2013.13 Bert Ingelaere | Learning "To Be" Kinyarwanda Reflections on Fieldwork, Method and Data in the Study of Rwanda's Transition
The objective of this paper is the document the research process underlying a study on the Rwandan transition. An extensive documentation of the research process is needed (although rarely systematically undertaken) in order to understand or assess rigor (scientific and empirical) and reflexive activities deployed in the achievement of the study results. The underlying source of inspiration to do so are questions of validity that guide social science research as such. As a consequence, trustworthiness and phronesis are central concerns due to the particular epistemological intake and research strategy adopted. The paper describes the fieldwork activities, choice and use of research techniques, the reflective process guiding design and analysis, and provides an overview of the data. The paper documents five main research principles underlying and guiding the study: immersion, iteration, multi-sitedness, mixing methods and diachrony. Two main research techniques are discussed in detail: systematic observation activities and a life history approach. A detailed overview of the nature of the available data as well as a reflection on issues of epistemology and ontology concludes.
2013.12 Dennis Essers | South African labour market transitions during the global financial and economic crisis: Micro-level evidence from the NIDS panel and matched QLFS cross-sections
This paper studies individual-level labour market transitions and their determinants in South Africa during the zenith and aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis using 2008-2010/11 panel data from the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) and matched cross-sections of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) over 2008Q1-2012Q4. We uncover considerable movement in South African labour markets over the crisis period. Chances of continued employment significantly vary along gender, age and education levels and between different sorts of occupations and sectors of employment. Although we do find time variation in the economic significance of some of these explanatory variables, it remains difficult to link this variation directly to the evolution of South Africa’s economy over the course of the crisis.
JEL classifications: F61; G01; J64
Keywords: global financial crisis; labour markets; employment; survey data; South Africa
2013.11 Marijke Verpoorten and Romain Houssa | The unintended consequence of an export ban: Evidence from Benin's shrimp sector
The inability of Benin to comply with EU standards led to a ban on its shrimp exports. The ban had a negative impact on the exporting firms, the fishmongers and the artisanal fishermen, even several years after it was lifted. Exports did not revive because local and international institutions failed to resolve the sector’s increased perceived riskiness and its inadequate financial and technical resources. For the fishermen, the impact of the ban persisted because they were locked in the fishery sector, and the local shrimp demand could not fully compensate for the loss of the EU market.
Keywords: EU food safety standards, Aid for Trade, export ban, shrimp, Benin.
2013.10 Danny Cassimon, Dennis Essers and Achmad Fauzi | Indonesia's Debt-for-Development Swap Experience: Past, Present and Future
This paper systematically reviews recent experience with debt-for-development swaps in Indonesia, the only debtor country where the number of such operations could warrant its qualification as a genuine government debt relief and development finance policy. First, we show that the 11 swaps Indonesia has signed with its bilateral creditors since 2002 perform rather erratically across four criteria: the increase of resources at the country and/or government budget level; the increase of resources for intended sector purposes; whether, taken together, these swaps ease debt burdens; and the extent of their alignment with government policy and systems. Second, the paper finds little evidence of learning on the Indonesian side. We believe Indonesia can take a more proactive stance in negotiating the economic terms underlying its debt swaps and suggest concrete ways to do so in future swap deals.
Key words: external public debt, debt relief, debt swaps, development aid, Indonesia
JEL codes: H63; F34; F35
2013.09 Nadia Molenaers, Robrecht Renard and Anna Gagiano | The Quest for Aid Complimentarity: Nordic+ Donors and NGO-cofunding Reforms
The perennial lamentation since the inception of the aid business has been fragmentation: too many donors carrying relatively small amounts of money to too many different interventions in too many different countries(Easterly and Pfutze 2008: 2; Acharya et al.2006; Frot and Santiso 2010, 201). Such fragmentation produces high burdens on the recipient and is even considered to undermine institutional performance ((Djankov et al.2009; Knack and Rahman 2007). NGOs are part and parcel of the fragmentation problem, be only due to their sheer number: around 40 000 NGOs are internationally active (UNDP 2000).
Better coordination would reduce fragmentation (OECD 2005; Easterly 2007) and since the Paris Declaration (PD) of 2005, the international donor community has recognized donor coordination and increased specialization as tools to combat fragmentation. Such coordination should encompass an intensified cooperation between civil society organizations and governments (OECD 2005, 2008).
But how can this complementarity between governmental donors and NGOs be realized? And what should complementarity look like if diversity, heterogeneity and autonomy lie at the heart of the NGO-sector? Should NGOs from a given donor country be brought in line with the bilateral strategy? Should NGOs harmonize with each other? And where should this harmonization take place? In the home country or in the field?
