Courtesy: Cambridge journals
Addressing gender in agricultural research for development in the face of a changing climate: where are we and where should we be going?
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability , Volume 15, 2017 – Issue 5
Agricultural development efforts that do not address persistent gender gaps miss opportunities for greater impact. This synthesis reflects on key findings from integrated quantitative and qualitative analyses at the nexus of gender, agricultural development, and climate change. Linked farm household-, intrahousehold-, community-, and institutional-level data highlight significant and nuanced gender differences in adaptive capacity of individuals and communities to respond to climate change. The gender gap is also substantial in exposure to climate change and its impacts, and uptake of new practices that lower vulnerability. Women in agriculture will remain largely neglected by information and service providers unless their differing needs, access to, and control over resources are considered at policy and project design stage. Yet clear guidelines for addressing the needs of both men and women in different environments and agricultural systems are still lacking. Participatory ‘action research’ approaches with a focus on co-learning, and using innovative cell phone or social media-based approaches offer exciting new opportunities. Agricultural development decision-makers and project designers need to ‘design with gender in mind’. Equipping them with tools and knowledge of innovative gender-transformative practices and intervention options and creating accountability for serving women and men will be key.
This paper provides an assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined impacts on yields, key variable costs of production, direct farm (gross) income and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has occurred at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2015. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $15.4 billion in 2015 and $167.8 billion for the 20 year period 1996–2015 (in nominal terms). These gains have been divided 49% to farmers in developed countries and 51% to farmers in developing countries. About 72% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 28% coming from cost savings. The technology has also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having, for example, added 180 million tonnes and 358 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s.
International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 56, September 2017
Using a large-scale household survey, we investigate how disparities in learning change over the primary school cycle. Even controlling for other factors, household wealth and parental schooling drive sizeable gaps in learning, increasing in magnitude over the school grades. Gender gaps also widen, although only among the poorest. In contrast to other countries, overage status is positively associated with learning early on, but its importance dissipates by later grades. While the importance of factors varies across states, household wealth predominates. The analysis highlights the importance of tackling disadvantage associated with poverty early, to avoid its effects on learning becoming entrenched.
Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman articulated the natural rate hypothesis. It was composed of two sub-hypotheses: First, the natural rate of unemployment is independent of monetary policy. Second, there is no long-run tradeoff between the deviation of unemployment from the natural rate and inflation. Both propositions have been challenged. This paper reviews the arguments and the macro and micro evidence against each. It concludes that, in each case, the evidence is suggestive but not conclusive. Policymakers should keep the natural rate hypothesis as their null hypothesis but keep an open mind and put some weight on the alternatives.
UNU-MERIT Working Paper, #2017-041
Historically, extractive sector MNEs have been seen as an obstacle to sustainable development, because they operated in enclaves with limited local engagement. Import-substitution policies aimed to increase the local benefits of these resources, restricting FDI. Since liberalisation, extractive MNEs have re-engaged with developing countries through looser governance structures with greater potential for linkages. Despite the potential, few host countries have seen meaningful MNE-led development because of weak domestic firms and poor location advantages. New MNEs from emerging economies have not shown a greater propensity to local linkages. Only countries that have continued to invest in location advantages have seen substantial benefits.