Recent comments

  • Utilizing Skill Acquisition Programs to Drive Local Economic Development in Lagos, Nigeria   14 weeks 1 day ago

    Thanks very much Mr. oshodi for this illuminating post. It does provide some insights on the role skill development can play in LED. Particular of interest is the proposition about how local authorities can strategically support informal training centres. 

  • A model for Local Economic Development   23 weeks 6 days ago

    Dear Dr. Pennink,

    The model thus look interesting. The trouble though is that there is no explanatory narrrative to make sense of it fully. Can you please further clarify us on this? That is provide a narrative explanation, even if brief, of the model?  I think it will be possible to engage it better from that point. 

  • A model for Local Economic Development   23 weeks 6 days ago

    Dear Dr. Pennink,

    The model thus look interesting. The trouble though is that there is no explanatory narrrative to make sense of it fully. Can you please further clarify us on this? That is provide a narrative explanation, even if brief, of the model?  I think it will be possible to engage it better from that point. 

  • A model for Local Economic Development   23 weeks 6 days ago

    In this model (it is still in development) I try to come up with a model that could bring together several aspects of local economic development.  In some of the boxes I have added examples of research actiivities.

    I am looking forward to see all kind of comments and perhaps we could set up common research activities!

     

    kind regards

    Dr. Bartjan Pennink

    b.j.w.pennink@rug.nl

  • A model for Local Economic Development   23 weeks 6 days ago

    In this model (it is still in development) I try to come up with a model that could bring together several aspects of local economic development.  In some of the boxes I have added examples of research actiivities.

    I am looking forward to see all kind of comments and perhaps we could set up common research activities!

     

    kind regards

    Dr. Bartjan Pennink

    b.j.w.pennink@rug.nl

  • An LED metaphor: The stone soup recipe   25 weeks 6 days ago

    Great tale and indeed a fitting metaphor for LED in many ways, particularly concerning the beneficial outcomes for all if a community better communicates and collaborates on joint actions.

    But this story would not be, if it were not for the wise, wandering wayfarer. One single inspiring person - wandering wafarer or not - can motivate many if they are wise, understand the relevant circumstances and truly want to help others within or outside their community.

  • Urbanization and poverty reduction: The role of rural diversification and secondary towns   27 weeks 1 day ago

    Rural Diversification and Off farm Incomes - WB policy paper

    Fascinating data; what happened to the other 50% who exited from poverty?. Was the study peer reviewed?

    It is not clear what secondary factors such as education, or improved infrastructure, may have led to the changes, other than the general phrase that 'Tanzania is undergoing a structural shift'. Although the paper does attempt to control for other issues through multiariate analysis.  The conclusions do highlight difficulties in establishing causality though.

    Rural LED, market led Value Chain and M4P in ag seem to be tools that might support/fit - but I wonder what happened in practice to the individuals concerned - not made clear in the paper (I suspect for reasons of brevity).  A useful study, not least because it is longitudinal.

    But it does have some very interesting conclusions; and it reinforces other evidence on off-farm employment and incomes in rural areas that cut across the developed as well as the developing world.  To quote .... "growth promoting interventions" such as " rural diversification and secondary town development) are ..,more likely to lift ... them out of poverty, than .. trickle down" which I think we would intuitively accept without getting into being hung up on political philosophy. 

    The Rise of secondary cities

    Hi Adrian, you are raising important points on this publication. From my side, what I take from a quick browsing through of the paper is the rise of secondary cities. The talk of cities in Africa is often completely focused on capital cities that doubled as the main economic hub, with the exception of a few countries. it appears thus healthy to cast a gaze at new dynamism that are emerging in these medium cities. Being new growth places, these new cities are of course pregnant with opportunities. Thus new city dwellers in these places stand a far better chance to build a better future for themselves rather than just feeding the slums which is the only place they can afford to live in in large established cities. 

    The main challenge though is around the question of planning. Investmentii in infrastructural development have to be made to ensure this cities develop harmoniously. The rise of these new secondary cities can be an opportunity for the poor to gain higher incomes in emerging non-agricultural sectors. Just like agriculture itself could be made more profitable. But for this to be sustainable, planning is needed otherwise. The main challenge remains about expanding the pool of productive activities so as to provide jobs and increase livelihoods.  

  • Why Most Economic Development Efforts Fail   31 weeks 3 hours ago

    Indeed, an LED strategy that is not grounded in - or at least influenced by - local comparative advantages is surely no LED strategy at all. It is one of those generic, unplanned LED efforts lamented by this BLOG and ultimately doomed to failure.

    LED planners must recognise and work with the X-factor, or 'sizzle' (to quote another BLOG in the same series) of their locality. LED planners must then adapt and adopt community resources accordingly to inform and shape their plan, with the local X-factor always in mind.

  • Why Most Economic Development Efforts Fail   31 weeks 3 hours ago

    Indeed, an LED strategy that is not grounded in - or at least influenced by - local comparative advantages is surely no LED strategy at all. It is one of those generic, unplanned LED efforts lamented by this BLOG and ultimately doomed to failure.

