Development Results Archive

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ILO calls for reorientation of Latin American labour market policies

ILO: Labour market policies in Latin America must be reoriented to protect social achievements and address productivity gaps At a time when governments in the region face the dual challenges of creating quality jobs and safeguarding achievements in social inclusion and work quality, an ILO report highlights the need for a new approach based on active labour market policies to address the current economic slowdown. Lima, 21 June 2016 (ILO) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged Latin American countries to carry out a “strategic reorientation” of their labour market policies in order to increase productivity and to address rising unemployment and informality resulting from the economic slowdown. The report in Spanish A report warns that “the achievements made since the 2000s, in terms of social inclusion and work quality have stalled and are even beginning to reverse,” which can lead to a dangerous “structural stagnation” in labour markets […]

ILO: Labour market policies in Latin America must be reoriented to protect social achievements and address productivity gaps

At a time when governments in the region face the dual challenges of creating quality jobs and safeguarding achievements in social inclusion and work quality, an ILO report highlights the need for a new approach based on active labour market policies to address the current economic slowdown.

Lima, 21 June 2016 (ILO) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged Latin American countries to carry out a “strategic reorientation” of their labour market policies in order to increase productivity and to address rising unemployment and informality resulting from the economic slowdown.

The report in Spanish

A report warns that “the achievements made since the 2000s, in terms of social inclusion and work quality have stalled and are even beginning to reverse,” which can lead to a dangerous “structural stagnation” in labour markets that could, in turn, generate an increase in inequality and informality and erosion in the middle class”.

“The alarm bells are ringing, the economic slowdown will impact the region’s labour markets in 2016 and over the next years,” said the ILO’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, José Manuel Salazar.

“Now what we are talking about are effective solutions. The so-called active labour market policies represent a policy shift that seeks to improve and update the skills of the labour force, readjust labour supply and demand, and promote productive employment. This integrated approach is what labour markets in the region need,” he added.

The report, “What works: Active labour market policies in Latin American and the Caribbean ”, was developed by the ILO’s Research Department in Geneva.

According to the document, despite some years of solid growth in which social progress and unemployment advanced, those achievements were not consolidated, thus revealing structural deficiencies. The report warns that “even with remarkable progress, the shift to a knowledge driven economy and one based on better quality jobs has not been completed”.

ILO specialist Veronica Escudero, one of the authors of the report, warned that “even if these policies have great potential, we need to highlight that the design, targeting and implementation are essential to guarantee their effectiveness.”

In this sense, it is necessary to “be very clear about the employment barriers that people in a country face, as well as the needs of the local labour market, to ensure the relevance of the policies and to maximize their impact, including the number of beneficiaries,” explained Escudero.

An urgent policy reorientation for Latin America and the Caribbean

To tackle unemployment, informality and low productivity growth, a policy reorientation is needed in Latin America and the Caribbean. ILO economists Clemente Pignatti and Verónica Escudero discuss the potential opportunities that can be leveraged from active labour market policies in the region.

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Cash Transfer Programs Succeed for Zambia’s Poor, Offer Lessons for Battling African Poverty, AIR Finds

African nations increasingly embrace cash transfers to combat the continent’s cycle of poverty WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 8, 2016/ — Programs designed to alleviate hunger and increase food supply through cash transfers to some of Zambia’s poorest families achieved those goals and more, final evaluations conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) (http://www.AIR.org) revealed. Overall, researchers found that a cash-transfer program geared toward families with at least one young child had effects that amounted to a net benefit of 1.5 kwacha—Zambia’s currency— for each kwacha transferred. A second program for households with fewer able-bodied people to farm had effects that amounted to a net benefit of 1.68 kwacha for each kwacha transferred. Besides eating more meals and building more reliable food reserves, families used the money to improve their housing, buy additional necessities for their children, acquire more livestock and reduce debt. The studies, commissioned by […]
African nations increasingly embrace cash transfers to combat the continent’s cycle of poverty
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 8, 2016/ — Programs designed to alleviate hunger and increase food supply through cash transfers to some of Zambia’s poorest families achieved those goals and more, final evaluations conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) (http://www.AIR.org) revealed.

