Urbanization and development – highlights from the conference

What is the relationship between urbanization and development? how do cities as new frontier zones affect the development processes? are cities engines of growth or poverty? how are violence dynamics produced in the relationship between cities and youth? what are the inter-linkages between urbanization and poverty? How can international migration improve the situation in cities and slums? How should cities react to criminality and environmental issues?

All these questions were addressed at the GDN 13th Annual Global Conference, which took place on June 16-18 in Budapest, Hungary. According to Gerardo della Paolera – GDN President – this year’s conference was particularly important as it opens the door for the next GDN Global Research Project.

Watch highlights from the Conference:

Gerardo della Paolera – GDN President

Ramona Angelescu Naqvi- Sr. Political Scientist/Director, Program Management

Read and watch more about the conference

Intergenerational transmission of domestic violence in urban areas in Peru

Child violence within Peru is not part of health policies because it is not a visible problem to policymakers and there is no evidence on what produces child violence. Martin Benavides from the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) presented a paper at the GDN’s 13th Annual Conference that looks at the issue violence on to children, which transcends from mothers or women who have experienced violence at one point of time.

In his paper ‘Invisible negative externalities: the inter-generational transmission of domestic violence in urban areas in Peru’ Benavides finds strong relations between gender and violence in urban areas, and calls for an integrated women’s empowerment approach.

Urban externalities and migration flows on neighboring cities

The influence of urban externalities on migration flows is an issue not yet fully covered by research literature. This research by Fillipe Lage de Sousa, Brazilian Development Bank, looks at how dwellings across cities are associated with urban externalities (i/.e. violence, congestion and entertainment). The paper, presented during the GDN’s 12th Annual Conference, finds that urban externalities affects migration not only locally but to neighboring cities as well.

De Sousa argues that urban poverty is generally higher in neighboring cities, so improving life standards in a large metropolitan area enables those with lower income to take advantage of the prosperous regions.

ABCDE 2011 Plenary Session 3: Human capital formation, training and youth

Moderated by OECD Deputy Director Stefano Scarpetta, the third plenary session at the ABCDE 2011 event featured two presentations from Janet Currie (Columbia University) and Rodrigo Soares (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro).

Mrs. Currie presented the results of her study on the effects of  early life health on adult health, education and earnings.  The research findings suggest that  there is a strong correlation between inequality among adults and early health. The question is therefore how policy can mitigate the long-lasting consequences of inequality in health at birth.

From his side, Mr. Soares shared with the audience his research on crime entry and exit among Brazilian youth. Using data from a unique survey conducted by “Observatório de Favelas” (a Brazilian NGO) with drug-selling gangs in Rio de Janeiro, the study tries to understand who these groups attract, the typical “careers” of teenagers within these organizations, and the potential exit strategies available.

After the session, we had the opportunity to record a short video interview with Mr. Yaw Nyarko (New York University), one of the discussants in the session. Mr. Nyarko argued that the the findings of the research on youth gangs in Brazil can be relevant for Africa as well. Several African countries are in fact experiencing an increase in the presence of gangs. According to Mr. Nyarko, education is key to keep the youth out of gang activities and offer them alternatives for a better future.