Development Policy Archive


How PIA works

Poverty Impact Assessment (PIA) helps donors and partner countries identify the intended and unintended consequences of their interventions. PIA provides a framework for improving baseline data and monitoring the impact hypothesis during implementation and inputs for ex post evaluations. It formulates recommendations for decision makers on how the intervention might be improved. Ex ante PIA is designed to harmonise approaches. It seeks to avoid both incoherent assessments created by competing methods and often-conflicting demands placed on partner governments.

PIA’s novelty is that it integrates already established approaches, their terminologies and procedures into one modular approach. The PIA consists of 5 modules. In each step the risks, monitoring needs and information quality are assessed and recommendations are made – based on evidence – on how the intervention can be improved.

Module 1: Poverty situation and relevance to national strategies and plans
Module 2: Stakeholder and institutional analysis
Module 3: Identification of transmission channels and overall results by channel
Module 4: Assessment of stakeholders’ and target groups’ capabilities
Module 5: Assessment of results on MDGs and other strategic goals

The PIA modules lead to a picture about possible poverty impacts of specific development projects or programmes. These projects can take place in all kinds of areas of development and need not specifically be directed towards the poor. PIA is a tool to then assess in how far the project does actually impact the poor. Although the tool has useful elements and forces one to think about a multitude of issues that otherwise might have slipped the mind, it is also based on very strong assumptions about linear relations between different situations. The tool asks you to predict poverty impacts based on very little information with little analytical tools. In academic terms, this tool wouldn’t be considered to be a very sound or solid tool for measuring poverty impact. Nevertheless, if it is used to force its users to think more in-depth about the project and its possible outcomes for the poor, it is certainly useful in its own right.

PIA is based on balancing qualitative and quantitative information to achieve a sound and reliable assessment. The level of detail can be determined by the needs of the organisation commissioning the PIA. This might be a quick exercise, based on already available data, or a longer, more detailed assessment, requiring greater consultation and research.

Ex ante PIA holds a number advantages over other forms of impact assessment:

  • It provides a flexible methodology, which can draw on more intensive data collection and analysis where these are available. It also provides useful guidance in their absence.
  • It is based on a simple framework and associated assessment procedures that build on existing methodologies and definitions. It is less demanding than poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) in terms of data, time, personnel and financial resources.
  • It complements rather than replaces other assessments during the appraisal process, such as log-frame analysis, cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness analysis or environmental assessments.It can be applied to projects, programmes, sector-wide interventions and policy reforms. However, it is not useful for assessing budget support or identifying the poverty impacts of very small projects.
  • It can serve as a framework for monitoring impact hypotheses during implementation and as an input for later evaluation exercises.
  • It provides a flexible level of analysis dependent on the resources available. Should more detailed analysis be required, it can be scaled up to a poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA).

Economic Partnership Agreements Negotiations: Where do we stand?

At a time when the pace of the EPA negotiations has increased in all regions, and the state of play is ever changing, accessing the latest information available on these wide-ranging agreements is of essence. Pursuing its efforts to increase the transparency of the highly sensitive EPA negotiations, ECDPM has decided to set up dedicated pages for each ACP region negotiating an EPA with the EU at and These pages will be updated on a weekly basis and aim at providing news “as-it-happens”, drawing from various reliable sources of information. French versions of these webpages are available for the regions Central Africa, West Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) as well as for the All ACP level.

Oxfam International on EPAs in 2008

According to the NGO, these agreements demand ACP countries to liberalise their EU imports as broadly and as rapidly as possible and rule out previous declarations (in most cases, liberalisation will cover more than 80% of imports more often than not over 15 years); do not offer adequate protection for developing industries or food safety because they do not contain adequate safeguard clauses; do not contain a clause for the modification of the tariff commitments; demand the reduction or elimination of export restrictions (reducing the possibilities for reserving raw materials for local processing); do not contain EU commitment to reduce or eliminate export subsidies; only contain minor improvement of rules origin, limiting cumulation to countries that have signed interim agreements; oblige ACP countries to negotiate services, investment, government procurement and other issues even though Cotonou Agreement does not contain such obligations and they remain vague on development cooperation and impact assessment. See

Which factors are necessary to the achievement of a positive relationship between
Trade and Sustainable Development?

“Trade liberalization and sustainable development are not unavoidably incompatible. Trade liberalization can advance sustainable development goals, just as it can retard their achievement. The same can be said for foreign direct investment. Appropriate investment can spur sustainable development, but much investment in developing countries has been environmentally, socially and often economically questionable.” (IISD Statement on Trade and SD) We kindly invite you to participate in the recently posted Discussion Forum. You will need to be logged-in to the Development Gateway to contribute. We advise to register there anyway.

