By Naohiko Omata and Josiah Kaplan
Contrary to popular perception, refugees’ economic lives by no means exist in a ‘vacuum’, shut off from the wider economic structures of their host country. Indeed, no refugee camp, regardless of how remote its location, is ever fully closed to traffic in goods, capital and people from outside.
In urban settings, self-settled refugees are tied to the larger host economy even more directly. While existing studies have identified broad connections between refugees and external economies, little is known in detail about how, and in what ways, refugees are linked with local, district or regional economic actors in a refugee-receiving state.
By Frances Stewart
‘Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence’ – Aristotle
Gross national income (GNI) per head is generally accepted as the dominant indicator of country progress. Yet it is a bad indicator. It does not allow for externalities, for income distribution, nor for the many aspects of human well being which are not measured by income – such as health, education, personal safety, social relations, work conditions, spirituality, and so on. Incomes are a means not an end. Dissatisfaction with GNI per capita as a measure of country progress has led to the development of a number of alternative indicators of development. Famous among them is Morris Morris’ suggestion in the 1970s of PQLI (physical quality of life index), a composite indictor, including a measure of infant mortality, life expectancy and education. Yet in the context of the debt crisis of the 1980s, this never took off, and indeed growth of GNP per capita appeared more attractive as an indicator at a time of declining incomes. Continue reading
By Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock
Back in 2011, Indrajit Roy, Cinitia Kulzer Saliciotto, and I sat down to discuss the possibility of doing a comparative seminar on India, Brazil and South Africa. As an Indianist, Brazilist, and South Africanist respectively, we had each been reflecting on the buzz around ‘BRICS’ and ‘IBSA’: To what extent did it make sense to talk about these groups of emergent powers? Were they ‘emerging’ in similar ways, and to similar degrees? How might our analysis be reinforced or changed if we were to look beyond the economic lens that many commentators had adopted? Continue reading
To mark International Day for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, Young Lives Policy Officer Kirrily Pells, explores how efforts to end FGM in Ethiopia are faring.
The Ethiopian government has taken a strong stance against female genital mutilation so anyone who performs, commissions or publically encourages the practice can be punished with a hefty fine or prison sentence. They’ve also promoted a wide range of preventative initiatives, including advocacy campaigns in schools and the media to spread knowledge of the adverse health and social consequences. Continue reading
By Matthew J. Gibney
Should British nationals suspected of terrorist offences or other serious international crimes be stripped of their citizenship? The British government thinks so. Over the past ten years, UK governments have passed legislation that makes it easier to strip citizenship from UK dual nationals when the home secretary deems their citizenship to be “not conducive to the public good”.
Now things have taken a more radical turn. In an amendment just passed by parliament, the government intends to extend denaturalisation powers to naturalised citizens even if it would make them stateless. This is no idle threat. No fewer than 37 UK nationals have been stripped of citizenship since the Conservative government came to power in September 2010, a figure that dwarfs the handful of people who lost citizenship when Labour was in power. Continue reading
By Elisabetta Aurino
Yesterday (29 Jan) the annual UNESCO Global Monitoring Report was published. The report provides a timely update on the progress countries are making towards reaching the global ‘Education For All’ goals, a set of six measurable education goals to be achieved by 2015. The focus of this year’s report is learning, which is unsurprising for habitués of the post-MDG debates. While the MDGs were instrumental in massively increasing primary school enrolment (without forgetting that 57 million children are still out of school, probably the most vulnerable), there is wide acknowledgment that the delivery of quality education is the fundamental imperative for the post-2015 agenda, as enrolment alone does not automatically translate into good attendance, progression and learning for all children. Continue reading
By Rosana Pinheiro-Machado
In 2009, Dr Lucia Scalco and I began studying the “brand gangs” phenomenon in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. We conducted an ethnographic study in which we gathered all the boys from the slum to ‘have a rolezinho’ (little stroll) through the mall together – the favourite place of youth from the peripheries.
Since December last year, such rolezinhos have gained national and international visibility, especially after one ended with young people being forbidden from entering the malls. According to a recent survey by Data Folha, 82% of the population in São Paulo are against the rolezinhos. A huge debate on social and racial segregation has emerged in the country as a result and hundreds of new rolezinhos have been organised nationwide. A few months before the World Cup, Brazil is still experiencing protests on a daily basis, a sort of continuity of the movements of June 2013 – the “year that has not finished”, as they say in Brazil. Continue reading
By Abhijeet Singh
It’s that time of the year again. As India’s Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) was released last week (15th Jan), we are reminded of how abysmal learning levels in the country are. Most children are in school, but very few are learning. Less than half the children in Grade 5 can read a Grade 3 text, and only about a quarter can divide a three-digit number by a one-digit number. And the learning levels seem to be going down every year. Continue reading
By Paul Dornan
Early last January I reflected on12 things we had learned in 2012. Time for an update on the experiences of the Young Lives cohorts. To keep this brief (and risk the disapproval of many colleagues), this compresses a vast amount of work and analysis into a couple of sentences. Of course you will read all of the underlying research papers, journal articles, policy papers, policy briefs, conference presentations we have been busy presenting – but here’s a summary… Continue reading
By Oliver Bakewell and Agnieszka Kubal
The THEMIS conference, which took place in Oxford from 24-26 September, will be remembered as an excellent combination of a beautiful venue, smooth organisation, mostly good weather (never to be taken for granted in Oxford) and, most importantly of all, a wide range of scholars from around the world (139 participants from 28 countries) who presented their ideas and engaged in vibrant, critical and constructive dialogue. The conference was an open and stimulating environment for the free exchange of ideas, and robust but friendly debate.