Gendered Work in Global Food Chain

This half-day workshop on 28 February considered the benefits and drawbacks of analysing gender in food production and reproduction through global chain analysis, and, in turn, considered what analyzing gendered divisions of labour contributes to global commodity chain analysis through a focus on food. After a roundtable focused on the definition of the strands in the global food chain analysis, reproduction relations in the global food production, women in agriculture, and alternative food supply chains, the event followed with a public lecture by Professor Stephanie Barrientos (University of Manchester), whose study on the role of big retailers in the global value chains.

Event was jointly sponsored by the Global Research Priority on International Development, Connecting Research on Employment and Work (CREW) network; the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender; and the Institute of Advanced Study.

By Emine Erdogan, Department of Sociology, Doctoral candidate

Her doctoral research is about gender in global food production and is based on an extensive ethnography of tomato production and processing in Turkey. She followed the tomatoes and women’s labour for almost two years, including working in the tomato fields and in a tomato-processing factory. The main aim of her PhD is to integrate reproductive work into global chain analysis.

Reflexions on our Panel Women and Science : What do women scientists bring to global development?, by Mary Thomas

The current practice whereby comprehensive schools place able girls as buffers between less able and badly behaved boys is indeed questionable and certainly reinforces the argument that coeducational schools are geared towards the needs of boys. It is also in no doubt that some of the strongest and most impressive academic performance is observed in girls’ schools. However, the expansion of single-sex schools will not serve to increase the number of women in science.

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Photo Essay Competition (1/5)

I am very excited about Issue 21 of the LGD journal. In order to capture the breadth of scholarship from our authors, I have used some of the photos from the 2015/2016 GRP International Development Photo Competition to illustrate the complexities of the subjects that they discuss. Just like the papers of this edition of the LDG, many of these photos vividly illustrate the experiences of those who are excluded from justice due to the frenetic pace of global development. The GRP is indebted to all those who contributed photos in last year’s photo competition and we hope that many of you will submit photos for this year’s competition.

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CREDIT: Fatin Nadhirah

This photo captures the universality of women’s experiences of exclusion.

It fits in with Smita Ray’s    article on the diverse issues that immigrants from Gujarat face in trying to learn English as a second language.

In this photo we see women in the shadows sitting outside individual shops in what appears to be a shopping mall. While they have been given seats in this mall, their view is from the outside, looking in, unable to fully engage in the benefits of this highly commercialised world. Dressed traditionally, they appear servile and stand in sharp contrast to the tuxedo on display in the shop and the two     men who appear to be engaged in a world that they not fully part of.

CREDIT: Fatin Nadhirah

Will Africa’s New Scorecard Promote Universal Health Coverage?

from https://www.hhrjournal.org/2016/10/will-africas-new-scorecard-promote-universal-health-coverage/

by Sharifah Sekalala

They say, ‘that what gets measured gets done!’1 On 26 August 2016 all 54 African leaders agreed to create a scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health. This scorecard will collate and publish data from all African countries on domestic health spending; the transparency and comparison with other African states is expected to encourage increases in health expenditure. The World Bank, Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and the Government of Japan have committed $24 billion to support this program over the next three to five years.

If implemented successfully, this measure could go a long way in supporting universal health coverage (UHC) in Africa. UHC is defined by the WHO to mean that all people receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them. The full spectrum of essential, quality health services should be covered, including health promotion, prevention and treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. UHC is needed throughout Africa where out-of-pocket payments have increased from US $15 per capita in 1995 to US $38 in 2014, causing 11 million people to fall into poverty. Achieving UHC is a Sustainable Development Goal target (SDG 3.8) as well as being critical for the achievement of SDG1 on eradicating poverty.

Previous agreements, including the Paris Declaration in 2005, the Accra Agenda for Action in 2008, and the Busan Partnership in 2011, raised concerns about insufficient domestic funding for health. In 2014, African countries spent about US $126 billion on domestic funding for health. However, this was far short of their targets under the Abuja Declaration of 15% of government spending, which only four of the 54 countries met. To achieve better health outcomes, African countries need to increase financing, improve service delivery, target vulnerable and excluded populations, and mobilise critical sectors and political leadership.

All 54 African countries have agreed to monitor strategic indicators and report annually to the African Commission, which will use this data to provide a comparative analysis of health spending.

Countries will update National Health Accounts annually and will upgrade their systems to comply with WHO regulations, enabling WHO to validate the data. The scorecard will show health financing performance over time, health financing expenditure derived from government, donors and households, and amount of tax collected as a percentage of GDP which is spent on health.

Comparative systems like this have three major problems. Firstly, there is a danger that scorecards focus on total numbers without publishing underlying details. For instance, a country may opt to increase domestic health expenditure on expensive private hospitals or paying for ministers to travel abroad for medical treatment. Such use of health funding would not promote universal access to health care.