Overall, researchers found that a cash-transfer program geared toward families with at least one young child had effects that amounted to a net benefit of 1.5 kwacha—Zambia’s currency— for each kwacha transferred. A second program for households with fewer able-bodied people to farm had effects that amounted to a net benefit of 1.68 kwacha for each kwacha transferred.

Besides eating more meals and building more reliable food reserves, families used the money to improve their housing, buy additional necessities for their children, acquire more livestock and reduce debt.

The studies, commissioned by UNICEF, are likely to be closely watched as African nations increasingly embrace cash transfers to combat the continent’s cycle of poverty. South Africa’s program is the largest, with roughly 16.1 million people—about a third of its population—receiving some kind of social grant.

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Notably, the two Zambian programs were unconditional—providing small, consistent sums of money with no strings attached on how they were spent. The programs bucked general criticisms that cash transfers spark dependency. Rather, the discretionary approach empowered families, who used the grants to improve their living standards in ways that made sense given their individual circumstances. At no point during the multiyear grants did alcohol consumption increase. Nor was there any impact on fertility, according to the evaluations.

“The unconditional approach worked,” said Stanfield Michelo, director of social welfare at Zambia’s Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. “And because it did, the region is making positive strides. Without a doubt, the changes would not have been possible without AIR’s rigorous evaluations.”

The evaluation of the Child Grant cash-transfer program (CGP) lasted four years, and the evaluation of the Multiple Category Targeting Grant (MCTG) lasted three years. Begun in 2010 in three of Zambia’s poorest districts, the CGP was open to all households with at least one child under age 4. Half were randomly assigned to receive cash transfers of 60 kwacha ($12) a month, and half to a control group that did not receive funds. The MCTG was aimed at poor households with fewer able-bodied people to farm, due largely to a “missing generation” of parents in their 30s and 40s and disproportionally high numbers of adolescents and orphans cared for by widows and grandparents. As with the CGP, half the MCTG participants received the equivalent of $12 a month and half were in a control group that didn’t.

The studies were notable not only for their duration, but also for their use of randomization and control groups to tease out the program’s true effects.

“Few evaluations of cash transfer programs can make such strong causal claims with as much certainty as these two evaluations,” said David Seidenfeld (http://www.air.org/person/david-seidenfeld), AIR’s senior director of international research and evaluation and lead study author. “The design of the study, which extended over several years, allowed us to see that the beneficiaries do not grow complacent over time, but instead find ways to grow the value of the transfer beyond benefits related to food security and consumption.”

Although the studies revealed persistent successes, they also offered future researchers and policymakers an idea of cash transfers’ limitations. The studies did not show consistent successes in education or child nutrition, possibly due to large-scale infrastructure issues—namely, the supply of social services, access to clean water, and a lack of health care and education facilities.

Among the studies’ principal lessons, researchers found that the degree of positive impact depended largely on the participants’ characteristics. For example, the multiple-category grants had large impacts on schooling because participating households had more school-age children. Overall, school enrollment jumps of 8 percent for children ages 11–14 and 11 percent for children 15–17 were attributed to the program, and these age groups are at the greatest risk of dropping out in Zambia, according to the report. By contrast, four years into the program, the child grants had no enrollment or attendance impacts for children in three groups: ages 4–7, 8–10 and 15–17.

“Another lesson is that the unconditional nature of the grants gave participants the flexibility to use the money to combat principal life challenges,” said UNICEF Zambia Representative Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim. “For example, the CGP significantly affected many indicators commonly associated with resiliency—the ability to manage and withstand shocks. Households with transfers significantly improved housing quality and tools, livestock procurement, and opportunities to diversify income-generating activities so they could better withstand emergencies.”

“The overall results demonstrate unequivocally that common perceptions about cash transfers—that they are handouts and cause dependency, or lead to alcohol and tobacco consumption, or increases in pregnancy—are not true in Zambia,” Seidenfeld said. “Quite the contrary. Due to the unconditional nature of the grants, households had the flexibility needed to meet their most pressing challenges head on.”

