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World Development
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  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0305-750X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3181 journals]
  • Identifying and disentangling the impact of fiscal decentralization on
           economic growth
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza, Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, Bauyrzhan Yedgenov This paper revisits the relationship between fiscal decentralization and economic growth by addressing the endogeneity issue stemming from reverse causality and unobserved factors that has plagued previous extensive literature on this subject. In our approach, we use the Geographic Fragmentation Index (GFI) and country size as instrumental variables, which we argue are strong and consistent instruments for fiscal decentralization. Empirically, we find that indeed both instruments are strong and valid in the first stage of estimation and that on average, a 10 percent increase in subnational expenditure or revenue shares—the conventional measures of decentralization—will increase GDP per capita growth by approximately 0.82 and 0.57 percentage points, respectively.
  • Environmental resources as ‘last resort’ coping strategies following
           harvest failures in Zimbabwe
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Rose Pritchard, Isla M. Grundy, Dan van der Horst, Nyaradzo Dzobo, Casey M. Ryan Environmental resources are often cited as important for households coping with hazards in the Global South. However, a recent large-scale analysis has challenged the narrative of ‘forest as safety net’. Clarifying this contradiction is important given the anticipated increase in the frequency of severe hazards due to climate change, and also because calls for habitat restoration may drive transformation of resource access in tropical landscapes. Here we examine the importance of environmental coping strategies to 85 households in Wedza District, Zimbabwe, exploring how the situation of households in different vulnerability contexts shapes dependence on environmental safety nets. We firstly compare recalled responses to two past hazard exposures, the drought of 2002 and the interacting harvest failure and hyperinflation crisis of 2008, to assess how exposure to multiple interacting hazards might alter the coping strategies available to and preferred by rural households. We secondly use scenario exercises to explore why households might or might not choose to adopt environmental coping strategies. We find that interactions between co-occurring covariate hazards can increase dependence on environmental resources by rendering preferred strategies unavailable, with the proportion of respondent households recalling dependence on environmental resources as a core strategy increasing from 31% in 2002 to more than 50% in 2008. We find also that the co-occurrence of covariate and idiosyncratic hazards, such as incapacitation of the primary income earner during a drought period, can increase dependence on environmental coping strategies. While respondents acknowledge the downsides of environmental safety nets, such as illegality, seasonality, and market unreliability, they still perceive environmental resources to be among the most important strategies. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering the whole vulnerability context when evaluating the importance of environmental coping strategies, in order to avoid underestimating the contribution made by environmental resources to the resilience of rural livelihoods.
  • Tourism and local welfare: A multilevel analysis in Nepal’s
           protected areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Marie-Eve Yergeau While environmental conservation is sometimes criticized for limiting the sources of income for the poorest populations, tourism in protected areas is often viewed in the literature as a mechanism that helps to increase local welfare and reduce poverty in developing countries. However, there are still few quantitative studies assessing how nature-based tourism is directly linked with welfare. In this article, we examine the relationships between: (1) tourism and the monetary welfare of local populations in Nepal’s protected areas and (2) self-reporting being constrained in the use of natural resources, and the welfare of the same population. We develop a two-level hierarchical linear model to take into account the database structure. We estimate that households involved in a self-employed occupation directly linked to tourism are associated with a significantly higher consumption compared with non-involved households. In addition, results suggest that tourism may generate positive externalities on the community’s welfare. We conclude that tourism development in Nepal’s protected areas should be included in a broader sustainable development agenda.
  • The Brasília experiment: The heterogeneous impact of road access on
           spatial development in Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Julia Bird, Stéphane Straub This paper studies the impact of the rapid expansion of the Brazilian road network, which occurred from the 1960s to the 2000s, on the growth and spatial allocation of population and economic activity across the country’s municipalities. It addresses the problem of endogeneity in infrastructure location by using an original empirical strategy, based on the historical natural experiment constituted by the creation of the new federal capital city Brasília in 1960. It highlights long term center-periphery agglomeration effects and shows heterogeneous effects of roads depending on the characteristics of metropoles they lead to and on the location of the municipalities themselves, in line with predictions in terms of agglomeration economies.
  • The political economy of aid allocation: Aid and incumbency at the local
           level in Sub Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Tora Knutsen, Andreas Kotsadam Aid allocation within countries is often thought of as a strategic action by the incumbent leaders to further their own goals. Theoretically, however, the effects of aid may be either positive or negative and the empirical evidence is limited. By matching geo-coded data on aid projects to 101 792 respondents in five waves of the Afrobarometer, we investigate the effects of aid on incumbency support using project fixed effects. We estimate the effects for World Bank aid and Chinese aid separately and find positive effects for the former and no robust effect for the latter. For neither project donor do we find effects on turnout and that aid is not targeting areas with previously higher incumbency support. We find little support for the notion that economic voting is driving the result as individuals self-perceived economic conditions are not affected. The positive effects for the World Bank aid projects seem to be mediated by trust in the politicians, whereas we find no effects of Chinese aid on trust.
