Posts

Monitoring and evaluation of a participative planning process for the integrated management of natural resources in the uThukela District Municipality (South Africa)

Monitoring and evaluation of a participative planning process for the integrated management of natural resources in the uThukela District Municipality (South Africa)
By Mélanie POMMERIEUX, Magalie BOURBLANC, Raphaële DUCROT

Working paper No. 2014/1 May 2014

Rethinking development series: Working Paper 1 Abstract
This paper intends to monitor the changes in perceptions and behaviour of stakeholders induced by the Afromaison participatory process, which is aimed particularly at helping to integrate natural resource management in the uThukela District Municipality, South Africa.
To do so, an evaluation protocol has been designed, combining social sciences as well as evaluation techniques. This protocol has been applied to both the initial assessment and the monitoring of the first workshop involving various local stakeholders held under the Afromaison project. The initial assessment showed that it was possible to regroup stakeholders’ perceptions into categories according to the functions those actors occupy. Most of those interviewees lacked a holistic understanding of the state of natural resources in the area, and had issues collaborating well with other stakeholders. By monitoring the first workshop, we found that almost half of the participants did not contribute their opinion because they expected getting information rather than actively participating in order to reach a common vision. This monitoring revealed however changes in the normative and cognitive functions of participants. Two interviews conducted few weeks after this workshop tend to indicate that those changes might be long-term. A final evaluation conducted at the end of Afromaison should help us verifying this finding.

Read and download the working paper here: RETHINKING DEVELOPMENT WP 2014-1 – Bourblanc et al.

The Rethinking Development working paper series has been designed to push conventional boundaries in development research and public discourse. This series engages academics, policy makers and development practitioners to critically reflect on old and new development alternatives and how they impact the society we all live in.

Business by numbers can dull creativity of workforce -BusinessDay-

Fioramonti’s article this week focuses on the dangers on relying on simplified figures such as GDP to assess the development and the wealth of a country and make business decisions.

“When businesses base investment decisions on indicators such as the gross domestic product (GDP) they miss the forest for the trees. GDP is a very myopic measure of economic performance, which counts profits but excludes costs. Moreover, it flattens society and the market, thus giving the impression that growth affects all businesses (and people) in the same manner. In fact, there can be good and bad, equal and unequal, sustainable and unsustainable GDP growth.

“The “Africa rising” debate animating the investment community these days is a case in point, insofar as it does not pay attention to issues of sustainability and distribution, which are likely to hamper the performance of these “rising” economies. “

“Even good numbers can be misleading: indeed, numbers, by design, (over)simplify reality. In a numbers-driven world, only what can be measured counts. A metric-dependent business is more likely to forfeit long-term goals, which are harder to quantify, for short-term returns.”

Read it all on BusinessDay

Security Governance

Caption

Traditional thinking in international relations and policy analysis has focused on national security as the prime (and, at times, sole) objective of foreign policy.

At the dawn of contemporary international relations’ theory, Hans Morgenthau already defined national security as the supreme goal of international politics, regardless of other principles or moral objectives.

In the past decades, such a focus on national security led to a generalized emphasis on conventional threats to national security such as military invasion (particularly during the Cold War) and, more recently, on terrorism, nuclear disarmament and the general risks associated with the availability of weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, these are all factors able to threaten the integrity of states, hence, their national security.

At least since the turn of the millennium (and especially after the military missions in Kosovo and Iraq), new voices have emerged arguing that not only is national security inappropriate to lead the behaviour of states in a globalized world, but also that foreign policies inspired by national security can easily exacerbate violations of human rights, individuals’ safety and personal well-being. Against this backdrop, the concept of human security has been proposed as a more compelling guiding principle for international relations.

Within this framework, issues such as poverty, famine, environmental degradation, migration, small weapons and human rights violations are some examples of what can undermine human security, even when they do not challenge national security. By giving centre stage to the safety of individuals, human security requires a conceptual shift from the notion of ‘threat’ to that of ‘vulnerability’. This area includes our work on new security approaches, multidimensional challenges (e.g. wildlife crime, human trafficking, etc.) and environmental threats to human development.

Current running projects: 

Widget not in any sidebars

Transboundary Governance

Transboundary Governance

Supranational regionalism has been one of the most crucial governance innovations of recent times. As more challenges transcend borders, we need new and better systems to deal with them via regional cooperation.

Energy, common resources, environmental degradation, diseases and migration are just some examples of critical phenomena that do not respect national borders: a state-centred governance model is therefore ill suited to respond to these dynamics effectively. At the same time, regionalism itself is developing into a complex reality, with different models and levels of application.

It has been traditionally analyzed through a top-down lens, generally emphasizing the role of governmental elites, political parties and – to a lesser extent – business associations and epistemic communities. By contrast, civil society has received limited attention by scholars of regionalism in spite of the critical role it can play in strengthening the legitimacy of regional governance.

In the past few years, NGOs, social movements, advocacy groups, trade unions and civic associations have been able to exert a growing influence on decision-making at the regional level.

This role has been amplified not only by the introduction of specific policy channels and tools (e.g. the non-state actors programme at the EU level, the African Peer Review Mechanism at the AU level, etc.) but also by the desire of citizens to make their voices heard in an arena traditionally dominated by technocrats and lobbyists.

