Saturday, 30 January 2016

[conserveafrica] FW: UNDP Climate Innovations Network - January 2016 Newsletter


UNDP Climate Innovations Network - January 2016 Newsletter Building resilience with climate information and early warning systems

An upcoming UNDP publication examining "A New Vision for Weather and Climate Services in Africa" is scheduled for worldwide release this March. The publication includes a number of features from external contributors that highlight innovative African platforms and enterprises that are bridging the "Last Mile" to bring climate-smart products and services to farmers. The publication will be shared via this newsletter, on the CIRDA website and with media outlets worldwide. Here's an advance look at two features.

LINKING SMALLHOLDER FARMERS TO INSURANCE The Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise, better known as Acre Africa, links farmers to insurance products so that they can confidently invest in their farms and protect their futures. The company seeks to foster equity, fairness and innovation in the agricultural sector through localized solutions that reduce climate-associated risk.
Learn More ( | Extended Examination from UNDP on Agricultural Insurance (

AFRICAN CENTRES FOR LIGHTNING AND ELECTROMAGNETICS Global lightning occurrence maps based on satellite data show that many parts of the African continent have the highest lightning strike densities in the world. The African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics (ACLE) is a pan-African network dedicated to decreasing deaths, injuries and property damage due to lightning.
Learn More (

During the civil war, most of Liberia's hydrological and meteorological observation infrastructure was destroyed. On a recent two-day support mission the CIRDA team came across plenty of silent witnesses to the conflict. And, obviously, very few serviceable meteorological and hydrological observation systems. In his mission report, CIRDA Hydrology Expert Joost Hoedjes discusses the advantages of the new LTA, insights work in the field, and possible synergies with the private sector.
Learn More (

TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR CLIMATE ACTION HACKATHON With the goal of creating an innovation-driven crowd-sourced space for big thinkers and techno-visionaries to come together, the UNDP's Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA) is inviting developers, mobile application gurus and students to a three-day hackathon and innovations incubator March 15 to 17 in Livingstone, Zambia. The UNDP will be providing up to 25 travel scholarships that cover travel, lodging and meals during the event, which will run in parallel with a multinational UNDP workshop addressing "The Last Mile: Saving lives, improving livelihoods and increasing resiliency with tailored weather information services for a changing climate."
Apply Today ( | Project Brief ( | The Last Mile (

Bonizella Biagini
Programme Manager
UNDP Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA) <>

The Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA) connects ideas, people and technology to build resilience to
climate change in 11 African Countries. This UNDP adaptation and resiliency programme is funded through the Global Environment Facility's
Least Developed Country Fund.


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Friday, 29 January 2016

[conserveafrica] FW: New United Nations online courses on Diplomacy and Climate Change Negotiations




Dear Africasd-l readers,


The Multilateral Diplomacy Programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is pleased to inform you about its upcoming online courses.


We are pleased to inform you that we offer 25% discount for group bookings.


Please find below more information and do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions


Best regards


The MDP Team



Multilateral Diplomacy Programme
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland

Tel: +41.22.917.8716
Fax: +41.22.917.8993







new UNITAR logo







Upcoming courses

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) offers online and face-to-face courses on Multilateral Diplomacy. These courses are targeted to diplomats and government officials who are involved in inter-governmental negotiations, and professionals who are working in an international environment.   

We offer fellowships and discounted fees for group bookings. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance.




e-Learning courses





Multilateral Conferences and Diplomacy

22 February - 20 March 2016

This online course will help students enhance their performance as a conference delegate, and as a result contribute to the overall efficiency and productiveness of conferences. Registration >>

Climate Change Diplomacy: Negotiating Effectively under the UNFCCC

29 February - 24 April 2015

This online course will develop participants' understanding of the climate change policy framework by building an appreciation of the science, causes and impacts of climate change, the history of the policy making process and the UNFCCC framework. Registration >>

Chairing International Conferences

25 April - 8 May 2016

This online course aims to equip participants with the skills to successfully chair a meeting or international conference, as well as to understand and work with whoever is appointed to this position, thereby contributing to the success of such an event and a greater fulfillment of one’s institutional mandate. Registration >>





Contact us




e-Learning courses

+41 (0)22 917 87 16

Send email




United Nations Institute for Training and Research
Palais des Nations 
CH-1211 Geneva 10







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Eldis Governance Reporter

In this issue: Resources from Latin America on defending indigenous and tribal peoples' rights and citizen participation; the dark side of digital politics; a journal issue on 'opening governance'; the story of Brazil's ethanol programme; policing interventions against interpersonal violence; and experimenting with property tax in Pakistan.