The final reports on the Child Grant cash transfer program (http://bit.ly/25KDdJk) and the Multiple Category Transfer Grant program (http://bit.ly/1Udb21M) can be found on AIR’s website. The site also features a video (http://bit.ly/1TXR5Oe) of David Seidenfeld discussing lessons learned from the multiyear studies.

Source: APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of American Institutes for Research (AIR).

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OECD Development Co-operation Report 2015

Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the question of how to finance, implement and monitor these goals moves to the centre of the debate. Today, international development co-operation takes place in an increasingly complex environment, with an ever growing number of actors, policies and instruments involved. This complexity raises the stakes for achieving the goals, but also opens up new opportunities. Although governments will remain the key actors in the implementation of the new post-2015 goals, the role of non-state actors such as civil society, foundations and business is growing. Their association through effective partnerships will be key to the implementation of the post-2015 agenda. The Development Co-operation Report 2015 explores the potential of networks and partnerships to create incentives for responsible action, as well as innovative, fit-for-purpose ways of co-ordinating the activities of diverse stakeholders. The report – Making Partnerships Effective […]

Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the question of how to finance, implement and monitor these goals moves to the centre of the debate. Today, international development co-operation takes place in an increasingly complex environment, with an ever growing number of actors, policies and instruments involved. This complexity raises the stakes for achieving the goals, but also opens up new opportunities. Although governments will remain the key actors in the implementation of the new post-2015 goals, the role of non-state actors such as civil society, foundations and business is growing. Their association through effective partnerships will be key to the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.

The Development Co-operation Report 2015 explores the potential of networks and partnerships to create incentives for responsible action, as well as innovative, fit-for-purpose ways of co-ordinating the activities of diverse stakeholders. The report – Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action – looks at a number of existing partnerships working in diverse sectors, countries and regions to draw lessons and provide practical guidance, proposing ten success factors for post-2015 partnerships. A number of leading policy makers and politicians share their insights and views.

Summary [German version]

The development efforts made by the international community over the past 60 years have had measurable impact on reducing poverty, improving human health and tackling other pressing challenges. Yet fragmented initiatives, conflicting priorities and uncoordinated approaches continue to hold back progress.

At the same time, in our increasingly interconnected and globalised world, national boundaries are blurring; the notion of state sovereignty that underpinned traditional forms of international co‑operation is increasingly challenged.

The need for co‑ordinated action is more urgent than ever. The United Nations has led the formulation of 17 ambitious, universal and far‑reaching Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. Improved and expanded international co‑operation, within a system of global governance underpinned by appropriate mechanisms of mutual accountability, will be essential to achieve these goals.

Partnerships are powerful drivers of development

While most agree that partnerships are crucial for driving collective action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the term “partnerships” encompasses diverse approaches, structures and purposes, making it difficult – if not impossible – to generalise about them.

At the same time, while universal in nature and applicable to all countries, the Sustainable Development Goals are founded on the respect for diversity – of contexts, needs, capabilities, policies and priorities, among others. To be effective, it is essential that partnerships addressing these global goals be driven by the priorities of the individual countries.

Within this context, three guiding principles can help to realise the full potential of partnerships post‑2015:

1 ‑ Accountable action . Accountability means being responsible for one’s action or inaction and, in the latter case, accepting potential sanctions for lack of compliance with commitments. Although accountability provided by governments will remain at the core of post‑2015 action, today’s development partnerships bring together a range of stakeholders: national governments, parliaments, civil society, philanthropies, multilateral organisations, businesses and many others – not least among them the communities affected by development initiatives. While drawing on common development effectiveness principles, many of today’s accountability frameworks are founded on the recognition that different stakeholders may approach a common development agenda in different ways. This recognition builds trust andmutual respect, two characteristics that are at the core of accountability. So how do we manage accountability within the increasing complexity of international co‑operation? New ways of holding each other to account are needed, in combination with measurable commitments and standards that are continually reviewed and updated to keep them relevant and responsive, and to maintain shared commitment and political momentum. It is also fundamental to ensure that all partners are represented within governance mechanisms and that all voices are heard.

