Across Africa, mobile broadband has helped drive technological development. But as one problem is solved another arises — like the growing digital divide between men and women, and urban and rural areas. How can public policies narrow these gaps? In post-conflict states, e-government ‘solutions’ can streamline official workloads. But how far do they influence reconstruction? In India, the spread of diarrhoea is not only about access to sanitation but also about engrained habits at home and at school. Can behaviour be changed or ‘nudged’ to ensure more sustainable outcomes? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in November 2017 — in six journal articles, two reports, and two working papers, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘The PISA Effect on Global Educational Governance’. By presenting an in-depth examination of PISA’s role in education governance and policy discourses, this book provides a critical analysis of the educational change process within our increasingly global educational policy environment. Exploring the prominent socio-political drivers of large-scale educational reform across the globe, chapter authors examine PISA’s national and global implications from a diverse range of regional contexts. Through the presentation of cross-disciplinary viewpoints and topical issues related to the PISA international survey, this publication explains the degree to which PISA-focused research is linked to national educational policy discourses and international education agendas. By Prof. Louis Volante.
‘Looking Beyond Global Value Chains in Capacity Development: The Case of the IT-Enabled Service (ITES) Sector in South Africa’. This article explores how service providers in developing countries build service delivery competence critical to their performance, focusing specifically on the development of human resource management capabilities and domain expertise. Results show that participation in Global Value Chains triggers learning processes for firms that are crucial in building service delivery competence, especially in the absence of a strong national system of innovation. By PhD fellow Charlotte Keijser and Dr. Michiko Iizuka.
‘The usefulness of traditional birth attendants to women living with HIV in resource-poor settings: the case of Mfuwe, Zambia’ assesses the relevance of trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to women living with HIV in resource-poor settings by using Zambia as a case study. The article finds that in Zambia, trained TBAs and professional care are not mutually exclusive but complementary. There is no doubt that HIV-positive women need professionals to handle complications and offer antiretroviral treatment to ensure prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). However, additional “soft” services offered by trained TBAs are equally important in the promotion of maternal health care among HIV-positive women. Thus, the authors conclude that there seems to be more to gain by systematically allowing trained TBAs to work alongside professionals in a well-coordinated and complementary manner. By PhD fellow Choolwe Muzyamba, Dr. Sonila Tomini et al.
‘Africa Bridging the digital divide’ studies how mobile broadband has fuelled Africa’s leapfrogging information and communication technology development. The number of mobile-broadband subscriptions on the continent has increased more than 15 times over the past six years, a growth rate that is three times the global average. The article shows, however, that there are also worrying trends, such as a growing digital divide between men and women, and between urban and rural areas. By Prof. Samia Nour.
‘Innovation and productivity in services and manufacturing: the role of ICT’ aims to fill the knowledge gap about the impact of ICT vis-a-vis other innovation activities on technological and non-technological innovation and productivity for developing countries. This scarcity of research is particularly acute for the services sector, especially when it comes to assessing how it fares in comparison with the manufacturing sector. Using Uruguayan data, the article shows that ICTs play a bigger role in innovation and productivity in services than in manufacturing. At the same time, non-technological innovations provide a more important contribution to firm productivity in the services sector than in the manufacturing sector. By PhD fellow Ezequiel Tacsir et al.
‘The impact of subsidies on researcher’s productivity: Evidence from a developing country’ is an impact evaluation of a programme that provides ex-post subsidies to researchers in Paraguay. The study analyses the impact of the programme through dimensions of researchers’ productivity that have been mostly overlooked previously. For example, the authors are able to use technical production, own education, other researchers’ training, and other dimensions of the bibliographic production that are different to published articles. The article finds some positive impacts of the programme. However, some of the results are not robust to alternative methods of estimation. By PhD fellow Ezequiel Tacsir et al.