GTZ Studies on EPAs
Four Studies on how to ensure development friendly EPAs have been published by GTZ. The main themes are TRIPS, trade in services, SPS measures, and trade liberalisation impacting on regional integration.


Human Development Report 2007/2008

The HDR provides evidence of the mechanisms through with the ecological impacts of climate change will be transmitted to the poor. Focusing on the 2.6 billion people surviving on less than US$2 a day, the authors warn forces unleashed by global warming could stall and then reverse progress built up over generations. The Report argues that climate change poses challenges at many levels. In a divided but ecologically interdependent world, it challenges all people to reflect upon how we manage the environment of the one thing that we share in common: planet Earth. It challenges us to reflect on social justice and human rights across countries and generations. It challenges political leaders and people in rich nations to acknowledge their historic responsibility for the problem, and to initiate deep and early cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Above all, it challenges the entire human community to undertake prompt and strong collective action based on shared values and a shared vision.


12th UN Conference on Trade and Development

UNCTAD XII ( will be held at ministerial level next April, 20-25, 2008 in Accra, Ghana. The conference is not only about defining UNCTAD’s programme but also about what is important for developing countries: a kind of development and trade paradigm which is later sometimes used, or abused by official institutions and donors. As developing countries have more say than at the WTO, there are some interesting positions being taken, sometimes reflected in the outcome which can be useful for NGOs. NGOs will have an official speaking slot at the conference, opportunities to lobby, to network and hold workshops. Obeserves can get accreditation at until 31 January.


Measuring Well-Being Beyond GDP

The European Commission is working on a new tool to measure the wealth and well-being of countries beyond the traditional GDP. The new tool will aim to measure ‘true’ progress, taking environmental and social indicators into consideration. The initiative was presented at a high-level conference in Brussels that aimed to clarify which indices are most appropriate to measure progress, and how these can best be integrated into the decision-making process and taken up by public debate.


Publication Review January 2008

Aid for Trade: New OECD Report
The WTO Aid for Trade Task Force argued that a global picture of aid-for-trade flows is important to assess whether additional resources are being delivered, to identify where gaps exists, to highlight where improvements should be made, and to increase transparency on pledges and disbursements. For that purpose the Task Force defined aid for trade as comprising support for trade policy and regulations, trade development, trade-related infrastructure, building productive capacity and trade-related adjustment if identified as trade-related development priorities in partner countries’ national development strategies.

WTO launches first Global Review of Aid for Trade
WTO provided an overview of what has been learned from the first year of Aid for Trade monitoring, with a focus on global flows and the result of the donor and partner self-assessments. Subsequently, roadmaps for mainstreaming trade in national development strategies were brought on the way.

Africa Development Indicators 2007
Africa Development Indicators 2007 provides the most detailed collection of data on Africa. It contains over 1,000 indicators covering 53 African countries. Findings suggest that the economic outlook for Africa is improving (World Bank, 2007)

Understanding Your Local Economy: A Resource Guide for Cities
Cities Alliance has released a new publication, “Understanding Your Local Economy: A Resource Guide for Cities” that addresses the challenges of analysing local economic conditions and a city’s comparative and competitive advantages. Funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Guide presents practical approaches to conducting citywide and regionwide economic and competitive assessments. It includes advice on how to choose local economic development (LED) indicators and tools that can assess a local economy’s competitiveness.

Growth, Poverty and Employment in Brazil, Chile and Mexico
International Poverty Centre – Working Paper # 42
We are pleased to announce the publication of IPC Working Paper #42, “Growth, Poverty and Employment in Brazil, Chile and Mexico”. The authors find that earnings trends were more powerful than employment trends in explaining changes in labour income. They also find that out of the total of eight country periods that they reviewed, only three exhibited a pro-poor pattern of change in labour income but two of these occurred during economic contractions. The authors also note that 1) poor workers would have suffered more if they had not significantly boosted their participation in labour markets in response to downturns but 2) such workers benefited less than proportionately from economic expansions compared to non-poor workers.

Pro-Poor Growth: Though a Contested Marriage, Still a Premature Divorce
The author of IPC One Pager #45, Terry McKinley, analyses why enthusiasm for the concept of ‘pro-poor growth’ has waned and been replaced recently by such alternatives as ‘inclusive growth’. He argues that the twin objectives inherent in the concept, namely, faster growth and greater equity, should have remained distinct. Pragmatically merging the two led to the conclusion that growth could no longer be considered ‘pro-poor’ or ‘anti-poor’, just ‘more’ or ‘less’ poverty-reducing. He concludes by raising concerns about whether a strong focus on greater equity has been lost in the process.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
A new book by Dr. Muhammad Yunus which advances his pioneering vision of social businesses—for-profit companies with a strictly social mission that reinvest their profits to further their mission rather than distribute dividends to shareholders.

