2011.11 Robrecht Renard and Karel Verbeke | Development cooperation with middle-income countries

Introduction

Only flows to countries that are on the DAC list of recipients can be labelled Official Development Assistance (ODA). The countries on that list however are a mixed bag. Based on a World Bank classification, the DAC list for instance includes Burundi, with an income per capita in 2009 of $150, and Brazil, with an income per capita in 2009 of $ 8840. Burundi, on this count, is 59 times poorer than Brazil. And there is not just income. Burundi is small, landlocked, politically and institutionally unstable, with an unimpressive record in terms of economic growth, a modest player in Africa and an insignificant player in the world. Brazil by contrast is huge, rich in natural resources, technologically sophisticated, growing fast, ambitious, and a major player on the world scene. Recently, it has even started to think about setting up its own aid agency (The Economist, 2011a). How more heterogeneous can one get? One can pick similar contrasting pairs from the DAC list, such as DRCongo and China, or Niger and India. How much aid, in pursuit of which development objectives, addressing which constraints in which sectors, using which modalities and channels: surely no single strategy can fit such dissimilar realities. What constitutes a sensible donor strategy in one country may be very inadequate in another. A differentiated strategy is called for.

Download 2011.11 Robrecht Renard and Karel Verbeke | Development cooperation with middle-income countries

2011.10 Martin Prowse | A century of Growth? A history of tobacco production and marketing in Malawi 1890-2005

Abstract

During the past century tobacco production and marketing in Nyasaland/Malawi has undergone periods of dynamism similar to changes since the early 1990s. This article highlights four recurrent patterns. First, estate owners have either fostered or constrained peasant/smallholder production dependent on complementarities or competition with their estates.  Second, rapid expansion of peasant/smallholder production has led to three recurrent outcomes: a large multiplier effect in tobacco-rich districts; re-regulation of the marketing of peasant/smallholder tobacco by the (colonial) state; and, lastly, concerns over the supply of food crops. The article concludes by arguing that whilst the reform of burley tobacco production and marketing in the 1990s engaged with the first two issues, it may have benefitted from paying greater attention to the latter two issues as well.

Download 2011.10 Martin Prowse | A century of Growth? A history of tobacco production and marketing in Malawi 1890-2005

2011.09 Martin Prowse | A comparative value chain analysis of Burley tobacco in Malawi - 2003/04 and 2009/10

Abstract

This article conducts a value chain analysis of smallholder burley tobacco production in Malawi for the 2003/04 and 2009/10 agricultural seasons.  The comparison suggests in 2003/04 smallholder profits from growing burley were limited by two main factors: first, the practices of leaf merchant companies on the auction floors who operated as a cartel (and governed the burley supply thread); and secondly, by inefficient marketing arrangements. By the 2009/10 season the rents, governance and systemic efficiency within the supply thread had changed considerably: there was greater competition on the auction floors largely due to direct state intervention (which increased growers' net margins in nominal terms), improvements in marketing arrangements, tighter state regulation (including the introduction of minimum prices for grades of burley) and increased systemic efficiency (through a rapid expansion of contract farming). The article concludes by highlighting some of the opportunities and threats that this form of vertical integration poses smallholder growers.

Download 2011.09 Martin Prowse | A comparative value chain analysis of Burley tobacco in Malawi - 2003/04 and 2009/10

2011.08 Marijke Verpoorten | Measure for Measure: How Well Do We Measure Micro-level Conflict Intensity?

Abstract

Rich measures of micro-level violent conflict intensity are key for successfully providing insight into the legacy of civil war. Yet, the debate on how exactly conflict intensity should be measured has just started. This paper aims to fuel this awakening debate. It is demonstrated how existing and widely available data-population census data - can provide the basis for a useful measure of micro-level conflict intensity: a fine Wartime Excess Mortality Index (WEMI). It is argued that the proposed measure is particularly well suited for studying the legacy of civil wars that are characterized by a large death toll and by different forms of violence. The measure is illustrated for the case of Rwanda and it is shown that, in a straightforward empirical application of the impact of armed conflict on schooling, the estimated impact varies widely across WEMI and a large set of alternative conflict intensity measures for Rwanda. While the conflict intensity measure proposed in this paper requires further study and one probably needs a combination of various methodologies, this finding suggests the need for a careful understanding of what underlies the different measures and methodologies in use.

Download 2011.08 Marijke Verpoorten | Measure for Measure: How Well Do We Measure Micro-level Conflict Intensity?

