From Google Scholar+ [to 1 February 2014]

From Google Scholar+
Selected content from beyond the journals and sources covered above, aggregated from a range of Google Scholar monitoring algorithms and other monitoring strategies.

Book: Delivering Sustainable Growth in Africa – African Farmers and Firms in a Changing World
Takahiro Fukunishi
Palgrave Macmillan, Dec 18, 2013 – 242 pages
The economic situation in Sub-Saharan Africa has recently undergone a process of change. After a long period of stagnation during the 1980s and 1990s, GDP per capita has shown significant growth in the 2000s. Although the growth rate is lower than that of East Asia, it is significantly higher than that in previous decades. The most significant factor yielding the better economic performance is the increase in commodity prices including oil, mineral and agricultural products, which are the main export products for most African countries. Another factor has been the scaling up of aid flows following the commencement of the Millennium Development Goals. The enhanced commitment of the donor community increased aid flow to Africa, which in turn increased GDP through consumption of locally sourced products and services, such as with the construction industry.

This book aims to fill the lack of micro evidences on a structural change of African producers. By collecting studies on single industries, the authors attempt to demonstrate firms’ and farmers’ responses to the recent economic trend such as growth of demand, emergence of FDI and improvement in infrastructure. Since the economic trend differs by industry, its impacts on producers can be observed more clearly by focusing on a single industry. Based on case studies, this book covers four industries in five countries that experienced significant external changes; namely, horticulture in Ghana, construction in Burkina Faso, textiles in Madagascar, agriculture in Uganda, and wood processing in Tanzania. All studies are based on original data collected through the authors’ field work.

Chapter: The Governance of Global Value Chains, Upgrading Processes and Agricultural Producers in Sub-Saharan Africa
J Keane
There have been significant structural changes in the way trade, production and marketing are organized in recent decades. There is now wide recognition that global trade increasingly involves spreading the production of a final good over firms in several …

Thesis:  Agency Through Adaptation: Explaining The Rockefeller and Gates Foundation’s Influence in the Governance of Global Health and Agricultural Development
M Stevenson – 2014
The central argument that I advance in this dissertation is that the influence of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in the governance of global health and agricultural development has been derived from their ability to advance knowledge structures crafted to accommodate the preferences of the dominant states operating within the contexts where they have sought to catalyze change.

Consequently, this dissertation provides a new way of conceptualizing knowledge power broadly conceived as well as private governance as it relates to the provision of public goods. In the first half of the twentieth-century, RF funds drove scientific research that produced tangible solutions, such as vaccines and high-yielding seed varieties, to longstanding problems undermining the health and wealth of developing countries emerging from the clutches of colonialism. At the country-level, the Foundation provided advanced training to a generation of agricultural scientists and health practitioners, and RF expertise was also
pivotal to the creation of specialized International Organizations (IOs) for health (e.g. the League of Nations Health Organization) and agriculture (e.g. the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) as well as many informal international networks of experts working to solve common problems. Finally in the neo-liberal era, RF effectively demonstrated how the public-private partnership paradigm could provide public goods in the face of externally imposed austerity constraining public sector capacity and the failure of the free-market to meet the needs of populations with limited purchasing power.

Since its inception, the BMGF has demonstrated a similar commitment to underwriting innovation through science oriented towards reducing global health disparities and increasing agricultural productivity in poor countries, and has greatly expanded the application of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach in both health and agriculture. Unlike its intellectual forebear, BMGF has been far more focused on end-points and silver bullets than investing directly in the training of human resources. Moreover whereas RF has for most of its history decentralized its staff, those of BMGF have been concentrated mainly at its headquarters in Seattle. With no operational programs of its own, BMGF has instead relied heavily on external consultants to inform its programs and remains dependent on intermediary organizations to implement its grants.

Despite these and other differences, both RF and BMGF have exhibited a common capacity to catalyse institutional innovation that has benefited historically marginalized populations in the absence of structural changes to the dominant global power structure. A preference for compromise over contestation, coupled with a capacity for enabling innovation in science and governance, has resulted in broad acceptance for RF and BMGF knowledge structures within both state and international policy arenas. This acceptance has translated into both Foundations having direct influence over (i) how major challenges related to disease and
agriculture facing the global south are understood (i.e. the determinants and viable solutions); (ii) what types of knowledge matters for solving said problems (i.e. who leads); and (iii) how collective action focused on addressing these problems is structured (i.e. the institutional frameworks).

