Green Growth in the Post-Copenhagen Climate
Energy Policy 39(11)
Maria Damon and Thomas Sterner
Global climate change stands out from most environmental problems because it will span generations and force us to think in new ways about intergenerational fairness. It involves the delicate problem of complex coordination between countries on a truly global scale. As long as fossil fuels are too cheap, climate change policy will engage all major economies. The costs are high enough to make efficiency a priority, which means striving toward a single market for carbon—plus tackling the thorny issues of fairness.
Hopes for a grand deal were mercilessly shattered at Copenhagen in December 2009 and in other recent UNFCCC meetings, with the result that “green growth” is promoted as an alternative path. Indeed, green growth is clearly the goal, but it is no magic bullet. The world economy will require clear and rather tough policy instruments for growth to be green—and it is naïve to think otherwise. Growth, green or not, will boost demand for energy and coal is normally the cheapest source. The magnitude of the challenge is greater if we also consider the problems related to nuclear (fission) energy and, in some instances, to bioenergy (such as its competition for land that may be essential for the poor). This paper discusses some necessary ingredients for a long-term global climate strategy. As we wait for the final (and maybe elusive) worldwide treaty, we must find a policy that makes sense and is not only compatible with, but facilitates the development of such a treaty.
Policy Instruments for Sustainable Development at Rio +20
Journal of Environment and Development, June 2012
Maria Damon and Thomas Sterner
Twenty years ago, governments gathered for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The “Rio Declaration” laid out several principles of sustainable development, including the central role of policy instruments. In this article, we take stock of where we stand today in implementing sound and effective environmental policy instruments throughout the world, particularly in developing and transitional economies. We argue that, as our experience with market-based environmental policies has deepened over the past two decades, so has the ability to adapt instruments to complicated and heterogeneous contexts—but we are only just beginning, and the need to be further along is dire. One key factor may be that economists have not yet meaningfully accounted for the importance of political feasibility, which often hinges on risks to competitiveness and employment, or on the distribution of costs rather than on considerations of pure efficiency alone.
Local elites, popular democracy and poverty targeting: Making the linkages in community development projects
World Bank, Indonesia
Integrated Policymaking for Sustainable Development: An operational manual
United Nations Environment Program, Geneva
Fritzen, Scott., Howlett, M., Ramesh M., Wu, X.
Facing Constraints, Seizing New Opportunities: A Strategic Management Review of the United Nations Population Fund Program in Indonesia, 2006-2010
Short-duration, high-intensity executive education: Mission impossible? Center for the Development of Teaching and Learning
DTLink, Vol 9(2), cover story.
Donors, local development groups and institutional reform over Vietnam's development decade
in Kerkvliet, B.J., Heng, R.H.K. and Hock, D.K.W. (eds.), Getting organized in Vietnam: Moving in and around the socialist state, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 234-270.
International donors have attempted to contribute to, and indeed influence, the overall tenor of socioeconomic and governance-related reforms in Vietnam. They have done so in a number of ways: directly supporting policy research, stablishing forums for debate of developmental issues with government counterparts, funding projects on administrative and judiciary reform and central level capacity building, and providing direct financial and sometimes indirect support for ‘indigenous’ NGOs, primarily development service organizations working as contractors for particular development projects. This paper examines another modality through which donors sought to influence administrative reform over the heady ‘development decade’ of the 1990s – donor support for rural development projects conceived as ‘policy experiments’ (Rondinelli 1983). Though diverse in sectoral focus, these projects commonly attempted to introduce local institutional arrangements promoting greater responsiveness and accountability of local governments to rural communities as a whole, or to particular sub-groups such as smallholder farmers. To do so, local organizations or grassroots groups were typically established as new ways of organizing the rural populace to demand, plan for, access or provide services underpinning rural development and poverty alleviation. “Local development groups” (LDGs) is the name I give to groups comprised of farmers and other end-users of project services (or representatives they choose) that were formed in the process of implementing particular development projects. This paper probes the experience of these development projects and LDGs over approximately the last ten years. It depicts how projects funded by a wide range of donors became an important part of the institutional landscape in many areas of Vietnam, leaving a significant mark on many sectors related to rural development. Five sections follow this introduction. The first examines how changing donor roles interacted with institutional developments to produce an opportunity for projects to influence policy. Section two presents a theoretical framework with which to assess LDGs and the policy experiments in which they were embedded, which section three applies the framework to a sample of 15 donor projects operational over the 1990s in Vietnam. Section four presents more qualitative detail on a few of the higher-impact projects. The final section concludes with implications for donors and the study of local institutional change in Vietnam.
From information to indicators: Monitoring progress in the fight against corruption in multi-project, multi-stakeholder organizations
From information to indicators: Monitoring progress in the fight against corruption in multi-project, multi-stakeholder organizations
Fritzen, Scott, Basu S.
Escaping the low income – low social protection trap in developing countries: What are the options?
