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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

organised by ODI

Un Nuevo marco regional

By Alberto Croce, Fundación SES

A menudo escuchamos y hablamos acerca de que América Latina está viviendo una etapa nueva que permite esperar un proceso de integración auspicioso, esperado y soñado por muchos desde hace muchas décadas. Por otra parte, también es necesario advertir que esto está surcado por múltiples contradicciones. ¿Qué hay detrás de este proceso? ¿Cuánto se asemeja al sueño de integración de la “Patria Grande”? ¿Dónde es posible advertir mayores avances? ¿Cómo identificar mejor las contradicciones y cómo enfrentarlas? Son preguntas tan difíciles como necesarias de intentar responder.
El presente artículo hace una revisión los temas más acuciantes que atraviesan la región en materia de integración, como ser la producción de materias primas básicas, superávits y estrategias financieras regionales, la carga de la deuda, las nuevas tendencias políticas, el tema migratorio, los movimientos sociales, etc.

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Make a Difference in Sustainable Agricultural Development (MAD in SAD) Capacity Enhancement Programme

Source: Responsenet

Seeing the criticality of the roles of Sustainable Agriculture in addressing livelihood issues and inclusive economic growth, Responsenet brings together individuals and organisations working in the area of research, Policy formulation, Capacity building of farmers, Outreach Programmes, farmer rights , Media Agencies, Corporate, government bodies and Communities on a single platform and share collectively, views and ideas to enable the creation of sustainable collaboration of various stakeholders through

Venue: New Delhi, India

Training Dates: 14th July to 15th July 2007

Duration: 2 Days

Click click here for more details

Future of Aid: Rural Poverty Alleviation

The future of the AID and the economic development effort for developing countries should among other things depend on the overall effectiveness of the effort. This in turn may depend on how receptive the project development process is to innovations, the extent the underlying hypothesis is accurate, and making certain the process does not become overly committed to the mechanism at the expense of the beneficiaries. For those involved in rural poverty alleviation which implies agriculture development mostly for the multitude of smallholder producers, this may need some serious review. The objective of this presentation is to ask those involved in rural poverty alleviation to take a serious look at the overall effectiveness of the effort and provide some guidelines for such a review.

The material is presented in four parts and supported by the hyperlinks to the website where additional information on the four components including various case studies can be found. The four parts are:

First, the development process with the possible four layers of isolation between those funding projects and the intended beneficiaries and how this can result in the acceptance and institutionalization of concepts well beyond their overall effectiveness at assisting smallholders and poverty alleviation.

Second, the basic premise that has guided the agriculture development effort for over 30 years and the oversight it may contain regarding the resources available to the smallholder to implement the technology developed for their benefit, from the demonstration fields to the entire holding, and the role hunger may have in hindering the ability of smallholder implementation of innovations.

Third, how some of the mechanisms, particularly the reliance on farmer organizations, to funnel assistance to smallholders appear to have become a main emphasis even though they are not particularly effective business models and the smallholder members are effectively walking away from them.

Fourth, an innovative approach to more effectively assist the poverty alleviation of smallholder communities by looking more at the communities composed of a symbiotic association of smallholder producers and service providers than working directly with the “maxed-out” smallholders.

Food production in Zambia: The impact of selected structural adjustment policies

Source: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

The paper examines the impact of selected structural adjustment policies on food production in Zambia. Using a four-year panel of post-harvest data, a system of six crops, two variable inputs and three fixed inputs is estimated. The resulting supply responses suggest a negatively sloped supply curve for sorghum and millet, which is attributed to the presence of credit constraints. Simulations are conducted to asses the impact of the removal of subsidies and exchange rate controls. The results indicate that these policies have led to increased food production although the magnitude of the increase is in general not very large. The results also indicate a significant fall in fertilizer use. Information, credit and distance to markets are also very important variables for food production. Deliberate efforts are needed to develop both input and output markets and to provide more formal credit institutions targeted at small-scale farmers.

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Strategic Priorities for Agricultural Development in Eastern and Central Africa

Source: The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa

In countries that are heavily dependent on agriculture for employment and income, underperformance is not only untenable but also potentially explosive. This is the case in the countries of eastern and central Africa—Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda—where tens of millions of people face ongoing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. This report, the result of a two-year collaboration between the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, identifies how eastern and central African countries can stimulate agricultural growth to address these dire circumstances. The findings suggest that improved agricultural performance will require investments that foster productivity growth, strengthen markets, improve rural linkages between the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors, and promote regional cooperation. Of particular interest is the identification of the most performance-enhancing commodity subsectors, in an economywide setting, and the “agricultural development domain” singled out as most promising for targeted investment. These results and their implications are being widely discussed and debated in the countries of eastern and central Africa, in many cases shaping policy and investment strategies.

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‘World Bank takes major step on labour standards’

Author: International Trade Union Confederation

In December, the World Bank announced that it would require all project lending (e.g. for large scale infrastructure) through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association to meet International Labour Organization’s core labour standards. The private sector lending arm, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), already has such a requirement. While welcome, the move sits in stark contrast to the Bank’s September Doing Business prognosis that calls on government’s to improve their investment climate by promoting greater labour market flexibility. This refers to reforms that make it easier to hire and fire workers, and that set limits on collective bargaining and the rights to unionize.

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