  • Does deforestation increase malaria prevalence' Evidence from
           satellite data and health surveys
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Sebastian Bauhoff, Jonah Busch Deforestation can increase malaria risk factors such as mosquito growth rates and biting rates in some settings. But deforestation affects more than mosquitoes—it is associated with socio-economic changes that affect malaria rates in humans. Most previous studies have found that deforestation is associated with increased malaria prevalence, suggesting that in some cases forest conservation might belong in a portfolio of anti-malarial interventions. However, previous peer-reviewed studies of deforestation and malaria were based on a small number of geographically aggregated observations, mostly from the Brazilian Amazon. Here we combine 14 years of high-resolution satellite data on forest loss with individual-level and nationally representative malaria tests for more than 60,000 rural children in 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 88% of malaria cases occur. Adhering to methods that we pre-specified in a pre-analysis plan, we used multiple regression analysis to test ex-ante hypotheses derived from previous literature. Aggregated across countries, we did not find either deforestation or intermediate levels of forest cover to be associated with higher malaria prevalence. In nearly all (n = 78/84) country-year-specific regressions, we also did not find deforestation or intermediate levels of forest cover to be associated with higher malaria prevalence. However, we can not rule out associations at the local scale or beyond the geographic scope of our study region. We speculate that our findings may differ from those of previous studies because deforestation in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely driven by the steady expansion of smallholder agriculture for domestic use by long-time residents in stable socio-economic settings where malaria is already endemic and previous exposure is high, while in much of Latin America and Asia deforestation is driven by rapid clearing for market-driven agricultural exports by new frontier migrants without previous exposure. These differences across regions suggest useful hypotheses to test in future research.
  • The politics of participation: Negotiating relationships through community
           forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Naomi Millner, Irune Peñagaricano, Maria Fernandez, Laura K. Snook Since the 1970s, Community forestry (CF) initiatives have sought to combine sustainable forestry, community participation and poverty alleviation. Like other community-based forms of natural resource management (CBNRM), CF has been lauded for its potential to involve local people in conservation while opening new opportunities for economic development. However, CF programmes are not always successful, economically or ecologically, and, by devolving new powers and responsibilities to an abstractly defined “community,” they risk exacerbating existing patterns of social exclusion, and creating new conflicts. In this paper we mobilise a relational concept of negotiation within a political ecology framework to explore how the power relations of CF are addressed and transformed in a region where issues of conflict and tenure security have long shaped the social forest. Specifically, we focus on the emergence and consolidation of ACOFOP [Asociación de Comunidades Forestales de Petén], a Forest Based Association in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the Petén region of Guatemala, where CF has been practised for 25 years. Emphasising the importance of longer histories of social movements and organisations to local capacities for CF, we explore the conditions of possibility that enabled ACOFOP to emerge, as well as the strategies it has adopted to make national regulatory frameworks work for local communities. Through qualitative analysis derived from participatory research, interviews and ethnographic data, we trace four key areas of ACOFOP’s model of accompaniment (participatory decision-making; conflict resolution; advocacy and capacity-building) that have been developed in response to the negotiation of political issues pertaining to, and stemming from, the practice of CF. Highlighting ongoing challenges, and key strategies for CBNRM in other contexts, we conclude by emphasising that systems of community management cannot be “equitable,” or indeed sustainable, if political issues of access and tenure are not kept central to questions of participation.
  • Impact of use of technology on student learning outcomes: Evidence from a
           large-scale experiment in India
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2020Source: World Development, Volume 127Author(s): Gopal Naik, Chetan Chitre, Manaswini Bhalla, Jothsna Rajan One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-4) adopted by the United Nations focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Most research on impact of technology on learning outcomes depends on designs that require low student-to-computer ratio and extensive retraining of teachers. These requirements make the designs difficult to implement on a large scale and hence are limited in terms of inclusivity and ability to ‘provide equitable opportunity for all’. Our paper is the first to evaluate an intervention design that is aimed at dealing with these concerns. We conduct a large-scale randomised field experiment in 1823 rural government schools in India that uses technology-aided teaching to replace one-third of traditional classroom teaching. Even with high student-to-computer ratios and minimal teacher training, we observe a positive impact on student learning outcomes. The study thus presents a low cost, resource-light design, which can be implemented in a developing country on a large scale to address the problem of poor learning outcomes, thereby making the intervention inclusive and equitable in line with the spirit of SDG-4.
  • Aid projects: The effects of commodification and exchange
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Scott Freeman, Mark Schuller International aid work has been increasingly oriented around the administrative form of the aid project. Aid projects are financial and temporal delineations used for the planning, implementation, and reporting of aid work. Originating as a budgetary reform, the project has grown to become an important unit of conceptualization for donors, subcontracting NGOs, aid workers, and the recipients of development projects. As the project has become the dominant form of disbursing aid, what effects does this administrative form have on contemporary humanitarian and development work' A growing literature on the project form combined with ethnographic research on humanitarian and development aid in Haiti demonstrates how the project is not only an administrative unit but has become a principal product of aid work. Framing the project as a commodity produced within the aid industry illuminates the centrality of exchange, rather than donation, at the heart of the aid industry. Project documents, produced in order to account for implementation, assume the form of a commodity as they are exchanged for aid funding. Accordingly, project documents have a particular exchange value within the aid industry. One of the more prevalent effects of project-based aid is that for NGOs and subcontractors, this exchange value can take precedence over services provided to beneficiaries. In order to compete in the market for projects, sub-contracting organizations seek visibility and documentation, which may come at the expense of service provision. This affects the way in which projects are both implemented and evaluated. By illustrating the impacts of the administrative form of aid, this research argues for a more focused line of research interrogating the politics of the project.