This research area includes our work in the field of regional governance, comparative regionalism, human migration, trade, EU-Africa relations, South-South cooperation and North-South relations.

Current running projects:


Widget not in any sidebars

Private sector must address challenges of the 21st century

THE Corporate Governance Index 2014, which GovInn released last week in partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors of SA, provides a worrying snapshot of the state of business performance in SA.

The index finds that the leadership skills, accountability and overall conduct of public and private corporations have worsened over the past year. GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti comments on the perilous relationship between economic and political powers on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper.

If public officials take bribes to favour a few at the expense of the public good, then it is worth asking: where does the money come from? And the answer usually is: from business.

The simplistic juxtaposition between corrupt government and virtuous business does not pass the reality check.

Read the full article here

2013-2015 – ATLANTIC FUTURE: Towards an Atlantic area? Mapping trends, perspectives and interregional dynamics amongst Europe, Africa and the Americas 

atlantic future
The Atlantic can be considered the cradle of modern globalisation, a space where links between peoples, nations and economies started first to transcend their regional contexts on a large scale. As globalisation enters a new phase characterised by the rise of developing economies, and as global challenges such as the economic crisis, food security, climate change, energy scarcity and security in the high seas become more urgent, the states and regions around the Atlantic look at their counterparts across the ocean with renewed interest.
ATLANTIC FUTURE, is a research project designed to map the transformation of the Atlantic, bringing together data-based evidence and a plurality of perspectives from across the Atlantic rim.

The conceptualisation and characterisation of an ‘Atlantic area’ within broader international relations is a starting task for the project. Identifying the drivers for, and obstacles to, cooperation, competition and conflict; mapping the new trends and projecting them into future scenarios and identifying opportunity for sustainable growth and for jointly addressing common challenges are equally important objectives of a collaborative research that will bring together first-class research institutions from the Atlantic.

GovInn researchers: Lorenzo Fioramonti (leader), Camilla Adelle, Andreas Godsaeter, John Kotsopoulos, Frank Mattheis.

Partner institutions: CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs – Spain), Johns Hopkins University (USA), Friedrich Alexander University (Germany), University of Lisbon (Portugal), Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), Ecologic Institute (Germany), Centro de Investigación y Docencia Economica (Mexico), German Marshall Fund (Belgium), Istituto Affari Internazionali (Italy), Fundación Para Las Relaciones Internacionales y El Dialogo Exterior (Spain).

Funding: European Union FP7 Programme.

Funding period: January 2013 to December 2015

Next events: Dissemination events in Brussels, Washington D.C. and Rio de Janeiro (October to December 2015)

Website: www.atlanticfuture.eu

Mining, regional integration and environmental imperatives: perspectives from West Africa

Mining, regional integration and environmental imperatives: perspectives from West Africa
(GovInn, June 2014)

Author: Frank Nyame

Prior to European colonization of the African continent, mining of gold by indigenous people was an important activity for many tribal states and kingdoms that used gold as a medium of exchange to trade in various goods and services. It served as a symbol of power, wealth and influence especially in mineral-rich regions. Well established pre-colonial kingdoms such as the Ashanti in Ghana flourished for centuries partly through conquest and the incorporation of mineral-rich but militarily weaker states or tribes. Pre-colonial mining was thus probably a source of conflict and “integration” in what is now West Africa.

For more info see: http://governanceinnovation.org/wordpress/mining-regional-integration-and-environmental-imperatives-perspectives-from-west-africa/govinnpolicybrief72014-compressed/

High Ambitions and High Risks: Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)

Infrastructure_Development_in_AfricaHigh Ambitions and High Risks: Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) (GovInn and HBS, 24 April 2014) Author: Mzukisi Qobo

Dr. Mzukisi Qobo describes PIDA’s plan to double levels of investment in energy, water, and transportation mega-projects in Africa and the opportunities and risks these projects present for infrastructure investors and, especially, for Africans.  He cites six categories of risk (political; social and environmental; fiscal; security; institutional; and technical) and asks the big question: will PIDA accelerate the colonial patterns of resource extraction or foster the economic diversification required for Africa to prosper and expand job opportunities.

Read the full paper here

The Fall of the ANC: What Next?

The fall of the ANC

Picador Africa (August 28, 2013)
Author: Prince Mashele and Mzukisi Qobo

Political governance in South Africa has collapsed. Scandals of corruption, evidence of nepotism, rampant maladministration in provinces, incompetence in public offices and a general decline in the quality of leadership are there for all to see.
In the authors’ view, this state of affairs has its origins in the messiness and collapse of the African National Congress. As helplessness deepens in our society, concerned citizens ask: What will happen to South Africa?
The Fall of the ANC: What Next? seeks to answer this question of the fate that awaits the country.

VIDEO: The Dark Side of GDP and Why It Matters for Africa’s Future

Lorenzo Fioramonti gave the inaugural address for the Expert Lecture Series 2013 at the University of Pretoria on 14 March. The title of the talk is “The Dark Side of GDP and Why It Matters for Africa’s Future”. For more info, visit NEW ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE, one of the pillars of GovInn work on Governance Innovation.