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2018 development aid figures. Why aid reporting rules matter for more effective development

Jan Van de Poel

19 Apr 2019 11:41:09

Last week the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released their preliminary figures on the amount of official development assistance (ODA), or development aid, raised in 2018. Following the OECD’s publication, Eurodad released an initial reaction. Nothing new under the sun?In 2018, ODA headline figures took a dive by 2.8 per cent compared to 2017, bringing the development effort of all OECD member states to a meagre 0.31 per cent of gross national income, far below the 0.7 per cent commitment made nearly half a century ago. The inclusion of costs not immediately linked to development needs of recipient countries continue to inflate aid figures and undermine the credibility of the reporting exercise of a scarce but crucial ...

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State of emergency: UN convenes Financing Forum while a new wave of debt crises threatens to derail sustainable development

Bodo Ellmers, Tove Ryding

16 Apr 2019 18:05:50

This week, governments will meet at the United Nations in New York for the Financing for Development Forum, and the challenge is very clear. Too little progress has been made towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), which to a large extent is the consequence of lacking finance. The 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a UN framework adopted at the same time as the SDGs, which is supposed to ensure money flows toward development and the achievement of the SDGs, is not fulfilling its objective. Political differences at the Addis Summit meant that fundamental institutions, such as a multilateral debt workout mechanism to prevent and resolve debt crises, could not be agreed upon. Developing countries have repeatedly called for developed countries to engage in a negotiation ...

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Challenges rise fast, reforms proceed slowly as political blockades remain an issue – Spring Meetings round-up

Finance ministers from around the world gathered in Washington DC last week for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings. Held amid an economic downturn and emerging risks of a new round of debt crises, the key task was to discuss how the two organisations can be made more effective to address these challenges, which threaten to affect people’s lives and derail progress toward development goals.  A gloomy scene for development A dramatic scene was set by the IMF’s flagship publication, the World Economic Outlook, which underlined rising inequality, while revising projections for the global economy down. Economic growth is now expected to slow to 3.3 per cent in 2019, a reduction of 0.4 per cent as compared to their overoptimistic projections from last year.  When economic growth ...

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The IMF and PPPs: A master class in double-speak

Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

08 Apr 2019 15:21:37

While the IMF cautions against the fiscal risks of public-private partnerships (PPPs), the institution is simultaneously backing them at a country programme level and advocates austerity measures that push governments towards expanding PPPs through constrained budgets. The fiscal risks of PPPsAs far back as 2004, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) published a paper stressing that “one particular concern is that PPPs can be used mainly to bypass spending controls, and to move public investment off budget and debt off the government balance sheet, while the government still bears most of the risk involved and faces potentially large fiscal costs.”Concerns over the fiscal risks of PPPs have also underpinned the work of the IMF to quantify the macro-fiscal impact of PPP projects. ...

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EU leadership needs to embed human rights into economic policy-making

Mark Perera

04 Apr 2019 10:20:46

In a valuable step forward to support human rights compliant economic policy-making, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) called on 21 March for governments and intergovernmental organisations to make use of new UN guidance when developing economic reforms. EU states on the HRC boldly exercised their votes to oppose these calls, in a move that stands in direct contrast to EU commitments from only two years ago to adopt a rights-based approach to development, and support countries in building resilience to prepare for and respond to economic shocks without compromising long-term development prospects. New UN guiding principles add to the debt management toolbox The HRC resolution on the effects of foreign debt on the enjoyment of human rights highlights new UN Guiding Principles on human rights ...

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International financial institutions, social protection and gender: missing the target

Gino Brunswijck

18 Mar 2019 16:54:17

Social protection has been at the forefront of discussions of late, with it playing a central role in the Sustainable Development Goals, featuring heavily at this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and as the International Monetary Fund developing an institutional view on social protection. Social protection, including floors, is an important component of the 2030 Agenda for  Sustainable Development, including SDG target 1.3, which reflects the collective pledge to “implement nationally appropriate social protection systems for all, including floors” for reducing and preventing poverty. Moreover, target 1.3 commits all UN Member States to “achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable” by 2030. While the UN links social protection ...

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International Women's Day 2019 - #EconomicJustice for #GenderJustice

Lottie Atkin

14 Mar 2019 12:14:14

Over the course of the week leading up to International Women's Day 2019 we released a series of graphics featuring the staff of Eurodad and their work areas, with quotes reflecting how Eurodad's work aims to promote gender equality. This series is part of our overall '#EconomicJustice for #GenderJustice' campaign which continues during the Commission on the Status of Women. Follow the hashtags for more information or have a look below if you missed any of our staff members’ quotes. "By closing tax loopholes, and by tackling unsustainable debt and privatisation of development finance, Eurodad’s work contributes to ensuring sufficient public finance for quality and adequate public services in education, health and infrastructure. These are essential ...

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Making tax work for women's rights

Olivia Lally

08 Mar 2019 16:17:12

Today, March 8th, marks International Women’s Day and the launch of the Global Days of Action on Tax Justice for Women’s Rights, coordinated by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. News headlines will rightly focus on the oppression, discrimination and systemic inequalities faced by women, but one point that is often overlooked is the many ways in which the tax system, like other policies and structures, offers a transformative tool for redistribution and financing gender equity. However, the tax system’s transformative power is consistently undermined by current tax laws and practices, and these in turn perpetuate and exacerbate the inequalities faced by women. Large scale tax avoidance and evasion by multinational companies and wealthy individuals continue to deprive governments ...

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Public private partnerships undermine gender equality and women's rights

Maria Romero

08 Mar 2019 12:54:26

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are being actively promoted by donor governments and international financial institutions to finance social services and infrastructure projects around the world.. PPPs are agreements where private sector companies replace the state as providers of traditional public services and infrastructure, such as health and education, transport, energy, and water and sanitation. With International Women’s Day and the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) fast approaching, now is the time to unpack how PPPs impact gender equality and women’s rights. Indeed, the risks and consequences associated with PPPs can undermine the achievement of governments’ commitments under Agenda 2030 to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ...

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International Women's Day 2019 - Economic justice for gender justice

Tove Ryding

07 Mar 2019 15:47:20

A central part of today’s unjust economic system is the disadvantageous position of women compared to men. Women are more likely to live in poverty, and are more strongly impacted by increasing global economic inequality. The difference between men and women in access to decent jobs and equal pay, as well as numerous examples of discrimination regarding ownership and inheritance rules are just some of the factors that maintain and reinforce these inequalities. Severe under-representation of women and girls in economic and wider societal decision-making at all levels adds further to the structural inequalities.Women are also hit harder by austerity, not least due to their strong dependence on accessible quality public services. This includes, for example, childcare and elderly care, which ...