Indian Journal of Social Development, 3(2): 14-32
International experience suggests that attempts to rapidly expand formal safety net coverage through cash transfers typically founder in low income countries, which must look to alternative mechanisms to boost social protection. This paper explores this challenge through the case of Vietnam. Despite over a decade of rapid economic growth and poverty reduction, approximately 40% of Vietnam’s population is below or just above the poverty line and is highly vulnerable to community-wide and household-specific shocks. Yet Vietnam’s social protection budget has largely financed formal entitlement programs that are failing to deliver substantial reductions in vulnerability for this broad spectrum of the rural population. This paper outlines the state of social protection in Vietnam and presents an agenda for improving effective coverage rates. It closes by assessing the political and bureaucratic feasibility of social protection reforms in other developing countries.
Multilevel assessments for better targeting of the poor: An analytical framework
Progress in Development Studies 7(2): 99-113
Fritzen, Scott, Brassard C.
This paper examines how various poverty assessment modalities serve to strengthen the governance capacities necessary to target the poor. Large-scale surveys and qualitative, 'bottom-up' assessments both have shortcomings in this regard. A 'multi-level' synthesis would in theory link a unified indicator framework (such as the Millennium Development Goals) to localized situation assessments and facilitate multi-sectoral efforts to target the poor. Case studies of actual efforts to do this from Vietnam and Burma highlight the way in which the governance context of a country must be taken into account when designing such efforts.
Strategic management of the health workforce in developing countries: What have we learned?
Human Resources for Health 5(4): 1-10
The study of the health workforce has gained in prominence in recent years, as the dynamic interconnections between human resource issues and health system effectiveness have come into sharper focus. This paper reviews lessons relating to strategic management challenges emerging from the growing literature in this area. Workforce issues are strategic: they affect overall system performance as well as the feasibility and sustainability of health reforms. Viewing workforce issues strategically forces health authorities to confront the yawning gaps between policy and implementation in many developing countries.
Lessons emerge in four areas. Once concerns imbalances in workforce structure, whether from a functional specialization, geographical or facility lens. These imbalances pose a strategic challenge in that authorities must attempt to steer workforce distribution over time using a limited range of policy tools. A second group of lessons concerns the difficulties of central-level steering of the health workforce, often critically weak due to the lack of proper information systems and the complexities of public sector decentralization and service commercialization trends affecting the grassroots. A third cluster examines worker capacity and motivation, often shaped in developing countries as much by the informal norms and incentives as by formal attempts to support workers or to hold them accountable. Finally, a range of reforms centering on service contracting and improvements to human resource management are emerging. Since these have as a necessary (but not sufficient) condition some flexibility in personnel practices, recent trends towards the sharing of such functions with local authorities are promising. The paper identifies a number of current lines of productive research, focusing on the relationship between health policy reforms and the local institutional environments in which the workforce, both public and private, is deployed.
Can the design of community-driven development reduce the risk of elite capture? Evidence from Indonesia
World Development 35(8): 1359-1375.
Community-Driven Development (CDD) projects have motivated both large amounts of funding from international development agencies and a number of general critiques centering on the potential susceptibility of decentralized projects to local elite capture. Drawing on case analysis and surveys fielded in 250 Indonesian sub-districts, this paper subjects the design logic of a CDD project to close empirical testing. Results suggest that while CDD projects can help create spaces for a broader range of elite and non-elite community leaders to emerge, elite control of project decision-making is pervasive. However, its effects can be influenced by project-initiated accountability arrangements, such as democratic leadership selection.
Crafting performance measurement systems to reduce corruption vulnerabilities in complex, multistakeholder organizations: The Case of the World Bank
Measuring Business Excellence 11(4): 23-32.
Purpose – The paper explores an emerging challenge for large public-sector bureaucracies: developing information and performance measurement systems that support anti-corruption efforts.
Design – An analytical framework linking functions and contexts of performance measurement to anti-corruption requirements is presented. The framework is used to explore a case study of the World Bank’s ongoing efforts to strengthen anti-corruption information systems in Indonesia.
Findings – A range of organizations are increasingly turning to performance measurement systems to fulfill several functions related to organizational integrity: to hold organization’s accountable for reaching publicly stated standards of fiduciary responsibility and corruption control; to identify vulnerable operational points in multi-faceted public enterprises; and to facilitate organizational learning regarding ‘what works’. Yet corruption is difficult to measure, and corruption vulnerabilities often arise from informal practices, insufficient incentives for enforcement or adherence to standards, and managerial blindspots. Enhanced information systems need to be coupled with effective and multi-directional accountability arrangements in order for performance measurement to contribute effectively to corruption control.
Practical implications – Improved information systems and a reassessment of managerial incentives and attitudes are both essential in order to reduce organizational vulnerability to corruption and to the public backlash that follows in the wake of corruption scandals.
Originality/value – Focus on an emerging area of performance management likely to gain increasing visibility as large bureaucracies attempt to institutionalize public commitments to high anti-corruption standards
U.S. Ratification of the CRC and Reducing Child Poverty: Can We Get There from Here?
