Publications: Briefings

Combatting inequalities within and among countries is key to women’s empowerment

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

The economic empowerment of women is the priority theme for the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women with special attention to the empowerment of indigenous women.

The struggle to empower women and to combat gender inequality goes hand in hand with the struggle for women’s human rights. The increasing application of human rights instruments from local to global continues to be the hallmark of organizing that crosses sectors, policy tracks and borders. [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #14

As the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development concludes, the technical work at/of the UN continues to refine and agree on the global indicators to measure progress. This involves circulating selected indicators for consultation, adopting a lead agency to collect and submit the data and adopting an agreed methodology, as well as fundraising to increase the extent of data coverage and building capacity. At the same time, as this is a work in progress, many [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #13

By Barbara Adams

This briefing is an unedited version to be published in Development Journal, Issue 58.4, forthcoming (Online October 2016, Printed version November 2016).

In order to intensify the effort to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN is exploring financial solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes examining the transformations needed in the financial sector that will encourage implementation and addressing a number of questions such as: What are the most effective means to better [...]

The new Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors at the World Health Organization

After several years of intense discussions and negotiations, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the World Health Organization’s Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors (FENSA) on 28 May 2016. The establishment of the framework was a response to the growing concerns of many governments and civil society organizations about the corporate influence on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) normative and operational activities. The objective of the new framework was therefore to provide guidelines for clear and informed decision making on [...]

The 2030 Agenda requires an integrated approach to sustainable development

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

The 2030 Agenda goes far beyond previous development agendas. First, it recognizes that inequality and unsustainable consumption and production are by-products of economic growth and constitute a big challenge in a world of finite resources.  This understanding would have been unthinkable as little as 10 years ago.

Second, it has put governments and the UN system on notice that the silo approach to development embraced by the MDGs does not work. Efforts to achieve [...]

Time to reconsider their role in implementation

“Partnership” is a misleading term to cover every type of engagement between UN entities and non-State actors. It promotes a false sense of equality. Lumping CSOs and corporate actors together according to their non-State status ignores the profound differences in their orientation, interests and accountability. Before considering ways to enhance the effectiveness of partnerships between UN entities and non-State actors and establishing a system-wide delivery support, more fundamental questions should be addressed. This Background Note poses necessary questions and offers [...]

Time to reconsider their role in implementation

By Barbara Adams and Jens Martens

  • “Partnership” is a misleading term to cover every type of engagement between UN entities and non-State actors.
  • It promotes a false sense of equality. Lumping CSOs and corporate actors together according to their non-State status ignores the profound differences in their orientation, interests and accountability.
  • Before considering ways to enhance the effectiveness of partnerships between UN entities and non-State actors and establishing a system-wide delivery support, more fundamental questions should be addressed.
  • This Background [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #10

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

On 11 March 2016 the UN Statistical Commission agreed “as a practical starting point” with the proposed global indicator framework by which to measure progress towards the 17 goals and 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognized that the development of a robust and high quality indicator framework is a process that will need to continue over time and authorized the Interagency and Expert Group for Sustainable Development [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #8

A critical issue repeatedly arising in the post-2015 negotiations relates to responsibility. There is shared responsibility, the preference of rich countries who would like to shift traditional official development assistance (ODA) and other “burdens” given the “rise” of some developing countries. There is common but differentiated responsibility, stressed by developing countries to link common commitment with the reality of varying capacities.

Debates also circle, directly or otherwise, around the role of the state, with some camps continuing to promote its [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #7

With pens still hovering over the Addis Ababa Action Plan, the outcome agreement for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), there is already a sense that for all the recent talk at the UN about ambition and transformation, it is falling short. For a financing document, the Action Plan includes an impressive number of references to issues at the core of sustainable and inclusive development, like social protection, essential services, decent work for all and sustainable industrialization. [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #5

By Barbara Adams, Gretchen Luchsinger

It is not surprising that the political battles have already become fierce in the concurrent negotiations for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) and the post-2015 development agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At stake is who will shape the agenda—and how much real impact it will have.

What is the direction of the “transformation” that is now so frequently discussed in both talks? Are we headed towards a world of [...]

Global Policy Watch Briefing #3

The post-2015 development agenda aspires to global transformation. Its content so far, including the set of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) agreed in last year’s Open Working Group, affirms that aim through an unprecedented commitment to inclusion, sustainability and universality. This suggests that the world might finally move beyond current imbalanced patterns of consumption and production that have left wide swathes of human deprivation and pushed the limits of planetary boundaries.

Comments by the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives

In a new comment the the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives states that the SG’s report fails to address the core structural and macro-economic issues that shape the ability to implement and finance people-centered, ecologically sound policies and programs at all levels.

Reclaiming the UN's Values-Based Framework

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has published a report authored by GPF’s Barbara Adams and Lou Pingeot. The report titled “Whose Development, Whose UN?” gives an analysis of the future 'we don’t want' and the challenges facing the UN in the run up to the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. It takes a look at the state of the UN’s historically values-based framework and the interests of the different development actors shaping the post-2015 development paradigm, particularly focusing on the [...]

Policy brief of the Tax Justice Network Germany

In our series of papers coming out of the international conference „Tax Justice – Human Rights – Future Justice” in Berlin on the 27th November 2012, we are happy to present the latest edition on „Environmantal tax reform in countries of the South“. The paper ist he ninth in our series of Policy briefs „Info Steuergerechtigkeit“ on issues of tax justice, published in cooperation with the Tax Justice Network Germany.

Policy brief of the Tax Justice Network Germany

Fiscal policy – and hence also tax policy – is one of the most important steering instruments of governments. The true priorities of policies are often revealed more clearly by budgets and tax legislation than they are by declarations and action programmes. Also, a government’s fiscal policy reflects the political influence of certain interest groups. Are defence budgets or social welfare budgets being raised? Who enjoys tax reliefs, and how are they compensated for? Answers to these questions are crucial [...]

Towards an Agenda for Change

The financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009 only reached the developing world with a time lag. At least in parts of the Global South the crisis is having a huge social and economic impact. As a result, the prospects of achieving the internationallyagreed developing goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by2015 are receding ever more into distance.But the crisis has also brought about a change in the economic policy discourse. The blind faith of neo-liberal economists and the overnments [...]