  • The Southern origins of sustainable development goals: Ideas, actors,
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Bhumika Muchhala With the increasing importance of ‘emerging powers’ in the global economy, questions are raised about the role of developing countries in shaping global norms. The assumption in much of the literature has been to see global norms as originating in the ‘North’ (or the ‘West’). Recent research has begun to challenge this view. This paper contributes to this debate in studying the agency of the South in the adoption of sustainable development as the consensus framework for international development (SDGs). Based on documentary and archival research, interviews with stakeholders, and direct participant observation of the SDG negotiations and consultations, the paper chronicles the ideas originating from the South in the emergence and subsequent evolution of the sustainable development concept and the adoption of the SDGs. We highlight the role of key individuals as norm entrepreneurs at the origin of sustainable development as they challenged the North-led understanding of the environmental challenge in the 1970s and 1980s, and the agency of Southern actors in proposing an alternative vision as a successor to the MDGs. We chronicle the agency of Southern actors in promoting some key priorities of sustainable development. We argue that these ideas originated from the perspective of the knowledge, lived experience, policy experience, theorizing and analysis of the Global South. We find that norm entrepreneurship involved contesting mainstream views and advancing marginalized ideas. The case also illustrates international norm emergence as a long term process of contestation and evolution.
  • Are public sector workers in developing countries overpaid' Evidence
           from a new global dataset
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): T.H. Gindling, Zahid Hasnain, David Newhouse, Rong Shi This paper examines the public sector wage premium using nationally representative household surveys from up to 68 countries. Compared to all private sector paid employees, including informal sector employees, the public sector generally pays a wage premium. However, in most countries the wage premium disappears when the public sector is compared to only formal sector private employees, although there is heterogeneity across skill levels. Premiums tend to be lowest for high skilled public sector employees, who in several countries pay a penalty for working in the public sector. On the other hand, the public sector premium tends to be higher for employees with less education, those working in lower paid occupations, and those working in low skilled occupations. This pattern is consistent with wage compression in the public sector. Across countries, the wage premium is only weakly associated with countries’ level of development. These findings challenge the existing consensus that public sector workers tend to enjoy a significant wage premium over their private sector counterparts and that this premium is especially large in low income countries.
  • Leveraging existing household survey data to map livelihoods in Nigeria
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Richard Barad, Erin K. Fletcher, Chris Hillbruner Understanding livelihoods patterns is a key component of food security and poverty analysis. The Household Economy Approach (HEA) is a leading method of conceptualizing, organizing, and analyzing information on livelihoods systems that is widely used within the food security analysis community. This approach is typically informed by data collected using qualitative methods. However, the increasing availability of large-scale household survey datasets presents an opportunity to explore the degree to which these data can be used to strengthen HEA analysis. Here, we present the results of a novel pilot study that uses large-scale household survey data to create livelihoods products for Nigeria, using a combination of spatial interpolation, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis. We show how these techniques can leverage existing data to create low-cost maps of quantitatively described livelihoods that are stable over time and conceptually consistent with products derived using traditional methods. We also outline future research for how to incorporate these outputs into practitioner analysis.
  • Labor movements and party system development: Why does the Caribbean have
           stable two-party systems, but the Pacific does not'
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Matthew Louis Bishop, Jack Corbett, Wouter Veenendaal Party system development is often said to be essential for democratization. But if this is a necessary precondition, why do two of the most successful developing regions in terms of democratization, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are composed similarly of small (island) developing states, display such extreme divergence in their experiences with party democracy' The former has the most stable and pure two-party systems in the world, while in the latter political parties are either weakly institutionalized or absent. Since both have attitudinally homogenous societies and similar institutions, conventional explanations that highlight the importance of social cleavages and electoral systems cannot explain this difference. Employing the framework of a most similar systems design incorporating twenty-three countries, we challenge dominant assumptions about the causes of party system development (PSD) and subsequent institutionalization (PSI) by focusing on their distinctive post-colonial political-economic settlements. Specifically, we process trace the role of labor movements and their manifestation as political parties and argue that this provides the strongest explanation for why the Caribbean has stable party systems, but the Pacific does not. By emphasizing the importance of pre-existing social organizations for the development of parties, our analysis foregrounds the otherwise largely neglected literature on early European party organization and the role of political economy in PSD.
