Incubating policy for economic transformation: lessons from Nepal

A substantial body of theory now exists on economically sound and politically smart ways of jump-starting progress in poor developing countries. At several levels, however, the practice is lagging behind the theory, meaning there is much to learn from any new experiences suggesting precisely how to advance this agenda. This paper reports some early successes from a UK Department for International Development-funded programme in Nepal, the Economic Policy Incubator. Although this programme is at a relatively early stage, it has some highly transferable features and has already generated valuable lessons.



Conference report: innovations and challenges in protecting children in armed conflict

ODI hosted a roundtable discussion on 20 November 2017 to discuss new approaches to psychosocial care and education. Participants at the discussion included a range of practitioners and funders, including academics, NGOs and donors. The roundtable, held under Chatham House Rules, focussed on four key themes: access, risks and assumptions, learning and ethics. This report highlights the main discussion points and concludes with concrete recommendations arising from the event.



The Jordan Compact: lessons learnt and implications for future refugee compacts

In February 2016, a new approach to dealing with protracted displacement was signed: the Jordan Compact. In return for billions of dollars in grants, loans and preferential trade agreements with the European Union, Jordan committed to improving access to education and legal employment for its Syrian refugees. The Compact showed that, by building on existing political capital and economic and political incentives, a restrictive policy environment can be opened up and funds can be mobilised in a short space of time. Two years on, the Compact has led to considerable improvements in education and labour market access for Syrian refugees, though challenges remain that will need to be tackled through targeted interventions.


Aligning energy development and climate objectives in Nationally Determined Contributions

This paper looks at how Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana and Peru are aligning their energy policies with their Nationally Determined Contributions. The effectiveness of national energy policy will be decisive for achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Emissions from the production and consumption of energy need to reduce significantly, but government commitments in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) fall short of the action required. About half of the NDCs submitted do not include actions to reduce energy emissions and, when included, actions may not reflect all energy emissions or be consistent with national energy policies. In this paper the authors look at how four specific developing countries are aligning their energy policies with their NDCs, or missing key opportunities to do so, and they raise questions about how governments could do things differently. The authors identify Ethiopia and Peru as examples of good practice in addressing energy emissions in their NDCs and consistency with national energy plans. Ethiopia intends to reduce its total emissions by 64% against a businessas-usual trajectory, while Peru aims to reduce emissions by 30% (both conditional on international support). Bangladesh and Ghana were selected as countries with relatively low ambition in their NDCs. Independent analysis of alternative emissions reduction pathways suggests that there is potential for both countries to submit more ambitious emissions reduction commitments, which would be consistent with their energy sector development goals. When development co-benefits are taken into consideration, such as job creation and improvements to health, the case for higher ambition is strengthened.


Gender and youth livelihoods programming in Africa: building knowledge to improve practice

This report explores the gender-related barriers young people seeking access to employment or entrepreneurship opportunities face. Gender plays an important role in shaping young people’s transitions into work. In order to be effective, interventions aimed at supporting young people’s access to employment or entrepreneurship opportunities should be tailored to address gendered barriers. This report explores the gender-related barriers faced by young women and young men, reviews the many approaches that programs take to confront these barriers and tries to establish whether and how these approaches have been successful. It finds that programming with gender-responsive components can have positive effects on gender equality in relation to participation, performance and opportunities. Evidence on the impacts of gender-responsive programming – and on long-term change – is, however, lacking.


Holding the keys: humanitarian access and local organisations.

This report explores whether local actors in Ukraine and Syria obtain access, and if they do, how they negotiate such access to conduct relief and protection operations. It also reflects more broadly on how local knowledge on access can be better harnessed to serve those in need.




Upending humanitarianism: questions emerging ‘from the ground up’

Since the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, the idea of responses that are ‘as local as possible, as international as necessary’ has emerged as both a central and a contentious point of departure for reforming the existing humanitarian architecture. Critiques of the system have led to calls to allow space for a more devolved humanitarianism that recognises that first responders are almost always local. Such a response is more contextually appropriate and attuned to existing needs; enhances flexibility and efficiency; and involves local aid actors and communities more meaningfully in humanitarian decision-making.



Gatekeepers, elders and accountability in Somalia

In Somalia, the relationship between formal and informal spheres of governance are being renegotiated. In many areas, the formal state has been absent for a long time, or government agents only recently appointed by the Federal Government of Somalia. Meanwhile, there are powerful non-state actors who play roles in customary and informal governance systems, that in turn work to compete with, accommodate and influence formal state institutions.



Climate change, migration and displacement: the need for a risk-informed and coherent approach

This report presents an overview of the current evidence base on the complex relationships between climate change and human mobility. It aims to support the development of an informed global discourse across the humanitarian, peace and sustainable development agendas and as a counter to some of the sensationalist claims often propagated by the media. In so doing, the paper illustrates that to adequately address human mobility in international and national policy responses, the links between climate change, displacement and migration need to be better understood.


A promise of tomorrow: the effects of UNHCR and UNICEF cash assistance on Syrian refugees in Jordan

This report is from a study which aimed to find out what effects the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) cash assistance has had on the lives of Syrian refugees in Jordan.