Development Archive


Large-scale land deals are not a ‘bubble’ | New online interface Land Matrix

Today a new report and website provide important insight into the complex, global phenomenon of large-scale acquisition of land. They confirm this is a lasting trend and not a mere “bubble”.

While the rush for land may have peaked in 2009, it continues. Analysis of international land investments for agriculture through over one thousand deals since 2000 suggests that they are geographically concentrated – just 11 countries, many in East Africa and Southeast Asia, account for 70% of the total land area acquired in these deals.

Close examination also reveals that almost half of land in question is already being used for crops, implying competition between investors and small-scale farmers. “Land acquisition does often take place in areas with considerable population density, not so-called ‘idle land’” Says Markus Giger from the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern.

The report “Transnational Land Deals for Agriculture in the Global South” draws on data now made accessible in a new online interface called the Land Matrix at This website will provide unprecedented access to verified data on land deals, allowing people to explore and visualize trends from the global level down to individual deals. With a couple of clicks, the Land Matrix provides the urgently needed answers to pressing questions: Who invests where and why? What are the trends?”

The aim of the Land Matrix is to promote transparency and accountability in decisions overland and investment through open data, accessible both via maps and visualizations and via download. Source: GIGA Hamburg.


Development that Works | Inter-American Development Bank

This IDB blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.


EU renewable energy targets may boost land grabbing in developing countries

The EU’s renewable energy target of 20% of its energy supply from renewable energies by 2020 will cause widespread ‘land-grabbing’ in developing countries, according to a new Action Aid report. The EU adopted the target in the ‘Renewable Energy Roadmap’ in January 2007, and has come under increasing scrutiny from civil society.


Africa Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev) | Inspiring Change

Africa Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev) | Inspiring Change.

APDEv is an African-led and owned physical and virtual multi-stakeholder platform and organizing mechanism for mobilizing African policy makers and practitioners towards achieving sustainable development results. The Platform focuses on 3 inter-related themes of Aid Effectiveness and South-South Cooperation with Capacity Development as a core driver for development effectiveness (DE) fostering “knowledge and evidence-based innovation processes” which is one of the six cornerstones of the AU-NEPAD CDSF.


Development ministers discuss future development policy, Sahel strategy

CTA – Brussels Office Weblog – Development ministers discuss future development policy, Sahel strategy.

At the informal meeting member states discussed the European Commission’s green paper outlining the future trends of European development policy. The main idea is to coordinate the European Union’s support policies with the goals of sustainable growth by putting economic growth in the service of acceptance and reducing poverty. […] Development ministers also discussed an EU strategy for the Sahel region. Sahel is one of the poorest regions in the world where abject poverty is compounded by a fast population growth, food shortage is an everyday issue and governments are transient. Society is riddled with internal conflicts, Islam radicalism poses a high risk, and security threats related to bootlegging and terrorism are extremely high. The European Union is now finalizing a comprehensive strategy to address the region’s security and development challenges. In this quest, creating stable governance, resolving internal conflicts, encouraging closer cooperation between the regions and fighting against radicalism are of equal importance. The strategy also aims to enhance the region’s security capabilities, protect the rule of law and to support economic development.


European Report on Development: Social protection is key to poverty eradication

The second European Report on Development (ERD) was launched at the European Development Days in Brussels with the message that social protection needs to be
placed at the heart of EU development policy. ‘‘A number of African countries already
have social protection programmes in place. It is increasingly on the policy agenda of
African leaders and several EU donors already support social protection based on the belief that it is both a human right and a catalyst for promoting inclusive
development and pro-poor growth,” said Giorgia Giovannetti of the European University
Institute, the lead author of the report. ‘‘This year’s edition of the ERD concludes that these piecemeal efforts are not enough. Social protection needs to become a
central and coordinated component of the development policies of African countries, the EU and its Member States, and other donors. Our analysis shows that it is
feasible, affordable, and that the time is ripe”. The ERD is an initiative sponsored by the European Commission and seven EU Member States (Finland, France, Germany,
Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden and the UK). The research is conducted primarily at the
European University Institute in Florence. The first report, published in October 2009, focused on state fragility in sub-Saharan Africa.


Time to deliver: Challenges of the new EU Commissioner for Development

In a challenge ahead, Europe has two main contributions to make: development policy thinking and development aid delivery. Development policy is a key part of the ”Europe 2020” vision presented by president Barroso. In particular, as we look ahead to a ”global Europe”, it is in times of development challenges that the EU can become a champion of global governance – challenges which include world economic recovery, climate change, migration, food security and making progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The Commission is already exploiting its expertise in development and strengthening the link between development policy, researchers, national authorities and civil society. To meet the Millennium Development Goals, the EU must implement its plans for greater coherence between policies in different sectors (”policy coherence for development”) and make aid more effective by coordinating the Commission (EuropAid) and 27 EU countries in one cogent effort to tackle poverty worldwide.

The EU is the biggest aid donor in the world, channelling some 60% of total official development assistance to Asia, Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Caribbean and Latin America ( €49bn in 2008, or €100 per European citizen). By improving aid predictability and achieving a better division of labour (the 2 main principles of efficient aid delivery), the EU could minimise the burden on recipient countries and free up resources worth €3-6bn a year (2009 aid-effectiveness study). Helping developing countries recover from the economic slowdown and beyond will be the top priority for the incoming development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. In times of economic crisis, sustaining financing for development is difficult but crucial for poor countries suffering even more than their developed counterparts. Source: European Commission,


ADB Strengthens Business Processes to Boost Quality, Responsiveness of Work

ADB has begun implementing sweeping new changes to the way it does business to improve the quality and responsiveness of its work. Starting this January, business processes are being streamlined to make them more efficient, to lower transaction costs, and to enable ADB to respond swiftly to client needs. The improvements will help ADB realize the development goals laid out under its long term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, in order to achieve its overarching vision of a region free of poverty.


WDR 2010: Development and climate protection can go together

Developing countries can shift to lower-carbon paths while promoting development and reducing poverty – if they receive financial and technical assistance from high-income countries. This is among the findings of the World Development Report (WDR) 2010, published by the World Bank. It is key, thus the report, that industrialised countries curb their carbon dioxide emissions and foster the development of alternative energy sources. ”If developed countries act now, a ‘climate-smart’ world is feasible, and the costs for getting there will be high but still manageable”, says the report, which was produced with an eye to the upcoming United Nations climate summit due mid-December in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Developing countries face 75–80 percent of the potential damage from climate change. They therefore urgently need help to prepare for the impacts – drought, fl oods and rising sea levels. They also need assistance to intensify agricultural production, combat malnutrition and disease, and build climate resilient infrastructure. The current financial crisis cannot be an excuse to put climate protection on the back burner, the report warns. Source: World Bank,


New reports assess EU policy coherence for development

The European Commission published a progress report of the Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) approach launched in 2005 as part of the European Consensus on Development. The PCD review published in late September says that its framework ”allows for a systematic exploration of the effects that EU policies other than aid might have on development and on the achievement of the MDGs. The European Commission claims that these are ”powerful mechanisms to promote PCD”. Source: CTA.