January saw the snow arrive in Helsinki. As I look out across the harbour, the scene is one of various shades of white and grey. The temperature is well below zero (minus 20[degrees]c). But we are now gaining light, having past the shortest day of the year in December.
Our mood also brightened with the news that UNU-WIDER ranked one place higher, 6th, in the highly competitive category of international development think tanks according to the just released 2011 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report. Congratulations all round!
Turning to this month's Angle, we begin with an article by Gerard Roland on a just-published UNU-WIDER book on the experience of transition. The late Vaclav Havel kindly provided this endorsement: 'There were pleasant and unpleasant surprises in the transition process. It certainly did not occur in a vacuum and this volume, by some of the best experts on the subject, helps shed light on long-run trends in former socialist countries.'
We have a great deal of work presently underway on governance and fragility as part of our ReCom programme. While the issue of governance comes up all the time in development, especially among aid donors, what does it actually mean? Rachel Gisselquist reflects upon this question in our January Angle.
Also in the Angle, Alisa DiCaprio discusses the demand-side of social protection, drawing upon her research on Cambodia. Alisa, together with Amelia U. Santos-Paulino and Philippe De Lombaerde, also has a special issue of the South African Journal of Economics on South-South and North-South trade agreements.
Last year India saw much heated debate on how to define the nation's poverty line. Miguel Nino Zarazua and myself discuss poverty in India and China in this Angle in the first part of a two-part article. We also made a presentation on 'Inclusive Growth' at a Nordic-Baltic Multilateral Development Bank meeting in January and, with Danielle Resnick, a presentation at Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 'Development Effectiveness: New Ideas, New Challenges'. You can see our powerpoints under recent events.
In December, we held a highly successful conference with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in Nairobi on the...