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UNU Research & Policy Briefs

Briefs are listed latest first.

Policy Brief No. 5, 2009

Comparing the Effectiveness of Accountability Mechanisms in Eastern Europe and Latin America

Comparing the Effectiveness of Accountability Mechanisms in Eastern Europe and Latin America
(283 KB PDF)

By Vesselin Popovski, Johanna Stratton and Kalle Huebner

A society that transitions from authoritarianism or armed conflict to a democracy needs to address important questions of justice and accountability for past human rights abuses in order to build a stable and peaceful future. In the rapidly maturing field of transitional justice an expanding number of initiatives have taken place providing valuable lessons for newly democratizing societies. This policy brief reviews the experiences of transition countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe in undertaking various accountability mechanisms: truth commissions, trials and amnesties in Latin America; and lustration, opening of secret service files, compensation and restitution in Eastern Europe. It identifies variables which may determine the effectiveness of certain mechanisms, and builds on the expanding body of evidence-based research.

Policy Brief No. 4, 2009

Toward a Global Science and Technology Policy Agenda for Sustainable Development

Toward a Global Science and Technology Policy Agenda for Sustainable Development
(268 KB PDF)

By Paul A. David, Can Huang, Luc Soete and Adriaan van Zon

The current financial crisis has tended to sap the momentum of industrialized countries’ policy steps to address climate change. Given the threat of runaway global warming, adopting a “minimax-regret” strategy is the best policy response: aim to stabilize GHG levels close to present levels. This requires accelerating R&D expenditures targeting technologies that radically reduce marginal costs of GHG emissions control. Making severe emissions cuts less burdensome would reinforce efforts to achieve that goal by “cap-and-trade” programmes and carbon taxes. The global community should commit itself to making major, coordinated investments in a diversified portfolio of climate change R&D, and to providing global access to the emerging technologies.

Research Brief No. 1, 2009

Partnerships for Women’s Health: Striving for Best Practice within the UN Global Compact

Every minute, at least one woman dies from pregnancy and childbirth complications; a further 20 suffer injury, infection or disease. Despite medical advances, and years of policy declarations, this tragic situation remains particularly severe in developing countries, violating a fundamental human right. Is a new approach possible, one that looks beyond common project paradigms and standards? What could such an approach look like, how might it operate, and what might be its effect? The Women’s Health Initiative, an innovative public private partnership that drew reference from the UN Global Compact, provides a possible model.

Policy Brief No. 3, 2009

Policy Responses to the Global Economic Crisis in Africa

Policy Responses to the Global Economic Crisis in Africa
(414 KB PDF)

By Augustin Kwasi Fosu and Wim Naudé

Africa is the developing region most at risk from the global economic crisis. Its recent strong growth has been interrupted. Already home to the largest number of low-income countries in the world, the region is now likely to experience higher unemployment and poverty; increases in infant mortality; and difficulty coping with longer-lasting effects such as higher school drop-out rates, reductions in health care, environmental degradation and a rise in conflict. Africa therefore needs to recover as quickly as possible. In this policy brief we draw on a number of recent UNU-WIDER studies to discuss the policy options for recovery.

Policy Brief No. 2, 2009

The Global Economic Crisis after One Year: Is a New Paradigm for Recovery in Developing Countries Emerging?

One year into the global economic crisis, it has become clear that the paradigm for international development has changed irrevocably. With leadership, moral authority and the capacity of the West in international development diminishing, developing countries’ recovery and future growth will critically hinge on their own initiatives, solutions and leadership. This policy brief summarizes the global responses to the crisis over the past year, points to their shortcomings and argues that a new paradigm for recovery in developing countries is emerging.

Policy Brief No. 1, 2009

The Internationalization of Chinese and Indian Firms: Trends, Motivations and Policy Implications

The rapid rise in the overseas investments of Indian and Chinese firms has attracted widespread attention in recent years. To a large extent, the growing internationalization of these emerging economies has been driven by a search for resources, technology and related assets. What are the implications of this for foreign direct investment policy in both the source and the recipient countries? Furthermore, how will the ongoing global financial crisis affect the continued expansion of multinationals from the two countries, which have relied on international markets to fund their investments?


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