WIDERAngle May 2012 issue

WIDERAngle / May 2012

ReCom highlights in the WIDERAngle May 2012 issue.

Female Empowerment and Extreme Poverty Reduction: Progressing On One without the Other?
Lucy Scott

Women are increasingly seen as an important part of the international development agenda. Empowering women and promoting gender equality are enshrined as global development objectives with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed in 2000. Despite empowering women widely being viewed as a ‘good thing’, the questions of how development interventions can contribute to making progress along the long and winding road of female empowerment, and so enable women to make more choices about their own lives, is a contentious and debated area.
Full article.

Aid and economic growth: the case of Sierra Leone
James Stewart

Phillip Michael Kargbo's UNU-WIDER working paper, 'Impact of Foreign Aid on Economic Growth in Sierra Leone: Empirical Analysis'examines the impact of foreign aid on growth in Sierra Leone using a variety of econometric approaches. The paper finds that in the period 1970-2007 aid has a significant contribution in promoting economic growth in the country. It also shows that the effect of aid on economic growth during the period of war is either weak or non-existent and that aid during the pre-war period was marginally more effective than aid during the post-war period. These latter results suggest that the impact of aid may change with time.
Full article.

Taxation, public expenditure and aid effectiveness
James Stewart

In a recent UNU-WIDER working paper 'Fiscal Composition and Aid Effectiveness: A Political-Economy Model', Paul Mosley examines the claim that aid would have, in the long term, a negative impact on the productivity and stability of expenditure in recipient countries, due to its tendency to undermine tax systems. Full article.

Aid to Mozambique: a trade-off between governance and democracy?
James Stewart

In their UNU-WIDER working paper ‘The Changing Dynamics of Foreign Aid and Democracy in Mozambique’ Carrie Manning and Monica Malbrough argue that the move towards providing aid in the form of budget support in Mozambique brought a greater coherence to the whole aid agenda and strengthened the capacity of state institutions and thus improved governance in general in Mozambique. However they posit that paradoxically this improvement in governance has come at the price of a weakening of the political processes and institutions that are required for effective democracy. Full article.