Is the international tax system working for low-income countries? Weekly Compass, No. 177, 31 January 2014
Creating a fairer international tax system was a central ambition that came out of the G8 and G20 meetings in 2013. Yet several questions remain about how this rhetoric will be translated into reality. Do poorer nations have the resources and capacity to benefit from these initiatives? What more can low-income countries do themselves to create national tax systems that are more efficient, effective and fair? The latest Rapid Response Briefing from the Institute of Development Studies looks at how the agenda of trade, tax compliance and transparency moved from the margins to the mainstream agenda and whether the G8 and G20 have the political will to drive through these proposed changes.
Blending finance for infrastructure and low-carbon development. Weekly Compass, No. 176, 24 January 2014
Blended finance is an innovative approach to development finance and aims to achieve a number of objectives that can potentially trigger an increase in private investment. The latest topic guide from ODI, Evidence on Demand and DfID provides an overview of the theory and practice of blended finance for infrastructure and low-carbon development. The guide’s objective is threefold: to define and provide the theory and rationale behind blending, to highlight key considerations for donors and development finance institutions of blended finance, and to illustrate how blending occurs in practice.
Developmental regimes and the international system. Weekly Compass, No. 175, 17 January 2014
A number of recent studies have drawn attention to the many incentives arising in the international system that encourage elite behaviours harmful to national development, particularly in failing regimes. Relatively little has been written about how international factors affect the incentives of regimes trying to sustain processes of national development. This policy brief from Africa Power and Politics (APPP) and Tracking Development addresses that gap, distinguishing two categories of country: those such as Ethiopia and Rwanda where developmental regimes seem to be emerging and those such as Ghana and Kenya whose regimes show potential but seem regularly to fall at the last hurdle. A working paper by the same authors looks at how the international system hinders the consolidation of developmental regimes in Africa, beginning with the question of what should count as a developmental regime in the contemporary African context.
A question of leadership?: Challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2014. Weekly Compass, No. 174, 10 January 2014
This year is a key year for Africa-EU relations. ECDPM’s annual “Challenges Paper” pinpoints the challenges for Africa-EU relations in several areas: EU institutions and development cooperation; cooperation on key issues such as food security, peace and security and migration; and economic concerns including regional integration. The paper then looks at the AU-EU partnership of the future and considers the post-2015 development framework. It concludes by suggesting three priority items for the agenda of the Africa-EU Summit in April where the two continents will renegotiate the terms of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy: an open discussion about the Arab Spring and its consequences for the relationship; formulating an EU-AU position on the goals and financing of the post-2015 development agenda; and agriculture. The paper also says one of the the biggest challenges is to identify appropriate leadership on both sides to take ownership to make the process work over time. The paper was preceded by a series of blogs.