How data can help migrants

By Andrew Young, Knowledge Director, The Governance Lab, New York University

Conflict is displacing more and more people across West Africa, including nearly 2.4 million people who have been forced from their homes by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin alone. People living in coastal areas face coastal degradation and erosion. Desertification in the western region of the Sahel is leading to significant livelihood and food security risks. Meanwhile the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is making the situation worse.

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A faster path to digital transformation in Latin America

By Angel Melguizo, Vice President, Economic, External & Regulatory Affairs, VRIO Corp; Eduardo Salido Cornejo, Head, Public Affairs Intelligence, Telefónica Hispanoamérica; and Welby Leaman, Senior Director, Global Policy Strategy, Walmart[1]

Covid-19 put in stark relief the urgent need for accelerated digitalisation around the world. The good news is that so many people stepped up to meet this challenge. In many parts of the private sector, digital rollout that business executives thought would take years was achieved in weeks or even days, as customers’ digital adoption soared. Latin America was no exception to this phenomenon: in mid-March 2020, internet traffic increased by more than 40% practically overnight. The robustness of telecommunications infrastructure in the region – built by decades of investment – and the flexibility of many Latin American governments during the pandemic, were among the factors that facilitated this transition.

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Above or below the poverty line: Three key questions for understanding shifts in global poverty

By Andy Sumner, Professor of International Development, Department of International Development, School of Global Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy, King’s College London and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, Senior Fellow (Non-Resident), United Nations University WIDER; Research Associate, OPHI, University of Oxford & Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

In 2010 and the following years, there was attention to the fact that much of global poverty had shifted to middle-income countries (for example herehere, and here). The world’s poor hadn’t moved of course, but the countries that are home to large numbers of poor people had got better off on average and poverty hadn’t fallen as much as one might expect with economic growth in those countries moving from low-income to middle-income. There were also some big questions over the country categories themselves. One could say the world’s poor live not in the world’s poorest countries but in fast growing countries and countries with burgeoning domestic resources to address poverty albeit ‘locked’ by domestic political economy (who doesn’t want cheap petrol?)

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How migrants can best benefit from the use of digital tech

By Tim Unwin, Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in ICT4D, Royal Holloway, University of London

UN agencies, donors, and civil society organisations have invested considerable time, money and effort in finding novel ways through which migrants, and especially refugees, can benefit from the use of digital technologies. Frequently this has been through the development of apps specifically designed to provide them with information, advice and support, both during the migration journey and in their destination countries. All too often, though, these initiatives have been short-lived or have failed to gain much traction. The InfoAid app, for example, launched by Migration Aid in Hungary amid considerable publicity in 2015 to make life easier for migrants travelling to Europe, posted a poignant last entry on its Facebook page in 2017: “InfoAid app for refugees is being rehauled, so no posting at the moment. Hopefully we will be back soon in a new and improved form! Thank you all for your support!”

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Women in an Internally Displaced Persons in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria, 2018.

Forced migration in Nigeria is a development issue

By Fatima Mamman-Daura, Acting Director at National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons

No other country in Africa, outside the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, is facing a mixed-migration challenge as severe as that of Nigeria, characterised by prolonged internal displacement, migrant smuggling, human trafficking and ‘brain drain’. Over the course of a decade, low levels of short-term internal displacement in Nigeria have transformed into widespread, large-scale and protracted displacement.

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The Peruvian women thriving around the world 

By Ana Lucía Gutiérrez González, Producer of Granadilla Podcast – Peruanas rompiéndola en el extranjero[1], Peruvian based in Israel

Over 50% of migrants from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in 2019, were women. According to the First World Survey for the Peruvian Community Abroad in 2020, around 3.5 million Peruvians were living abroad, more than 10% of the Peruvian population. Of these, 9% are professional migrants – white-collar workers, scientists and researchers, for example. They form part of what I consider to be Peru’s sixth wave of migration. 

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The SDGs require a stronger role for culture in development

By Gijs de Vries, Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); former member of the Dutch Government and former board member of the European Cultural Foundation

In 2015, world leaders pledged to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. They also promised to eradicate poverty and hunger, to secure peace and prosperity, to protect the planet, and to leave no-one behind. Today, both the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals are off-track and their time is running out. Our planet is at risk and public trust in governments is fraying. Governments must aim higher, with greater ambition, courage, and imagination. Fresh thinking is needed, along with new, innovative public-private partnerships. It is time for these partnerships to be extended to the cultural and creative sectors.

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Why women are made to rely on vulnerable work

By Maria C. Lo Bue, Research Associate at UNU-WIDER, Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance, University of Bari; Tu Thi Ngoc Le, Tu Thi Ngoc Le, PhD in Economics, Hoa Sen University; Manuel Santos Silva, Postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Economics, University of Münster; and Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER; Professor of Development Economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

The gender pay-gap is one of the foremost indicators of gender inequality and thus a guide for women’s economic empowerment policies. Although there is abundant data available on the phenomenon in OECD economies, this is not the case for the majority of developing countries, where most workers are self-employed and do not receive a regular wage, making it difficult to measure “pay gaps for similar work”. In a recent study for the United Nations University, we took a different approach, examining the gender gap in vulnerable employment in 101 developing countries worldwide. The results have important implications for policymakers.

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To recover from the crisis, tax the wealth of multimillionaires like me

By Djaffar Shalchi, Entrepreneur from Denmark and Founder of Millionaires for Humanity, a network of wealthy people who advocate for raising taxes on wealthy people

As the world reels from the COVID-19 crisis, countries desperately need to finance health for all, the economic recovery, and poverty reduction. And as the world grapples with the social tensions generated by rising inequality, countries desperately need to find a way to rebuild social cohesion. The great news for 2022 is that there is a way: tax the wealth of multimillionaires to help fund the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

I know – because I am one of the multimillionaires who would have to pay a wealth tax.

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Well-designed tax policy reforms are key to successful post-Covid fiscal consolidation in Africa

By Daniel Prinz, Research Economist and Country Programme Manager at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TaxDev)

Given the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public finances globally, it is little surprise that the IMF’s October 2021 forecasts of debt and debt servicing costs in sub-Saharan Africa are substantially higher than was projected in October 2019 (Figure 1). Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa may need to impose fiscal consolidation measures to enhance the sustainability of their public finances even before their economies have fully recovered from the pandemic. The need for higher public revenues is an opportunity for countries to make their tax systems more efficient and equitable, particularly through well-designed green taxes, property taxes and rationalised tax expenditures. Getting these reforms right will be essential to ensure they do not slow the recovery and that they are socially and politically acceptable.

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