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Development Policy Review November 2023 round-up

Written by Annalisa Prizzon

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

The last issue of Development Policy Review (DPR) for 2023 is now out. And it is also an opportunity for us in the editorial team to acknowledge and thank all the colleagues – 146 this past year – who gave up some of their time to advise us on the novelty and quality of the manuscripts that were sent out for peer review. Most importantly they helped authors sharpen and strengthen their analyses and help find solutions to policy problems grounded in robust evidence. Heartfelt thanks for their generosity and constructive comments.

As a reminder, DPR is a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the links between research and policy in all aspects of international development in low and middle-income countries and across the spectrum of social science disciplines.

Here is a summary of the rationales, findings and recommendations of the 10 articles in the latest issue.

  • Food sovereignty in Haiti. Food sovereignty—a concept that addresses unequal power relations within food systems at scales from household to nation—is increasingly being incorporated into national policies, particularly in the global south. Haiti has recently introduced food sovereignty into its policy landscape, but the degree to which this inter-sectoral approach diverges or coalesces with past policies for food security has not been explored. In their OA article, Marylynn Steckley and co-authors explore how food sovereignty shapes policy in ways that differ from conventional food security framing and how a food sovereignty policy would address questions of land, gender, health, trade, and agriculture in ways that differ from past policies.

  • Climate-smart agriculture policy in Tanzania. In this OA article, Ruth Smith, Anna Mdee and Susannah Sallu investigate how gender mainstreaming has spread into Tanzania's agricultural policies. They ask whether the government has the capacity to put these concepts into practice to address gender inequality. They explore this in the context of climate-smart agriculture, an increasingly important aspect of agricultural policy.

  • Nutrition advocacy. How does illiberal democracy impact civil society organizations that lobby for economic and human development? Danielle Resnick and Shilpa Deshpande examine how illiberal democracy affects organizations advocating for nutrition.

  • Green central banking under high inflation, the case of Turkey. Burcu Ünüvar and Erinç Yeldan document the risks associated with climate change for the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey in terms of its main mandate of price stability and to provide evidence to pursue green policies. They also examine the feasibility of a green monetary design under high inflation.

  • Thinking and Working Politically – evidence from a water business in Cambodia. Thinking and Working Politically (TWP) is an approach to ensure development interventions are politically feasible and not stymied by political opposition. Are the two approaches compatible? In the article, Isaac Lyne asks whether social business can ally with TWP for more effective development, taking a social business for water provision in Cambodia as a case study.

  • Participatory local governance in rural Nepal. Nepal adopted a federal constitution in 2015 that created autonomous local governments across the country. A primary aim was to encourage ordinary people's participation in local decision-making processes. To what extent do local governments in rural Nepal adopt informal approaches—approaches that reflect local social needs and desires—to participation in decision-making? This is the main question Thaneshwar Bhusal answers in this article.

  • Women, education and violence. The Boko Haram insurgency has ravaged north-east Nigeria since 2002. Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a school in one instance; abducted partly for ransom and partly because Boko Haram resents Western education, especially for girls and women. In this article, Cecilia Idika-Kalu analyses how displacement by the insurgency affected women's learning and education and how women affected by Boko Haram experienced self-regulated learning.

  • Indoor air pollution and child development in Indonesia. Air pollution in general, and indoor air pollution in particular, have been linked to severe, acute ill health. Less attention has been paid to long-term outcomes such as stunting (height for age). In their article, Younoh Kim, James Manley and Vlad Radoias investigate whether reduced air pollution inside the home resulting from burning cleaner fuels affects child development, building on the Indonesia Family Life Survey.

  • Financial inclusion in Latin America. Women are particularly vulnerable when it comes to emergency financial expenses The COVID-19 pandemic put additional stress on household incomes and the ability to meet emergency expenses, thus bringing into sharp relief the lack of inclusion of women in formal financial systems and the gender gaps between them and men. In their article, Maria Jose Roa and co-authors analyse how financially vulnerable women in Latin America are, what causes financial vulnerability and how financial inclusion, personality traits, cognitive characteristics, and financial literacy affect financial vulnerability.

  • Covid-19 and employment losses in Jordan and Morocco. The COVID-19 pandemic harmed business and employment in a number of ways. Co-authored by Rihab Baltaji, Ali Fakih and Nagham Sayour, the article assesses the losses of full-time and part-time jobs as well as wage cuts in Jordan and Morocco because of businesses having to close under lockdowns.