2011.07 Marijke Verpoorten | Leave None to Claim the Land A Malthusian Catastrophe in Rwanda?

Abstract

More than 200 years after its first publication, the Malthusian thesis is still much debated, albeit in a modified form. Rather than predicting a global catastrophe, most neo-Malthusians stress the local character of the relationship between population pressure, natural resource scarcity, and conflict as well as its dependency on the socio-political and economic context. This softened version of Malthus thesis has received little empirical support in cross-country studies.
In contrast, a number of sub-national analyses have provided some evidence for local conditional Malthusian catastrophes, although "catastrophe" is a big word since these studies have largely focused on low-intensity violence. This article adds to the small body of sub-national studies, but focuses on a high-intensity conflict, the Rwandan genocide. In particular, it provides a meso-level analysis of the relation between population pressure and the intensity of violence measured by the death toll among the Tutsi across 1,294 small administrative units. The results indicate that the death toll was significantly higher in localities with both high population density and little opportunity for young men to acquire land. On the one hand, this finding can be interpreted as support for the neo-Malthusian thesis. On the other hand, it is possible that another mechanism played, i.e. in densely populated areas it may have been relatively easy for the elite to mobilize the population, because of dependency relations through the land and labor market. Alternatively, in densely populated areas, there may have been more lootable assets, and the violence may have been opportunistic rather than driven by need or by fear.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at a LICOS/CRED seminar in Leuven and the CSAE conference in Oxford. I received helpful comments from Giacomo De Luca, Nils Petter Gleditsch, Romain Houssa, Pieter Serneels and Henrik Urdal. I am indebted to Bert Ingelaere for bringing the Gacaca data to my attention. I owe thanks to the Rwandan National Service of Gacaca Jurisdiction and the Rwandan National Census Service for making available the data used in this study. All errors and opinions expressed remain my own.

Download 2011.07 Marijke Verpoorten | Leave None to Claim the Land A Malthusian Catastrophe in Rwanda?

2011.06 Danny Cassimon, Martin Prowse, Dennis Essers | Financing the Clean Development Mechanism through debt-for-efficiency swaps? Case study evidence from a Uruguayan wind farm project

Abstract

As one of Kyoto’s three flexibility mechanisms for reducing the cost of compliance, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows the issuance of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits from offset projects in non-Annex I countries. Whilst much attention has focused on the widespread use of the mechanism by China and India, the complex project cycle, and the lack of convincing baselines, little attention has been paid to the financing of CDM projects. In this paper we assess the extent to which CDM projects with public bodies should utilise debt swaps as a form of finance. The paper does this through analysing the use of a debt swap between Uruguay and Spain within a CDM wind farm project in Uruguay. The paper assesses this transaction according to a simple framework by which debt swaps can be evaluated: whether it delivers additional resources to the debtor country and/or debtor government budget; whether it delivers more resources for climate purposes; whether it has a sizeable effect on overall debt burdens (thereby creating ‘indirect’ benefits); and whether it adheres to the principles of alignment with government policy and systems (key elements within the new aid approach). 

Download 2011.06 Danny Cassimon, Martin Prowse, Dennis Essers | Financing the Clean Development Mechanism through debt-for-efficiency swaps? Case study evidence from a Uruguayan wind farm project

2011.05 Stef Vandeginste | The African Union, constitutionalism and power-sharing

Abstract

Over the past decade, the African Union (AU) had put in place an important normative framework to promote constitutional rule and, in particular, orderly constitutional transfers of power in its member states. Through its Peace and Security Council (PSC), the AU has actively opposed, including through the use of sanctions, unconstitutional changes of government. As a key element of its policy, the PSC systematically advocates a return to constitutional order as a remedy for unconstitutional changes of government. Free and fair elections are an important element in the PSC policy of legitimating a new constitutional and political order. However, while opposing unconstitutional means of obtaining or transferring power, the AU has been generally supportive of the use of power-sharing agreements as an instrument of negotiated conflict settlement. Most power-sharing agreements are not in accordance with the prevailing constitutional order and, as part of a larger peace agreement, often contain new constitutional blueprints. This dual policy of, on the one hand, opposing certain types of unconstitutional changes of government, in particular military coups, and, on the other, advocating power-sharing agreements in the absence of a regulatory framework or normative guidance on such agreements poses an obvious challenge for the consistency of AU policy. Insofar as the AU wishes to nurture a culture of constitutionalism in its member states, it might benefit from developing policy guidelines about how to enhance the legitimacy of a new constitutional order - and of the political regime exercising political authority – be it in the aftermath of a coup or as a result of power-sharing.