    LED planners must recognise and work with the X-factor, or 'sizzle' (to quote another BLOG in the same series) of their locality. LED planners must then adapt and adopt community resources accordingly to inform and shape their plan, with the local X-factor always in mind.

  • Why Most Economic Development Efforts Fail   31 weeks 10 hours ago

    The idea of "having a PLAN" as stated in this blog goes beyond just developing an LED strategy as matter of formality. The idea seems to be about developing a really clear vision about both the comparative advantages and aspirations of the locality. It is about defining something really at the intersection of potential and wish. It is about DECISION - yet a decision informed and shaped by the locality existing comparative advantages. That is actually what a real "LED strategy" is supposed to be all about. But often it appears it is not! 

  • Why Most Economic Development Efforts Fail   31 weeks 10 hours ago

    The idea of "having a PLAN" as stated in this blog goes beyond just developing an LED strategy as matter of formality. The idea seems to be about developing a really clear vision about both the comparative advantages and aspirations of the locality. It is about defining something really at the intersection of potential and wish. It is about DECISION - yet a decision informed and shaped by the locality existing comparative advantages. That is actually what a real "LED strategy" is supposed to be all about. But often it appears it is not! 

  • Agriculture has potential to transform Rwanda   32 weeks 2 days ago

    Thanks for providing such a clear and revealing insight into Rwanda's advancements and the changes in attitude to the agriculture sector over the years. The results of these changes are impressive. And, indeed, as you mention, modernization and commercialization are both crucial to further transformation of the agriculture sector, including dairy farming.

    I am no agricultural specialist, but I do have a particular interest in the dairy industry of Rwanda since visiting Nyanza, just 88 kilometres south of Kigali. Nyanza boasts one of the (if not the) oldest dairies in the country. And Nyanza - as the site of the first ever permanent residence of Rwandan Royalty - is still home to the descendants of the magnificent INYAMBO: the Rwandan Kings' sacred cows, bred from the indigenous Ankole species. I was seriously stunned at the sight of these majestic beasts with their super-sized horns, spanning up to 2.5 metros from tip to tip. Though well adapted to their environment, these indigenous cows, alas, don't provide great quantities of milk. So it stands to reason that the Government seeks to supercede them with introduced, higher-producing species.

    Whilst I am in complete agreement with the necessity to modernize the dairy sector in general, the sight of these cows, coupled with my visit to the historic dairy got me thinking. Maybe, just maybe, there are certain relics of Rwanda's agricultural past with an historic/cultural appeal that could offer alternate (and potentially lucrative) forms of agricultural commercialization? I for one would have loved the chance to taste a dairy product produced by those iconic INYAMBO. Just some food (if milk is a food) for thought...

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • How can we enhance the coordination role of local governments in LED ?   33 weeks 6 days ago

    The first step to take is to establish a dedicated unit or department for LED staffed with experts in LED. The value to be obtained from this will outweigh the cost on the long term.

    Among some of the key functions of the department are;

    (i) To develop a guideline that will provide relevant interface among the Local Governmenti, external actors and community groups.

    (ii) Create a database of different community groups, especially the cooperative societies, within the Local Government to know their number, focus areas, membership strength and priority areas.

    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of the cooperative societies and other groups to deliver on their mandate of economic empowerment to members. Training, logistical support and possible grants are some of the approaches to strengthening the capacity of the groups. This will equally increase the confidence and trust betwwen the government and the governed.

    (iv) Attract economic and social capital from the external actors for the purpose of delivering to different groups in the local government area.

    This strategy needs to be backed by strong accountability mechanism within the Local Government, for it to be meaningful.

  • Unleashing the Economic Potential of African Cities   35 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi Team

    The economic potential in a city can’t be realized & will remain unstable and under threat unless the poor can be included. However the focus in the paper on bringing “the poor” into the paid employment of the new urban economy ignores the evidence before our eyes around the world - the ongoing existence of poverty in even the most highly “developed” economies. This tunnel vision on development may stem from a sort of religious faith in economic development of the type which has “ended poverty” in many places and even made many populations (unsustainably) rich – that form of development which is led by the most capable and brings trickle down benefits to others in the form of jobs and welfare.

    In that form of development, the unemployed poor are seen, at best, as a labour pool and a break on wage growth, and at worst as liability and an obstacle to development, just as slums (the informal housing systems of the urban landless poor) are seen as an obstacle to urban development - more attention to this later.

    Two other perspectives were identified -
    1. “The urbanisation of poverty in Africa undoubtedly presents great challenges of international significance. Some external commentators have portrayed the scenario as completely bleak with no hope of improvement.”

    The wisdom of the ages tells us that the poor will always be with us. This is often used as an excuse for ignore them in our planning, but I wonder why we don’t just make plans (beyond welfare) for the reality of UNemployment. In any event, life on the ground for the poor would seem to be a much more urgent challenge than jobs growth, given the percentage of the population which is going to remain unemployed no matter what business & trade agglomeration can be achieved.

