Displaying 81-100 of 940 key documents
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | December 2011
This report examines the challenges of managing water resources for agricultural use — specifically in the context of food production — in the face of a changing climate. It provides an overview of climate change impacts in different parts of the world, details options for adaptation and mitigation, and offers practical recommendations on how developing countries can cope with these impacts.
The report outlines methods to assess impacts on water and agriculture, and stresses that water and agricultural policies must be more closely aligned. It concludes with suggestions for action to help countries in carrying out such assessments and adapting agricultural water management. These include using methods such as decision analysis to improve predictions; developing and applying downscaling techniques to build capacity for better analyses and climate adaptation; and coordinating analyses of the level of investment required for different solutions.
Source: The World Bank | May 2011
This sourcebook provides an overview of current and upcoming information and communications technology (ICT) for agricultural innovation, and discusses their potential to improve productivity, services institutions and value chains. It aims to provide both technical and policy guidance to development professionals and decision makers, and focuses on how ICT can support poor smallholder farmers including female farmers.
The guide includes fourteen modules on various aspects of ICTs in agriculture, including how to use the technologies to boost livestock, crop and fishery production; increase smallholder farmers' access to financial services; and improve rural governance. Each module provides information about current trends in ICT use, identifies challenges and lessons learned, notes how technologies have been used to achieve specific goals, and offers examples of successes or failures. The report describes the contributions these technologies can make, provides guidance on how to design and implement ICTs and on how to evaluate them.
Source: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) | November 2011
This report provides an analysis of global innovation and intellectual property (IP) trends in 2011, and examines how innovation has changed. It also reviews how IP protection affects innovative behaviour, and what that implies for policymaking.
In four chapters, the report reviews trends in innovation and IP; the economics of IP; balancing collaboration and competition; and the role of IP in harnessing research for innovation. Each chapter concludes with recommendations for future research. The report examines questions that include the notion that innovation processes are increasingly open, international and collaborative; the drivers of increased demand for IP rights; and the rising importance of technology or knowledge markets.
It concludes by suggesting ways that IP and innovation policies can be redesigned to adapt to the growing demand for IP protection. It states that IP is playing an increasingly important role in innovation policies, and that moving beyond polarised debates will require fact-based research as well as translating economic research into accessible messages.
Source: Ramsar Convention on Wetlands | June 2011
This technical report examines methods for assessing the vulnerability of wetlands — particularly in the context of climate change — as part of a broader set of methodologies for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring. It gives an overview of available approaches to assessing vulnerability, including the frameworks available to incorporate climate change risks into development planning and projects.
The report identifies challenges and information gaps that have emerged from vulnerability assessments, including "multiple vulnerabilities" a lack of reliable data or long-term monitoring, and differing perceptions of the need to address wetland vulnerability. It concludes that to provide the information needed for sound management vulnerability assessments will need a better understanding of the complexity of interactive pressures that affect wetlands, such as land use and pollution; to develop appropriate metrics to assess vulnerability to multiple pressures; and to bolster data on the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of wetlands.
Source: Global Economy and Development at Brookings | January 2012
This report gives an overview of education challenges facing the developing world and discusses the technologies available to address them. It aims to provide guidance to decision-makers designing, implementing or investing in education initiatives.
The report focuses on the potential of recent information and communications technology (ICT) such as mobile phone and laptops, and examines conditions that can influence whether technology interventions are successful. It also focuses on the world's poorest countries.
The authors put forward seven principles for effective use of technology in education, which include a focus on identifying the problem before introducing a technology to address it, and considering whether the design and implementation of the technology will allow it to last over time. The report concludes that ICTs can bring quality learning to some of the world's poorest and hard-to-reach communities.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
This report presents a global overview of the role of livestock in nutrition and food security, and discusses ways of meeting the expected increase in demand for livestock as a source of food with limited resources. It examines how livestock contributes to food security in three population groups — livestock-dependent societies, small-scale mixed farmers and urban dwellers — and the main challenges they face in producing enough food.
