How far do international climate change projects ‘trickle down’? A new journal article investigates how 30 internationally-funded adaptation projects affected — and included — vulnerable local communities.
What are the drivers of new and quality jobs in the developing world? A new policy brief considers the role of structural transformation in the labour markets of various emerging economies.
Student migrant, refugee or both? A new thesis investigates the departure timing, destination and channels of student refugees and migrants in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
These are just three of the questions tackled by our researchers in February 2020 — in four working papers, two policy briefs and one journal article, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Automation, industrialisation and development’. This brief examines a set of key issues and debates in the areas of automation, digitisation and other new technologies that are shaping the future of work and highlights selected recent empirical contributions. Automation and digitisation raise fundamental questions about the appropriate sequencing and stages of development pathways. That borrowing foreign-developed cutting edge technology is advantageous for economic development always and everywhere is an emerging consensus that will need to face empirical scrutiny going forward. By Dr. Lukas Schlögl.
‘Jobs and structural transformation in developing countries‘. This brief discusses how to promote structural transformation in a world characterised by globalisation of production, new technologies and the services revolution. To adapt to a changing world in which globalisation and new technologies are rapidly changing production, industrial policy in the 21st century needs to focus on a broader set of industries (such as services) that contribute to high productive and employment-intensive growth. By Dr. Marco Sanfilippo.
‘Innovation Indicators: For a critical reflection on their use in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)‘ argues that innovation indicators should be customised to the different socio-economic structures of LMICs. For this, the definition of innovation needs to be relevant to the multitude of innovation actors and processes in LMICs. The paper recommends that LMICs need to build competences not only in the construction of innovation indicators within their statistical systems, but also in the use of these indicators by among others policymakers. Especially as the fourth edition of the Oslo Manual (OM 2018) has broadened the scope of “innovation”, opening up policy space for LMICs to accommodate the diversity in their national systems of innovation and to develop accompanying innovation indicators. By Dr. Michiko Iizuka and Hugo Hollanders.
‘The impact of automation on inequality across Europe‘ indicates that automation is contributing to inequality, partly due to dynamic structural shifts – the composition effect. The paper shows that the impact of automation on wages is changing, and that it is important to consider the structural, as well as wage effects in order to understand the varied ways through which automation impacts inequality. Many fear the employment and displacement effects of automation, but even if we assume that employment levels remain high and workers will be sorted to new jobs without long lasting unemployment effects, our results suggest that inequality will continue to grow. These results confirm that the way in which technology is increasing inequality is largely due to the fact that there is a growing wage dispersion between jobs that are resilient to automation and those that are not. By PhD fellow Mary Kaltenberg and Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor.
‘STI-DUI innovation modes and firm performance in the Indian capital goods industry: Do small firms differ from large ones?‘ examines the effect of different innovation strategies followed by small and large firms on their overall performance in the capital goods industry. The authors observe that, in the case of small firms the informal learning and experience based innovation mode is related to improved performance, while the formal STI mode does not have any effect. On the other hand, for large firms, both STI and DUI innovation modes are positively related to its sales growth. The paper indicates that building certain DUI capabilities may act as a pre-condition to enhance the strength of science and technology based innovation strategies. By Dr. Nanditha Mathew et al.
‘Robots and the origin of their labour-saving impact‘ investigates the presence of explicit labour-saving heuristics within robotic patents. The paper analyses innovative actors engaged in robotic technology and their economic environment (identity, location, industry), and identifies the technological fields particularly exposed to labour-saving innovations. The results show that labour-saving patent holders comprise not only robots producers, but also adopters. Consequently, labour-saving robotic patents appear along the entire supply chain. The paper indicates that labour-saving innovations challenge manual activities (e.g. in the logistics sector), activities entailing social intelligence (e.g. in the healthcare sector) and cognitive skills (e.g. learning and predicting). By Prof. Marco Vivarelli et al.
‘For real? Income and non-income effects of cash transfers on the demand for food‘ analyses the effects of Kenya’s Hunger Safety Net Programme on food demand during a drastic price shock. The paper finds that the impact on nominal food expenditures overstates the impact measured at constant prices. It shows that structural changes in demand associated with transfer modalities account for up to half of the loss in real food expenditures compared to control households. By Dr. Stephan Dietrich et al.
‘What makes internationally-financed climate change adaptation projects focus on local communities? A configurational analysis of 30 Adaptation Fund projects‘. This article systematically assesses conditions that influence the focus on vulnerable local communities in internationally-financed adaptation projects. The authors find that country-level enabling conditions matter for shaping the use of international adaptation finance at the project level to be community-focused. Vulnerability to future climate risks, the governance of civil society and the access modality to international climate funds are key enabling conditions for internationally-financed, community-focused adaptation. These findings indicate that there are divergent policy pathways to stimulate internationally-financed, community-focused projects in developing countries and contribute new insights on how to enhance local inclusiveness of global climate finance. By PhD fellow Ornsaran Pomme Manuamorn, Dr. Victor Cebotari et al.
‘The disaggregated, networked and open future of education for Sustainable Development‘ is an article in the UNESCO report ‘Humanistic Futures of Learning: Perspectives‘ from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks which presents diverse views on the aims and purposes of education, as well as on learning content and methods within increasingly complex learning systems. The authors envision future technology-enhanced learning environments to combine aspects of classical electronic learning environments and MOOC platforms with the functionalities of mobile apps and synchronous communication and sharing opportunities. They argue that these new environments should facilitate the immediate transfer of local innovations or solutions to any ‘needs context,’ enabling the recipient to then adapt and apply the solution to their local needs. By Dr. Serdar Turkeli et al.
‘Student migrant, refugee or both? Exploring refugee agency and mobility through tertiary education in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda‘ seeks to understand the following question: if a person’s higher education was interrupted, prevented, or simply not possible in his or her home country because of conflict, crisis, or persecution, how might the prospect of higher education elsewhere play a role in that person’s decision-making about where and how to seek asylum? Examining the journeys of Congolese and Somali refugees and migrants, this dissertation finds that higher education impacts how refugees and migrants planned the timing of their exits from origin countries, their choice of destination, and the legal or irregular channels they used to enter and settle in destination countries. By Dr. Ayla Bonfiglio.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
Pexels / T. Malík