ISDC researchers contributed to the 3ie Policy Brief “What works to improve nutrition and food security in the Sahel?”
This brief summarises the main findings and lessons from a synthesis of four 3ie-supported impact evaluations of the World Food Programme’s interventions to improve nutrition and food security outcomes. It offers recommendations to improve operational efficiency and programme coverage in the Sahelian countries of Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan.
Tilman Brück contributed to a blog discussing the strengths and weaknesses of using administrative data collected during emergencies for research on children. The blog was written by researchers from the recent UNICEF Social Protection Workshop.
Source: Administrative Data: Missed opportunity for learning and research in humanitarian emergencies? – Evidence for Action
A new paper by Tilman Brück, O.M. Dias Botia, N. T. N. Ferguson, J. Ouédraogo and Z. Ziegelhoefer titled “Assets For Alimentation? The Nutritional Impact Of Assets-Based Programming In Niger” has been published in the UNICEF – Innocenti Working Papers Series.
A recent strand of aid programming aims to develop household assets by removing the stresses associated with meeting basic nutritional needs. In this paper, authors posit that such programmes can also boost nutrition in recipient households by encouraging further investment in diet. To test this hypothesis, they study the World Food Programme’s “Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO)” in Niger, a conflict-affected, low income country with a high share of malnourishment. The authors conclude, first, that certain forms of food aid function well in complex, insecure environments; second, that assets-based programmes deliver positive nutritional spillovers; and, third, that there are theoretical grounds to believe that asset-based programmes interact positively with more nutrition-focussed programming.
The complete paper can be found here.
Tilman Brück’s and Neil Ferguson’s letter to the Editor on the peace process in Northern Ireland has been published in the Economist. The letter refers to their study “Money Can’t Buy Love But Can it Buy Peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation” that looked at the second wave of PEACE programmes and found no measurable effect on indicators of peacefulness in the communities where spending was targeted. The authors find that communities that bore the brunt of the violence, to this day, lag behind the rest of the province on the usual range of socioeconomic indicators. The paper is forthcoming in Conflict Management and Peace Science.
A new study by J. Puri, A. Aladysheva, V. Iversen, Y. Ghorpade and T. Brück has been published in Journal of Development Effectiveness under the title “Can rigorous impact evaluations improve humanitarian assistance?”. The article reflects on the challenges of rigorous impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance. The authors find that theory-based impact evaluations can crucially inform humanitarian programming. However, popular methods, such as orthodox RCTs, are seen as less suitable. The study explains that factorial designs and quasi-experimental designs can be ethical and robust, answering questions about how to improve the delivery of assistance. The authors argue that it helps to be prepared, planning impact evaluations before the onset of emergencies. The article can be accessed here.
Tilman Brück will chair the Launch of Global Peace Index 2017 which will take place on Monday, 26 June 2017 at Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. In the 2017 Global Peace Index, Germany maintains its traditional top spot as the 6th most peaceful and peace-supporting country globally. In the middle of an election campaign that is partly fought over whether or not to double military spending in less than a decade to meet NATO’s 2% goal, the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and the International Security and Development Center (ISDC) are very pleased to invite you for a presentation and discussion of this year’s Global Peace Index.
The article titled “Do jobs aid peace? The impact of employment interventions on peace, security and stability” by Tilman Brück, Neil T.N. Ferguson, Valeria Izzi and Wolfgang Stojetz has been published in the February/March 2017 issue of GREAT Insights on Youth employment in fragile countries. The magazine is published by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).
Tilman Brück, Neil T. N. Ferguson, Valeria Izzi & Wolfgang Stojetz authored a report titled “Jobs Aid Peace: Review of the Theory and Practice of the Impact of Employment Programmes on Peace in Fragile and Conflict-affected Countries”. This report provides new understanding on employment programmes in fragile and conflict-affected states as ‘inputs’ and peacebuilding outcomes in these states as ‘outputs’, by presenting the first systematic accumulation of knowledge on this relationship.
