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Development Policy Review July 2023 round-up

Written by Annalisa Prizzon

Image credit:Book lot on table Image license:Tom Hermans / Unsplash

The July issue of Development Policy Review for 2023 is now out. As a reminder, Development Policy Review is an online-only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the links between research and policy in all aspects of international development. It does so across the spectrum of social science disciplines, intellectual persuasions, institutional backgrounds, and regions.

In this July issue, we hosted a special section led by Marjoke Oosterom and Sohela Nazneen from the Institute of Development Studies. Articles explore how social norms and job informality influence women's perceptions about—and their voice and agency to counter—workplace sexual harassment. Research with domestic workers and workers in agro-processing factories in Bangladesh and Uganda explored how gender norms and informality in work arrangements influence young women's voice and agency in response to sexual harassment at work. You can read the introductory essay here.

And if you missed it last month we had our first ever Development Policy Review live event, featuring the written symposium on the future of aid we published in the last issue. Highly recommended seminar to watch, the debate was particularly engaging and thought-provoking. You can watch the video of the event, and read the written symposium (15 pages long) on the role of aid in countries with and without a development bargain.

Back to the latest issue. Here is a summary of the motivation and the purpose of the articles you will find in the July edition of Development Policy Review.

  • Ownership of foreign aid. In their OA (Open Access) article, Fredrik Söderbaum and co-authors explore what “ownership” of development cooperation means in a regional setting and what strategies and activities should be enacted to ensure ownership of regional foreign aid.

  • Changing norms in development cooperation. Universal challenges require collective responsibility for identifying future pathways and solutions, unprecedented levels of global cooperation, and a clear set of principles and norms to shape needed actions and responses. In a changing landscape of actors, the norms that have previously evolved and served the interests of one particular group of actors may no longer be fit for purpose. In their OA article, Peter Taylor and co-authors explore how and why different societal actors and stakeholders are shaping and informing development cooperation norms, and whether newer members of a growing community of development aid providers will want to sit at an existing table, or go their own way, individually or with other collectives.

  • Adaptive programming and water governance model in DRC. In their OA article, Tom Kirk and co-authors investigate adaptive approaches to development programmes that aim at improving service provision in underperforming sectors in fragile and conflict-affected states. They analyse a case study, the Integrated Maji Infrastructure and Governance Initiative for Eastern Congo public-private partnership model for water provision in DRC.

  • Effectiveness of government and non-governmental organisations in assisting internally displaced women in Nigeria. There is scant information on support systems for internally displaced persons in Nigeria. This limits the operations of aid agencies and other stakeholders, preventing them from providing targeted assistance. In their OA article, Seun Bamidele and Innocent Pikirayi aim to fill this gap by examining the support given by non-governmental organisations, religious organisations, and philanthropists.

  • Conditional cash transfers in Brazil. Cash transfers have become popular for relieving poverty in the Global South. Many programmes are conditional on beneficiaries complying with medical check-ups, nutritional assessments, and vaccinations. Such conditions may improve the health of beneficiaries, above all the health of their young children. But often public health provision is strained. In her OA article, Marika Csapo analyses whether the increased attention to those getting the transfers reduces health services to non-beneficiaries, especially those on low incomes who cannot afford private medicine.

  • Nutrition strategies and policies in Rwanda. Increased attention to the health and nutritional status of people in low-income countries has led to the development and budgeting for food and nutrition policies. While current policy discussions generally acknowledge the need for better integrating nutrition-sensitive approaches into current nutrition-specific health interventions, most do not weigh the costs and merits or potential synergies. In their article, James Warner and co-authors shed light on and compare the effectiveness of interventions that policy-makers can select and combine to sustainably improve nutrition outcomes in Rwanda.

  • Industrialisation and poverty eradication. While economic growth is usually necessary to poverty eradication, it is often not sufficient. Industrialisation, especially manufacturing, tends to create jobs that are more productive than in other sectors, and which pay more, thereby reducing poverty. The structure of production therefore matters as well as the growth of production. In his article, Burhan Can Karahasan assesses how much industrialisation mediates the relation of economic growth to poverty reduction.