Highlighting research relating to democratic governance, fragile states, institutional development, justice, good governance, public sector & service delivery and urban governance.


Eldis Governance Reporter

29 January 2016

This is our regular bulletin that highlights recent publications on governance issues.

The documents highlighted here are available to download online without charge. If you are unable to access any of these materials online and would like to receive a copy of a document as an email attachment, please contact our editor at the email address given below.

In this issue:


  1. Defending Latin America's indigenous and tribal peoples' rights through laws and the courts
  2. Citizen participation in Latin America: Innovations to strengthen governance
  3. The dark side of digital politics: algorithmic manufacturing of consent and the hindering of online dissidence
  4. Opening Governance
  5. The story of Brazil's ethanol programme
  6. Policing interventions for targeting interpersonal violence in developing countries: a systematic review
  7. Property tax experiment in Punjab, Pakistan

1. Defending Latin America's indigenous and tribal peoples' rights through laws and the courts

Produced by: Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (2013)


Since the 1990s, and amidst the rise in large-scale development projects in Latin America, the right to consultation has emerged as a collective right used to defend indigenous and tribal peoples' rights to the full use and enjoyment of their land, territory and natural resources. An interesting feature of the Latin American story of consultation rights has been the key role played by legal and institutional frameworks, and in particular, the use of existing court systems. This Brief analyses the development and progress made in defining and enforcing indigenous consultation rights through key rulings by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and countries' national courts. It also describes one particularly advanced national-level law in Peru that establishes the government's responsibility to conduct prior consultation before embarking on large-scale development initiatives and extractive industry activities. Latin America's advances, as well as ongoing difficulties, are presented with the aim of offering valuable lessons for other regions facing similar challenges in protecting the right to consultation.

Available online at:

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2. Citizen participation in Latin America: Innovations to strengthen governance

Produced by: Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (2015)

Boosted in part by the region's democratic transitions, citizen participation initiatives in Latin America have become increasingly common throughout the region. These initiatives, promoted both by governments and civil society, have sought to strengthen governance, enhance accountability and control, and improve social justice, ensuring that governments' funds and policies address relevant social issues and benefit socially excluded groups. Citizen observatories, social control mechanisms, social audits, citizen consultations, local citizen councils, citizen assessments of service delivery: these are just some of the mechanisms enabling citizens to actively participate in public life throughout Latin America. This Guide presents some of the key citizen participation initiatives in the region, including analysing their outcomes, lessons learned and the contextual factors enabling them, while also highlighting key publications and organisations to help connect readers with additional resources to learn more.

Available online at:

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3. The dark side of digital politics: algorithmic manufacturing of consent and the hindering of online dissidence

Authors: Treré,E.
Produced by: Institute of Development Studies UK (2016)

Various strands of literature on civic engagement, 'big data' and open government view digital technologies as the key to easier government accountability and citizens' empowerment, and the solution to many of the problems of contemporary democracies. Drawing on a critical analysis of contemporary Mexican social and political phenomena, and on a two-year ­long ethnography with the #YoSoy132 networked movement, this article demonstrates that digital tools have been successfully deployed by Mexican parties and governments in order to manufacture consent, sabotage dissidence, threaten activists, and gather personal data without citizens' agreement. These new algorithmic strategies, it is contended, clearly show that there is nothing inherently democratic in digital communication technologies, and that citizens and activists have to struggle against increasingly sophisticated techniques of control and repression that exploit the very mechanisms that many consider to be emancipatory technologies.

Available online at:

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4. Opening Governance

Authors: Edwards,D.; McGee,R.
Produced by: Institute of Development Studies UK (2016)

Open government and open data are new areas of research, advocacy and activism that have entered the governance field alongside the more established areas of transparency and accountability. In this issue of the Institute of Development Studies' Bulletin – an open access publication – articles review recent scholarship to explore contributions to more open, transparent, accountable and responsive governance. They also discuss questions and weaknesses that limit the effectiveness and impact of this work. The contributions – by researchers and practitioners – approach contemporary challenges of achieving transparency, accountability and openness from a wide range of subject positions and professional and disciplinary angles. Together, the authors assert, these articles give a sense of what has changed in this fast-moving field, and what has not.

The ambiguity around the 'open' in governance today might be helpful in that its very breadth brings in actors who would otherwise be unlikely adherents. But if the fuzzier idea of 'open government' or the allure of 'open data' replace clear transparency, hard accountability and fairer distribution of power as what this is all about, then what started as an inspired movement may end up putting a more open face on an unjust and unaccountable status quo.