“Microfinance Fever” by Matthew Swibel
A lot of people are chasing returns in barefoot banking. Here’s what you should know before you follow.

Good Practice Guidelines for Funders of Microfinance E-book
To help funding agency staff translate guidance into daily operations, CGAP has developed an e-book version of the Good Practice Guidelines for Funders of Microfinance. The e-book version goes one step further than the Good Practice Guidelines that help to raise awareness of good practice and improve the effectiveness of donors and investors’ microfinance operations–it provides links to practical operational tools.

New ILO Study on Microfinance and Efficiency
An estimated US$4 billion is invested annually in microfinance around the world. But while microfinance institutions must have strong business models in order to survive, they face the challenge of making profits while creating lasting social change. A newly published study entitled Microfinance and public policy: Outreach, performance and efficiency edited by Bernd Balkenhol, the head of the Social Finance Programme at the International Labour Office (ILO) provides practitioners and policy makers with guidance on how to deal with the issue of balancing business and poverty reduction by defining criteria for supporting microfinance institutions. This research study seeks to clarify an issue that practitioners of microfinance and donors often face: how to preserve the dual commitment of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to both poverty reduction and profitability, whilst ensuring their progressive integration into the financial market and the phasing out of subsidies.

Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda
The wellbeing of adolescent girls in developing countries shapes global economic and social prosperity — yet girls’ needs often are consigned to the margins of development policies and programs. This new CGD report describes why and how to provide adolescent girls in developing countries a full and equal chance in life. Offering targeted recommendations for national and local governments, donor agencies, civil society, and the private sector, Girls Count provides a compelling starting point for country-specific agendas to recognize and foster girls’ potential.

Online access to the complete Palgrave Macmillan Journals Portfolio
http://www.p algrave-
Until February 15th the Palgrave Macmillan Access All Areas campaign gives visitors unrestricted online access not only to all Palgrave Macmillan journals, an impressive list of more than 60 journals, but also to a selection of our reference and books content.
You might want to explore the Development site, and experience the rich content archive – see

Manual ‘Policy Coherence for Development, a practical guide’
The EU Coherence Programme is happy to present you the new Manual ‘Policy Coherence for Development, a practical guide’. Our brand new Manual provides the reader with seven case studies on different EU policy areas where clear contradictions are seen with EU development objectives.

Information and Knowledge Management: IKM Emergent Newsletter
The quarterly newsletter will be a vehicle to inform both Programme members and non-members on the developments taking place within the EADI Programme “Emergent Issues in Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) and International Development”. It presents both work that is being undertaken and approaches that are being developed.

From e&lr to Rural 21
The journal Rural 21 replaced entwicklung & ländlicher raum (e&lr) as of January 2008. The journal will have a new name, a new design and a completely revamped editorial concept. This step towards further internationalising the journal will make it accessible for an even greater readership, because Rural 21 will also incorporate the former English journal agriculture & rural development.


Websites of the Month: January 2008

North-South Training, Research and Policy Network on Trade and Development
The NSN comprises universities and policy-oriented institutions from European and ACP countries. Its overall aim is to contribute to creating in ACP countries a cadre of professionals able to provide sound policy advice on trade and development matters, through the strengthening of linkages and interaction between the ACP and European training, research and policy communities in the area of development and trade.

The International Poverty Centre (IPC)
IPC is a joint project between the United Nations Development Programme and the Brazilian Government to promote South-South Cooperation on applied poverty research and training. It specializes in analyzing poverty and inequality and offering research-based policy recommendations on how to reduce them. IPC is directly linked to the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), which does research for the Brazilian Ministry of Strategic Planning, and the Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP.

The Internet Site for Economists
Inomics is an Internet service especially tailored to the needs of economists. At this site you can find job openings for economists, conference announcements, a human-edited directory as well as a database of research papers in economics.

Informal Economy Resource Database
This database contains over 500 ILO entries directly or indirectly related to the informal economy and decent work. The database is searchable by country, keyword, ILO author unit and date. Each entry contains information about the resource, and usually includes a brief summary of the contents. In most cases the resources can be accessed electronically, in PDF format. Links are often provided to the relevant ILO website to enable the User to make further inquiries. As a database, this resource is a “living” and dynamic inventory which can be improved on at any time. Comments and/or suggestions are welcome at: iedintegration @

UN to Connect Rural Women Entrepreneurs through Online Knowledge Network
This web-based network will make it possible for women entrepreneurs to learn from each other about business opportunities, market trends, and to market their products. Membership in the knowledge network is open to women’s cooperatives, women’s business associations, non-governmental organizations and policymakers. Topics include: business basics, building life skills for women’s empowerment, forming cooperative enterprises, marketing, making business plans, costing and pricing, building e-businesses, and online payment and delivery systems.

