Publications Archive

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Trade finance and SMEs – Bridging the gaps in provision

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has released a new study focusing on SMEs’ lack of access to trade finance, providing a list of recommendations to address the gap.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has issued a call for action to help close the gaps in the availability of trade finance that affect the trade prospects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in Africa and Asia. In a new WTO publication, “Trade Finance and SMEs: bridging the gaps in provision”, which examines the problem and looks into possible solutions, DG Azevêdo says that easing the supply of credit could have a big impact in helping small businesses grow and in supporting the development of the poorest countries.

WOT Report May 2016

The WTO’s strategy focuses on three fronts: firstly, encouraging global financial institutions to stay engaged, ensuring that regulations are not prohibitive; then, enhancing local financial institutions’ capacity to supply trade finance to SMEs; finally, supporting multilateral development banks’ programmes increasing the availability of trade finance.

A six-point recommendation list tackles additional issues, from enhancing existing multilateral banks’ trade finance facilitation programmes, to closing the trade finance knowledge gap, strengthening training programmes, as well as maintaining a closer dialogue with regulators and improving monitoring of trade finance provisions. The report also suggests that setting specific targets could help in mobilising and co-ordinating efforts to improve SMEs’ access to trade finance. Source: smefinanceforum.org

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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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Dos and Don’ts of Development Photography #DevPix

Twitter chat hosted by ODI What kind of photo provokes people to donate money to aid agencies – and how do agencies ensure that images preserve their subjects’ dignity? What kinds of constraints influence the photos we choose? And has social media created new opportunities for self-representation, or just reinforced the use of outdated visual clichés? Join photographers, donors, researchers, critics and NGO sector communications professionals to discuss these issues, highlight great (and not so great) examples of development photography, and share best practice. View a Twitter list of the participants. Follow #DevPix on Twitter for live coverage #DevPix Tweets

Twitter chat hosted by ODI

What kind of photo provokes people to donate money to aid agencies – and how do agencies ensure that images preserve their subjects’ dignity? What kinds of constraints influence the photos we choose? And has social media created new opportunities for self-representation, or just reinforced the use of outdated visual clichés?

Join photographers, donors, researchers, critics and NGO sector communications professionals to discuss these issues, highlight great (and not so great) examples of development photography, and share best practice.

View a Twitter list of the participants.

Follow #DevPix on Twitter for live coverage


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Volunteers vital to success of new global development agenda, UN report says

New York (UN) – Volunteers are playing a vital role in making governments worldwide more accountable and responsive to their citizens, but their potential is seriously under-valued, a new report from the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme says.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 is the first global review of evidence around the contribution of volunteers to better governance, a pre-requisite for the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed at the United Nations in September.

Drawing on evidence from countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh, the UN report shows how ordinary people are volunteering their time, energies and skills to improve the way they are governed and engaged at local, national and global levels. Volunteers are working with governments and civil society to hold those in power to account, to influence policies and laws and to represent the voices of those who are often left out of development decisions such as women, youth and marginalised groups. The end result, the report says, is more inclusive- and ultimately more effective – development.

“By creating environments for people to volunteer their time, it is possible to use their skills and knowledge for the common good in the sphere of governance.” said Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of UNV. “Change will occur with greater civic engagement broadening the number of people who have voice, who can participate and who can hold governance actors to account.”

More than 1 billion people volunteer globally, the majority of them working in their own countries. Many are in the forefront of efforts to improve the way they and their fellow citizens are governed and engaged. Examples featured in the report include:

  • Brazil’s Social Observatories – citizens’ groups monitoring city contracts for corruption who have saved millions of dollars in public funds;
  • Regional campaigns in the Arab world to challenge laws preventing women married to foreign nationals from passing on their nationality to their children;
  • The global movement to secure an agreement to regulate conditions for garment workers following the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 says there is widespread agreement that future development efforts will have to include radically different approaches in order to better engage people in their own, their communities’ and their countries’ development.

While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by governments in 2000, successfully galvanised people around clearly articulated targets, they have fallen short of their ambition in some issues and in some countries because countries’ development efforts have not sufficiently reflected the needs of all citizens, the report says.

The new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, to be agreed at the United Nations in September, will only succeed if they include the voices of all people, and look into ways to engage communities more effectively, including through the power of volunteers and volunteering.

Speaking at the launch of the report in New York, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said: “The potential of volunteers to help create truly people-centred development is enormous, but, as yet, far from fully tapped. Achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals will be helped by the participation of all sections of society. Volunteers have a critical role to play in representing the voices of those who are often excluded from development decisions, including women and other groups who may be marginalised”.