2013.08 Nadia Molenaers, Anna Gagiano, Lode Smets and Sebastian Dellepiane | What determines the suspension of budget support in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Since the turn of the millennium the aid business has witnessed an important shift in the conceptualization and practice of aid delivery. The move towards harmonized and aligned approaches, including the need to make aid more predictable and flexible, introduced the budget support modality. Budget support (BS) was designed as a financing modality to support poverty reduction efforts, which was to be used quite selectively. Only countries with a good policy environment and a government demonstrably committed to poverty reduction were to be granted this flexible aid modality. Ownership was considered key because experience had shown that conditionality, particularly the kind that refers to reforms or policy changes which carry some political sensitiveness, tend to be ineffective. In reality a lot of donors started to channel parts of their aid through this fashionable new millennium flavoured aid modality without being particularly selective. As a result, aid predictability was put under strain almost immediately because donors started to use BS suspensions as a sanctioning mechanism whenever a ‘troubling’ event in the recipient country was considered a (potential) ‘breach’ in the trust relation between donor and recipient. ‘Troubling’ events could range from corruption scandals, human rights violations or electoral fraud to seemingly more ‘prosaic’ onsets like the late production of a key report. Since a number of suspensions were directly linked to regime issues, BS suspensions were thus tied in with the use of political conditionalities and served as a stick to lever for change (Hayman 2011; Molenaers et al 2010; Faust et al 2012).
2013.07 Kelbesa Megersa and Danny Cassimon | Assessing Indicators of Currency Crisis in Ethiopia: Signals Approach
Currency crises, generally defined as rapid depreciations of a local currency or loss of foreign exchange reserves, are common incidents in modern monetary systems. Due to their repeated occurrence and severity, they have earned wide coverage by both theoretical and empirical literature. However, unlike advanced and emerging economies, currency crises in low-income countries have not received due attention. This paper uses the signals approach developed by Kaminsky et al. (1998) and assesses currency crisis in Ethiopia over the time frame January 1970 to December 2008. Using the Exchange Market Pressure Index (EMPI), we identify three currency crisis episodes that coincide with the liberalisation following the fall of Ethiopian socialism, the Ethio-Eritrean border conflict, and the zenith of the global financial crisis. The timing shows the importance of both local and international dynamics. More macro-economic indicators picked up the first crisis in a 24 month signalling window, compared to the latter two. Three categories of indicators were used: current account, capital account and domestic financial sector. None of the capital account indicators were significant based on the noise-to-signal ratio rule. One possible explanation for this might be the weak integration of the Ethiopian economy with global capital markets.
Key words: Currency crisis, financial crisis, early warning systems, signals approach, Ethiopia
2013.06 Omer Kambale Mirembe | RD Congo: Une croissance sans développement?
According to the Congolese government, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) realized good macroeconomic performance over the past few years. It is now entering economic and social development phase. But what is the reality behind such optimism? Does economic growth contribute to poverty reduction in the DRC? We find that notwithstanding significant achievements with regard to the macroeconomic framework, there has not been poverty reduction in the DRC. Explanatory factors include the sectoral composition of growth and weaknesses in implementation of redistributive policies.
2013.05 Glaister Leslie and Nathalie Holvoet | Feeling for the Intangible: A Framework for Donor's Monitoring and Evaluation of Capacity Development Interventions
Despite the acknowledged importance of capacity development to developing countries achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and one quarter of global aid going to this purpose, there is little evidence of progress in this area. There are many reasons for this, of which one is the ineffective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of capacity development. This paper therefore explores how donors can better monitor and evaluate capacity development interventions in developing countries. This was largely done by creating, for potential use by donors, a conceptual framework for M&E of capacity development that bricolaged key elements of existing M&E frameworks identified in academic literature. Using a capacity development project implemented by the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) in Rwanda, this framework was tested and adjusted where necessary.
The testing process demonstrated that the bricolaged framework adequately captured most organizational areas that must be addressed for capacity to develop, as well as most reported changes to capacity itself. The subsequent inclusion of other elements in the framework resulting from the testing process further improved the framework’s power. This conceptual framework can be integrated into the logical framework, which is currently the most common tool that donors use to plan, monitor and evaluate capacity development projects. Piloting of this framework is recommended, however, to further validate this paper’s findings.
