Advocacy in Fragile Contexts

By Margit van Wessel

There is a lot of interest in advocacy in the development sector. It is commonly accepted that projects in themselves are poorly geared to tackling structural causes of problems like poverty and injustice, and advocacy is taken by many as a necessary for addressing these structural causes.

However, despite all the interest in localization, and the acceptance that many important changes need to take place at country level rather than only in the Global North or international levels, there is little attention to how advocacy works in different national and sub-national contexts – the contexts in which many ‘partner organizations’ work. Continue reading “Advocacy in Fragile Contexts”

State and Development: What Has Changed in India?

By Anthony P. D’Costa

Lately the Indian state under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP or Indian People’s Party) has attracted a lot of attention. Aside from its divisive, populist Hindu-chauvinist politics, the government under Modi has unleashed an array of programs and projects, ostensibly designed to lead to a “new” united and prosperous India. Alas, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the poorly thought-out demonetization program, and the draconian nationwide lockdown during the corona virus pandemic did not unite India or make it prosperous. Continue reading “State and Development: What Has Changed in India?”

Transforming the Production and Use of Knowledge as a Key to Sustainable Development

By Niko Schäpke and Ioan Fazey

To shift global development to a sustainable and resilient path, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the2030 Agenda call for far-reaching transformations. In this endeavor, the use and generation of knowledge has an important role to play in shaping the direction, form and distribution of development. This is why formalized knowledge systems such as universities, research institutes and education, must change in order to best support transformations to more sustainable societies. What kinds of changes are needed in these knowledge systems and how can they be encouraged? Continue reading “Transforming the Production and Use of Knowledge as a Key to Sustainable Development”

Why Does Climate Adaptation End Up Repeating, Rather Than Rethinking, Old Development Mistakes?

By Siri Eriksen, Marianne Mosberg, Benard Muok, Katharine Vincent, Lisa Schipper, Morgan Scoville-Simonds

Climate change requires rethinking development. Yet, in the (understandable) rush to support adaptation, this has taken place within the structures and process of existing development paradigms. As a consequence, similar to well-known critiques of the development architecture, many adaptation-interventions reproduce both the development problems and the skewed power relations that have contributed to vulnerability in the first place. Continue reading “Why Does Climate Adaptation End Up Repeating, Rather Than Rethinking, Old Development Mistakes?”

Why Has the Agadir Agreement Failed?

By Christos Kourtelis

Signed in Rabat, Morocco on February 25th 2004, the Agadir Agreement (AA) is a Free Trade Agreement between Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan with the aim of coordinating sectoral policies and approximating legislation to better foster intraregional trade. However, when re-evaluating the performance of the agreement, it becomes clear that it has neither succeeded in fostering regional integration, nor in overcoming the structural weaknesses of Arab-Mediterranean economies.  Continue reading “Why Has the Agadir Agreement Failed?”