  • The Proteus composite index: Towards a better metric for global food
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Oscar Maria Caccavale, Valerio Giuffrida This paper proposes a new composite index to measure the multidimensional concept of food security. Although other indicators with the same objective exist, they come with several methodological shortfalls. The Proteus index makes a twofold contribution: a) we apply all the steps needed to tackle the uncertainty sources inherent to building a composite indicator (variable selection, data imputation, normalization, weighting and aggregation) and test the assumptions through a Monte Carlo procedure that applies a variance-based sensitivity analysis of model output; and b) the results are robust over time and are comparable within and between countries, thus allowing a measure that can track the country progress towards food security. We demonstrate that the main sources of output variability are weighting, normalization, data imputation, variable selection, and aggregation in descending order of importance, but interaction effects between the uncertainty sources also play a key role. The index provides a contribution to food security monitoring. While it identifies countries requiring priority attention for their chronic situation, it proves flexible enough to capture sudden onset crises. It also reflects the main drivers that can dramatically affect a country’s food security in the short run, insofar suggesting potential areas of intervention for policy makers.
  • Collateral damages: Cash transfer and debt transfer in South Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Erin Torkelson Over the past decade, two development programs–cash transfer and financial inclusion–were bundled in global development discourse. Despite differences in their purported objectives, cash transfers are increasingly delivered via financial inclusion infrastructures and technologies. One important yet under-appreciated consequence of this bundling is the possible transference of credit and debt to cash transfer recipients. In this paper, I explore how the South African cash transfer program incorporated recipients into a highly coercive and monopolistic financial system predicated on proprietary technologies. The proliferation of such technologies enabled cash grants to be transformed into collateral for credit and encumbered by debts to private companies. Specialized payment technologies encouraged recipients to accept loans and ensured that they could not default, making cash transfer a site of nearly risk-free profit. My work is informed by over two years of ethnographic fieldwork, hundreds of qualitative interviews, and archival data from the South African Parliament and Constitutional Court. My study finds that while grant payment technologies promise to mitigate the contradictions between providing cash transfers for basic needs and offering profitable financial products, in practice, they can worsen indebtedness. By focusing on the materiality of financial inclusion technologies, I demonstrate how the efficacy of cash transfer programs can be undermined, when debts as well as grants are passed on to recipients.
  • Framing vulnerability and coffee farmers’ behaviour in the context of
           climate change adaptation in Nicaragua
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Sonia Quiroga, Cristina Suárez, Juan Diego Solís, Pablo Martinez-Juarez This paper analyses coffee producer’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change in Nicaragua. By its geographical position, Nicaragua is one of the countries most affected by climate change, and coffee production is expected to vastly shrink in some critical areas, suitability being reduced by up to 40% in the country. This paper analyses farmer’s perceptions and vulnerability indicators to find which indicators are linked to farmers’ perceived capacity to adapt to climate change, paying special attention to the issue of whether farmers perceive they have any capacity at all to adapt.The analysis was conducted through a survey to 212 representative farmers jointly with an analysis of vulnerability indicators. A Heckman selection model was estimated to jointly analyse the probability of being able to cope with climate change and the level of adaptive capacity that farmers perceive. We have simulated different policy scenarios considering the sustainable development goals of United Nations in terms of poverty reduction and education concerns. We also analysed the effects of specific programs on education about climate change awareness. Finally, we extend our analysis to a geographical evaluation of the farmer’s perceived vulnerability.The analysis shows that aspects such as farm size or education levels are relevant for modulating farmers’ perceptions on their own adaptive capacity. Large farm managers find themselves more often able to cope with climate change impacts though they find their capacity to be limited. Farmers that could not rely on rainfall water for their plantations also reported being less able to cope with climate change impacts. Poverty was also found to be correlated to perceptions, as regions lower proportions of inhabitants under poverty levels showed higher levels of confidence in adaptive capacity.
  • Access to marine ecosystem services: Examining entanglement and legitimacy
           in customary institutions
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Jacqueline D. Lau, Joshua E. Cinner, Michael Fabinyi, Georgina G. Gurney, Christina C. Hicks Ecosystem services have become a dominant paradigm for understanding how people derive well-being from ecosystems. However, the framework has been critiqued for over-emphasizing the availability of services as a proxy for benefits, and thus missing the socially-stratified ways that people access ecosystem services. We aim to contribute to ecosystem services’ theoretical treatment of access by drawing on ideas from political ecology (legitimacy) and anthropology (entanglement). We hypothesize that where customary and modern forms of resource management co-exist, changes in customary institutions will also change people’s ability to and means of benefiting from ecosystem services, with implications for well-being. We ask a) what are the constellations of social, economic, and institutional mechanisms that enable or hinder access to a range of provisioning ecosystem services; and b) how are these constellations shifting as different elements of customary institutions gain or lose legitimacy in the process of entanglement with modernity' Through a qualitative mixed-methods case study in a coastal atoll community in Papua New Guinea, we identify key access mechanisms across the value chain of marine provisioning services. Our study finds the legitimacy of customary systems – and thus their power in shaping access – has eroded unevenly for some ecosystem services, and some people within the community (e.g. younger men), and less for others (e.g. women), and that different marine provisioning services are shaped by specific access mechanisms, which vary along the value chain. Our findings suggest that attention to entanglement and legitimacy can help ecosystem services approaches capture the dynamic and relational aspects of power that shape how people navigate access to resources in a changing world. We contend that viewing power as relational illuminates how customary institutions lose or gain legitimacy as they become entangled with modernity.
