UN DESA | DPAD | Development Policy Analysis Division
4 December 2013
South Africa: growth slowdown presents various policy challenges
South Africa's growth slowed to 1.8 per cent in the third quarter, from 2.2 per cent in the same quarter last year. The slowdown appears even more pronounced when viewed in terms of annualized seasonally adjusted growth, which fell to 0.7 per cent in the third quarter from 3.2 per cent in the previous quarter . A major drag on growth was manufacturing, which contracted by 6.6 per cent on the back of strikes in the automotive sector. In the face of this instability, some major car manufacturers have announced a halt to their expansion in the country.
26 November 2013
Alternative development strategies for the post-2015 era
The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) held a briefing on "Alternative Development Strategies for the Post-2015 Era" on 25 November as part of the 5th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.
In her opening statement, Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant-Secretary-General for Economic Development, said that "the CDP has taken upon itself the task to examine and draw lessons from past experiences so that we can formulate more effective, comprehensive approaches in identifying durable and equitable solutions to the development challenges the world confronts today...There is no one size fits all, no silver bullets. However, there are some common elements among those successful policies which provide important lessons for us in formulating an alternative development strategy." The briefing featured CDP members José Antonio Alonso, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and José Antonio Ocampo.
14 November 2013
- Global manufacturing production has improved
- Economic recovery is strengthening in developed economies, although slowly
- Public fiscal stimulus programmes have been a determinant factor in economic growth in many developing countries
8 November 2013
DPAD presents policy research notes to high-level officials in Honduras
On 30 October 2013 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, DPAD led the final workshop and activities under its capacity development project in the country. During the workshop participants presented a final summary of the project's accomplishments in Honduras and the work produced by experts from the Central Bank of Honduras trained in the framework of the project.
7 November 2013
Millennium Development Goals for a More Just World
Rehman Sobhan, Chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue, a prominent think tank in Bangladesh, presented a seminar on "Designing Millennium Development Goals for a More Just World" in New York. Prof. Sobhan, who also served as a member of Bangladesh Planning Commission and the Economics Affairs Adviser (Minister) to the Caretaker Government in 1991, drew upon his extensive research into the issues of poverty and inequality and his policy experience. In particular, he referred to ideas and suggestions that he had put forward in his recent book Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Agendas for Inclusive Development in South Asia (Sage 2010). He thought that, instead of looking at the symptoms of poverty and inequality, it is necessary to go into their structural causes and address them effectively. In particular, he noted the importance of redistribution of assets, increasing the share of the primary producers in the value added, giving people more stake in the productive enterprises, improvement in the access to quality education and health care, democratization of governance, and establishment of a more just global order. He thought that the discussion of post-2015 goals should take up all these issues for consideration. The seminar was organized by the Development Policy and Strategy Analysis Unit of DPAD/DESA as part of the Development Policy Seminar Series.
1 November 2013
DPAD presents policy research notes to high-level officials in Uganda
On 16 October 2013 in Kampala, Uganda, DPAD led the presentation of the final of policy research papers prepared under its capacity development activities in Uganda. DPAD also participated in the launch of the country's MDG report and held meetings with high level policy officials on future collaboration in preparing the Second National Development Plan.
30 October 2013
UN/DESA Expert Group Meeting on the World Economy (Project LINK)
DESA/DPAD, in collaboration with the Project LINK Research Center of the University of Toronto, held its annual Expert Group Meeting on the World Economy (Project LINK conference) from October 21 to 23 in New York.
The conference was attended by some 80 experts from about 60 countries and several international agencies, including the IMF, World Bank, ILO and OECD, as well as representatives from the UN regional commissions and the UNCTAD. The conference covered three major themes: (1) the economic outlook for the world and regions; (2) international economic and policy issues; and (3) econometric modeling techniques.
18 October 2013
Global Economic Outlook
More than five years after the global financial crisis erupted, the world economy has not fully recovered. Most developed economies are still toiling up a bumpy path. A number of emerging economies, which have already experienced a notable slowdown in the past two years, are facing more headwinds in the international economic environment. Meanwhile, the least developed countries have seen a decline in international official development aid. Read the full report of the LINK Global Economic Outlook 2014-2015.