‘On Diarrhoea in Adolescents and School Toilets: Insights from an Indian Village School Study’. Based on a survey in an Indian village school, this article affirms that sanitation, defecation practices at home and school, and the degree of crowding of living space at home are all significant determinants of diarrhoeal incidence for adolescents. Usage of toilets at school varies as a function of gender and existence of a toilet in student’s home. The article argues that access to toilets is not sufficient to guarantee their usage. To eliminate open defecation: toilets installation, behavioural change, and sustainable mechanisms to maintain school toilets seem necessary. By Prof. Shyama Ramani et al.
‘Does publicly provided health care affect migration? Evidence from Mexico’ examines to what extent social policies affect migration. The paper suggests that publicly provided health care complements, rather than substitutes, informal livelihood strategies in that relaxing binding financial and time constraints enables labour force detachment of working-age members in affiliated households. By PhD fellow Clotilde Mahé.
‘A profile of non-farm household enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa’ provides a comprehensive descriptive profile of non‐farm household enterprises in 10 Sub‐Saharan African countries, disaggregated by the households’ consumption quintiles. Various enterprise‐ related aspects are covered, such as the share of households that operate an enterprise, the motivation to start a business venture, and various owner and enterprise characteristics. The figures show that household enterprises are more prevalent among wealthier households, although push factors overall dominate as entry motive. Enterprises in lower quintiles are more often operated by owners with less education, and in most countries, female owners are more frequently found among poorer households. Based on these findings, this paper suggests a set of policy recommendations that include expanding the access to and availability of finance, education, and infrastructure, and introducing gender‐sensitive entrepreneurial policies. By Dr. Paula Nagler.
‘Guidelines on mainstreaming migration into local development planning’ are a user-friendly and simple tool featuring straightforward questions that practitioners can diagnostically answer to identify institutional, policy and intervention gaps or weaknesses in mainstreaming migration and development in their local context. Consisting of 20 indicators, the Guidelines can be applied to a variety of contexts and ways in which migration is defined or understood and to all types and directionality of migration. The Guidelines also link specific topics with good practice examples and useful tools, handbooks and training materials. Above all, the purpose of these Guidelines is to facilitate discussion, spark ideas, and encourage creative thinking on how local governments can best address migration, displacement and development issues around the world. By Prof. Melissa Siegel, Elaine McGregor and Sarah Langley.
‘Cross-border (Im)mobility of Students from Third Countries in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (Dossier 4)’. This dossier adds to the existing literature and debate on the evaluation of the EU’s student migration regime by taking a Euregional perspective and looks at the possible existence of a ‘border region penalty’ for students from third countries in Dutch and German migration law. The existence of such a penalty could have serious effects on European integration, the socio-economic development of border regions, and Euregional cohesion. Overall, the analysis shows that the cross-border student is worse off, legally speaking, when it comes to both residence and work. By Julia Reinold et al.
‘From no-government to e-government’. This thesis looks at the issue of building modern state administrations in post-conflict countries, with a particular focus on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in aiding these administrations. This thesis argues that ICTs are not just an enabling factor, but a rather active actor in building and defining the nature of the institutions in which they operate. The work contributes to research in both state building and information technology use in public administration by providing a rare account of ICT implementation in post-conflict state building context. By Dr. Bernard Nikaj.
‘Prioritizing the HIV Response A multi-criteria decision analysis’ focuses on priority setting policy in the response to HIV and AIDS. The study focuses on one country – Viet Nam – as a case study of the feasibility of applying MCDA, using country relevant criteria and evidence. Findings of this dissertation can be used to inform and guide priority-setting policies in the HIV response, and potentially other communicable diseases faced with a scarcity of resources and the imperative of reducing disease burden and risk. Findings of this dissertation also contribute to implementation science in testing the adequacy of a priority-setting process in the HIV response. By Dr. Ali Safarnejad.
‘Diversification and Structural Economic Dynamics’ deals with the perennial quest for the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Why are some nations rich and are others poor? What can unleash development in poorer nations? Or what is holding them back? More specifically, this dissertation focuses on one aspect of innovation and development that has been less explored: the diversification of economic activities. This is a quintessential characteristic of development. The question for policymakers in developing countries is how to foster the emergence of more productive industries given the technological level of the current production base and the domestic and global demand for potential new products. By Dr. Clovis Freire Junior.
DFID / Simon Davis