  • The impact of workplace harassment and domestic violence on work outcomes
           in the developing world
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Dorota Węziak-Białowolska, Piotr Białowolski, Eileen McNeely Workers’ mistreatment is a serious problem, particularly for disadvantaged populations in the global garment supply chain who are often subjected to human and labor rights violations. Workplace abuses are believed to originate from human resource management practices, which aim to reduce production costs and achieve inflated production targets. Improvements in worker well-being are often perceived as costs rather than investments.Family life might be an equally important contributor to workers’ well-being and factory outcomes, yet its impact often remains completely beyond the scope of interest of local factory management and the leadership of companies at the top of the supply chain.This study addressed the prevalence of workplace harassment (WH) and domestic violence (DV) in the garment industry in Mexico, Sri Lanka, China and Cambodia and the impacts of WH and DV on outcomes related to withdrawal from work (intentions to leave, quitting, and limited abilities to perform usual tasks), work attitudes (work engagement and job satisfaction) and self-reported work quality.Survey data from 5328 garment industry workers from four countries and information from personnel files are used. The relationships are modelled using linear, logistic or Cox proportional hazard regressions. The results from the longitudinal subsample substantiate the robustness of the findings.WH and DV are found to be significant stressors and affect withdrawal from work, work attitudes and work quality. Contrary to common belief, the findings do not reveal that WH and DV contribute to decisions to quit; however, they were found to impact intentions to leave. The results from the longitudinal sample corroborate the influence of WH and DV on work outcomes.The results of this study convey a message to global brands and factory managers to foster worker well-being, which may improve factory performance.
  • Mothers’ health knowledge gap for children with diarrhea: A
           decomposition analysis across caste and religion in India
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Niels-Hugo Blunch, Nabanita Datta Gupta The access to health networks is an integral part of sustainable development, which has largely been ignored in previous studies of health knowledge production. Additionally, the previous literature is scarce on health knowledge gaps and the intersection of deeply institutionalized marginalization of certain groups—such as by caste or by religious system in India, Bangladesh, or Nepal—and the resources these groups have available. To address these knowledge gaps, we explore the relationship among health knowledge and caste and religion and a number of important mediating factors in India, estimating causal impacts through a combination of instrumental variables and decomposition methods. Five main results are established: (1) the presence of a substantively large “raw” (unconditional) health knowledge caste gap favoring high caste women—though at the same time with an overall relatively low level of health knowledge across castes and religions—thus pointing towards even deeper, more structural, endemic public policy challenges for Indian policy makers); (2) evidence that the endowments and the returns to these endowments increase the health knowledge gaps—indicating that high caste women have higher education and better access to health networks but also higher returns to these characteristics; (3) for Adivasi women network homophily works to decrease the discrimination part of the health knowledge gap—it may therefore not be enough if these women merely get access to health networks (even if they are of high quality) if caste and religion-related gaps in health knowledge are to be reduced; such networks also have to be homophilous, to have an effect; (4) while observed individual characteristics explain a large—indeed, sometimes the major—part of the gaps, in several cases a substantial part of the health knowledge gap is left unexplained—consistent with the presence of discrimination against these systemically marginalized women; and (5) in turn, the substantial dampening of the caste and religion effect once socioeconomic status is controlled for suggests that caste differentials are not independent of class differentials. We also perform similar analysis for child mortality, now including health knowledge as one of the focal explanatory variables and obtain similar results—thus providing additional evidence that health knowledge and health network access, two major factors of sustainable development, should receive more attention by policymakers in the future. Lastly, policy implications and implications and suggestions for future data collection efforts are also discussed.
  • How can NGOs support collective action among the users of rural drinking
           water systems' A case study of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) systems
           in Bangladesh
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Muhammad Badrul Hasan, Peter Driessen, Annelies Zoomers, Frank Van Laerhoven In this article, we link NGO-supplied drinking water infrastructure projects with collective action development approaches. Although governing local, shared drinking water systems (DWS) requires users to act collectively, users rarely organize such collective action successfully by themselves. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are therefore frequently called upon to support local communities to set up or consolidate the kind of local collective action required for governing DWSs. However, the effectiveness of such forms of NGO support remains unclear. Therefore, this paper attempts to assess the form and impact of this kind of NGO support. Combining insights gained from theory on institutions for collective action in the context of shared resource systems, we develop a set of requirements presumed necessary for guaranteeing both day-to-day and long-term collective action among local shared DWS users. We apply this framework to empirically explore if, how and why NGO support targets these requirements, and whether this support influences users’ capacity for collective action. To this end we examine 11 cases where NGOs have worked with users of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) systems in Bangladesh. We collected data through focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews with local leaders, NGO officials, and project staff, and by reviewing project documentation. We find that NGO support favors long-term requirements over the requirements for day-to-day collective action. NGO activities seem based on applying standard approaches to training and awareness raising, and less on empowering users to craft their own solutions. A case for a lasting impact of NGO support on any of the requirements is hard to make. Our results imply that when attempting to organize effective and long-lasting forms of collective action among the users of shared resource systems, both NGOs and commissioners of projects need to engage more explicitly in learning what works and what doesn’t.