Secondly, many African countries already struggle with multiple reporting burdens to donors. Health ministries are overstretched trying to find data for different programs and UN treaty reporting obligations. They lack the human resources and would struggle to report on yet another scheme. Is the funding allocated by donors sufficient to address these resource constraints in African countries?

Thirdly, African countries do not have a good track record on increasing their health funding commitments, and much of the data collated in the scorecard is already available elsewhere, so will this endeavour make any difference?

Optimists would refer to the evidence that human rights reporting to the UN has resulted in improved human rights compliance. The same may well hold true of the scorecard. Benchmarking systems such as the scorecard can promote good practice and enable countries with similar historic, social, and economic contexts to learn from each other.

Greater transparency provides civil society organisations and opposition parties with data to hold governments to account for their right to health and UHC obligations. The scorecard system will simplify data so that cross country comparisons are easily conducted and the results can again be used to put pressure on governments to continually improve – to progressively realize the right to health.

These achievements depend on African countries taking their reporting obligations seriously. Whether this scorecard works in practice, only time will tell!

Sharifah Sekalala, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Warwick (UK). Her research focuses on the role of law in responding to global health problems. Email: Sharifah.Sekalala@warwick.ac.uk

References

  1. Lord Kelvin, May 3, 1883, lecture on “Electrical Units of Measurement” (Popular Lectures, Vol. 1, page 73

Rethinking Development: the Poverty Research Network in 2016 and beyond

by Andrew Jones

In the Autumn of 2015 the Poverty Research Network was launched at the University of Warwick with the help and support of the Global History and Culture Centre, the Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Global Research Priority Group (GRP) on International Development. Set up by Warwick-based historians Julia McClure and Andrew Jones, and growing out of previous international collaborations at Harvard’s Weatherhead Initiative on Global History and the European University Institute, the network provides a platform to discuss issues of social justice, structural inequalities and distributional politics. We are particularly keen to bring together scholars from different disciplines, to compare the questions being asked and the methodologies and conceptual apparatus used in different fields of poverty research. The network also seeks to facilitate dialogue between academics and practitioners and activists broadly working in the field of social justice. Continue reading

Nigerian Road Infrastructure- A driver for economic development?

by Joyce Mlumun Ikpaahindi,

 

An extensive and reliable road transport network is crucial to manufacturing, retail, a robust agricultural supply chain, and a host of other economic activities. Nigeria has the largest road network in Western Africa and the second largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, there are about 193,200 kilometres of paved and unpaved roads linking State and Local Governments to the Federal Road network. Road transportation is also responsible for over 70% of inland passenger and freight movement and accounts for more than 90% of the transportation subsector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (National Bureau of Statistics,2015). Continue reading

India can take in Syrian refugees: Logistical feasibility, strategic desirability, economic benefits and political tenability (part 2)

by Vishal Wilde

Logistically feasible and strategically desirable

Logistically, given contemporary geopolitics, it would also be feasible. India has a sizeable Navy and, with the cooperation of European member-states (such as Britain, whose Royal Navy has a massive presence in the Mediterranean) could easily evacuate refugees from the refugee camps that have become a very sensitive, socially and politically-charged topic in Europe. However, this does not address the plight of those who are currently suffering within the Middle East itself and I will now turn to this and how India could also feasibly and peacefully intervene there.

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India can take in Syrian refugees: Fewer ‘cultural dissimilarities’ and a well-adapted national security apparatus (part 1)

by Vishal Wilde

One of the most tragic contemporary humanitarian disasters to face the world today due to the problems faced within the fractured Middle East is the refugee crisis. We constantly hear not only of their deaths, disappearances, and delays within and outside designated refugee camps but also of their persecution in the countries they transit through or even arrive at. However, the political situation in Europe is such that it is currently infeasible to provide sustainable solutions. Both popular sentiment and public financial problems with regards to security, hostile attitudes towards  refugees as a result of exacerbated xenophobia and economic hardship faced by the diverse natives, contribute to the continuous problems. Nevertheless, there is one country, not often considered, which may well be in an excellent position to alleviate the refugee crisis by taking in many, most, or possibly even all: India. Continue reading

Democracy: The Choice Between a Far-Right Demagogue or a Corporate Criminal

by Kumail Jaffer

Reblog from http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kumail-jaffer/democracy-the-choice-betw_b_10460782.html

As Bernie Sanders’ brave campaign looks to have come to an end, Americans are left with a choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – a nightmare for the left. You have to wonder how in the self confessed ‘greatest democracy in the word’, tens of millions of voters are being left alienated by a rigged system which favours Establishment candidates and carry on forcing the political spectrum to the right. Continue reading