By Pablo Yanguas.
23 February 2017
On 3 February I attended a fascinating workshop at the University of Sheffield hosted by frequent ESID collaborator Tom Goodfellow. Under the title ‘Ethical dilemmas and cognitive dissonance in international development’, the event brought together scholars from across the social sciences, policy researchers, as well as current and former practitioners. It was a day full of genuinely new and thought-provoking ideas, of the kind that we don’t often have in academic debates on aid and development more generally. So much so, that the visible excitement of participants outpaced our ability to put together a coherent agenda for future research. Still, this is a set of questions with direct relevance to development practice, and the links to psychology and moral philosophy are welcome additions to the chiefly economistic or sociological debates within Development Studies. Continue Reading →
Dr Mathilde Maitrot
22 February 2017
Global Challenge Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellow, Mathilde Maitrot reports from the ESID and BIGD Policy Workshop in Dhaka
Close to five decades have passed since Bangladesh was allegedly termed a ‘basket case’ by the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger – (it was actually his aide who coined the term.) In 2017, the country is now more commonly referred to as a ‘paradox’, a ‘development ‘surprise’ or a ‘miracle’. These terms point to an apparent anomaly between the country’s recent success in terms of economic growth and human development/MDG targets compared to the low quality of its political institutions. With Price Waterhouse Cooper’s recent forecasts of the economic and political order in 2050, projecting that Bangladesh will be one of the three leading emerging economies driving global growth, it looks as though, assuming the country’s political dynamics support growth, Bangladesh could become the 23rd largest economy by 2050.
On 16 February 2017 in Dhaka, ESID and our BRAC University partner BIGD organised a one-day policy workshop where members of civil society, academics, private sector representatives and public intellectuals discussed the usefulness of adopting a political settlement framework to shed light on this so-called ‘development paradox’. Our discussion was structured around four key studies on the politics of inclusive development in Bangladesh: economic growth, health and education services delivery and outcomes and domestic violence law. Continue Reading →
By Kate Pruce
8 February 2017
Although Zambia was reclassified by the World Bank as a middle-income country in 2011, poverty levels remain high, with 54.4% of the population living below the poverty line and over 40% in extreme poverty in 2015. The increased per capita gross national income (GNI) is not benefiting everyone, and inequality as measured by the Gini index has risen from 50.8 in 2004 to 57.5 in 2013, making Zambia one of the world’s most unequal countries.
Cash transfers are currently receiving a lot of attention as an instrument for tackling poverty and vulnerability. Not all of this coverage is good – a recent Daily Mail article painted a picture of UK taxpayer money being given away to citizens in Pakistan, describing it as ‘exporting the dole’. However, there is a growing body of evidence that cash transfers have a range of positive developmental impacts, including reduced monetary poverty, increased school attendance and increased uptake of health services, while recent FAO evaluations counteract a number of common myths about cash transfers.
2 February 2017
Eleni Sifaki recently joined ESID as a Research Associate and is currently focusing on our women’s empowerment research. Here she tells us more about her life and work.
What were you doing before joining ESID?
Before joining ESID I completed my PhD in Development Policy and Management at the Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester. My PhD investigated the gender implications of commercial transitions in global production networks, focussing on the table grapes export sector in Crete, Greece. After my PhD I became a Fellow at the Gender Institute, LSE, where I taught a course on ‘Gender, Globalisation and Development’.
What is the current focus of your work?
Since returning to Manchester I am working with Prof Sam Hickey and Dr Sohela Nazneen on the Gender and Political Settlements project at ESID. The project explores the politics of gender-inclusive development. Specifically, it investigates the forms of politics that lead to gender equity policy adoption and implementation, focussing on two policy domains: domestic violence legislation and girls’ basic education.