Health-Energy-Nexus: How off-grid energy can play a vital role in quality healthcare provision in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Jonas Bauhof and Callistus Agbaam

Access to electricity

In 2019, 770 million people were without access to electricity globally. They are left without the possibility of using electric light at night, powering refrigerators and stoves, or charging their phones and other devices. Until 2019, the number constantly decreased but the Covid-19 pandemic reversed the trend. In its World Energy Outlook 2021 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that between 2019 and 2021 the global number of people without access to electricity stuck at its pre-crisis level – after seeing improvements by around 9% annually since 2015. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), for the first time since 2013, the numbers are likely to have even increased in 2020.

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Five rules for climate adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected situations

By Elise Remling

Societies—particularly the poorest—are not ready to deal with the worsening impacts of climate change, and the deficit is growing, according to the latest report from the IPCC. We urgently need to step up investment in climate adaptation interventions, which aim to adjust social systems and structures to reduce their vulnerability to climate change.

However, in doing so we also need to recognize that interventions that make one community or area more resilient can make others even more vulnerable and insecure, and in some cases increase the risks of conflict. Researchers still often neglect such ‘maladaptive’ outcomes; practitioners even more so. How can organizations working on adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected situations make sure their interventions not only do no harm, but even contribute to peace?

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Desperately seeking Shah Rukh – India’s lonely young women

By Basile Boulay

Have you ever heard about Shah Rukh Khan? If you are based in the Indian subcontinent or the Gulf countries, to name just a few, the question may have been the silliest you have heard so far this year. Obviously, you know him. But many of us may still raise our eyebrows at the question. No, never heard of him. To cut a long story short, Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most, if not the most, successful living legend of Bollywood cinema, with a career spanning three decades. In a country where cinema has always performed a very distinctive social role in shaping expectations and values while providing a unique escape from dire realities to many, Shah Rukh’s figure is unique in India.  Continue reading “Desperately seeking Shah Rukh – India’s lonely young women”

Industrial policy for lower-income countries in the age of global value chains

By Karin Fischer, Christian Reiner and Cornelia Staritz

Countries of the Global South and particularly lower-income countries could barely benefit from the integration into global value chains (GVCs) so far. Regional integration, ecological leapfrogging, development-oriented macroeconomic policies and certain global framework conditions are necessary to distribute the benefits from (and costs of) GVCs more broadly. Continue reading “Industrial policy for lower-income countries in the age of global value chains”

Indebting the green transition: critical notes on green bonds in the South

By Tomaso Ferrando, Gabriela de Oliveira Junqueira, Iagê Miola, Flavio Marques Prol, Diogo R. Coutinho

For years, ‘green’ and ‘climate’ investments were considered a high-risk and ‘niche’ territory for environmentalists and socially oriented enterprises. However, between 2010 and 2019, more than EUR 2.28 trillion of private and public capital went into building new renewable capacity globally, primarily solar and wind energy. This reveals a new appetite for financing projects that are supposed to favor climate change mitigation and – although in a smaller percentage – climate change adaptation. With the combination of the climate emergency, the covid-19 pandemic and the global recession, the idea of ‘privately financing green growth’ has become the mainstream political, academic and business narrative. Continue reading “Indebting the green transition: critical notes on green bonds in the South”