  • Temporary migration and climate variation in eastern Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Valerie Mueller, Glenn Sheriff, Xiaoya Dou, Clark Gray Africa is likely to experience warming and increased climate variability by the late 21st century. Climate extremes have been linked to adverse economic outcomes. Hence, adaptation is a key component of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreements and development assistance. Effective climate adaptation policy requires an understanding of how temperature and rainfall variability affect migration patterns. Yet, how individuals in developing countries manage climate variation is poorly understood, especially in Africa. Combining high-resolution climate data with panel micro-data on migration, labor participation, and demographics, we employ regression analysis to assess temporary migration responses to local temperature and precipitation anomalies in four East African countries. We find that climate impacts are most pronounced in urban areas, with a standard deviation temperature increase and rainfall decrease leading to respective 10 and 12 percent declines in out-migration relative to mean values. Evidence from other labor market outcomes suggests that urban out-migration is not associated with reduced local employment opportunities. Instead, declines in urban out-migration appear to coincide with negative local climate employment impacts. These results challenge the narrative that temporary out-migration serves as a safety valve during climate extremes and that climate change will most strongly affect out-migration rates from rural areas in developing countries.
  • Remember when it rained – Schooling responses to shocks in India
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Laura Zimmermann Despite long-standing international agreements like the Millennium Development Goals, 264 million children in developing countries are not enrolled in school, and children in rural areas remain twice as likely to be out of school as children in urban areas. One potential explanation for this pattern is that children’s education in rural areas is vulnerable to weather shocks, but there is no consensus about whether rainfall shocks help or harm school enrollment in the existing literature. This paper explores whether changes in the relationship between rainfall shocks and schooling outcomes over time can explain the different results in the literature by using household survey data from India across three decades. My study finds that adverse rainfall shocks have an increasingly stronger positive impact on school enrollment over time, whereas enrollment is increasingly falling after positive rainfall shocks. This effect is stronger for girls than for boys, more pronounced for older children, and is consistent with an increase in the importance of opportunity costs of a child’s time in more recent years. Children may have to drop out of school when employment opportunities are more readily available after a positive rainfall shock, but are able to go to school when jobs are scarce. These results offer a potential explanation for the different results in the literature, where studies on countries with higher economic development tend to find results consistent with an opportunity cost story, whereas this is not the case for studies on countries with a lower level of development. The results suggest that policymakers need to pay close attention to the obstacles faced by girls and older children to make access to education universal, and should develop policy tools that incentivize households to send their children to school even when employment opportunities are readily available.
  • The new extractivism in Mexico: Rent redistribution and resistance to
           mining and petroleum activities
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Darcy Tetreault This article analyzes shifts in the political economic conditions of extractive activities in Mexico during the twentieth century until the present, with a focus on the current era and the first months of López Obrador’s presidency. The center of attention is on the mining and petroleum sectors, not only because of their strategic importance for economic development, but also because of the large and growing number of eco-territorial conflicts that have emerged around projects in these two sectors across the country. The paper points to the ways in which Mexico’s laws and public policies have been reoriented in recent years to capture rent derived from mining and petroleum activities in order to finance social policies and infrastructure development, focusing spending on regions where extractive activities take place. In what ways does this policy reorientation reflect the “new extractivism” practiced differentially by progressive governments in South America since the first decade of the new millennium' What is “new” about these policies in the historical context of extractive and industrial development in Mexico' How do recently introduced programs to finance local development projects seek to resolve conflicts around extractive activities' Based on an extensive literature review combined with over ten years of ongoing field research on extractive industries and social environmental conflicts in Mexico, this article discusses how focalized rent-redistribution programs have been implemented alongside reforms to open the petroleum and mining sectors to private and foreign investment, in an effort to accelerate extraction rates. It finds that, while these programs seek to compensate directly affected populations and thereby garner their support for extractive projects, they do not address the most fundamental demand of most community-based resistance movements, which is to effectively exercise the right to decide whether or not to accept these projects.