Available online at:

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5. The story of Brazil's ethanol programme

Produced by: Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (2014)

Launched in 1975, Brazil's ethanol programme,Próalcool, has propelled the country towards being the world's number one producer, user and exporter of sugarcane ethanol.Próalcoolnot only reduced national dependence on imported energy, it also bolstered the economy, created jobs and diversified the country's renewable energy portfolio. Many countries in Africa and Asia are dependent on imported energy and could consider cultivating fuel crops by learning from the Brazilian experience. The development of ethanol in Brazil was not flawless, however, and as such, other nations wishing to develop a biofuels market can avoid making the same mistakes by understanding the specific challenges and impacts of ethanol production in Brazil.

This Guide begins by describing the main phases of ethanol production in Brazil, including an analysis of key government initiatives and some of the most important benefits to date. The following section then presents the social, economic and environmental impacts of biofuel production in Brazil, before discussing the prospects of second generation ethanol, a more environmentally-friendly biofuel. Finally, the Guide describes the main enabling factors behind ethanol production in Brazil and summarises key policy and practice lessons. Links to further reading and key organisations are also provided to guide readers to additional information.

Available online at:

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6. Policing interventions for targeting interpersonal violence in developing countries: a systematic review

Authors: Higginson,A; Mazerolle,L; Sydes,M; David,J; Mengersen,K
Produced by: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (2015)

This review has two key objectives. The first objective is to review the evidence on the effectiveness of policing interventions in reducing interpersonal violent crime in developing countries, and whether effectiveness differs according to intervention type and across different populations. The second objective is to assess the reasons that policing interventions addressing interpersonal violent crime may fail or succeed in developing countries.

The review located studies across Africa, Asia and Latin America; however the majority of studies report on interventions from Latin America. The interventions that were evaluated took place in 13 developing countries: Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, Uruguay, Jamaica, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan.

Available online at:

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7. Property tax experiment in Punjab, Pakistan

Authors: Khan,A.Q.; Khwaja,A.I.; Olken,B.A.
Produced by: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (2014)

Pakistan faces important policy challenges in improving service delivery and growth and development. Low levels of tax revenue act as a serious constraint to economic growth, provision of services and, more generally, to building an effective state. Pakistan does poorly on revenue collection, even when compared to other developing countries. To address this problem, the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department in Punjab, Pakistan implemented a series of human resource reforms beginning in 2009 designed to appropriately incentivise tax collection and improve overall departmental performance. The Property Tax Experiment in Punjab involves the design and evaluation of these performance pay packages to increase revenue mobilisation while retaining/raising customer satisfaction and accuracy of assessment.

The main results of the experiment are:

  • the incentive schemes produced substantial and unambiguous impacts on revenue collection. Treatment circles outperformed control circles by a margin of over 12 percentage points in total collections over the two-year treatment period
  • of the three schemes, the Revenue scheme performed best in terms of impact on collections. In both years, the Revenue scheme consistently had the largest effect and the largest return on investment (ROI). Furthermore, a third party survey suggests that the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department did not suffer any detectable quality of service costs (either in terms of customer satisfaction or assessment accuracy) as a result of incentivizing inspectors

Policy Implications:

  • performance pay works in raising revenues. If revenue increase is an important outcome for the government, some form of monetary incentives has to be an important part of the performance management process for field level staff
  • simpler and objective performance pay schemes perform better. A key element of an effective performance pay scheme is simple and clear directions that explicitly link to performance on objective dimensions
  • performance pay schemes may need to be monitored to ensure customer satisfaction. A general concern with performance-pay schemes that only reward on collections is that they may lead to customer dissatisfaction and over-taxation. While current findings do not show strong evidence for these concerns, it is recommended that the level of customer satisfaction be monitored regularly
  • It may be more cost-effective to introduce performance-pay 'periods' Every Few Years. Preliminary evidence suggests that the benefits of performance pay may continue even after the performance-pay period is over; such a persistent effect means that it may be more cost effective for the government to introduce performance-pay schemes every few years. The precise length of time between successive performance-pay periods should depend on how long it takes the tax base to expand
  • performance Pay Schemes may have to be Designed Differently for Supervisory Tiers. Results of introducing the simplest Revenue scheme (which worked the best for field staff) for supervisory staff were not conclusive; hence further study would be required to design an effective supervisory scheme


Available online at:

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[conserveafrica] FW: Information note on Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - a concept note: (UNEP/SGB/CPR00027/2016) [1 Attachment]

[Attachment(s) from Conserve Africa included below]

Subject: Information note on Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - a concept note: (UNEP/SGB/CPR00027/2016)


Ref: UNEP/SGB/CPR00027/2016

Dear Colleagues,

We have the honour to transmit herewith the latest information note on  "Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - a concept note"  for your information.

Kind Regards
Major Groups and Stakeholders Branch
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Nairobi, Kenya


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