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Development and Change. 2007 Mar; 38(2):169-199.This article situates the politics of gender in Afghanistan in the nexus of global and local influences that shape the policy agenda of post-Taliban reconstruction. Three sets of factors that define the parameters of current efforts at securing gender justice are analysed: a troubled history of state-society relations; the profound social transformations brought about by years of prolonged conflict; and the process of institution-building under way since the Bonn Agreement in 2001. This evolving institutional framework opens up a new field of contestation between the agenda of international donor agencies, an aid-dependent government and diverse political factions, some with conservative Islamist platforms. At the grassroots, the dynamics of gendered disadvantage, the erosion of local livelihoods, the criminalization of the economy and insecurity at the hands of armed groups combine seamlessly to produce extreme forms of female vulnerability. The ways in which these contradictory influences play out in the context of a fluid process of political settlement will be decisive in determining prospects for the future. (author's)
Forced Migration Review. 2005 May; (23):48-49.The conceptual apparatus in forced migration and population resettlement research is being continuously enriched. One important – but still relatively unknown – development was introduced recently into the resettlement policies of the World Bank, African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank. This new thinking is set out in the revised (January 2002) World Bank Operational Policy (OP) 4.12 on resettlement. This significantly defines the ‘restricting of access’ to indigenous and other people in parks and protected areas as ‘involuntary displacement’ even when physical displacement and relocation are not required. The justifying rationale is that restrictions impose impoverishment risks and these risks lead to severe deprivations. Significantly, this new definition has come from major international agencies themselves involved in instituting ‘restricted access’ regimes. As the definition has been adopted, the world’s major development agencies have moved towards policy consensus that restricted access is a form of displacement. (excerpt)
LINKS. HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT. 1991 Fall; 8(3):11-2.The authors respond to Tony Dajer's critique of their study concerning the trend in Nicaraguan infant mortality and its possible explanations. It is pointed out that the sharp decline in Nicaragua's infant mortality in the mid-1970s is an intriguing phenomenon, since it began to occur at a time of economic slump, civil disturbance, and under a government that gave low priority to the social sector. It is contended that a number of factors (among them the Managua earthquake) prompted the government to shift its allocation of resources from hospital-based health care in the capital city to ambulatory health care throughout the country. After the revolution, the Sandinista government continued this process. Dajer's characterization of USAID-funded clinics as "notoriously ineffective" is rejected; arguing that although operating under overt political guidelines, these projects are well-advised by experts. Dajer's question as to the importance of health care within the Sandinista government is considered. It is maintained that the revolution was not fought in order to reduce infant mortality, and that health was not the primary concern of the Government of National Reconstruction. It was the international solidarity movement, not the Sandinista government, which focused so intently on infant mortality, hoping to find good news to report. The issue of health care had the added advantage of being politically noncontroversial. It is also maintained that since the mid-70s, the country's health policy has remained stable, despite the radical changes in government because the international arena helps determine national health policy.