Development Centre

OECD Development Centre Policy Insights - 2004-2005


2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007


Policy Insights is a series of policy-oriented occasional papers drawn from the Development Centre's Work Programme. All titles are generally available in the two official languages of the OECD: English and French.



> Culture, Gender and Growth
Policy Insights No. 15 by Johannes Jütting and Christian Morrisson
While the overall picture for gender equality is still gloomy, recent changes in family institutions in come countries provide an enlightening example.

> Privatisation: A Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa
Policy Insights No. 14 by Lucia Wegner
Thirty-eight sub-Saharan African countries have implemented privatisations programmes. The privatisation process is still far from complete and has led to mixed results. The lessons learned from past privatisations allow the identification of elements that could contribute to future success.

> MDGs, Taxpayers and Aid Effectiveness
Policy Insights No. 13 by Ida Mc Donnell and Henri-Bernard Solignac Lecomte
MDGs and new aid-effectiveness targets are an opprtunity for donors to explain what they do before growing scepticism erodes taxpayer support for aid.

> The International Aid System: Question of Perspective
Policy Insights No. 12 by Felix Zimmermann
Donors, aid agencies and recipient governments are having a hard time implementing their promises on aid. Options based on a better understanding of their diverse priorities would help make the aid system more effective. Policy makers pursuing poverty reduction and other development goals should look beyond aid to other policies and financial flows, while shifting towards more appropriate decision-making structures.

> Private Health Insurance for the Poor in Developing Countries?
Policy Insights No.11 by Denis Drechsler and Johannes Jütting
The financing of health care is a major challenge for developing countries, especially since deficiencies in national health systems specifically harm the poor. Innovative financing mechanisms, such as private health insurance, offer benefits and risks. Their implementation requires caution on the part of policy makers who need to consider adequate regulation in order to optimise health outcomes.


> Policy Insights No. 10: The Human Dynamics of Aid
Policy Insights No.10 by Malcolm MacLachlan and Stuart C. Carr
International development assistance from richer to poorer (“developing”) economies accounts for major flows of capital, human resources and technical assistance. While the net direction of these flows remains a topic of hot debate, there have been several barriers identified to the efficient use of aid within developing countries, many of which revolve around difficulties with achieving “good governance” in recipient countries.


> Adaptive Capacity and Inclusive Development: Results of the OECD Development Centre 2003-2004 Programme of Work

Policy Insights No.9 by Ulrich Hiemenz (06/2005)
The Centre has highlighted in particular four areas where OECD countries can make a difference: maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment with affordable interest rates; helping to mitigate risks; enhancing trade opportunities through improving the coherence of their own policies ;and increasing financial flows for achieving the MDGs.


> Policy Insights No. 8: Energy and Poverty in Africa

Policy Insights No.8 by Céline Kauffmann (05/2005)

Access to energy is essential for economic, social and political development. Despite its enormous potential in fossil and renewable energy sources, Africa suffers from major energy deficits. The continent’s resources are underexploited or exported in raw form or wasted in the course of extraction or transport. As a result, supplies available for local populations are largely insufficient and energy consumption is essentially reliant on biomass.


> Policy Insights No. 7: Financing SMEs in Africa

Policy Insights No.7 by Céline Kauffmann (05/2005)

Limited access to finance is a major obstacle to development of SMEs in Africa as their inherent higher perceived risk makes financial institutions reluctant to lend to them and adequate financial instruments lack.


> African Economic Performance in 2004: A Promise of Things to Come?
Policy Insights No.6 by
Nicolas Pinaud and Lucia Wegner
Against a backdrop of sustained global growth and high commodity prices, Africa has experienced its best economic performance in many years. While recent economic performance is not merely driven by favourable external factors, African economies still lack proper “shock-absorbers” to withstand internal (e.g. drought and floods, political instability, HIV-Aids, etc.) and external (e.g. volatility of commodity prices and exchange rates) shocks alike. They remain strongly vulnerable. In this context, creating the conditions for the development of indigenous drivers of economic activity (starting with a thriving local private sector) is a top priority.


> Policy Insights No.5: Decentralisation and Poverty Reduction
Policy Insights No.5 by
Johannes Jütting, Elena Corsi and Albrecht Stockmayer
Decentralisation has become a key issue in development policy in the past two decades. Whereas the advantages and risks of transferring power and resources to local tiers of government have been debated for quite some time, it is only very recently that the linkages between decentralization and poverty reduction have been addressed. This Policy Insight highlights key determinants for a pro-poor decentralisation process and discusses major lessons learnt for donors.


> Policy Insight No. 4: Policy Coherence of OECD Countries Matters: Evidence from East Asia (01/2005)
Policy Insights No.4 by Kiichiro Fukasaku and Alexandra Trzeciak-Duval
The East Asian development experience is still not well understood – especially the region’s clustered, sequential development process and neighbourhood effects linking economies at different levels of industrial development. Until now, the development impact of OECD-country policies had never been analysed systematically from this perspective. How have different policy vectors transmitted by OECD countries, notably in the areas of trade, investment and aid, contributed to the development of the region?


> Policy Insight No.3: Corporate Governance: A Development Challenge  (01/2005)
Policy Insights No.3 by Charles Oman and Daniel Blume
The quality of local corporate governance is critically important for the success of long-tem development efforts throughout the developing world today.




> Policy Insight No.2 : Mobilising Public Opinion against Global Poverty   (04/2004)
Policy Insights No.2 by Jude Fransman and Henri-Bernard Solignac Lecomte
Citizens in OECD countries quite unambiguously support more solidarity and justice at the international level; however, despite the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their governments in 2000, they remain insufficiently informed and educated about global development challenges. With increased understanding of the issues, citizens could provide greater support for more efficient and coherent development policies as well as for more funding. This requires new efforts by national authorities to report on desirable outcomes and on the results and effectiveness of international development policies towards achieving them.

> Policy Insight No.1 : Towards an East Asia Free Trade Area  (03/2004)
Policy Insights No.1 by Shujiro Urata
The inaugural Policy Insight, "Towards an East Asian Free Trade Area", by Shujiro Urata, looks at the progress towards and consequences of an East Asian FTA, not only for the region itself, but also the world economy and for non members of the FTA. It discusses a topic of immediate relevance to current evolutions in the world trading system, particularly with regard to the position of China and the dynamic economies of the region.


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