Development & Aid

Social Norms & Women’s Access to Financial Services

How do financial services providers (FSPs) shape gender norms that restrict or expand women’s access to financial services? In more ways than you might think, and there are good reasons why FSPs should be aware of this.

A Rural Sanitation Model That Works

Research and experience across more than two decades in rural Odisha, India, show that an effective rural sanitation model requires both financial assistance and an integrated water supply.

Free Speech and the Hong Kong Protests

Sometime in the summer of 1974, I was leaning against the gunwale of the ferry between Calais and Dover, watching the moonlight streaming dark waters. When I turned to the left I found that a Chinese lady also looked out over the calm sea. What she told me changed my world view.

Businesses Crucial to the Success of SDGs

We all know that the UN Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious and will take huge collaborative and international effort to achieve. Government action alone is not enough. So how can the private sector actively contribute – and what can be done to ramp up the participation of businesses around the world?

Bretton Woods Institutions: From Solution to Problem

July 2019 saw the 75th anniversary of the historic conference of 44 countries held at the Bretton Woods (BW) resort in New Hampshire during July 1-22, 1944. Conference At BW, John Maynard Keynes, representing the UK, and Harry Dexter White, for the USA, both sought a new international monetary system following the Great Depression, which many attributed to the functioning of the gold standard before World War II.

Power is a Privilege & a Responsibility: Q&A with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

It’s on all of us to make gender equality a reality – which means harnessing our collective power to build a gender equal world. By empowering girls and women, realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights, tackling gender-based violence, and confronting the combinations of sexism, misogyny, racism, and colonialism, we can take steps towards true gender equality.

Bangladesh and the fight to end torture

On June 26, the world comme-morated the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture—an opportunity to uphold the dignity of life, access to justice, and freedom from torture, which is a right of all people, to be enjoyed without discrimination, regardless of their civil, cultural, economic, political or social position or status.

Is Civil Society Arguing Itself out of Political Space?

As some of you will know I have a new book out Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear.  (other contributors to the book were:  Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Minu Hemmati, Susanne Salz, Bernd Lakemeier, Laura Schmitz, and Jana Borkenhagen). 

Using Renewable Energy and the Circular Economy to Fight Poverty in Argentina

On the outer edges of Buenos Aires proper, where the paved streets end and the narrow alleyways of one of Argentina’s largest shantytowns begin, visitors can find the En Haccore soup kitchen.

Women, Power, & Changing Face of Political Representation in Latin America & the Caribbean

Gender inequality is about power asymmetries. In the late 1970s, Robert Putnam reflected on the status of women in policy decisions in his comparative study on political elites. Quoting Elizabeth Vallance, he concluded that, “where power is, women aren’t.”.

Money Grows on Trees–Don’t Uproot Them

Jennifer Handondo, a small scale farmer of Choma district in southern Zambia, plants food crops such as maize mostly for her family’s needs. Because of uncharacteristically high temperatures and low rainfall during the rainy season in March, the divorced mother who single-handedly supports her three children, has not been able to harvest as much as she usually does. So she has diversified into selling seedlings of neem, Moringa and other medicinal trees.

How Widespread is Human Trafficking in the US?

The United States is no exception to the practice of modern day slavery—a crime for which it is rarely held accountable at the United Nations.

The Role of Education in Breaking down the Walls of Ignorance

Education constitutes an important building block to enhance inter-faith dialogue, cultural exchange between ethnic and linguistic groups, counter violent extremist narratives and promote peaceful and inclusive societies. The founder of Modern India, Mahatma Gandhi, once said:

Nigeria Finally Throws its Weight Behind African Continental Free Trade Area

On 7 July 2019, Nigeria finally threw its weight behind the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the treaty at a summit of African heads of state in Niamey. In normal circumstances, that shouldn’t have been big news.

As SDGs Falter, the UN Turns to the Rich and Famous

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are in trouble. United Nations officials are concerned and say so publicly. Secretary-General António Guterres joined in raising an alarm in mid-July when he introduced the most recent official UN report.

Horn of Africa Drought Threatens Re-run of Famines Past

Humanitarian groups and the United Nations are warning of another drought in the Horn of Africa, threatening a repeat of the deadly dry spell and famine that claimed lives in Somalia and its neighbours eight years ago.

Switzerland announces support to UN Resident Coordinator function in Kenya to advance UN Reforms and contribution to national development priorities

The Government of Switzerland is pleased to announce support for the ongoing UN reforms implementation in Kenya through a two-year cost-sharing arrangement that will strengthen the capacity of the Resident Coordinator’s Office, with focus on coordination of the integrated cross-border initiative and the SDG Partnership Platform, expanding partnerships and diversifying financial modalities for realising the SDGs.

Foreign Private Investment in Low-Income Countries: More Important Than You Think

In a world of stagnating public aid, limited fiscal space, and rising public debt in low-income countries (LICs), can they realistically expect to rely more on private finance from foreigners? What does the evidence suggest?

Malnutrition in Humanitarian Settings

As the rain hammers down, Aparo Dorin sits on the damp floor of her one-room hut in zone 12, block 5A, of the Palabek refugee camp in northern Uganda.

Global Aids Fight Running out of Steam, U.N. says

The global fight against Aids is floundering amid cash shortfalls and spikes in new HIV infections among marginalised groups in developing regions, Gunilla Carlsson, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), said Tuesday.

Floods Havoc in North Bangladesh

Floods are quite common in Bangladesh - blame it on climate change, the control and discharge of river waters at source or poor disaster management. The damage to property to livestock is colossal.

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