Child Welfare, 89(5): 159-175
Aber, J.L., Hammond, A.S. & S.M. Thompson.
If the United States finally ratifies the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), will it improve the country's to effectively combat child poverty and thereby improve child well-being? This article addresses this and related questions in two ways. First, the authors examine how ratification of the CRC has influenced the efforts of other wealthy Anglophone countries to reduce child poverty. Second, they draw on lessons learned from these other countries' efforts to generate predictions about America's postratification future. The authors conclude that, while the CRC is a compelling, practical tool, a communications strategy and business plan are necessary complements to achieve desired results.
A qualitative analysis of environmental policy and children's health in Mexico
Environ Health. 2010 Mar 23;9:14
Cifuentes E, Trasande L, Ramirez M, Landrigan PJ.
Since Mexico's joining the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1994, it has witnessed rapid industrialization. A byproduct of this industrialization is increasing population exposure to environmental pollutants, of which some have been associated with childhood disease. We therefore identified and assessed the adequacy of existing international and Mexican governance instruments and policy tools to protect children from environmental hazards.
We first systematically reviewed PubMed, the Mexican legal code and the websites of the United Nations, World Health Organization, NAFTA and OECD as of July 2007 to identify the relevant governance instruments, and analyzed the approach these instruments took to preventing childhood diseases of environmental origin. Secondly, we interviewed a purposive sample of high-level government officials, researchers and non-governmental organization representatives, to identify their opinions and attitudes towards children's environmental health and potential barriers to child-specific protective legislation and implementation.
We identified only one policy tool describing specific measures to reduce developmental neurotoxicity and other children's health effects from lead. Other governance instruments mention children's unique vulnerability to ozone, particulate matter and carbon monoxide, but do not provide further details. Most interviewees were aware of Mexican environmental policy tools addressing children's health needs, but agreed that, with few exceptions, environmental policies do not address the specific health needs of children and pregnant women. Interviewees also cited state centralization of power, communication barriers and political resistance as reasons for the absence of a strong regulatory platform.
The Mexican government has not sufficiently accounted for children's unique vulnerability to environmental contaminants. If regulation and legislation are not updated and implemented to protect children, increases in preventable exposures to toxic chemicals in the environment may ensue.
Microfinance and Social Investment
Financial Access Initiative, 2011
Conning, J. & Morduch, J.
This paper puts a corporate finance lens on microfinance. Microfinance aims to democratize global financial markets through new contracts, organizations, and technology. We explain the roles that government agencies and socially-minded investors play in supporting the entry and expansion of private intermediaries in the sector, and we disentangle debates about competing social and commercial firm goals. We frame the analysis with theory that explains why microfinance institutions serving lower-income communities charge high interest rates, face high costs, monitor customers relatively intensively, and have limited ability to lever assets. The analysis blurs traditional dividing lines between non-profits and for-profits and places focus on the relationship between target market, ownership rights and access to external capital.
Independent mid term review of UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) for UN Security Council
Leading Change Step-by-Step: Tactics, Tools, and Tales
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc., January 2011.
Leading Change Step-by-Step offers a comprehensive and practical guide for leaders. This field-tested approach has been used successfully bot more than a decade in a wide variety of organizations including nonprofits, schools and districts, universities, public, and international agencies. The book is filled with proven tactics for implementing change successfully, with tools to put the tactics into practice, and common mistakes to avoid. Also included are stories of struggle and success that show how this approach has been used effectively in 22 states and internationally. The approach helps guide leaders through analyzing situations, ideitifying stakeholders, and working with them effectively to bring about the desired results.
Six Countries, Six Reform Models: The healthcare reform experience of Israel, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan: Healthcare Reforms "Under the Radar Screen"
JAMA. 2010; Vol. 304, No. 18: 2,070-2,071
"Shaping Tomorrow Today: Evaluating and Implementing Long-Term Decisions"
Editor, RAND 2009
Robert Lempert, Paul C. Light
In March 2009, the RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition hosted a workshop called “Shaping Tomorrow Today: Near-Term Steps Towards Long-Term Goals.” The workshop gave policymakers and analysts an opportunity to explore new methods and tools that can help improve long-term decisionmaking. The intent was to conduct this exploration collaboratively, drawing from many countries a mixed group of tool builders, analysts, planners, decisionmakers and interested lay observers. Their task was to consider how analysts and policymakers can determine when it is important to make long-term (as opposed to short-term) decisions, how to make better long-term decisions, and how best to support policymakers in thinking long term, using as case studies the areas of education, international policy, and climate change. These conference proceedings summarize the main discussions and presentations that took place during the two days of the workshop and include the papers written for workshop participants. They will be of interest to anyone engaged in the study and practice of thinking and acting meaningfully over the long term, with particular reference to problems faced by planners and policymakers in public institutions of governance.