2 ‑ Co‑ordinated and effective action . With the growing diversity of partners involved in development co‑operation, it is more important than ever to avoid duplication of effort and fragmentation – problems that have long challenged the effectiveness of development co‑operation. While effective action post‑2015 can be greatly facilitated by focusing partnerships on specific issues or sectors – such as health, education and sustainable energy – this does not mean that more and bigger partnerships are the best solution; experience demonstrates that this can actually hinder rather than promote progress. Streamlined partnerships – integrating existing actors and structures – reduce fragmented or overlapping action and ease the reporting and administrative burden on developing countries, thereby improving both delivery and impact. Partnerships – including between the public and private sectors – can also help take solutions to scale, expanding the reach of development solutions to large numbers of beneficiaries in ways that individual governments, businesses or philanthropies are usually not capable of doing on their own. Finally – but by no means least important – strong, committed leadership gives partnerships the momentum they need to tackle complex development challenges, stay on course and mobilise the human and financial resources required to get the job done.

3 ‑ Experience‑based action . The reform of global development co‑operation to meet today’s development challenges calls for changes in behaviour and mind‑sets. Dialogue and learning from experience are essential to produce these changes. The 11 case stories included in this report represent diverse partnership experiences and approaches, yet there is at least one thing all of them share: an emphasis on the importance of learning from experience, knowledge sharing and the distillation of lessons and good practice. South‑South co‑operation is an important vehicle for knowledge sharing, enabling countries to apply lessons taken directly from the experience of others to inform their own policies and programmes. Accountability mechanisms contribute to learning from experience, enhancing the quality of development co‑operation to improve its impact and relevance. These mechanisms range from peer reviews that focus on how development co‑operation is framed, managed and delivered, to monitoring, reporting and evaluation cycles that are used to support continuing adaptation.

Post‑2015 partnerships will bring new and evolving roles

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require strong involvement by many actors, including:

the private sector, for job creation, technology development and investment
civil society for holding development co‑operation partners to account, pushing for action on national and global commitments and scrutiny to ensure productive and accountable investment of public resources.

This implies a changing role for governments, which have traditionally been seen as the main providers of finance for development.

A policy framework for post‑2015 partnerships

The Development Co‑operation Report 2015 explores the role of partnerships in providing the necessary balance of sovereignty and subsidiarity, of inclusiveness and differentiation, of coherence and specialisation for delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. Drawing lessons from experience, it proposes ten success factors that provide an implementation and monitoring framework for making partnerships effective coalitions for action:

1. Secure high‑level leadership.
2. Ensure partnerships are country‑led and context‑specific.
3. Avoid duplication of effort and fragmentation.
4. Make governance inclusive and transparent.
5. Apply the right type of partnership model for the challenge.
6. Agree on principles, targets, implementation plans and enforcement mechanisms.
7. Clarify roles and responsibilities.
8. Maintain a clear focus on results.
9. Measure and monitor progress towards goals and targets.
10. Mobilise the required financial resources and use them effectively.

Get the Report at
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/development/development-co-operation-report-2015_dcr-2015-en

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Amina J. Mohammed: “It is time for a sustainable development agenda”

The UN Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning explains why the sustainable development agenda is inclusive, timely and imperative.

“This is an agenda about investing, it’s not charity. It’s in everyone’s interest.” Amina J. Mohammed
“We are better investing now, because we won’t be able to afford t later.” Amina J. Mohammed

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Global Daily – Free service for global citizens to find the latest news on #globalgoals and sustainable development

Global Daily – Your world. Your issues. Your news.

Global Daily brings you the most important news and resources about the Sustainable Development Goals from around the world.

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The Sustainable Development Goals: a set of global targets that will be used to shape international development over the next 15 years.

Global Daily is the online news aggregator that curates and features sourced original content from around the web. Powered by United Nations Foundation.

