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Chancengerechtigkeit in der Gesellschaft ermöglichen

Selected for the Global Economic Symposium 2012

“Inequality within countries worldwide has increased substantially in the last decades, as confirmed only recently in an OECD study. Spectacular gains in income and wealth of the richest fraction of the population often contrast with severe poverty within the same country. Yet, this fact becomes even more worrisome given that inequality of outcomes goes often hand in hand with inequality of opportunities. Poor people worldwide suffer from symptoms of social exclusion such as unequal access to education and health care provision, high rates of youth unemployment or precarious work, and lacking social recognition. Without adequate structures for upward social mobility poor people remain trapped in their milieus and feel increasingly alienated from their affluent fellow citizens.

Syrien – Ökonomische Problemlagen und Analysen

Der Aufstand in Syrien scheint nach 16 Monaten in die entscheidende Phase eingetreten zu sein. Nachdem bereits im ganzen Land gekämpft wird, hat der Aufstand seit einigen Tagen auch Damaskus erreicht. Unabhängig vom Ausgang der Kämpfe ist Syrien mit einer Reihe von ökonomischen Problemlagen konfrontiert, die entsprechende Wirtschaftsreformen erfordern.

Favelas – ein weltweites Problem

Selected for the Global Economic Symposium 2012

“Slums are a distinguishing feature of the landscape of the major megacities. Mumbai, Caracas, Manila, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro would be different cities if the slums weren’t part of their landscapes.

The favelas have also become a social and urban planning phenomenon which are extremely challenging for those who run the cities. The issues involve the employment and housing, health, sanitation and urban infrastructure and have turned into a matter of violence management. The slums normally occupy unsuitable areas for construction, primarily due to topographical features or sanitation issues. This physical configuration and the lack of planning, make access roads very difficult, but also stimulate creativity and unprecedented urban solutions. In some cities, slums have more ephemeral characteristics. They emerge in abandoned fields near areas of recent urbanization or booming industrial expansion. A multidisciplinary approach is therefore the only possible way to finding solutions. A global problem such as this, can only hope to shed light on this issue as a priority agenda for social development, seeking long-term solutions.

Wettrennen um die weltweiten landwirtschaftlichen Anbauflächen (land grabs)

Selected for the Global Economic Symposium 2011

It is becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy the rising global demand for agricultural products in a sustainable manner. Climate change, a rising world population with changing diets, increasing urbanization and industrialization, and a rising production of non-food crops all raise the global demand for agricultural land. How can we bring population growth, food consumption patterns, climate patterns, and land use into a sustainable equilibrium? What international trade arrangements, environmental policies, nutritional trajectories and land use patterns are required for this purpose?

Evidenzbasierte Armutsbekämpfung in Entwicklungsländern

Selected for the Global Economic Symposium 2011

Even though some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – e.g. the goal of halving extreme poverty – will be achieved on a global scale by 2015, progress will have been uneven and poverty will remain firmly on the international agenda. Some countries, notably China and India which could harness the opportunities of globalization, are well on track to reach the goals. At the same time, many countries, especially those with the lowest levels of development, are far from realizing any of the MDGs. This macro picture, however, clouds the successes of individual projects in specific areas or sectors which have tangibly improved the living standards of the poor along various dimensions. Systematically identifying and learning from such projects provides an extraordinary opportunity to improve the design of development interventions and to lift many more people out of poverty.

Anpassung an den Klimawandel in Entwicklungsländern

Selected for the Global Economic Symposium 2011

Climate change will be a major international policy issue for decades to come. Mitigation has been the main focus of research and policy-making thus far, but adaptation to climate change has moved up in the policy agenda. Results of simulation models suggest that the negative effects of climate change disproportionately fall on the developing world, and some argue that such effects already started being visible in the form of agricultural damage, displacement of people by flood, etc. Moreover, the poor have very limited capacities and resilience to cope with climate change. Focusing on adaptation in low-income countries can therefore yield a large benefit in terms of social welfare. The conditions in low-income countries are different from the ones in developed countries, calling for research and planning tailored to individual countries. Possible solutions for the problem of climate change adaptation in the developing world include technology transfer, financing mechanisms for adaptation, grass roots initiatives and national adaptation plans. These solutions can be part of policy-making or private initiatives.

Mikroversicherungen für die Armen in Entwicklungsländern

Selected for the Global Economic Symposium 2011

Poor households in developing countries face a number of risks. As access to formal insurance and credit markets is limited, they need to rely on informal strategies in order to reduce these risks ex ante and cope with shocks once they have materialized. One empirically relevant risk reduction strategy is income diversification. In addition to diversifying income, poor households generally choose low-risk, low-return activities. In particular, households tend to be reluctant in adapting new technologies which prevents them from exploiting their full production potential. If adverse shocks occur despite these risk reduction efforts, poor households often have to rely on support from relatives and friends or sell their financial and non-financial assets. These strategies might be effective in case of idiosyncratic shocks like illness or job loss. They fail, however, in case of aggregate shocks like drought or hurricanes that affect the whole environment.

Gehören arme Kinder in Entwicklungsländern zu den Globalisierungsgewinnern oder -verlierern?

Die Globalisierungskritik scheint momentan völlig verstummt zu sein. Offenbar hat das Thema Atomkraft alles verdrängt oder es hat sich in Deutschland rumgesprochen, dass wir aufgrund unserer Exportstärke zu den Globalisierungsgewinnern gehören und die deutsche Konjunktur brummt wie  lange nicht mehr. Bleibt noch der Einwand, dass Globalisierung die Menschen in Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländern ausbeutet.

Mikrokredite gegen Armut?

Wie am 5. April 2011 von AFP verbreitet wurde, hat das  oberste Gericht von Bangladesch die Entlassung von Friedensnobelpreisträger Muhammad Yunus als Direktor der von ihm gegründeten Grameen-Bank bestätigt.

Yunus Geschäftsmodell ist inzwischen nicht mehr unumstritten. So handelt ein Feature von Gerhard Klas,  das in den letzten Monaten vom DLF und auf verschiedenen Kanälen der ARD unter dem Titel “Ein Märchen aus Bangladesch : Mikrokredite gegen Armut” gesendet wurde, auch von dessen Schattenseiten. 

Millenniums-Entwicklungsziele der Vereinten Nationen

Halbierung der weltweiten Armut bis 2015:  So lautete das wichtigste Millenniumsziel, das die Vereinten Nationen im Jahr 2000 beschlossen haben. Vom 20. bis 22. September haben die Staats- und Regierungschefs auf dem UN-Millenniumsgipfel in New York Bilanz gezogen. Schon jetzt ist klar, dass nicht alle Ziele erreicht werden können. Die Millennium-Entwicklungsziele der Vereinten Nationen sind acht Entwicklungsziele (engl. Millennium Development Goals, MDGs) für das Jahr 2015, die im Jahr 2000 von einer Arbeitsgruppe aus Vertretern der UNO, der Weltbank, der OECD und mehreren Nichtregierungsorganisationen formuliert worden sind. Diese wurden im Rahmen des so genannten Millennium-Gipfels von den Vereinten Nationen verabschiedet.
(Quelle: Wikipedia)