  • Local warming and violent armed conflict in Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Stijn van Weezel Research on the effect of climate change on violent armed conflict relies almost exclusively on analysing annual variation in climatic conditions. A shortcoming of this approach is that it conflates weather variation with climate change, while implicitly assuming that adverse weather shock could immediately trigger conflict. Although this relatively high-frequency data can help understand conflict seasonality, it fails to address the question of whether climate change is an important conflict determinant. This study tries to address this issue using long-term change in local climate to proxy climate change. Focusing on the African continent, shifts in average temperature and precipitation levels are used to estimate the effect on conflict risk between 2003–17. The data is analysed using Bayesian model averaging to test if the variables measuring local climatic conditions contribute consistently in explaining conflict risk. The reduced-form estimations show that temperature is robustly linked to armed conflict: a two-standard deviation increase in average temperature corresponds to about a 31 percent increase in conflict risk. Precipitation changes have no discernible effect. Changes in local climate are more strongly linked to the continuation of existing conflicts, rather than the outbreak of new ones. The association between climate and conflict found in the analysis also suggests a potential lack of adaptation. While the findings of this study are in agreement with earlier results, one remaining shortcoming is that the analysis does not provide much insight into the specific mechanisms linking climate and conflict.
  • The concept of affectedness in international development
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Giedre Jokubauskaite The groups who experience direct impacts of development projects are generally known as ‘affected people’. This category is gaining traction in the governance of international financial institutions (IFIs) and is arguably becoming ubiquitous in contemporary development discourse. In this paper I investigate what ‘affectedness’ means, and also what it should mean in development context. The aim is to examine the grounds based on which the scope of affected people can be ascertained, and to underline the conceptual but also practical difficulties associated with this exercise. The proposed analysis is predominantly theoretical. It builds on the debate about the ‘all-affected principle’, as well as the theory of democratic inclusion by Iris Marion Young. My main argument is that currently the idea of affectedness functions as a boundary of inclusion/exclusion in the governance of development projects. I therefore suggest that leaving this category entirely open-ended also leaves it exposed to arbitrariness of decision-makers. This is problematic, because generally consultations that include affected people are seen as conveying legitimacy and proving social support to development initiatives. Without principled approach to affectedness, this process of selecting who should be consulted and who should not, enables an unjustified exclusion of the most vulnerable communities. This paper suggests that in the context of international development the most plausible ground for inclusion is vulnerability, which can be articulated by using the notion of structural social groups developed by Iris Young. These two concepts combined offer a principled enough approach for decision-makers to identify the minimal scope of affected persons.
  • Restricting trade and reducing variety: Evidence from Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Pramila Krishnan, Peng Zhang The study of consumption in poor households usually focuses on the costs of the consumption basket rather than its composition. In contrast, we investigate the variety in consumption using unique data on a set of remote villages in northwestern Ethiopia. We examine the loss in variety in household consumption in remote locations, relying on a purpose-designed longitudinal survey over two years, where villages differ only in distance to the market and are homogeneous otherwise. In addition, we exploit a change in policy which resulted in a crackdown on informal, unlicensed traders in the second year and affected only the more remote set of villages. Variety in household consumption of manufactures falls with distance and time to travel to the main market town. The crackdown on informal traders, as a quasi-experiment resulting in an increase in travel costs, also leads to a relative decrease in variety consumed of manufactured goods for households served by the unlicensed traders.
  • Managing biodiversity & divinities: Case study of one twenty-year
           humanitarian forest restoration project in Benin
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Julia Bello-Bravo Humanitarian assistance around the world frequently represents an immense and well-intentioned impulse to redress the suffering of others. And yet, cross-cultural misunderstandings and conflicts of differing value-systems—as knowledge mismatches between those offering help and those targeted for help—will often risk neutralizing or rendering ineffective the assistance offered. Given the critical need for humanitarian assistance successes worldwide, research to mitigate this risk has a particular urgency.Understanding “use” as any activity that transforms a world, this case study analyzes the complexities of multi-actor resource use at a successful, 20-year rain forest restoration and preservation project in Benin. Findings from this case study supply examples for how “edges”—as a type of co-operative space—enabled effective rain-forest biodiversity restoration delivery despite unresolved, and at times unresolvable, knowledge mismatches between the actors in the case. Limited to a single case, the study nonetheless offers ‘edges’ as a promising analytic and strategic means for (1) anticipating and neutralizing the frustrating delivery effects of cross-cultural knowledge mismatches, (2) better securing more effective shorter-term outcomes and less harmful longer-term impacts from humanitarian assistance efforts generally, and (3) directions for future, more widely ranging research into other assistance-delivery contexts, as well as literature on collaboration generally.
  • Understanding the adoption of climate-smart agriculture: A farm-level
           typology with empirical evidence from southern Malawi
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Festus O. Amadu, Paul E. McNamara, Daniel C. Miller Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is increasingly important for advancing rural development and environmental sustainability goals in developing countries. Over the past decade, the international community has committed billions of dollars to support various practices under the banner of CSA. Despite this effort, however, CSA adoption remains low in many contexts. Lack of conceptual clarity about the range of potential farm-level CSA practices across contexts impedes understanding of CSA adoption in developing countries. Here we review relevant literature to develop a typology of farm-level CSA practices to facilitate analyses of CSA adoption. The typology consists of six categories, organized from least to most resource intensive: (1) residue addition, (2) non-woody plant cultivation, (3) assisted regeneration, (4) woody plant cultivation, (5) physical infrastructure, and (6) mixed measures. We use the typology to generate and test hypotheses about CSA adoption using primary household survey data from a large aid-funded CSA intervention area in southern Malawi. We then use recursive bivariate probit regression (controlling for endogeneity and selection bias) to estimate the effect of program participation on adoption across CSA categories. We find positive and statistically significant effects of program participation on adoption of CSA practices generally with the strongest effects on resource-intensive CSA categories. Results demonstrate the potential for wider application of the typology to build knowledge of the effectiveness of CSA promotion efforts across different social and environmental contexts. Our findings also suggest the importance of external support for the adoption of more resource-intensive CSA practices among rural households and communities in Malawi and elsewhere in the developing world.