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From Politics to Implementation: Bonn Conference for Global Transformation 2015

2015 sees the start of a new development and sustainability agenda. The United Nations post-2015 agenda sets new global goals that apply to all states equally, be they rich or poor, developing or industrialised, in the South or in the North. It is designed to firmly anchor the idea of sustainability in people’s minds.

This will require radical structural and institutional transformation, but most of all a change in our convictions, values and interests. Yet transformations do not follow a blueprint, which is what makes them so difficult to manage.

For this reason, the Bonn Conference for Global Transformation 2015, entitled ‘From Politics to Implementation’, will provide an opportunity for experienced decision-makers from all over the world to discuss strategies and solutions and to form new networks and alliances. Individuals from the fields of business, research and academia, civil society and policy-making are invited to share their experiences with one another and join forces to tackle the great challenges of our time.

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Development aid stable in 2014 but flows to poorest countries still falling

Paris 08/04/2015 (OECD) Development aid flows were stable in 2014, after hitting an all-time high in 2013, but aid to the poorest countries continued to fall, according to official data collected by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Net official development assistance (ODA) from DAC members totalled USD 135.2 billion, level with a record USD 135.1 billion in 2013, though marking a 0.5% decline in real terms. Net ODA as a share of gross national income was 0.29%, also on a par with 2013. ODA has increased by 66% in real terms since 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals were agreed.

Bilateral aid to the least-developed countries fell by 16% in real terms to USD 25 billion, according to provisional data. Much of this drop is explained by exceptionally high debt relief for Myanmar in 2013, but even excluding debt relief ODA to the poorest countries fell by 8%. Bilateral aid is channelled directly by donors to partner countries and equates to roughly two-thirds of total ODA.

“I am encouraged to see that development aid remains at a historic high at a time when donor countries are still emerging from the toughest economic crisis of our lifetime,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Our challenge as we finalise post-2015 development goals this year will be to find ways to get more of this aid to the countries that need it most and to ensure we are getting as much as we can out of every dollar spent.”

A survey of aid donor countries’ spending plans through 2018 points to a dip in country-programmable aid – aid that is planned in advance for country programmes – in 2014 but with programmed increases starting in 2015.

The survey indicates that country-level aid to the poorest countries should recover over the next few years after several years of declines, in line with a pledge by DAC members in December 2014 to reverse the fall in aid to countries most in need.

“ODA remains crucial for the poorest countries and we must reverse the trend of declining aid to the least-developed countries. OECD ministers recently committed to provide more development assistance to the countries most in need. Now we must make sure we deliver on that commitment,” said DAC Chair Erik Solheim.

Five of the DAC’s 28 member countries – Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the UK – continued to exceed the United Nations target of keeping ODA at 0.7% of GNI.

Thirteen countries reported a rise in net ODA, with the biggest increases in Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Fifteen DAC members reported lower ODA, with the biggest declines in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

Looking in addition at several non-DAC members who also reported their aid flows to the OECD body, the United Arab Emirates posted the highest ODA/GNI ratio in 2014 at 1.17%.

ODA makes up more than two thirds of external finance for least-developed countries. The OECD will call at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July for more of this money to be used as a lever to generate private investment and domestic tax revenues in poor countries. OECD work on combatting tax avoidance and illicit financial flows out of least-developed countries also aims to reduce dependence on aid.

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MDG Momentum: UN launches 500 days of action to build a better world

18 August 2014 – With Malala Yousafzai by his side, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today marked 500 days of action until the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals, known worldwide as the “MDGs.” With the 2015 deadline for achieving the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) less that 500 days away, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the final push towards the United Nations targets – many of which have been met or are within reach – and urged a strong, ambitious successor blueprint “that will leave no one behind.”

“Action now will save lives, build a solid foundation for sustainable development far beyond 2015 and help lay the groundwork for lasting peace and human dignity,” the Secretary-General said at a special event at the UN Headquarters in New York.

He was joined by more than 500 young people, including Ms. Yousafzai, who became an education advocate after being attacked by the Taliban on a school bus.

“The ideas and inspiration of young people have been especially critical in this effort and their role must grow even more,” Mr. Ban said, underscoring the progress made in development and the importance of youth involvement in national plans to accomplish even more.