The report finds that countries that provide a supportive “enabling environment” for volunteers tend to reap the rewards of their inclusion in decision-making. It praises some governments such as Peru, Mozambique and Norway who have passed laws and set up frameworks to formalise the contribution of volunteers. But it says too many other governments are failing to acknowledge – and leverage – the immense potential of volunteers to help them chart a more successful development path. It calls on all governments to “go beyond the rhetoric of participation” and take concrete steps to help the world’s volunteers actively contribute to the decisions that affect people’s lives.

Recommended steps include:

  • Engaging more volunteers in the process of crafting policies and putting them into action
  • Integrating volunteers formally into national development frameworks and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) strategies
  • Engaging more volunteer women, youth and marginalised groups in local and national decision making

The aim of the 2015 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, UNV says, is to spark a global conversation about the role of volunteers in the area of governance that is so critical to future development success.

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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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Sustainable Development Solutions | Daily Webzine from weitzenegger.de


Sustainable Development Solutions is a daily Webzine produced by Karsten Weitzenegger Consulting and many partners. This free knowledge services at http://paper.li/kweitzenegger/development-cooperation aims to comnnect experts and policy makers in developing the Future We Want for All. The content curation service is supported by Paper.li from Lausanne, Switzerland.

Karsten Weitzenegger Consulting supports the preparation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address the challenges of economic development, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and good governance. These goals will build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and finish the job of ending extreme poverty in all its forms.

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Latin American Economic Outlook 2014 calls for better education and skills

Better education and skills are key to shift the economy up a gear, says latest Latin American Economic Outlook Veracruz, Mexico, 9 December 2014 – Latin America’s GDP growth rate has slowed down in 2014, dropping below 1.5%. This is the first time in a decade that the region grows less than the OECD average, according to the OECD Development Centre, the Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) and the development bank for Latin America (CAF). Given the projections in the past weeks, any recovery in 2015 is likely to be challenging. In their jointly produced Latin American Economic Outlook 2015, the three organisations call for action to address this slowdown, focusing on the role of education and skills, and noting that despite some recent progress, more needs to be done to raise educational standards and address persistent and substantial socioeconomic inequalities. “If we want to avoid a […]

Better education and skills are key to shift the economy up a gear, says latest Latin American Economic Outlook

Veracruz, Mexico, 9 December 2014 – Latin America’s GDP growth rate has slowed down in 2014, dropping below 1.5%. This is the first time in a decade that the region grows less than the OECD average, according to the OECD Development Centre, the Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) and the development bank for Latin America (CAF). Given the projections in the past weeks, any recovery in 2015 is likely to be challenging.

In their jointly produced Latin American Economic Outlook 2015, the three organisations call for action to address this slowdown, focusing on the role of education and skills, and noting that despite some recent progress, more needs to be done to raise educational standards and address persistent and substantial socioeconomic inequalities.

“If we want to avoid a decade of low growth in Latin America, we must improve education standards, enhance skills in the workforce and boost innovation. Policymakers need to undertake ambitious efforts to unleash higher and more equitable growth”, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said while launching the Outlook at the Ibero-American Summit in Veracruz on 9 December.

Structural change – such as the diversification of the economy towards knowledge-intensive sectors – is needed to supply the increasing demand for skilled workers. As noted by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, “without the transformation of the production structure there will be a link missing in the chain that connects education, productivity and innovation.”

Such a link has important implications for income distribution. Diversification implies the creation of quality, better-paid jobs, which in turn entails less informality and underemployment – and hence less inequality. Policies for learning and diversification should be at the top of the agenda in the coming years in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In the absence of an exceptionally favourable external environment, the region needs to deepen regional integration and address the structural challenges of development, to support its growth potential, primarily in the areas of innovation and production patterns, and education and technical capacities that these require”, said Enrique García, CAF President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Outlook notes that, on average, the gap in education performance for a student in secondary school in Latin America relative to an OECD student is still quite high: the equivalent of 2.4 additional years of schooling. Furthermore, socioeconomic inequalities strongly influence both access and education outcomes in the region. Only 56% of students in the poorest quarter of the population attend secondary school, versus 87% of students in the wealthiest quarter.

Limitations in the quality of education are also reflected in the skill shortages and mismatches in the labour market, severely impacting the competitiveness of Latin American companies. The region’s businesses face greater challenges in finding appropriately skilled employees than any other region in the world. The Outlook shows that the probability of a Latin American firm facing obstacles in finding staff with the adequate capabilities is three times higher than a similar firm in South Asia and 13 times higher than a firm in Pacific Asia. The issue is particularly prevalent in key sectors such as the automotive industry and machinery.

To tackle these acute skills shortages, targeted policies are needed in pre-primary, secondary, technical and professional education. Policymakers need to provide more and smarter investment in pre-primary education, where important soft-skills development takes place, such as socialisation and learning perseverance, which are of critical importance in the labour market. Policies are also needed to ensure that resources are redistributed to reduce socio-economic inequalities. Classroom practices need adaption to ensure better performance, including tutoring, managing teacher expectations and student motivation. Increasing the quality of teaching also relies on monitoring and evaluation, and better incentives.

