and the Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment.


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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN member states in 2015, represent an ambitious, but achievable, agenda to make the world better. Importantly, they are a reminder that world leaders have agreed on common goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. In a remarkable shift in international public policy, they have pledged to ‘leave no one behind’ in this effort, thereby committing themselves not just to work together, but also to work for the benefit of all people irrespective of who they are or where they come from.

The values that underpin our ability to generate an internationally co-ordinated response to the sustainable development challenge are, however, increasingly being questioned, undermined and even overruled by leaders who promote narrow, self-serving interpretations of national interest. Report after report from civil society organisations across the globe highlight what we have called in our State of Civil Society report this year a trend towards “presidential sovereignty” that aims to undermine or override the mandate of constitutions, national rights preserving institutions and international agreements.

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Defending Civic Space: Four unresolved questions

By Thomas Carothers, Director, and Saskia Brechenmacher, Associate Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


This blog marks Civil Society Days (4-7 June 2019), including the International Conference on Civil Society Space on 6 June 2019 hosted by the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate and the Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment


1The trend of closing civic space crystallised at the beginning of this decade. In response, concerned international actors — including various bilateral aid agencies, foreign ministries, private foundations and international nongovernmental organisations — are working to address this problem. They have carried out many diagnostic efforts and gained greater knowledge of the issue. They have initiated a wide range of measures to limit or counteract it, from setting up emergency funds for endangered activists and supporting national campaigns against new civil society restrictions to pushing international bodies, like the Financial Action Task Force, to take better account of the issue.

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Tackling Employer-Supported Childcare: A journey from why to how

By Rudaba Zehra Nasir, Global Lead for Tackling Childcare and Women’s Employment, IFC Gender Secretariat [@RudabaNasir]


The OECD Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment aims to generate evidence and guidance for policy makers and development partners on how to unlock women’s economic potential. The latest publication, “Enabling Women’s Economic Empowerment: New approaches to unpaid care work in developing countries”, presents evidence-based analysis and policy guidance on what works to recognise, reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care work and achieve SDG 5.4 as an entry point for promoting women’s economic empowerment in developing countries. Accessible quality childcare is one solution where both governments and the private sector can contribute, as explored further in this blog.

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My son calls me ‘Aunty’

Shazia, a mother to a toddler, migrated to Dhaka to work at a garment factory. “When I visit my village, my son calls me ‘Aunty,’” she says, with tears in her eyes. Separated from his mother for long periods of time, the son barely knows her.

I met Shazia last year at the factory where she works. She feels conflicted about leaving her son in her mother-in-law’s care. “Sometimes I think about quitting my job and going back to raise him myself.”

Shazia is not alone. The more parents we talk to in focus groups, interviews and surveys from Bangladesh to Fiji, the more it becomes clear that they share similar stories. Parents report feeling stressed and guilty, taking time off from work or being present but not productive, quitting due to lack of family-friendly workplace support, and low levels of awareness and trust in available childcare options.

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Triangular, the shape of things to come?

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By Mario Pezzini, Alicia Barcena, Stefano Manservisi 


This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating various facets
of 
Development in Transition


As the global community gathers in Argentina to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, we have an additional opportunity to discuss, debate, and design a reinvigorated international co-operation system.

And something as small as what is currently called “triangular co-operation” can take centre stage in that system. Just like few imagined that the European Coal and Steel Community created in 1950 would grow into what the European Union is today, we think triangular co-operation’s future potential could very well dwarf its current status.

Rather than rationalise business as usual, we believe triangular co-operation could give us, instead, wide space for unleashing new thinking about the promise and value of multi-partner engagements to advance inclusive and sustainable development.

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Why you should care about unpaid care work

By Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD

The way we currently measure our economies ignores a large portion of work that affects all of us. Most of this work is done by women and girls for free, every day. Around the world, they are responsible for 75% of unpaid care and domestic work in our homes and communities (see Figure 1). So these issues are not just hypothetical, but critical to achieving inclusive economic growth and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Figure 1: Gender gaps in unpaid care work by geographic region

Unpaid work Graph

Note: NA stands for North America, ECA for Europe and Central Asia, LAC for Latin America and the Caribbean, EAP for East Asia and the Pacific, SSA for Sub-Saharan Africa, MENA for Middle East and North Africa, SA for South Asia.  

Source: OECD Gender Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB), 2019, oecd.stat.org.

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Comprendre l’initiative P20 : Une nouvelle approche de la définition de la pauvreté et des moyens de la combattre

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Par Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Ministre d’État du Plan et du développement, Bénin


Pour en savoir plus sur ce thème:  Coopération pour le développement 2018 : Agir ensemble pour n’oublier personne


(Lire ce blog en anglais)

En tant que décideurs et responsables de l’action publique en Afrique, l’une des questions qui nous posent toujours problème est de définir et d’identifier clairement ce qu’est l’extrême pauvreté, et qui en sont les victimes. Au vu de mon expérience d’ancien Ministre des Finances et d’actuel Ministre d’État du Plan et du développement du Bénin, nos budgets nationaux ont toujours été par essence sociaux. Qu’entend-on par là ? La pression que font peser sur nous la pauvreté, la fragilité et la vulnérabilité nous condamne à gérer l’urgence ; et l’urgence en Afrique revient à garantir la survie au quotidien de nos concitoyens.

Toutefois, en dépit de lourds investissements dans des programmes sociaux, les frontières de la pauvreté ne reculent pas aussi vite que nous l’aurions espéré. Il y a à cela de multiples explications possibles, mais notre mission est de trouver des moyens de résoudre la question – et ce, de façon à atteindre en priorité les plus défavorisés. C’est à cette fin que le Gouvernement du Bénin, en partenariat avec le Gouvernement de la Suisse et l’ONG Development Initiatives, a lancé l’initiative P20 dans le but de remédier à la pauvreté et à la vulnérabilité, et d’honorer notre engagement de ne laisser personne de côté.

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