As part of today’s events, “MDG supporters” are expected to speak out about the need to accelerate progress towards reaching the targets. The UN has said that it expects 500 minutes of MDG support today to mark the 500 days left to achieve the targets.

The eight MDGs, agreed by world leaders at UN summit in 2000, are described as a 15-year roadmap to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health and women’s empowerment.

“Against the predictions of cynics, the MDGs have helped unite, inspire and transform,” Mr. Ban noted. He highlighted that poverty has been cut in half, more girls attend school, and fewer people are dying from malaria, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases.

Inequality remains a challenge, however, as does childbirth, maternal mortality, universal education, and environmental sustainability, according to a report Mr. Ban presented to Member States in July.

“Now is the time for MDG Momentum,” the UN chief stressed, noting that the international community now has many more tools at its disposal than when the targets were created, ranging from the expanding reach of technology to the growing understanding of what works and what does not.

Mr. Ban details four areas where governments can help fuel progress, including in backing social programmes despite budget cuts, and deepening cooperation with civil society, the private sector and other networks.

Strategic investments in health, education, energy and sanitation are also key, Mr. Ban said. He particularly noted investment in areas that empower women and girls.

He also emphasized focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable countries, communities and social groups that have the toughest road to progress despite their best efforts.

Weblinks

https://twitter.com/hashtag/MDGmomentum?src=hash

http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/mdgmomentum.shtml
http://www.sid-hamburg.de/node/359

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European Year for Development 2015 “Our world, our dignity, our future” #EYD2015

EYD2015 logo

The motto of the European Year for Development 2015 will be “Our world, our dignity, our future”.

The European Year for Development 2015 will take place in a crucial year for the future of development cooperation. We will reach the deadline for the MDGs, and will be able to assess the final efforts to reach the goals and targets set out therein. The international community will gather in New York in September 2015 for a momentous General Assembly. The 2015 United Nations General Assembly will be the culmination of negotiations on the SDGs and the post-2015 development framework.

Since 1983 the EU dedicates a thematic year to one topic. The EYD2015 was initially proposed by the European Parliament last year and received overwhelming support. The Council adoption was the last step in the EU decision-making procedure. On 2 April, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal for 2015 to be the European Year for Development. On that occasion, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs stated that the European Year will provide “an unparalleled opportunity for us to engage with EU citizens, to showcase our strong commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inform them how every euro of support helps to make a difference in the lives of so many, in some of the world’s poorest countries.” On 14 April 2014, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council gave the green light to designate 2015 as the European Year for Development.

What is the European Year for Development about?

As the world’s largest contributor of development assistance (as measured by ODA), the selection of development as the subject for the European Year in 2015 is hopefully a reaffirmation of the importance that development issues and the support for low- and middle-income countries has for EU external relations – and how the EU sees its role in the world. EU citizens should be informed on the role of EU as a global player. The EYD2015 is an excellent opportunity to spread that message. The EYD2015 will be an opportunity to exchange communication on development at a European level and take into account the varying communication needs in the individual Member States.

What exactly will change?

  • Improved information of EU citizens on EU development cooperation and in particular on the results the EU can achieve as the biggest aid donor in the world.
  • Increase of interest of EU citizens in development cooperation, awareness and demonstration of responsibilities and opportunities to participate in policy formulation and implementation.
  • Explanation of the role of EU development cooperation, which brings a wide range of benefits not only to recipients but also to EU citizens, in a changing and increasingly inter-dependent world.

The EYD2015 will be a great opportunity to:

  • Learn more about how the EU, together with its Member States, makes a crucial contribution to eradicating poverty and making the world a better, safer and more prosperous place
  • Get involved and participate in the discussions on the future of our world, in particular in view of the United Nations negotiations on new, universal development goals for after 2015
  • Gain awareness of how EU development cooperation benefits both people living in some of the world’s poorest countries and EU citizens themselves
  • Understand how other policies – such as trade, environment and security, for example – have an impact on developing countries that we must take into account (i.e.Policy Coherence for Development)
  • Support the EU commitment to achieve the 0,7% of Gross National Income for development funding
  • Develop a sense of joint responsibility, solidarity and opportunity in an increasingly interdependent world: it’s our world, our dignity, our future!