[PDF] Convergence and contention: The Least Developed Countries in post-2015 debates
IIED Issue Paper. 2014
Tighe Geoghegan
ISBN 978-1-78431-013-4
The 48 diverse nations characterised as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face some of the world’s greatest development challenges, from poverty to climate change. LDCs are counting on the global development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals post-2015 to help them meet those challenges. But the jury is out on how to shape global goals and targets with the priorities of LDCs in mind. This paper scans perspectives from a range of sources to identify areas of converging and contentious opinion. By laying these perspectives on the table, the paper aims to help LDC negotiators clarify their own positions and identify issues where they can increase their collective bargaining power in post-2015 debates through joint negotiation.

Strengthening psychological resilience in humanitarian practice: resource-centred and risk-centred approaches
M Höfler – Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses
The concept of resilience holds great importance for the humanitarian sector today, given the risks posed to both the individual and the collective from traumatic events such as natural disasters, poverty and terrorism. Psychological resilience, however, has had only marginal attention compared to analysis of resilience capacities considered on broader social levels. This article reflects on psychological resilience-building strategies for mental health support in high-risk populations. Two strategy types, based on the concept, are identified – risk-centred strategies and resource-centred strategies. By means of a review of the theoretic-conceptual foundations of resilience research and drawing on empirical results – primarily observational studies – these strategies are outlined and their possible positive consequences are discussed on both personal and social functioning levels. The article further discusses their possibilities for generating psychological resilience and the potential limits to their feasibility, depending on how these fundamental insights are deployed by researchers aiming to build on existing opportunities.

[PDF] NGO Proposals for an Asia-Pacific Human Rights System
R Wilde – Yale Human Rights and Development Journal, Vol 1. No. 1, 2014
The Asia-Pacific region is the only area of the world without a human rights regime. This piece evaluates current NGO proposals. Since 1982, regional workshops have been held between Asia-Pacific state representatives under the aegis of the United Nations. The most recent was held in Tehran from February 28 to March 2 1998. At that meeting it was agreed that the first building block for a regional regime would be a technical cooperation program to further develop national human rights structures and education programs. This approach would help to foster local human rights protection, and explore the possibilities of regional co-operation by identifying the issues of concern common to the countries involved.3 NGOs are skeptical of these developments. They agree on the importance of promoting a local culture of human rights, but find no inconsistency between this local development and a robust regional human rights regime.
In addition, states were very reluctant to allow full NGO participation in the workshops. Despite these obstacles, a series of activist meetings developed in tandem, and, as is the zeitgeist, this was a highly participatory process involving NGOs and human rights activists from across the region.5

Aid work as edgework–voluntary risk-taking and security in humanitarian assistance, development and human rights work
S Roth – Journal of Risk Research, 2014
Contemporary societies have been characterized as risk societies. While considerable research on individualized risk and risk management exists, voluntary risk taking has so far found less attention. This article explores the tensions between voluntary risk-taking at the individual level and risk management at the organizational level by analysing aid work as edgework. Between 1990s and 2009, the number of attacks on aid personnel including killing, kidnapping and armed attacks has steadily increased. Security and how to deal with it has become a central concern of aid organizations. While the increased insecurity of aid workers and the responses of aid organizations to security threats have been widely documented, less attention has been paid to the role risk-taking plays in aid workers lives. Edgework is a form of voluntary risk-taking and has been primarily studied in the context of risk-taking leisure such as action and adventure sport. Aid work encompasses a wide range of interventions, including development and emergency relief. Depending on assignment and region, people working in the aid industry find themselves in high- or low-risk situations. Based on biographical interviews with people working in aid, this article addresses motivations for getting involved in aid work and experiences of danger in Aidland. Contrasting individualized risks with security procedures of aid organizations, my article contributes to a better understanding of risk-taking behaviour in general and in the context of overseas aid in particular.