The first section of the report discusses how livestock contributes to food security, including economic factors that affect the choice of foods, and the stability of livestock food supplies. The second section examines the contribution of livestock as a source of food in each population group, and the last part of the report looks to future prospects for producing enough food in the context of risks such as water shortages. It concludes that careful management of livestock food systems will be key in building a stable livestock food supply to meet future needs.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
This policy brief looks at the role of intellectual property rights in developing and accessing technologies for mitigation and adaption to climate change. It provides an overview of intellectual property rights as the main mechanism of encouraging technological innovation for responding to climate change, and describes the issues that prevent constructive discussion in the area. The brief brings together diverse perspectives to propose action, beginning with building trust and exploring potential policy options, challenging countries to go beyond their entrenched positions and thus enable productive climate talks. It concludes with a caution that without reaching a compromise, the impasse will prevent a significant move towards green technologies.
Source: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, examines the role of renewable energy sources and technologies in the mitigation of climate change and provides policy relevant information. The authors evaluate the scientific literature on six renewable energy sources — bioenergy, direct solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy — and their current deployment. The report describes how each of these power sources can be integrated into future energy systems, and outlines future research needs in the context of sustainable development. It puts forward strategies to overcome environmental and social consequences associated with the deployment of such technologies, and compares the cost of energy from renewable sources to non-renewable sources.
Source: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
This report, published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), presents a framework for developing programmes to monitor interventions for climate change adaptation. Although it is not meant as a definitive guide, it includes potential indicators for tracking and evaluating the success of programmes, and calls for more work to establish baseline measures.
The first section of the report discusses key issues in evaluating adaptation, and challenges in using adaptation indicators. The second section outlines the framework and proposes indicator categories that can be tailored to specific contexts — such as using climate and monitoring data in programme design, and introducing mechanisms that target poor people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It concludes by suggesting the use of the framework for more effective investments in climate-resilient development.
Source: The Royal Society
This report, published by the UK's Royal Society, reviews evidence about solar radiation management (SRM), a 'geoengineering' technique that involves deliberate intervention in the climate to counteract global warming, which was gathered during a year-long project — Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative. It also summarises issues raised during the project by 27 experts from 17 countries and other stakeholders.
The report explores the scientific, ethical, political, social and technological challenges raised by proposals for research into SRM, as well as perspectives on how to address these challenges. It offers no recommendations, but states that the uncertainty about the risks and benefits of SRM can be resolved with the successful governance of research, and concludes with a number of 'messages' that provide a foundation for greater dialogue.
Source: Overseas Development Institute | July 2011
This guide, published by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), was a result of a project designed to build capacity for science communication at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Science. It draws on international good practice and discusses how three tools — the policy brief, the research brief and the story of change — can be used to communicate research through print media. The guide presents case-studies that illustrate policy processes in Vietnam; describes the principles and process of communication, and offers advice on how to write effectively and how to develop policy briefs. The guide is presented as a 'working document' that will be revised to incorporate users' views, and stresses that practice is the best way to improve writing skills.
Source: OECD | April 2011
This report identifies good practices and potential concrete steps forward to help scientists and administrators involved in collaborative research programmes between developing and developed countries. It describes issues that must be considered when designing, implementing and managing such projects. The report distils information and analyses that emerged from the Global Science Forum project, which addresses issues such as achieving a balance between research goals and strategic development priorities, developing national capacity in science and technology, and using appropriate indicators to evaluate the outcomes of collaborative programmes. The report concludes by emphasising that international collaboration is essential to deal with global issues such as climate change because developing countries are often those most severely affected by global threats.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | November 2011
This report provides guidance on improving forest health practices by explaining the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), and assisting policymakers, planners and managers — particularly in developing countries — to apply these standards. This advice aims to help prevent the spread of insects, pathogens and other non-indigenous pests as a result of growing global trade and the exploitation of new market opportunities.
The guide includes information on how the ISPMs and regulations put in place by national plant protection organisations (NPPO) affect the import and export of forest commodities; how management approaches can help people reduce the risks of spreading pests in the forest; and how ISPMs can be used to prevent the spread of forest pests. It suggests that forest sector personnel and NPPOs need to work more closely to develop and implement ISPMs, and help preserve forest health.
Source: World Resources Institute | June 2011
This paper aims to identify key components of effective renewable energy policy in developing countries. It draws from published research and case studies in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to provide recommendations on how countries can maximise international support for the development and deployment of renewable energies.
The authors argue that the global energy system needs to change, and that developing countries are at the forefront of this challenge because they are expected to contribute 80 per cent of the world's capacity for new electricity generation over the next two decades. The authors conclude that donors should move beyond funding individual projects to support nationwide initiatives for renewable energy.