This European Year promises to be a major event and will need the broadest support possible to match its ambition and its huge geographical reach. I know that I can continue to rely on the support and help of the European Parliament, which together with the Economic and Social Committee, has been instrumental in the concept of the European Year for Development since the very beginning. I look forward to working closely with our partners, as well as Member States and citizens all over Europe, on what should be a very exciting, and ground breaking, year for international development.

Good timing: 2015 is the expiry date for the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs) and to propose their replacements. The European Year plays a special role in communicating within the EU to citizens about a specific theme and it usually allows for joint and national level events, organised by EU institutions, member states governments or civil society organisations. A special budget is assigned for the European Year.

The role of civil society organisations

EYD2015 is planned to gather all existing experiences, best practices by CSOs and showcase them at European level. The idea for EYD2015 was promoted by CONCORD and other civil society organisations (CSOs), with support from the European Economic and Social Committee, gaining official approval from the EU institutions in April 2014. CSOs play important role being a partner for EU Commission in the planning of the year and in the implementation process at European level. CSOs are expected to be the main partners for Governments for activities at national level.

Marius Wanders, a board member at CONCORD — the European NGO confederation that first advocated for the EYD2015 initiative — believes the year represents an opportunity for open public debate with citizens, but cautions that it “should not be only about aid — what Europe gives — but also about the consumption choices that we make as citizens that affect global development.”

How can citizens get involved?

  • Join the European Year for Development group on Capacity4Dev http://capacity4dev.ec.europa.eu/eyd2015/ to share your ideas and get the latest news
  • Use #EYD2015 on social media such as Twitter and take part in the conversation
  • Plan and visit events in Brussels and the Member States.

More information

  • Together with its many partners, EuropeAid will be carrying out and supporting various activities and events throughout the EYD2015. A website gathering all this information will be launched towards the end of 2014. Meanwhile http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/news/2013-07-16-eyd2015_en.htm is the official Webpage.
  • Staff Working document – European Year for Development 2015
  • Citizens’ summary
  • Briefing for CONCORD members and partners, July 2014
  • Decision No 472/2014/EU on the European Year for Development 2015
  • EU Aid Explorer
  • EU External Actions Reporter
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    Human Development Report 2014 on vulnerability and resilience warns: 2.2 billion people are poor or near-poor

    Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core premise of the 2014 Human Development Report. Entitled Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, the Report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience. The 2014 Human Development Report comes at a critical time, as attention turns to the creation of a new development agenda following the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, according to the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index, almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into […]

    Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core premise of the 2014 Human Development Report. Entitled Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, the Report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

    The 2014 Human Development Report comes at a critical time, as attention turns to the creation of a new development agenda following the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

    According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, according to the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index, almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks occur. Many people face either structural or life-cycle vulnerabilities.

    “By addressing vulnerabilities, all people may share in development progress, and human development will become increasingly equitable and sustainable,” stated UNDP Administrator Helen Clark when launching th HDR in Tokyo on 24. July 2014.

    Zeroing in on what holds back progress

    The Report holds that as crises spread ever faster and further, it is critical to understand vulnerability in order to secure gains and sustain progress.

    It points to a slowdown in human development growth across all regions, as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). It notes that threats such as financial crises, fluctuations in food prices, natural disasters and violent conflict significantly impede progress.

    “Reducing both poverty and people’s vulnerability to falling into poverty must be a central objective of the post-2015 agenda,” the Report states. “Eliminating extreme poverty is not just about ‘getting to zero’; it is also about staying there.”

    A human development lens on who is vulnerable and why

    “Reducing vulnerability is a key ingredient in any agenda for improving human development,” writes Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in a contribution to the Report. “[We] need to approach it from a broad systemic perspective.”

    The 2014 Report takes such an approach, using a human development lens to take a fresh look at vulnerability as an overlapping and mutually reinforcing set of risks.

