What’s the path to sustainable development?

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By Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre, and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development


This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating
various facets of Development in Transition.
Perspectives on Global Development 2019: Rethinking Development Strategies
adds to this discussion


Cover-PGD_2019What’s the path to sustainable development? In this era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — when all countries face both new challenges and new opportunities for improving the lives of their citizens in inclusive, holistic and environmentally sustainable ways – the question remains as relevant as ever.

Some may think the question was answered in the 2000s when we witnessed the transformation of the global economic geography. Whereas only 12 developing countries in the 1990s managed to double the OECD per-capita growth rates, 83 developing countries managed to do so a decade later. By 2008, developing and emerging economies made up 50% of the global economy for the first time. And the 15-fold surge in South-South trade linkages from 1990 to 2016 and the jump in development finance from USD 3.2 billion in 2003 go USD 15.6 billion in 2012 provided by large emerging economies, notably China, are clear proof points of this new economic geography.

Yet, this upswing in global economic growth masks two underlying issues that we cannot ignore on the road to sustainable development.

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What does it take for a Development Bank to succeed?

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By João Carlos Ferraz, Instituto de Economia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating various facets
of
Development in Transition. The 2019 “Perspectives on Global Development” on “Rethinking Development Strategies” will add to this discussion


bank-finance-growth-financePublic finance institutions, or development banks, have “development DNA”. But, can they effectively engage in financing “development in transition” or the call to rethink international co-operation to help countries at all levels of income sustain their development gains? What would it take for such institutions to succeed? How can they anticipate and effectively respond to societal and market needs and aspirations?

Political space for this does exist. A consensus exists that development banks must have at least four priorities: infrastructure, innovation, sustainable environment and firms of smaller size. That’s the easy part! No policy maker or analyst in their right mind would be against these priorities. But, consider the nature of these priorities: each one is time- and place-specific but evolving permanently; they are moving targets. More importantly, they are risk-intensive, given the duration and unpredictability of associated projects and/or the potentially low credit worthiness of economic agents pursuing these priorities.
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Africa: Time to Rediscover the Economics of Population Density and Development

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By Professor Erik S. Reinert, Tallinn University of Technology, and Dr. Richard Itaman, King’s College, London


Learn more about this timely topic at the upcoming
18th International Economic Forum on Africa


Africa-Industrialisation-Factory.jpgAt the OECD’s origin, we find the 1947 Marshall Plan that re-industrialised a war-torn Europe. At the very core of the Marshall Plan was a profound understanding of the relationship between a nation’s economic structure and its carrying capacity in terms of population density. We argue that it is necessary to rediscover this theoretical understanding now, in the mutual interest of Africa and Europe.

In early 1947, worries grew in Washington that an impoverished Germany – where manufacturing industry had been forbidden under the Morgenthau Plan – would fall an easy prey to the Soviet Union. US President Truman therefore sent former president Herbert Hoover on a fact-finding mission to Germany. One powerful sentence in Hoover’s Report of March 18 that year zeroed in on the basic problem:

‘’There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a ‘pastoral state’. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25.000.000 out of it’.1 

Hoover understood that the population density of a country is determined by its economic structure: Industrialisation makes it possible to dramatically increase the population carrying capacity of a nation. ‘Exterminate’ was an extremely strong word to use after the horrors of World War II, and everyone understood that there was no place where 25 million Germans could be sent: Re-industrialisation was the only option. Continue reading

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Par Jacques Ould Aoudia, Chercheur en économie politique du développement et auteur de « SUD ! Un tout autre regard sur la marche des sociétés du Sud » (Ed. L’Harmattan, 2018)


This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating various facets
of
Development in Transition. The 2019 “Perspectives on Global Development” on “Rethinking Development Strategies” will add to this discussion


Sud-jacques-AoudiaVu du Nord, un mystère demeure dans les relations entre Nord et Sud de la planète en matière de développement. Les préconisations des pays du Nord à la plupart des gouvernements du Sud sur la démocratie, la bonne gouvernance, les droits de l’homme, le respect de l’état de droit… semblent d’une telle évidence ! Pourquoi les pays du Sud ne suivent-ils pas ces conseils qui leur sont déversés depuis tant d’années pour leur plus grand bien, afin de rejoindre l’état envié des pays du Nord ?

Mais… sommes-nous sûrs d’avoir les bons outils pour comprendre la marche des sociétés du Sud ? Les connaissances sur les sociétés du Sud qui servent de fondements aux politiques de la plupart des bailleurs de l’aide au développement, sont basées sur l’idée que ces sociétés sont des répliques défaillantes et pathologiques de celles du Nord. D’où la nécessité de les aider à réparer les carences, à combler les manques qui les affectent (manques de routes, d’hôpitaux, de démocratie, de droits…) en cherchant à transférer au Sud les techniques et les institutions du Nord. La tentative d’exporter au Sud, pendant les années 2000, la « bonne gouvernance » est emblématique de cette démarche. Or la Chine, qui arbore de très mauvais indicateurs de gouvernance selon les critères du Nord, a réussi à s’arracher au sous-développement, avec d’immenses erreurs (Grand Bond en Avant, Révolution Culturelle), mais aussi les immenses succès qu’on lui connait.

Et si ces sociétés du Sud suivaient leurs logiques propres ? Avec leurs forces, leurs capacités, leurs règles, leurs imaginaires, mais aussi leurs difficultés, leurs craquements devant l’offensive de la modernité que la mondialisation conduite par le Nord répand partout ?

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The Transition from Least Developed Country Status

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By Dr Jodie Keane, Economic Adviser, and Dr Howard Haughton, Quantitative Analyst, Commonwealth Secretariat1


This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating various facets of Development in Transition. The 2019 “Perspectives on Global Development” on “Rethinking Development Strategies” will add to this discussion.

To learn more about countries’ strategies for economic transformation, including a session on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), follow the 10th Plenary Meeting and High-Level Meeting of the OECD Initiative for Policy Dialogue on Global Value Chains, Production Transformation and Development in Paris, France on 27-28 June 2018.


The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are an internationally defined group of highly vulnerable and structurally constrained economies with extreme levels of poverty. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Every three years, the CDP advises ECOSOC and the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on which countries should either enter or leave the LDC category. Since the category was created in 1971, only five countries have graduated and the number of LDCs has doubled on the basis of selected indicators (income, human assets, economic vulnerability). And when countries graduate they lose international support measures provided by the international community.

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