The article by Çağatay Bircan, Tilman Brück & Marc Vothknecht “Violent conflict and inequality” has been published in the Journal of Oxford Development Studies on Taylor & Francis Online. It is available here.The paper analyses the distributive impacts of internal violent conflicts, in contrast to previous literature which has focused on the effects of inequality on conflict.
An authoritative source of information on violent conflicts and peacebuilding processes around the world, Peace and Conflict is an annual publication of the University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva). The publication includes an overview of recent advances in scholarly research on various aspects of conflict and peace, as well as chapters on armed conflict, violence against civilians, non-state armed actors, democracy and ethnic exclusion, terrorism, defense spending and arms production and procurement, peace agreements, state repression, foreign aid, and the results of the Peace & Conflict Instability Ledger. It features work by Tilman Brück, Patricia Justino, and Philip Verwimp on measuring micro-level welfare effects of exposure to conflict.
Calculating the impact of different societal challenges, such as climate change, HIV/AIDS or cancer, uncovers the scale, distribution and structure of their economic burdens. Since violent conflict affects billions of people worldwide, the analysis of its impact is important. Using an integrated economic model accounting for multiple forms of conflict, the study finds that in the absence of violent conflict since 1960, global GDP in 2007 would have been 15.7% (10.9 trillion USD) larger. Furthermore, global income inequality would have been significantly lower. The largest absolute impacts are associated with domestic strife in China and India while Afghanistan suffers the largest relative burden. In contrast, many developed economies actually benefit from war. This shows that violent conflict is an integral part of the world economic structure, with a burden possibly exceeding that of climate change.
Full reference: de Groot, O.J., C. Bozzoli and T. Brück, (2015). “The Global Economic Burden of Violent Conflict”. HiCN Working Papers, Nr. 199.
Damir Esenaliev co-authored a paper investigating the determinants of civic participation in local budget processes in rural areas in the Kyrgyz Republic by using data from the Life in Kyrgyzstan survey, conducted in 2012. The analysis of the data suggests that although civic awareness and interest in local budget processes is relatively high, the participation rate in local budgeting processes is low. The paper also shows that interest, awareness, and participation are positively associated with the age, education, employment, risk-taking attitudes, trust, and social capital of respondents. The paper documents that unawareness and lack of participation are largely related to being female, of non-Kyrgyz ethnic origin, inactive in the labor market, recent internal migrants, and residents of communities with poor infrastructure.
Esenaliev, Damir & Kisunko, Gregory. 2015. “Local budget transparency and participation : evidence from the Kyrgyz Republic.” Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 7154. Washington, DC: World Bank Group. The full paper can be found here.
Anastasia Aladysheva and Tilman Brück contributed to a working paper published by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) on theory-based impact evaluations in the context of humanitarian emergencies. Despite the widespread occurrence of humanitarian emergencies such as epidemics, earthquakes, droughts, floods and violent conflict and despite the significant financial resources devoted to humanitarian assistance, systematic learning from such interventions using rigorous theory-based impact evaluations are very rare.
Tilman Brück and Neil Ferguson published a working paper on the effectiveness of a large-scale peace-building programme in Northern Ireland. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement concluded a period of violence in Northern Ireland yet the scars of the conflict remained prevalent in the political landscape. Rival communities remained divided, economic performance was poor and intercommunity tensions frequently manifested. In a bid to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society, over €1bn of public money was spent between 2000 and 2006 on small-scale community and business ventures. Despite the scale of expenditure, however, little rigorous effort has been made to test the success of the programmes. Splitting Northern Ireland into 582 electoral wards, we merge individual-level on perceptions of neighbourhood quality from the British Household Panel Survey with detailed PEACE II accounts. Noting potential selection and omitted variables biases, we implement two-stage random effects models and show that neither level of spending, nor number of projects, in a region is associated with improvements in perceptions of neighbourhood quality.
Brück, T. and N. Ferguson (2014). “Money Can’t Buy Love but Can it Buy Peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation”. HiCN Working Papers, Nr. 177. The full paper can be found here.