China’s Aid to Africa: Monster or Messiah? Weekly Compass, No. 180, 21 February 2014 Aid is an important policy instrument for China among its various engagements with Africa, and indeed Africa has been a top recipient of Chinese aid. The debate on Chinese aid policy is motivated by the rapid growth of China’s economic presence in Africa. This paper from the Brookings Institution looks at the goal and nature of Chinese aid to Africa.
Taxes and fragile states: how political can it get? Weekly Compass, No.179, 14 February 2014 The 2014 OECD report on Domestic Resource Mobilization in Fragile States is an interesting – and paradoxical – example of the current debate on statebuilding. Linking domestic resource mobilisation and fragile states is a very welcome approach, and the political thinking driving it is just what is needed in development debates, write ECDPM’s Frauke de Weijer and Bruce Byiers in this Talking Points blog. But by relying on assumptions about fragile states that are optimistic at the best of times, the latest OECD Fragile States report falls short of expectations.
When ideas trump interests. Weekly Compass, No.179, 14 February 2014Dani Rodrik challenges the notion that there is a well-defined mapping from “interests” to outcomes. He argues that any model of political economy in which organised interests do not figure prominently is likely to remain vacuous and incomplete, but it does not follow from this that interests are the ultimate determinant of political outcomes. Is there a direct parallel between inventive activity in technology and investment in persuasion and policy innovation in the political arena? Rodrik argues once this fluid nature is recognised, vested interests become much less determining and the space of possible outcomes much wider.
Mining needs shared value and partnerships. Weekly Compass, No. 178, 7 February 2014
As resource-rich countries continue to enjoy high growth rates, time has come to think about what collaborative business relationships can finally do for inclusive and sustainable development. In this two-part blog, Isabelle Ramdoo says that the extractive sector needs to focus on shared value and partnerships to address the problem of slow ‘trickle down’ benefits of the industry. It is touted as the next big ‘(r)evolution’ for the sector, and was one of the major discussions at the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town this week. Isabelle says ‘creating and sharing economic value in a way that all stakeholders get something meaningful out of it can be an important catalyst to address some of the challenges faced by the extractive sector.’ Read Part one on shared value and part two on partnerships