Spotlight on the Impact of Social Protection Schemes

Cover Pathways Perspectives7 November - A new paper published by Development Pathways explores the scope and impact of social protection schemes by identifying whether they fall into what the author calls a ‘charity paradigm’ or a ‘citizenship paradigm’.

Outlining examples of schemes from around the world illustrating both categories, this study explores how they operate and challenges the idea that all social protection programmes have a positive impact on poverty reduction. It calls for the IMF and the World Bank to be more objective in assessing the long-term impact and effectiveness of the systems they promote.

GSW Social Spending Data Used for New Inequality Index

CRI Report Cover17 July 2017 - New data compiled by GSW has been used for the new DFI -Oxfam Commitment to Reducing Inequality index (CRI). This new global index which ranks 152 governments on their policies in three areas critical to reducing the gap between rich and poor: social spending, progressive taxation and labour rights. GSW provided data on 152 countries for the social spending pillar.

The accompanying analytical report, launched today at a roundtable in New York alongside the UN HLPF, finds that no government in the world is doing enough to reduce inequality, and 112 of 152 are doing less than half of what they could. Sweden tops the index and Nigeria is bottom. Many low- and middle-income countries like Namibia and Liberia do well overall and on specific policy areas.

These conclusions are based on the latest available data from governments and global institutions, compiled by DFI into a comprehensive database, and validated by many Oxfam country offices, to build a unique perspective on the extent to which governments are tackling inequality. Full results and analysis can be consulted in the report and methodology document, and you can explore country results across the 3 policy areas in this interactive digital tool

The press release is available here.

The report calls for much greater concerted policy action by governments across the world to reduce inequality in all three policy areas, and for a dramatic scaling up of coordinated global and national investment to improve the data on inequality and policies to reduce it. The index will be updated annually, becoming an early warning system tracking progress on policy actions to fight inequality across the world.

Are The Multilateral Organisations Fighting Inequality?

Are The Multilateral Organisations Fighting Inequality Cover217 July 2017 - A new report monitoring the policy advice and surveillance the multilateral organisations are giving on SDG-related spending is being launched today at a roundtable alongside the UN HLPF. DFI, New Rules for Global Finance and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung are publishing Are The Multilateral Organisations Fighting Inequality? which analyses the impact that the UN, IMF, OECD, World Bank, FSB and G20 are having on supporting countries across the world to fight inequality more effectively.

The report scores and ranks each of the organisations for their impact across various policy transmission mechanisms, especially on tax, spending, labour and development financing policies. It finds that readiness and impact in fighting inequality is greatest in the UN, especially through its support to countries provided by UNDP and specialised agencies such as the ILO, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO and UN Women. At the other end of the spectrum, the G20 has only focussed intermittently on inequality and has therefore achieved very little.

The report has been compiled through a lengthy process of consultation with experts from within each institution and inputs from independent representatives of civil society organisations working on inequality issues, including the ITUC, Oxfam, SOAS, Finance Watch, the University of Laval and RTpay. You can now consult the executive summary.

The full report and chapters on the other individual institutions will be rolled out in a series of launch events involving each of the organisations studied, during the remainder of 2017.

The report makes strong recommendations for each of the organisations (including the UN) to improve their performance and demonstrate clear impact on fighting inequality, and will be published annually in future years, shining a spotlight each year on the support the multilateral system is providing to fighting inequality.

SDGs: What Lessons can be learned from the MDGs? (2)

international budget partnership logo2 June 2017 - The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has published a budget brief which explores good practices and lessons learned from monitoring government budgets and expenditure on the MDGs. The aim of this brief is to assist with monitoring, reporting, and accountability, in respect of the SDGs.

Featuring summaries of case studies from 11 countries, the brief presents findings from research by DFI in collaboration with IBP that draws on DFI’s Government Spending Watch (GSW) initiative, which monitored MDG-related spending across 72 developing countries. The research looked at budget transparency practices, the relative ease of identifying MDG, budget classification and presentation for both planned and actual spending.

To support this brief, DFI produced a background paper prepared for IBP which aims to establish lessons to inform advocacy efforts to promote greater budget transparency and accountability in the SDGs implementation framework.

Fiscal Justice Capacity-Building Workshop, Lilongwe

Oxfam24-27 January 2017 - DFI helped to facilitate an Oxfam Southern Africa workshop which aimed at designing programmes to achieve fiscal justice at regional and national levels. DFI presented on global, regional and national trends in tax policies, budget financing (aid and debt), and spending policies, and assisted Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to identify their priorities for future country and regional work. Among the key priorities emerging were a regional index on fiscal justice and inequality, incidence analysis, tax incentives, gender budgeting, and extractives revenue-sharing.

Toolkit on Domestic Financing for Education

Financing matter11 October 2016 - Drawing on the skills gained from monitoring government budgets in over 70 countries, Government Spending Watch (GSW) helped develop a toolkit on Domestic Financing for Education produced by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) in collaboration with ActionAid International (AAI) and Education International (EI).

As the world embarks on the difficult task of putting into action the newly agreed SDG 4, and the accompanying Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA), this toolkit aims to support CSOs and education activists across low- and middle-income countries to advocate and campaign on issues related to financing for education.The SDG 4 and the FFA contain collective commitments to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all by 2030 - which will require ambitious new financing commitments to meet this goal.

The toolkit, based on 4 modules, is adaptable to different contexts, and aims to be as broad-based in its scope as possible. The toolkit can be used in its entirety, but each module is also designed so that they can be used as a standalone product, depending on experience, knowledge, context or interest.

UNESCO’s Flagship Education Report

unesco13 September 2016 - DFI was commissioned by UNESCO to provide a background paper and case studies which were used for the new Global Education Monitoring Report. This publication series provides independent monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4) and on education in the other SDGs, for the next fifteen years.

The 2016 instalment entitled “Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Futures for All” aims to bring insight for governments and policymakers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4.

On the basis of the data collected for the Government Spending Watch initiative it manages, DFI contributed a background paper on “Integrated financial planning and SDG readiness in the education sector” which helps build the evidence for how prepared for a more holistic and integrated approach to financial planning developing countries are, in light of the new SDG agenda. DFI also prepared two case studies focusing on SDG readiness in South Africa and Colombia.

Related information on the report is available here.  

Social Spending Fall in DRC

DRC2 September 2016 -  Despite stable overall public spending figures, DRC’s expenditure in some key social sectors as percentage of total expenditure has declined from 2014 to 2015, notably in health and agriculture. GSW’s latest country spending summary highlights DRC’s shift of budgetary priorities in an election year where government spending seems to be reoriented towards public order and security, and infrastructure projects.

This note is also available in French

Oxfam Inequality and Fiscal Justice Capacity Building

oxfam-uk1-2 February 2016 - DFI facilitated a regional capacity-building workshop for Oxfam International Asia, training around 30 staff on analyzing fiscal justice to combat inequality. The training covered anti-inequality government spending (using the GSW database) and anti-inequality tax policy (using a new GSW tax database), and helped participants to define priorities for regional and country strategies to campaign for fiscal justice.

International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

British Academy26 January 2016 - DFI participated in a British Academy International Forum with the secretariat of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (chaired by Gordon Brown). Based on its work for GSW, GCE and UNESCO, DFI presented its views for priorities in mobilizing financing for education during the SDG period, and will be continuing to work with the secretariat over the next few months, making inputs on spending patterns and debt issues.

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