“We’ve never seen anything like this” is the refrain increasingly heard in every corner of the world in the wake of natural disasters. Indeed, intense natural disasters have increased nearly fourfold over the past four decades, with floods and storms representing 70% of the increase. Asia and the Pacific has been the worst hit region. Yet, the response to hazards of nature has been mostly to react when they strike. The upshot I see is this: unless prevention takes center stage, disasters will likely unravel progress.
The 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties is nearing its end in Doha. Among the topics receiving attention is how to integrate migration considerations into adaptation strategies and programs. The International Organization for Migration hosted a side event on December 03 exploring the significance of migration in the context of adaptation to climate change.
In recent discussions that I have had with decision makers and economists working on People’s Republic of China (PRC), the question on the incoming leadership’s approach to economic reforms inevitably comes up. Is the transition to new leadership a good opportunity to rethink economic policies?
“Inclusive growth” and “green growth” are two buzzwords that we often hear in the development sphere nowadays. This is not surprising since these two form key part of many development strategies. While Asia has done extremely well in expanding its economies in the last two to three decades, rapid growth has brought with it rising inequality—within and across countries. It has also badly damaged the environment along the way.
Perhaps the most significant global social policy development in 2012 was approval of the International Labour Organization (ILO) recommendation on creation of social protection floors. Approved in June, the recommendation calls on the ILO’s 185 members to ensure that everyone in need has access to essential health care and basic income security.
Social protection is moving up in the global development agenda with good reason. Sweeping social and demographic changes will be an unstoppable driver of demand for governments to provide social protection—as will widening wealth gaps, economic crises, and, especially in Asia and the Pacific, the increased severity of natural disasters.
I must confess that I have been struggling to find a good working definition of inclusive growth for some time, although I believe I understand the concept vaguely. This term is now very widely used in the development policy discourse in Asia and the Pacific.
For the past 6 months, my work spins around the Post 2015 development agenda, the successor of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is amazing to follow the numerous tweets, blogs, working papers, which are sprouting out daily and which discuss old and new aspects of the Post 2015 development agenda.
As the discussion around the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework gains momentum, I also want to add my meek voice to the growing buzz, which is likely to reach a crescendo in September this year. The MDGs represent the global vision of reducing poverty in its various dimensions. Needless to say, we need continued attention to all the goals, since we can hardly declare “mission accomplished” in any of the dimensions of poverty they seek to address.
A completely different way of thinking about how to address chronic and severe poverty has emerged. And this idea works. The evidence is preliminary but it is quite strong, and there is more coming very soon.