2013.04 Omer Kambale Mirembe | Customs reforms in eastern Congo (DRC): Between norms and practices
This paper attempts to explain how importers, clearance agents and customs officers respond to ongoing customs administration reforms in the DRC. Customs reforms include computerization, single desk system and pre-shipment inspection. The DRC case reveals that the reforms as norms are indeed implemented, but they have not eradicated some ‘mispractices’. Actors involved adapt their practices within the framework of the reforms.
2013.03 Nathalie Holvoet, Liesbeth Inberg and Susan Sekirime | Institutional analysis of monitoring and evaluation systems: Comparing M&E systems in Uganda's health and education sector
In the context of the Paris Declaration and sector wide approaches (SWAps), the need to invest in well-functioning national health sector monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems is widely acknowledged. Regardless of the approach adopted, an important first step in any strategy for capacity development is to diagnose the quality of existing systems or arrangements, taking into account both the supply and demand sides of M&E. As no standardized M&E diagnostic instrument currently exists, we invested in the development of an assessment tool for sector M&E systems. In order to counter the criticism that M&E is often narrowed down to a focus on technicalities, our diagnostic tool assesses the quality of M&E systems according to six dimensions: i) policy; ii) indicators, data collection and methodology; iii) organisation (further divided into iiia: structure, and iiib: linkages); iv) capacity; v) participation of non-government actors; and vi) use of M&E outputs. We have applied this checklist to M&E arrangements in e.g. the education and health sectors of Uganda. The outcomes of these two assessments are compared in this paper. As we aim to explore the underlying institutions and contextual factors that influence M&E in Uganda, and more specifically M&E in the education and health sectors, we draw upon the insights from the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to structure our analysis
Download 2013.03 Nathalie Holvoet, Liesbeth Inberg and Susan Sekirime | Institutional analysis of monitoring and evaluation systems: Comparing M&E systems in Uganda's health and education sector
2013.02 Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg | How gender-sensitive are the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) of Sub-Saharan African countries? A gender-scan of 31 NAPAs
The recent (draft) decision of the 2012 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognises that a more balanced representation of women from developed and developing countries in the UNFCCC process is important in order to create climate policies that are responding to the different needs of men and women in national and local contexts (UNFCCC, 2012). In the context of the UNFCC, countries that are most vulnerable to climate change list their priority adaptation projects in National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Guidelines for drafting NAPAs have been made gender-sensitive drawing upon equality, effectiveness and efficiency arguments. More specifically, climate change affect men and women differently and therefore, policies and programmes that do not take into account the particular needs and capacities of both men and women will fail to be effective and may even worsen the already existing male bias. Against this background of increased acknowledgement of the importance of gender mainstreaming in climate change policies, we aim at confronting rhetorics with reality. Our study investigates to what extent and in what way the 31 available Sub Sahara African NAPAs integrate a gender dimension into the different phases (diagnosis, selection of projects, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation) of the NAPA cycle and the different sectors that are especially related to climate change (in addition to the energy sector, these are the agriculture, forestry, water and sanitation and health sectors). Additionally, we also analyse the degree of participation of women and gender experts in diagnosis and decision-making as well as the gender sensitivity of the format used for participation . The findings of the gender scan among others demonstrate that there is a decline in gender-sensitivity throughout the cycle, which is particularly outspoken when translation priorities into budgets and indicators. Next, processes have been more gender sensitive than the actual content of NAPAs which hints at the fact that the gender actors around the table in NAPA decision making have not always been able to influence the content of the NAPAs. This could among others be related to a low track record of these gender actors in the area of climate change. Local climate change experts on the other hand often lack operational ‘gender’ tools and approaches which are framed in their own terminology. When it comes to an integration of issues in climate change budgets, our study suggests that the insights, approaches and tools of gender budgeting could be particularly useful.
Download 2013.02 Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg | How gender-sensitive are the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) of Sub-Saharan African countries? A gender-scan of 31 NAPAs
2013.01 Danny Cassimon and Dennis Essers | A chameleon called debt relief
This paper critically reviews three decades of official creditors’ debt relief practice in Sub-Saharan Africa from a novel angle, i.e. along debt relief’s similarities with other aid modalities. We show that debt relief is a true ‘chameleon’ which mimics different sorts of aid, from traditional project aid to multi-year general budget support. The ‘colour’ of this chameleon depends on the embedded conditionality, alignment and the budgetary resource effect of particular debt relief interventions. We argue that characterising debt relief from an aid modality perspective is helpful in better understanding its widely varying performance track record and holds important policy lessons for designing future operations.
Download 2013.01 Danny Cassimon and Dennis Essers | A chameleon called debt relief