World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU)
This improved Web site this eerything you need to know about WOCCU’s programs, international remittances, partnerships and credit union statistics in any given country is now available in one place in both English and Spanish. WOCCU’s Web site also offers an archive of valuable resources on best practices in credit union development.

55 Top Quality Products on one 640 Meg CD
CD3WD is a 3rd World Development private-sector initiative, mastered by Software Developer Alex Weir. Major online and offline sections on Livestock, Training, Metalwork, Auto Mechanics, Wind, Solar, other Alternative Energies. You can browse and/or download the complete and latest version of CD3WD. Single Files are at

Alternative Channel Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
Alternative Channel is international, interactive, and deeply committed to the ideals of journalism in a brave new world of media. The place of citizen journalism in our lives is still being explored.

Global Hand
Global Hand is a matching service helping corporate/ community groups partner with NGOs: a non-profit brokerage facilitating public/ private partnership. Finding appropriate partners, in this context, can be difficult. The library has been set up to connect all parties in this sector with carefully chosen information searchable by location, need type and services, at both national and international levels.

WAND directories
The specificity of the WAND product and service categories allows more accurate search and classification than any other business directory platform on the Internet. The categories can be split off into industry segments to create vertical directories. Over 70,000 categories are available. The WAND business to business directory platform is built upon the WAND Product and Service Taxonomy providing a sophisticated underlying structure for categorizing and searching company data by the specific product or service which a company is able to provide. Custom branded Powered by WAND directories have been in use on the Internet by major yellow pages publishers, trade associations, and government agencies since 1996.


Northern Belize Economic Diversification Study

Northern Belize Economic Diversification Study

We are currently in Belize to identify priority sectors offering economic diversification opportunities in the Districts of Corozal and Orange Walk as their economies adapt to change. We will recommend areas for required social and economic services/infrastructure and capacity building, and develop proposals for investments in the recommended areas. The overall objective is to provide alternative livelihoods opportunities and social and economic services and infrastructure in the districts of Corozal and Orange Walk as the sugar industry adapts to changes in the world market for sugar. Please see our Terms of Reference at

If you would like to have a consultation meeting with us while in Belize or if you would like to be invited to a workshop in Corozal or Orange Walk scheduled for mid-February, than please let us know. Ms. Maria Soraia Roches (tel. 8222527) at the Ministry of National Development kindly helps us coordinates our schedule.


World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development

The WDR 2008 calls for placing the sector at the center of the development agenda if the goals of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 are to be realized. The last time a WDR on agriculture was published was in 1982, making this a landmark report that comes when many are calling for an African agricultural revolution. While 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, only 4 percent of official development assistance goes to agriculture. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a region heavily reliant on agriculture for overall growth, public spending for farming is also only 4 percent of total government spending and the sector is still taxed at relatively high levels. The report finds that for the, poorest people, GDP growth originating in agriculture is about four times more effective in raising incomes of extremely poor people than GDP growth originating outside the sector. The ,authors argue that a dynamic ‘agriculture-for-development’ agenda can benefit the estimated 900 million rural people in the developing world who live on less than $1 a day, most of whom rely on agriculture for a living.


Migration can help fight global poverty, according to new OECD report

Better and more coherent migration policies can contribute to the fight against global poverty. This is the main conclusion of “Migration and Developing Countries”, a new report by the OECD Development Centre that was presented at the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development.

People, goods and capital move across international borders: this is what globalisation really means. The effects of trade and capital flows have been measured and quantified by the OECD and others and are widely known. Flows of people and their impact on development, however, are much less understood. By focussing on the costs and benefits of the movement of people Migration and Developing Countries shows how all parties can benefit from migration: migrants’ countries of destination, their home countries, and migrants themselves. Emigration, say the book’s authors, can reduce unemployment for low-skilled workers in migrant-sending countries, while remittances fuel consumption and investment, helping to reduce poverty.

While migration can contribute to development, development does not immediately halt international migration. International development assistance – aid – is not necessarily; therefore, a means of influencing migration flows. For this reason, Migration and Developing Countries calls for mutually reinforcing aid and migration policies. In this way, say the authors, developing countries can derive greater economic benefits from the mobility of their citizens. One example could be to link policies facilitating the recruitment of skilled workers to aid policies underpinning training and capacity building in the sending country. To unlock the development potential of international migration, policy makers in rich and poor countries must recognise that neither migration policies nor aid policies alone are enough in isolation to stimulate and maintain the momentum of development. OECD countries need to consider the development impact of their migration policies, while migrant-sending countries must rethink their development policies in the light of labour mobility. Moreover, migrants’ associations, enterprises and banks dealing with migrants and their families all play a role in increasing the development pay off of international migration.,3343,en_2649_33731_39207662_1_1_1_1,00.html