Access to water and education gap in China

Water is vital for our survival. This is indeed an unquestionable fact. Experts predict that future conflicts will be over water:

“It is estimated that, by 2025, 4 billion people—half the world’s population at that time—will live under conditions of severe water stress, with conditions particularly severe in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.” (Source: World Bank)

Not only an increase in the awareness about water issues has been noticed, but also a better understanding of the existing links between access to water and sanitation. This probably explains why access to water and sanitation has been one of the most commonly discussed development issues lately.

But what about the other sectors? Would limited access to water hamper the access to other services?

Yasheng Maimaiti (Xinjiang University) argues that female participation in school education is limited when their water needs related to menstrual period are not met.

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Agglomeration Shadow: A Non-Linear Core–Periphery Model of Urban Growth in China (1990-2006)

The core–periphery (CP) model lacks evidence from real data for the nonlinear relationship between distance to core and market potential. The process of industrialization, as well as the geographic diversity across cities, makes China suitable for practical application of the CP model.

The paper presented during the GDN’s 13th Annual Conference by Zheng Xu (University of Connecticut) by Uses Chinese city-level data from 1990 to 2006 to estimates the impact of spatial interactions in China’s urban system on urban economic growth, and fills the gap between CP model and reality. The results show that proximity to major ports and international markets is essential for urban growth. Moreover, the geography–growth relationship follows the ∽-shaped nonlinear pattern implied by the CP model, presenting the existence of agglomeration shadow.

Urban poverty and its disadvantage in Chinese cities

The paper “Layoffs and Urban Poverty in the State-Owned Enterprise Communities” was presented by Dr. Zhiming Cheng in a parallel session during the GDN’s 13th Annual Conference. This paper analyses the perception and hardship suffered by the urban Chinese and looks to find effective policies that would pull back people to their communities.

It specifically examines urban poverty in China’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) communities where there exists a large concentration of laid- off workers. Dr. Cheng strongly implies that the official Minimum Living Standard Scheme (MLSS) as a monetary measure of well being has not yet been able to provide sufficient support for the poor, as a subjective poverty line approach shows that the MLSS undermines the needs of poor households.

El cambiante escenario de la cooperación internacional: una visión geopolítica

Helen Milner

Durante la tercera sesión plenaria de la 12ava Conferencia Anual del GDN, la profesora Helen Milner, directora del Centro Niehaus de Globalización y Gobernanza en la Escuela Woodrow Wilson School de Princeton, se refirió a la cooperación internacional para el desarrollo desde una perspectiva geopolítica. A diferencia de los anteriores participantes de alto perfil, la Dra. Milner viene del mundo de la Ciencia Política. En su presentación sostuvo que la cooperación internacional es una parte integral de la política exterior de los países, y explicó cómo los cambios en el sistema internacional están transformando esta ayuda.

Milner inició por bosquejar la historia de la cooperación internacional y ubicar su inicio en el Plan Marshall para la reconstrucción de Europa. Destacó como los donantes tradicionales (EE.UU., Japón, Europa occidental) durante los últimos 20 años han creado un “régimen” para de Cooperación Internacional a través de acuerdos, tales como: los Principios DAC, la Declaración de Paris, el Conceso de Monterrey, las Metas del Milenio y la Agenda Accra. Sin embargo, anotó nuevos donantes, como China, Brasil e India no parecen estar siguiendo estas directrices.

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The emerging landscape of aid

Helen Milner

Helen Milner,  Director of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School addressed foreign development aid from a geopolitical perspective in the fifth plenary of GDN’s 12th Annual Conference. In contrast to the previous high-profiled participants who were economists, she comes from the Political Science world. Her presentation argued how aid is an integral part of countries’ foreign policy, and how changes in the international system are transforming aid.

Professor Milner started by sketching the history of aid and locating its origins in the Marshall Plan. She highlighted how an ‘international aid regime’ has been created by the ‘traditional donors’ (USA, Japan, Western Europe) during the last 20 years through agreements, such as: DAC principles, Paris Declaration, Monterrey Consensus, Millennium Development Goals and the Accra Agenda, among others. However, new donors such as China, Brazil and India do not seem to be following these guidelines.

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Building business: Chinese aid to Africa

There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the exact nature of China’s aid to Africa. However, China continues to dismiss the criticism that its aid programme supports repressive regimes, preferring to see aid arrangements as business, without a political agenda.

China pledged $10 billion in loans to Africa in 2009 without any political preconditions. Despite much optimism over Beijing’s efforts to support development and investment on the continent, critics have been quick to highlight the lack of transparency over the deal. Read more of this post

China and Africa: Aid and Trade

Wen Jiabao, Premier of the People's Republic o...

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Together, China and Africa account for over one-third of the world’s total population. China’s economic engagement with Africa has in recent years become a highly reported issue, not least due to developments in aid relations.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) outlines that:

China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is home to the largest number of developing countries. Promoting economic development and social progress is the common task China and Africa are facing.

During the 2009 opening ceremony of the FOCAC at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged $10 billion in concessional loans to African countries. Another marker in on-going relationship that has seen Africa’s exports to China grow by nearly 40% every year between 2001 and 2006 and become South Africa’s largest export market.

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Communiqué: 11th Annual Global Development Conference Delivers Key Messages on Economic and Regional Integration

There is no learning without dialogue, and no action without reasonable consensus. This assumption was put to the test over the course of the recent 11th Annual Global Development Conference, Prague. The event was framed by one central question – Regional and Economic Integration: Quo Vadis? The 450 participants from around the world attending the event had their own distinct views on exactly where regional and economic integration is going. It is these views we wanted – and the world needs – to hear.

The financial crisis that has rocked the global economy has had, and continues to have, dangerous repercussions for international development. Read more of this post