Posts

Guest blog: PPPs in Brazil: A solution to infrastructure needs or a problem for fiscal sustainability?

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Guest blog by: Gerardo Reyes-Tagle and Marcos Siqueira originally published  on the Inter-American Development Bank web page here.
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) market in Brazil is extremely active and has played a central role in policymakers’ agendas for decades. In total, 773 projects have reached financial closure in the last 20 years in Brazil, according to the World Bank’s Private Participation in Infrastructure database.  These projects represent about one fifth of all private investment in infrastructure in the entire developing world. Brazil continued to lead the statistics in the first half of 2016, reaching financial close in 27 new contracts, out of the 108 identified in developing countries.
There are not only a lot of PPPs, but they are also increasingly diverse. In fact, the country is moving away from the focus on traditional, user-funded economic infrastructure to include different types of free-to-the-user or subsidized social infrastructure in the PPP pipeli…

Wonder Woman should STILL be a UN Ambassador

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Published on Inter Press Service News Agency here.
I realize it’s a lot easier saying this now after the film of the same name has come out and has taken over $400 million in US box office receipts. It is at present taken the 8th most revenue for a super hero comic book ever.
But it does begin to look as though UNICEF and DPI – bowing to the significant number of staff whose unprecedented, outraged opposition prompted their reversal - made a mistake. A huge, global mistake.
Here's the history -
UNICEF announced the comic book heroine Wonder Woman as a UN Ambassador last year on UN Day, the 21st of October. Her role was meant to empower young girls by seeing her as an example the original UN Press Release said:
“the iconic superhero, has been named an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls by the United Nations and will be tasked with raising awareness about Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all wo…

Guest Blog: Building on the energy: reflections on the UN High-Level Political Forum 2017

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By Naiara Costa, Together 2030 International Secretariat: Naiara Costa currently leads the International Secretariat of Together 2030. She was the Beyond 2015 Advocacy Director, worked for the UK Mission in New York and has served the United Nations for more than a decade in Brazil.  Now that the hectic days of July have passed, August is bringing a good ‘quiet’ time for a reflection on the achievements, challenges, limitations, and potential of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The HLPF met in New York from July 10 – 19, gathering more than 80 Ministries and an unprecedented number of stakeholders (2458 have registered according to UNDESA). However, is this global structure really delivering on its role of assessing progress and challenges and providing policy recommendations on the 2030 Agenda implementation? Several colleagues have already shared their perspectives, including the host of this blog, who called for a refocus and reform of the HLPF. Ka…

Consultation on the Regional Elements of Re-positioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda – Ensuring a Better Future for All

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The background papers are out for the UN secretariat to start to undertake consultations on the Secretary General’s  Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the
2030 Agenda – Ensuring a Better Future for All
I want to do a couple of blogs on these. The first will be on the approach to the regional level in Realigning the Development Agenda. The second on the National Level.
I have always been a fan of the UN Regional Economic Commissions (REC) as a mechanism to bring together countries at similar levels of development and to share experiences, build capacity, develop policy and in certain Commissions legally binding agreements relevant to their region.
With certain OECD countries, there has been a tendency to underfund these activities. At times, the USA and the UK have in particular been critical of these regional commissions.
This is a real opportunity to reclarify the role and responsibilities of the RECs.
The instructions the Deputy Secretary General has sent out are…

Guest Blog: Sustainable Development and Governing the Global Commons – the Role of Universities

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Guest Blog by Jane Fulton This post was originally published by the Australian Council for International Development here.


Patricia Garcia, Aimé Saba and Jane Fulton presented in a panel session on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through multi-stakeholder partnerships: What role for universities?’during RDI Conference 2017. In the 1960s, images of earth from space, as a tiny ball in a vast galaxy, flashed across our TV screens. One of these early ‘planet earth’ images was captured on August 23, 1966, by NASA's unmanned Lunar Orbiter 1, ahead of lunar landings later that decade that revealed a new way of looking at the world. It was James Lovelock who clearly articulated this new zeitgeist coining the term ‘Spaceship Earth’, using images of earth from space to reimagine our world as fragile, a living organism, highlighting the anthropogenic role in the tragedy of the commons. Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom’s ‘Governing the Commons’ built on Lovelock’s handwringing by making …

Guest Blog: Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You

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Guest Blog by Joel KO Hyun Sik Co Founder and CEO at Marvelstone Ventures | Founding Partner at LATTICE80

This is review of the ideas in the new book How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary.
The platform model underlies the success of many of today's biggest, fastest-growing, and most powerfully disruptive companies, from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft to Uber, Airbnb, and eBay.
The platform is a simple-sounding yet transformative concept that is radically changing business, the economy, and society at large.
In fact, the big difference between Apple and Samsung as smartphone manufacturers reside in whether they are regarded as a platform or not. As you know, one is (Apple) but the other is not (Samsung).
This book is trying to solve a number of puzzles, as highlighted below:

How have platform businesses such as Uber and Airbnb managed to disrupt and dominate vast…

The end of UN Habitat?

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Published on Inter Service Press here.
At the beginning of August, the Report of the High-Level Independent Panel to Assess and Enhance Effectiveness of UN-Habitat came out with its report. Before commenting on the Panel Report I want to put up front that I know that a lot of the staff in UN Habitat do excellent work and its same they weren’t given a proper role in Habitat III. It should be remembered that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed the high-level panel in April this year. The Panel had a very short time to produce its report. I would argue far far too short a time.  To enable a Panel to get on top of options and proposals and hear viewpoints on initial drafts Panels should not be expected to report in less than two years. So, I find myself reading a report that I already have concerns about in the context of the ability of those on the Panel to really get beyond a literature search and a few outside papers and very little outside reflection or input. Universal b…