  • The impact of climate change on incomes and convergence in Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Florent Baarsch, Jessie R. Granadillos, William Hare, Maria Knaus, Mario Krapp, Michiel Schaeffer, Hermann Lotze-Campen Climate change is projected to detrimentally affect African countries’ economic development, while income inequalities across economies is among the highest on the planet. However, it is projected that income levels would converge on the continent. Hitherto there is limited evidence on how climate change could affect projected income convergence, accelerating, slowing down, or even reversing this process. Here, we analyze convergence considering climate-change damages, by employing an economic model embedding the three dimensions of risks at the country-level: exposure, vulnerability and hazards. The results show (1) with historical mean climate-induced losses between 10 and 15 percent of GDP per capita growth, the majority of African economies are poorly adapted to their current climatic conditions, (2) Western and Eastern African countries are projected to be the most affected countries on the continent and (3) As a consequence of these heightened impacts on a number of countries, inequalities between countries are projected to widen in the high warming scenario compared to inequalities in the low and without warming scenarios. To mitigate the impacts of economic development and inequalities across countries, we stress (1) the importance of mitigation ambition and Africa’s leadership in keeping global mean temperature increase below 1.5 °C, (2) the need to address the current adaptation deficit as soon as possible, (3) the necessity to integrate quantitatively climate risks in economic and development planning and finally (4) we advocate for the generalization of a special treatment for the most vulnerable countries to access climate-related finance. The analysis raises issues on the ability of African countries to reach their SDGs targets and the potential increasing risk of instability, migration across African countries, of decreased trade and economic cooperation opportunities as a consequence of climate change – exacerbating its negative consequences.
  • Embracing complexity: A transdisciplinary conceptual framework for
           understanding behavior change in the context of development-focused
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2020Source: World Development, Volume 126Author(s): Fiona Lambe, Ylva Ran, Marie Jürisoo, Stefan Holmlid, Cassilde Muhoza, Oliver Johnson, Matthew Osborne Many interventions that aim to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people in low-income settings fail because the behavior of the people intended to benefit is not well understood and /or not reflected in the design of interventions. Methods for understanding and situating human behavior in the context of development interventions tend to emphasize experimental approaches to objectively isolate key drivers of behavior. However, such methods often do not account for the importance of contextual factors and the wider system. In this paper we propose a conceptual framework to support intervention design that links behavioral insights with service design, a branch of the creative field of design. To develop the framework, we use three case studies conducted in Kenya and Zambia focusing on the uptake of new technologies and services by individuals and households. We demonstrate how the framework can be useful for mapping individuals’ experiences of a new technology or service and, based on this, identify key parameters to support lasting behavior change. The framework reflects how behavior change takes place in the context of complex social-ecological systems – that change over time, and in which a diverse range of actors operate at different levels – with the aim of supporting the design and delivery of more robust development-oriented interventions.
  • The rise and decline of the populist social contract in the Arab world
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2019Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Raymond Hinnebusch The wave of populist authoritarian republics (PA) established in the Arab world in the 1950s–1960s legitimized themselves by a combination of nationalism, developmentalism and populism. Their reneging on this contract goes far to explaining the Arab Uprisings half a century later. PA regimes, with initially little popular support, needed, as part of their struggle to consolidate power at the expense of the old oligarchy and other rivals, to incorporate the middle and lower classes into a cross-class coalition. They developed a tacit populist social contract in which their putative constituencies were offered social-economic benefits in return for political support; this accorded with the inherited moral economy of the region in which government legitimacy was conditional on its delivery of socio-economic equity and justice. Additionally, however, authoritarian populism was made possible by developments at the global level such as bi-polarity, which enabled political protection and economic assistance from the Soviet bloc, and the developmentalist ideology that corresponded with the Keynesian era of global economic expansion in which the power of finance capital was balanced by labour and the regulatory state. However, by the eighties, Keysianism had been superseded by neo-liberalism, driven by the restoration of the global dominance of chiefly Anglo-American finance capital. This global turn was paralleled by the exhaustion of the statist-populist development model in MENA. The demands made on MENA governments by international financial institutions for privatization were used by regime elites to foster crony capitalism as they and their cronies acquired public sector assets; in parallel pressures for structural adjustment legitimized enforcing austerity on the masses: in essence regimes started to renege on the populist social contract. The Arab Uprising was a direct consequence of this. Evidence for this claim is adduced from public opinion polling, the timing of the uprising and the especial vulnerability of the region’s republics to the uprising.
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