Institute for Poverty Alleviation and
International Development

Yonsei University

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Year Volume
Author Title
Total 71
Volume 6 Number 2 December 2015
Held Back: Explaining the Sluggish Pace of Improvement to Basic Education in Developing Democracies–The Cases of India and Brazil
Author_ Lindsey CARSON, Joanna V. NORONHA & Michael J. TREBILCOCK
Pages 1-46
Abstract_ Despite the widely accepted relationship between quality primary education and sustainable, equitable development, two of the world’s fastest-growing democracies—India and Brazil— continue to trail their regional and economic peers in basic learning outcomes. Using a supply and demand framework, this article identifies six institutional factors that we hypothesize may have been determinative in shaping education outcomes in both countries: actual popular demand, availability of information about public education quality, impact of private school alternatives, financial allocations, incentive structures for educational personnel, and the influence of political institutions on the responsiveness of public leaders. Our analysis reveals the interrelationships among these six factors and their connections to broader economic, political, social, and historical realities in each country. We conclude by identifying central elements of public accountability mechanisms that seem to be the most appropriate institutional venues to create and maintain the type of sustained, focused public pressure necessary to achieve lasting improvements to access and quality.
Keywords_ Basic education, India, Brazil, Decentralization and service delivery, Accountability
Volume 6 Number 2 December 2015
Evidence-based Policymaking? Revisiting the “Known,” the Assumed and the Promoted in New Social Development Policy
Author_ Johan SANDBERG
Pages 47-80
Abstract_ Supported by a virtual plethora of impact evaluations, conditional cash transfers (CCTs) have been widely promoted for their ability to simultaneously pursue short-term poverty alleviation through income support and long-term poverty reduction through human capital investments. In particular, their claim to fame lies in their perceived capacity to enable a break in intergenerational transmission of poverty. This study presents an inquiry into such capacities. First, it filters that which is “known” from that which remains assumed through a synthesis of systematic reviews. The inquiry corroborates existing research and finds that evidence concerning CCTs’ impact pertains almost exclusively to short-term effects from a handful of localized cases, providing scarce information on the programs’ alleged long-term capabilities. That is, existing evidence lacks any demonstrated effects on long-term poverty reduction and human capital enhancement—the two overriding goals of the programs. More importantly, it contributes to existing research and problematizes CCTs’ promoted long-term impact by further qualifying the “known” and by analyzing the empirical foundations of the programs’ implicit assumptions. Findings of largely untested theoretical assumptions pertaining to the human capital–social mobility nexus further challenge the basis for CCTs’ promoted capacity to enable a break in intergenerational transmission of poverty. These findings are deemed particularly relevant to developing countries in Africa and Asia and their efforts to adequately incorporate CCTs into poverty reduction strategies and policies.
Keywords_ Social policy, Poverty, Development, Conditional cash transfers, Impact evaluations, Latin America
Volume 6 Number 2 December 2015
The Future of UN Development Assistance
Author_ Stephen BROWNE
Pages 81-106
Abstract_ While the UN did not set out to be a development organization, this function now constitutes the fourth and largest pillar of the “second UN” of organizations, taking on the roles of norm-setter, dispenser of technical assistance, and source of ideas and research. The UN has adapted to change in its other main functions, but its development role has been disadvantaged by the parallel structures bequeathed to it. In this role, the UN has become less cohesive and more marginalized in spite of the fact that there are growing development challenges requiring urgent responses from the world organization. A new blueprint for reform in 2006 remains only partially implemented and provides an agenda for change which should be pursued. In 2015, the UN passed an important watershed with the expected agreement of a new set of development goals. “The UN we want” for “the world we want” thus becomes an urgent priority. In the future, the technical foundations of the present development UN need to be downplayed in favor of the normative. With the support of the “first” UN of member-state governments, successful change can come through new enlightened leadership within the “second” UN of organizations, able to respond to the messages and opinions emanating from the “third” UN: the global public in whose name the UN was originally conceived.
Keywords_ United Nations, UN development system, UN reform, MDGs
Volume 6 Number 2 December 2015
Micro-determinants of Income Inequality and Consumption in Rural Bangladesh
Author_ Sanzidur RAHMAN
Pages 107-134
Abstract_ The paper examines the extent to which household and regional characteristics influence income inequality and consumption/welfare based on an in-depth survey of 406 households from 21 villages in three regions of Bangladesh. Results show that the overall Gini coefficient for rural incomes is 0.43 but Gini-decomposition revealed that the contribution of mixed crop production to inequality is just 10 percent while “Green Revolution” technology contributes almost 29 percent. Land ownership, farm capital assets, modern irrigation, non-agricultural income, and household head’s education significantly increase consumption. Tenants and households with more dependents are doubly disadvantaged and consume significantly less. Regional factors also significantly influence inequality and consumption. Consumption is significantly higher in regions with developed infrastructure. Comilla is the region with the highest level of inequality and a significantly lower level of consumption. Thus an integrated policy of investments in modern irrigation, crop diversification, tenancy reform, mass education and rural infrastructure is necessary to increase consumption/welfare and reduce income inequality in Bangladesh.
Keywords_ Income inequality, Gini-decomposition analysis, Consumption or welfare determinants, Bangladesh
Volume 6 Number 2 December 2015
State-led Malaria Control Efforts in the Developing World
Author_ Natasha M. EZROW
Pages 135-166
Abstract_ The state can play a critical role in combating disease. However, international approaches in the most vulnerable countries have tended to undermine state building to the detriment of effective disease management. Though well intentioned, vertical programs executed by international agencies and NGOs can create islands of excellence that leave a tremendous void once they exit their target country. Ministries of health devote considerable resources to dealing with vertical programs, and, public healthcare institutions are weakened because other health issues are neglected. Moreover, external agencies have great difficulty adequately meeting local needs when projects circumvent the public healthcare system. Finally, tackling disease requires a response from the state that goes beyond the public health care system to confront the challenges of prevention, detection and treatment, both at the national and local levels. This paper explores the impact that the state can have in mitigating the spread of one particular disease, malaria, and critically examines the role of vertical programs. Vietnam is presented as a case study.
Keywords_ Malaria, Vietnam, Public healthcare, State building, Vertical programs
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Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development (IPAID) at Yonsei University

1, Yonseidae-gil, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

강원도 원주시 연세대길1 연세대학교 원주캠퍼스 정의관 316호 빈곤문제국제개발연구원

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