The report looks at what developing countries are already doing to deploy renewable energy; gives an overview of key principles of renewable energy policy; discusses lessons learned from existing initiatives; and identifies areas where international support could help.
Source: Working Group on Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways | November 2011
This report provides policy recommendations to help deliver safer and cheaper medical products to people suffering from neglected diseases in developing countries, where they are needed the most.
Although more drugs and vaccines are reaching late-stage clinical development, says the report, they are held back by a lack of funding to support clinical trials, as well as clinical research and regulatory capacity in settings where neglected diseases are endemic. This undermines safety and the validity of clinical data.
The report recommends a two-pronged approach to improving the quality and regulation of clinical trials in the developing world: establishing regional regulatory pathways for the oversight of clinical trials, and building quality and cost-efficiency into trial design and implementation. It also recommends practical steps that can be taken by donors, drug and vaccine developers, and regulatory authorities to begin implementing the changes.
Source: Center for Global Development | September 2011
This report presents findings from the first randomised evaluation of a cash transfer programme delivered using mobile phones. The study investigated the effect of mobile phone technology on monthly cash transfers to households in Niger that were affected by a severe drought.
Villages that received cash in this way, known as 'zap', saw benefits such as reduced costs of receiving cash, more diverse purchases and diets, and more types of crops. This, suggest the authors, is down to the zap mechanism encouraging different decision-making in the household, as well as due to lower costs and greater privacy.
They conclude that mobile transfers are a cost-effective way of transferring cash to remote rural populations, especially those with limited road and financial infrastructure, but caution that more research is needed on broader effects on the welfare of these populations.
Source: United Nations Environment Management Group | October 2011
This report outlines the first coherent strategy drawn up by the UN to address dryland management, taking into account environmental concerns and the well-being of dryland communities. It examines the relationship between drylands and climate change, food security and livelihoods, and highlights ways in which the UN is working to mainstream drylands into policymaking processes.
Climate change is already having an impact on crop yields and nutrition in areas that rely on rain-fed agriculture, according to the report, and these impacts will intensify by 2020 in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The impacts of climate change may be most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, suggesting that those already vulnerable will be affected the most.
A key message is that the international community has an opportunity to address the underlying causes of dryland degradation. The report concludes that global cooperation must be intensified if the ten-year strategic plan of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification — whose aim is to tackle desertification and degradation — and the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved.
Source: Centre for Global Development | September 2011
This report outlines how ICT (information and communications technology) could facilitate the adoption of agricultural technologies that can contribute to improving crop yields in developing countries.
It reviews existing agricultural extension services — programmes that deliver information to farmers — which use ICT, categorised by the type of services and how they are provided (by text, for example, or the Internet). The report concludes that although these programs are innovative, implementing them remains a challenge and evidence of their impact is limited. It is not yet clear that ICT-based services will replace existing agricultural extension systems, and there is a risk that they will become unsustainable — a fad with limited impact on the lives of the poor. The report suggests evaluating pilot programmes using rigorous methods, and says that future efforts should calculate demand and cost-effectiveness, and identify information best suited to such programmes.
Source: High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security | July 2011
This report, written by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, and commissioned by the UN Committee on Food Security (CFS), sets out to explore different causes and consequences of food price volatility, including how vulnerable populations can ensure access to food in times of food insecurity.
The report is set out in five sections. The first outlines the causes of recent food price variations, one of which suggests these variations may signal lasting scarcities in the agricultural sector. The second section presents key policy recommendations to address price volatility and its consequences for food security, including coordination of national storage policies and limiting the growth of demand for agricultural products in developing countries.
The third part of the report discusses how international food price rises have been reflected in domestic prices in developing countries. The fourth section outlines policy recommendations at the national level, stressing that these must be adapted to the local context, and the report concludes by discussing the role of the CFS in relation to price volatility and food security.
Source: Food Security (2011) | April 2011
This journal article investigates the significance of drought and other water-related constraints in South Asia compared with other limitations to the production of four major food crops — wheat, rice, sorghum and chickpea — in five South Asian farming systems.
The study was based on a survey of 330 'expert informants'. It indicates that water shortages and constraints such as high-cost irrigation or flooding of low-lying fields contribute to no more than 30 per cent of current yield gaps in major food crops. Other constraints contribute the most to yield losses, particularly soil infertility and poor management of fertiliser, weeds, pests and diseases. The respondents suggested interventions to address these constraints and improve food security, which include biotechnology and improvements in soil fertility.