11 October 2013
International capital flows and financialisation of the South African economy
The Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) joined hands with the Economic Development Department (EDD) of South Africa to organize a high-level policy workshop on the International Capital Flows and Financialisation of the South African Economy: Policy Options for Stimulating Employment-driven New Growth Path in Pretoria, South Africa on 3-4 October 2013. Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, delivered the keynote address at the workshop. Taking into account the persistently high level of unemployment (around 24%) and income inequality (Gini coefficient of 0.69) confronting South Africa, Ms. Akhtar underscored that the Government needed to rely on an appropriate set of capital market and macro-prudential regulations, prudent macroeconomic management, and structural reforms to optimize the benefits of private capital flows and promote long-term investment in the productive sector.
Minister of Economic Development Embrahim Patel (at right) thanked the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) for playing a “catalytic role” in bringing together all stakeholders in South Africa to discuss these critical policy challenges. He expressed his optimism that UN/DESA would continue to support the capacity development efforts of EDD for evidence-based research and policy analysis.
The policy dialogue brought together a group of Ministers, including Rob Davies, Minister for Trade and Industries; Thembelani Nxesi, Minister for Public Works; and Jeremy Cronin, Deputy Minister for Public Works. The workshop also included 60 senior officials from various economic ministries, including the National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) as well as 18 central bankers and finance officials from the Republic of Korea, Chile, India, Swaziland, Lesotho, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Indonesia.
2 October 2013
Inequality and Gresham's Law: Does the bad drive out the good?
Jan Vandemoortele, former Director of the UNDP Poverty Group and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to Pakistan, presented his paper on "Inequality and Gresham's Law: Does the bad drive out the good?" in an open forum organized by DPAD/DESA today. Using a combination of research and philosophy, Vandemoortele makes a compelling case that "bad inequalities drive out good inequalities in that high inequalities of outcomes make equality of opportunity virtually impossible". He concluded by suggesting that the objective of decreasing inequalities should be reflected in the post 2015 UN development agenda and he reflected on various ways in which it could be formulated: as a goal in its own right; through the formulation of targets; or by adjusting monitoring indicators to reflect inequalities.
26 September 2013
DPAD presents final notes to high-level officials in Nicaragua
On 10-13 September 2013 in Managua, DPAD lead the presentation of two policy research papers and three policy notes produced by government experts trained in the framework of the project, and worked to fine-tune policy simulations. The results were presented to 150 experts at the Central Bank, and to 30 experts from different government institutions at the Ministry of Finance. DPAD also held meetings with high level policy officials on the impact of the policy notes will have on informing policy makers and follow-up activities. This marks the successful completion of activities conducted in Nicaragua under the project "Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling".
24 September 2013
DPAD completes training in Bolivia
On 27 August 2013 in La Paz, Bolivia, DESA/DPAD staff held a working meeting and took part in the final workshop to discuss policy notes to be presented to government officials. The notes reported simulation results and recommendations by government experts from UDAPE and the Central Bank of Bolivia covering three areas of analysis: economic growth and financing scenarios for MDG achievement by and post 2015, the impact of remittances on economic growth and poverty, and the impact of food price crises on food security and poverty. This marked the successful completion of training activities in Bolivia, but DESA/DPAD will continue to provide technical backstopping to the participating institutions if needed to ensure the sustainability of capacities.
24 September 2013
DPAD completes training in the Philippines
On 21-22 August 2013 in Manila, Philippines, DESA/DPAD staff held a working meeting and took part in the final workshop to discuss the results of policy simulations. These results will form the basis for policy notes on issues ranging from financing scenarios for MDG achievement, impact of social programmes, agricultural price shocks, and others. This marked the successful completion of training activities in the Philippines, but DESA/DPAD will continue to provide technical backstopping to the participating institutions if needed to ensure the sustainability of capacities.
19 September 2013
"All partners must deliver on commitments – on official development assistance, climate finance and domestic resource mobilization...For all our efforts, we will need one thing above all: a renewed and stronger global partnership – and we are here today to help advance that effort for one and all". Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The MDG Gap Task Force Report 2013: The Challenge We Face, launched today in New York, reports that while there are advances in increasing access to new technologies and some essential medicines, in achieving greater duty-free access for exports from developing countries, and in completing the debt relief initiatives, the international community is not fully delivering on many of its commitments. For the first time since 1997, official development assistance fell for a second year in a row; negotiations to reach an agreement on a development-oriented multilateral trade are stalled; more developing countries are in need of debt restructuring; and essential medicines are still unaffordable and insufficiently available in many countries.