    2. “A new group of authors has emerged who are deliberately less negative and judgemental about Africa’s urban poverty (Nuttall and Mbembe, 2008; Bremner, 2010; Simone, 2010). They draw particular attention to energy, ingenuity and creative spirit of informality. Poor communities are not passive victims but rather active agents with resilience and imagination to negotiate the tough environments of African cities. They are capable of adapting to their physical and economic constraints and making the most of the opportunities available through experimentation and inventiveness.”

    I too would like to focus on the poor who are “capable of adapting to their physical and economic constraints and making the most of the opportunities available through experimentation and inventiveness.” So mine is not a focus on bringing some of the poor into paid employment, but on those poor who will remain unemployed, whatever job creation projects we come up with for their “agglomeration”.

    If proposals for “greening the suburbs” or “urban food production” immediately conjures up the creation of labouring jobs for the unemployed, this is evidence of just how pervasive is the dominant mindset which prevents us from staying with our focus group – that percentage of the population who will remain unemployed whatever job creation projects we come up with for their “agglomeration”. Slippery, isn’t it – focus on planning anything with that group in mind!

    Having clarified that particular demographic who will not get paid work greening the suburbs or in urban food production etc., the mind might then slip off to the fall back provision of welfare. The assumption that it is either work or welfare for the poor/unemployed is more evidence of just how dominant and exclusive the system has become in the thinking of planners.

    We should not see people as unviable if they are not employed. The vast majority in our focus group is expert at survival on even the most marginal of rural land until ‘yesterday’, and ‘today’ they are able to survive on slum land without any space or land security to speak of at all – they are highly capable, but they are just not useful to the dominant system which created their poverty.

    Staying focused on this group (typically thought of as unviable/welfare material), we can dismiss the usual planning prerequisite that how they might be agglomerated has to be viable itself, in the sense that it must advance their commercial viability. (They are already proven “viable” simply because they exist.) If their agglomeration (or “social inclusion”) is to be successful, the question isn’t how to make them viable.

    In Australia we have a “social inclusion” agenda, but the agenda is entirely focused on getting people into paid employment. Social inclusion here involves putting people through a process of psychological assessment, medical treatment, prosthetics, re-education followed by close programming and supervision, ongoing intimidation, social condemnation and the constant threat of homelessness and starvation. It’s all euphemistically called “assistance” with the apparently noble purpose of “social inclusion”. But you can imagine how our focus group feel. In Australia welfare payments are a pacifier - graffiti and vandalism occur, but these are very mild reactions really when you think of the outright revolution which we see in other countries where people are not “integrated” and where welfare is insufficient or non existent.

    In the paper there is a curious negativity towards the viability of our focus group. It seeks to dismiss the need to even consider something new.
    “Yet by focusing on the positive features of marginal communities and the coping strategies evident in ‘invisible’ urban practices on the periphery, this literature may also have failed to provide an accurate and balanced interpretation of the situation. It also appears to have missed the growing economic dynamism of many African cities, reflected in major house-building and infrastructure programmes.
    The economic prospects seem to be better than for many years.”

    In the slums, our focus group is “active agents with resilience and imagination to negotiate the tough environments of African cities … capable of adapting to their physical and economic constraints and making the most of the opportunities available through experimentation and inventiveness”. Planning with them in mind we should ask what would help them address their slum problems and flourish in their community? I believe a prerequisite is for them to have security over their housing.

    I would like to propose that the poor should be offered the security of urban commons for food production AND housing, either the slum land on which they have built, or other viable urban housing sites. There they would be welcome to choose (or reject) voluntary community work on the commons.

    With on-site training support, they could volunteer to help build suburban public housing there, involving choices from bookwork to labouring - building starting from a community room with facilities and interim accommodation for volunteers.

    Food gardens should also be established as part of the traditional responsibility to the purposes of having commons.

    Because this would not involve coercion but could provide food, housing security and social integration, it would be effective & attractive. It would not only provide valuable work but would lay the foundations for more sustainable urban development, with garden sanctuaries and places of creativity in the city for all its residents, rich and poor, to enjoy.

    please see -

    Neighbourhood that Works - Overview
    ntw.net46.net/NTWmodel/NTWModeloverview.htm

    Regards
    Chris Baulman
    @landrights4all

  • Examining Nairobi’s split personality   36 weeks 20 hours ago

    Dear Ms. Sheila Kamunyori

    Quite interesting article! I am visiting Nairobi shortly and would like to get in touch with you. Please let me know your email address for further communication at sunilgarg20001@yahoo.com. Thank you

    Regards
    Sunil Garg

  • Examining Nairobi’s split personality   36 weeks 20 hours ago

    Dear Ms. Sheila Kamunyori

    Quite interesting article! I am visiting Nairobi shortly and would like to get in touch with you. Please let me know your email address for further communication at sunilgarg20001@yahoo.com. Thank you

    Regards
    Sunil Garg

  • The Informal Economy and Decent Work: A Policy Resource Guide supporting transitions to formality   38 weeks 8 hours ago

    Need to learn from others on best strategy to adopt for our Labour sending areas