ODI report – Subnational investment in human capital
This report, jointly prepared with Development Initiatives, reviews how well public finance is targeted at subnational level. It covers investment in human capital, spending on health and education, by both government and donors in all of the 82 poorest countries – that is all low- and lower middle-income countries and least developed countries. Two key findings of the report are that:
There is little evidence that the governments/donors are responding to the distribution of poverty within countries, on average poorer regions receive 15% less than the national average for government spending on education, and data on allocation of finances at the subnational level is extraordinarily lacking.
Blended finance in the poorest countries: the need for a better approach
While another systemic sovereign debt crisis is not imminent, the rapid pace of the debt increase in recent years, as well as debt servicing costs and important changes in the structure of the region’s debt buildup, compared with that of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) era, are unsettling.
Moreover, although the increase in debt has been very rapid in recent years, the pace of accumulation has slowed considerably. Between 2013 and 2016, the median debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 33 percent to 52 percent in 2016. That is roughly 5 percentage points of GDP per year.
State of Civil Society report
The eighth edition of the Annual state of civil society report 2019 observed a range of issues, actions and trends that affected civil society in 2018, under 4 key areas: everyday issues and people’s protests, challenging exclusion and claiming rights, the state of democracy and civil society engaging at the international level.
Annual report WHO Alliance for HPSR
With 80 ongoing projects in 45 countries, 65% of the research grantees as women, 53% as early career researchers, and 19% from historically disadvantaged groups, and 1010 decisions makers sensitized to evidence use, the WHO Alliance for HPSR released its annual report highlighting ways in which championed health policy and systems research in 2018.
“Cracking down on corruption would reap big economic rewards for governments around the world, increasing total tax revenues by $1 trillion (~1.25% of global GDP), according to new analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A 2018 survey by the OECD found 42 percent of state-owned enterprises reported corrupt acts or other irregular practices in their company during the past three years. … The IMF urged governments to take a “comprehensive” approach to tackling corruption, which requires strong “political will.” Key steps include clear laws around tax collection, independent oversight and audits, and strict punishments for corrupt acts. A free press and government initiatives to digitize public data also help reduce corruption, the report found.
DFID’s share of UK aid rises — but it’s not all good news
“Aid groups have welcomed the news that the U.K. Department for International Development increased its share of the aid budget for the first time in five years in 2018, as new figures were released Thursday — however, some cautioned that all is not what it seems. The government’s provisional U.K. aid statistics revealed that DFID spent 75 percent of U.K. official development assistance last year, up from 72 percent in 2017. This represents an increase of 7.8 percent, or £792 million ($1.03 billion).”
China will refuse to give up the “special and differential treatment” it enjoys as a developing nation at the World Trade Organization, in a rebuke to a US proposal that would pare back the privileges China and other nations enjoy on trade. Countries like China and India, Venezuela and South Africa insist that the preferential treatment is an important cornerstone of the global trading system. The four countries have already submitted a paper to the WTO saying that the self-classification of developing member status has been a long-standing practice and best serves the WTO’s objectives.
“@baumfran calls for 3 more SDGs: ⭐ mandate corporate accountability; ⭐ achieve a redistribution of global wealth; ⭐ introduce a global financial transaction tax “