Download 2011.05 Stef Vandeginste | The African Union, constitutionalism and power-sharing

2011.04 Johan Bastiaensen and Peter Marchetti | Crisis in Nicaraguan Microfinance: Between the Scylla of Business for Profit and the Charybdis of Clientelism

Abstract

From the being a poster child of microfinance development, Nicaragua became one of the nightmares for the industry. The negative influence on the countries' repayment culture of the Non-Payment Movement, ambiguously related to the new Sandinista government, is typically blamed for the crisis. A closer analysis, however, reveals that features of the mainstream microfinance policies in Nicaragua are possibly more to blame for the crisis than the political turmoil, which opportunistically seems to have taken advantage of the underlying problems. Overfunding of regulated MFI-banks and promotion of excessive competition, in particular of these banks with the non-regulated MFIs, led to reckless lending and created over-indebtedness. Gradual professionalization and conventionalization also led to the erosion of social embeddedness –once at the core of the Microfinance revolution- and left MFI weak in the face of political challenges. And the obsession with profitability and 'finance only' implied higher interest rates and left many poorer clients with little or negative impact, lending credibility to the accusation of usury. While the Non-Payment Movement could be understood as a Polanyian countermovement to the problems created by market development, its ultimate political objectives however seem to offer only dubious perspectives for future inclusive economic development.

Download 2011.04 Johan Bastiaensen and Peter Marchetti | Crisis in Nicaraguan Microfinance: Between the Scylla of Business for Profit and the Charybdis of Clientelism

2011.03 Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg | Gender mainstreaming within the context of changing aid modalities: evidence from Tanzania

Abstract

With the aim to promote aid effectiveness that ultimately contributes to development, changes in aid policies and instruments have been propagated over the last decade. The 2005 Paris Declaration (PD) and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), which set out a reform agenda around the principles of ownership, harmonisation, alignment, results-orientation and mutual accountability, are illustrations of the growing consensus in this respect. While the rationale for a gender sensitive PD may easily be built upon equality, effectiveness and efficiency arguments, gender is hardly mainstreamed into the PD and its implementation. In a previous study (see Holvoet and Inberg 2009) we explored how the changing aid architecture unfolds opportunities and challenges for gender mainstreaming policies and gender equality and empowerment objectives. This paper zooms in on the case of Tanzania, one of the donor darlings, and studies how opportunities and challenges materialise on the ground. It analyses how various actors, including government, civil society and donors, are handling gender mainstreaming in the realm of ongoing changes in aid policies and instruments.

Download 2011.03 Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg | Gender mainstreaming within the context of changing aid modalities: evidence from Tanzania

2011.02 Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg | Sector Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in the context of Changing Aid Modalities: The case of Niger's Health Sector

Abstract

Within the context of the 2005 Paris Declaration (PD) and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) recipient countries have committed themselves to setting up transparent results-oriented reporting and assessment frameworks, while donors are expected to use these frameworks and to collaborate with recipients in order to strengthen recipient countries' systems. However, progress in this area is slow: only three out of 54 countries in the 2008 PD Survey had adequate results-oriented frameworks. Donors, from their side, are reluctant to rely on systems which are only partially developed, which simultaneously blocks the further elaboration and maturing of recipient systems. 

Progress at sector level is generally stronger and particularly within health and education sectors where, in the context of Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps), several initiatives have been taken to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. Prior to strengthening an M&E system it is important to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system, taking both M&E supply and demand sides into account. This working paper analyses the M&E system in the health sector of Niger and focuses on issues of policy, methodology, organisation (structure and linkages), capacity, participation of actors outside government and use of M&E outputs. 

The assessment of the M&E system in Niger's health sector shows a mixed picture of a partially developed system. When taking into account that Niger is one of the least developed countries in the world, with very weak scores on many health indicators, this outcome is more positive than expected. The very prominent role of donors might possibly be related to the scores obtained. The authors of this working document, however, argue that if M&E system strengthening is to a large extent pushed from the outside (donors) and not motivated through an internal M&E demand and supply side (both from within as well as outside government), it is likely that the outputs of the system as well as their use will be weak.

Download 2011.02 Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg | Sector Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in the context of Changing Aid Modalities: The case of Niger's Health Sector

2011.01 Ben D'Exelle and Nathalie Holvoet | Network Formation through a Gender Lens: Insights from rural Nicaragua

Abstract

This paper examines the relation between gender and network formation in rural Nicaragua. Applying dyadic regression techniques and controlling for individual socio-economic characteristics, we obtain insights into the determinants of the size and density as well as the socio-economic heterogeneity of individual networks. Assuming these network characteristics correlate with one‟s agency and benefits from network participation, we look for differences between men‟s and women‟s networks and its relation with gender. In general, the gendered private/public dichotomy and labor division is replicated in men‟s and women‟s networks. Furthermore, consistent with the restricted mobility of poor rural women, we observe that geographic distance limits the networks of women but not men. Next, female education and mobility, and newly-residing men, have a positive influence on the integration between men and women. Finally, clique formation is stronger around women than men.

Download 2011.01 Ben D'Exelle and Nathalie Holvoet | Network Formation through a Gender Lens: Insights from rural Nicaragua