The “Short List” on Global Development

What are the major flaws of the global economy from a development politician’s point of view?

January 22, 2002

What are the major flaws of the global economy from a development politician's point of view?

Clare Short, Britain’s outspoken Secretary of State for International Development, published the United Kingdom’s first White Paper on International Development in 1997. That paper put forth a plan for sustainable global development. A second White Paper followed in 2000, titled “Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalisation Work for the Poor.” Based on this compelling document, our new Globalist Factsheet presents key areas that need attention by the world’s rich countries and improvement.

Does poverty affect men and women alike?

One-fifth of the world’s population lives in abject poverty. Two-thirds of those people are women.

What disturbing trends have recently emerged in development aid?

Between 1987 and 1997, the proportion of EU development aid going to low-income countries has fallen from 75% to 51%.

Is economic aid equally distributed around the globe?

As of 1998, large countries in South Asia received only $10 of developing assistance per poor person per year. This compares to $950 in the Middle East and North Africa.

What is lopsided in Africa’s economic development?

As of 1999, around 40% of Africa’s private wealth is held overseas, compared with only 4% for Asian countries.

What barriers exist to broadening ownership in developing countries?

As of 2000, establishing legal ownership of land takes 168 steps — and between 13 and 25 years in the Philippines.

What barriers exist to broadening ownership in developing countries?

As of 2000, establishing legal ownership of land takes 168 steps — and between 13 and 25 years in the Philippines.

Can imposing conditions hinder development?

Tying aid — that is, conditioning the receipt of aid funds to the purchase of goods and services from the donor country — is estimated to reduce the value of that aid by around 25%.

Just how do global companies fare?

As of 2000, there are 63,000 transnational corporations with around 690,000 foreign affiliates. The foreign affiliates of the top 100 transnational corporations have assets of $2 trillion.

What concrete steps could promote trade for developing countries?

In 2000, halving the transport costs is estimated almost to double the volume of trade. And a 50% cut in tariffs, by both developed and developing countries, would result in $150 billion in gains to developing countries — around three times current aid flows.

What is South Asia’s particular development challenge?

As of 1998, the total exports of South Asia’s 1.3 billion people were roughly equal to those of Thailand’s 60 million people.

And Sub-Saharan Africa?

As of 1998, the total exports of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 600 million people were scarcely more than those of Malaysia’s 20 million.

What disparities exist between health care in India and Europe?

As of 2000, more women die in India from pregnancy complications in a week than in the whole of Europe in an entire year.

How equitably is investment in medical research distributed?

In 2000, 90% of the world’s disease burden is the subject of less than 10% of all international research on health.

Who suffers the most deaths due to tobacco?

Based on 2000 projections, 70% of tobacco-related deaths by 2030 will be in developing countries.

How much is literacy still a problem in developing countries?

As of 1998, one-fourth of adults in developing countries — or 870 million people — are illiterate.

How big is the technology gap in Africa?

In 2000, less than one in a thousand Africans has access to the Internet.

What about warfare?

20% of the population in African countries is currently affected by armed conflict.

How does that rate of conflict affect children?

As of 1997, about 30 million children worldwide are displaced from their homes as a result of violent civil conflict.

What is a major positive development in international politics?

Between 1974 and 1998, the proportion of countries with a form of democratic government has risen from 28% to 61%.