    It explores structural vulnerabilities – those that have persisted and compounded over time as a result of discrimination and institutional failings, hurting groups such as the poor, women, migrants, people living with disabilities, indigenous groups and older people. For instance, 80 percent of the world’s elderly lack social protection, with large numbers of older people also poor and disabled.

    The Report also introduces the idea of life cycle vulnerabilities, the sensitive points in life where shocks can have greater impact. They include the first 1,000 days of life, and the transitions from school to work, and from work to retirement.

    “Capabilities accumulate over an individual’s lifetime and have to be nurtured and maintained; otherwise they can stagnate and even decline,” it warns. “Life capabilities are affected by investments made in preceding stages of life, and there can be long-term consequences of exposure to short-term shocks.”

    For example, in one study cited by the Report, poor children in Ecuador were shown to be already at a vocabulary disadvantage by the age of six.

    Timely interventions—such as investments in early childhood development—are therefore critical, the Report states.

    Poor countries can afford universal provision of basic social services

    The Report advocates for the universal provision of basic social services to enhance resilience, refuting the notion that only wealthy countries can afford to do this. It presents a comparative analysis of countries of differing income levels and systems of government that have either started to implement or have fully implemented such policies.

    Those countries include not only the usual suspects such as Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but also fast-growing economies such as Republic of Korea and developing countries such as Costa Rica.
    “These countries started putting in place measures of social insurance when their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was lower than India’s and Pakistan’s now,” the Report observes.

    However, “there may be instances in which equal opportunities require unequal treatment,” notes Khalid Malik, Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office. “Greater resources and services may need to be provided to the poor, the excluded and the marginalized to enhance everyone’s capabilities and life choices.”

    Putting full employment back atop the global policy agenda

    The Report calls for governments to recommit to the objective of full employment, a mainstay of macroeconomic policies of the 1950s and 1960s that was overtaken by competing policy goals following the oil shocks of the 1970s.

    It argues that full employment yields social dividends that surpass private benefits, such as fostering social stability and cohesion.

    Acknowledging the challenges that developing countries face with respect to full employment, it urges a focus on structural transformation “so that modern formal employment gradually incorporates most of the workforce,” including a transition from agriculture into industry and services, with supporting investments in infrastructure and education.

    Social protection is feasible at early stages of development

    The majority of the world’s population lacks comprehensive social protections such as pensions and unemployment insurance. The Report argues that such measures are achievable by countries at all stages of development.

    “Providing basic social security benefits to the world’s poor would cost less than 2 percent of global GDP,” it asserts. It cites estimates of the cost of providing a basic social protection floor—including universal basic old age and disability pensions, basic childcare benefits, universal access to essential health care, social assistance and a 100-day employment scheme—for 12 low-income African and Asian countries, ranging from about 10 percent of GDP in Burkina Faso to less than 4 percent of GDP in India.

    “A basic social protection package is affordable so long as low-income countries reallocate funds and raise domestic resources, coupled with support by the international donor community,” it states.

    Collective effort, coordinated action needed at global level

    The Report also calls for stronger collective action, as well as better global coordination and commitment to shoring up resilience, in response to vulnerabilities that are increasingly global in origin and impact.

    Threats ranging from financial crises to climate change to conflicts are trans-national in nature, but the effects are experienced locally and nationally and often overlap. Take the case of Niger, which has faced severe food and nutrition crises brought on by a series of droughts. At the same time, Niger had to cope with an influx of refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring Mali.
    Trans-national threats cannot be resolved by individual nations acting independently; they require a new focus from the international community that goes beyond short-term responses like humanitarian assistance, the Report argues.

    To increase support for national programmes and open up policy space for nations to adapt universalism to specific country conditions, the Report calls for “an international consensus on universal social protection” to be included in the post-2015 agenda.

    About this Report

    The 2014 Human Development Report – Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

    The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2014 Human Development Report, plus additional reference materials on its indices and specific regional implications, please visit: http://hdr.undp.org

    Download the Report http://hdr.undp.org/2014-report/download