Finally, government and the private sector should work together to better connect technical and vocational training with the demand for skills in a changing world economy.

The Latin American Economic Outlook

Published for the eighth consecutive year, the Latin American Economic Outlook 2015 features a macro-economic analysis of trends in the region and a focus education, skills and innovation for development. The content of the report will be available online on 9 December 2014 on www.latameconomy.org.

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Economic inequality has reached extreme levels – Oxfam reports

Around the world, the gap between the rich and poor is spiralling out of control. Extreme inequality is not accidental or inevitable – it’s the result of deliberate policy choices by people in power. Together we must even it up and stop inequality from undermining our fight against poverty. Join Oxfam’s campaign now to close the gap between the rich and the rest. Copyright: Oxfam From Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity. Extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth. It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while […]

Around the world, the gap between the rich and poor is spiralling out of control. Extreme inequality is not accidental or inevitable – it’s the result of deliberate policy choices by people in power. Together we must even it up and stop inequality from undermining our fight against poverty. Join Oxfam’s campaign now to close the gap between the rich and the rest.


Copyright: Oxfam

From Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth.

It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while others enjoy year after year of privilege. It fuels crime and even violent conflict. These corrosive consequences affect us all, but the impact is worst for the poorest people.

In Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication.

If India stopped inequality from rising, 90 million more men and women could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019.

This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it. Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it.

The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest and are already demanding a world that is fairer. This report supports a new campaign to join this growing movement to end extreme inequality and Even it up.

“The extreme inequalities in incomes and assets we see in much of the world today harms our economies, our societies, and undermines our politics. Whilst we should all worry about this it is of course the poorest who suffer most, experiencing not just vastly unequal outcomes in their lives, but vastly unequal opportunities too. Oxfam’s report is a timely reminder that any real effort to end poverty has to confront the public policy choices that create and sustain inequality.”
Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University, winner of Nobel Prize for Economics

Downloads

Even It Up: Time to end extreme inequality PDF 2.92 MB
Even It Up: Time to end extreme inequality (summary) PDF 540.08 KB
Even It Up: Time to end extreme inequality (endorsements) PDF 96.67 KB
Equilibre o Jogo! É hora de acabar com a desigualdade extrema (sumário executivo em português) PDF 576.99 KB

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Why Evaluations Fail: The Importance of Good Monitoring

Evaluation reports frequently blame poor monitoring data for preventing a full assessment of programme outcomes. Meanwhile, programme staff often complain that evaluations come too late, too infrequently, and don’t contain much useful information. This illustrates a common problem: the disconnect between monitoring and evaluation reduces the effectiveness of both.

A new paper from the DCED addresses this challenge and explores the synergies between M and E, using the example of the DCED Standard, a widely used results measurement framework. Why should evaluators be interested in monitoring? How can monitoring systems support evaluations, and vice versa? Who is responsible for what, and what are the expectations of each?

Download: Why_Evaluations_Fail_Aug2014.pdf (PDF, 650 kB)
Source: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development

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Perspectives on Global Development 2014: OECD sees productivity as key

Boosting productivity key for developing economies to close income gap with advanced countries, says OECD Development Centre

Income levels in most developing and emerging countries will not catch up with advanced economies for many decades without efforts to boost productivity, according to a new report by the OECD Development Centre.

Developing economies continue to grow faster than more advanced countries. Non-OECD countries’ share in world GDP surpassed that of OECD countries in 2010. Since its first edition in 2010, the annual Perspectives on Global Development has investigated the trends in “shifting wealth”, the increasing economic weight of developing countries in the world economy. “Shifting wealth” has received a boost through the rise of China, which has also led to positive spillover effects on developing economies that supply China’s demand for resource-based products and intermediates. However, even at their higher rates of growth since 2000, the per capita incomes in developing countries – including many middle-income countries – will not reach the levels of developed countries by 2050. Boosting productivity growth in middle-income countries could stem this trend and is the focus of this report. At the same time, this growth needs to be inclusive so that a real convergence in living standards can take place.

Perspectives on Global Development 2014 shows that while China, Kazakhstan and Panama are on track to reach OECD levels of average income by 2050, a number of middle-income countries – including Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico and South Africa – will take much longer at current growth rates.

Labour productivity in most developing and emerging countries is well below half the level of OECD countries, the report shows. Diversification into higher value-added areas in agriculture, manufacturing and services along with economic reforms and a greater focus on innovation could help remedy this.

“Many of the upper middle-income countries we expected would be catching up with advanced economies by the middle of the century will not do so at today’s growth rates,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, launching the report at the Organisation’s 6th Global Forum on Development. “Boosting productivity would help enhance growth and narrow the gap in living standards relative to the advanced economies more quickly.”

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Source: OECD.