New Article – ‘Urbanization, Poverty and Climate Change: Interview with David Satterthwaite’

Angela Zarro coordinator of the SID Forum (  interviews David Satterthwaite of the International Institute of Environment and Development about climate change and its impact on the urban poor globally.

Full Citation: Zarro, A. (2011). Urbanization, Poverty and Climate Change: Interview with David Satterthwaite, Development, 54 (3): 305-308 (Available with subscription at: 



New Article – ‘Recasting Urban Sustainability in the South’

Abstract: Edgar Pieterse offers a critique of the mainstream Brundtland inspired conception of sustainable cities. His alternative conceptual approach presents the critical dimensions of an alternative urban development framework. He looks at how three co-constitutive urban operating systems – infrastructural, economic and spatial – need to be transformed in order to achieve more sustainable lives and livelihoods. He argues that such transformations depend on grounded alternative visions and effective politics.

Full Citation: Pieterse, E. (2011). Recasting Urban Sustainability in the South, Development, 54 (3): 309-316 (Available with subscription at:

New Report – ‘Wheel of Life – Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy’

Debbie Barker, 15 September 2011

The links between climate change and industrial agriculture create a nexus of crises—food insecurity, natural resource depletion and degradation, as well as human rights violations and inequities. This report unravels the interrelated causes of and effects on these issues.

This report is published in cooperation with the Center for Food Safety.

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‘Governing the Commons for two decades: a complex story’

Extract from editorial: ‘In complex systems, the elements are interrelated in ways that ensure that one element cannot be studied without accounting for the others. We take as a fact that the world over time has become more and more complex. The story of Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons is among other things a story with a protagonist role for complexity. It is also a tale of the emergence and development of a complex of diverse but interrelated disciplines, and subsequently, angles, perspectives, methods, themes, insights, and lessons-learned.

In the fall of 2008, it was 40 years since Hardin (1968) created a new research field by expounding his ideas about the commons. At one of our editorial meetings (6–7 November 2008) we realized that in a short while it would be 20 years since Elinor Ostrom (1990) transformed this same research field. We felt it would behoove our journal to take a closer look at what had followed from this publication. As we finalized our list of invitations and a letter explaining our intent, the news broke that Lin had been awarded The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2009, sharing it with Oliver E. Williamson. What better reason can we give for what follows? (See also van Laervohen and Berge 2011).’

Full Citation:  Berge,E. (2011). Editorial: Governing the Commons for two decades: A complex story, International Journal of the Commons, 5 (2): Available with subscription at:

‘Web 2.0 technologies in the microinsurance market Challenges and possibilites. The Brazil case’

The development of the microinsurance market poses several challenges to be confronted, one of the most important of which are the management costs. Bearing in mind the high volume and low value, how can the distribution of the premiums and claims handling of a large volume of policies be carried out in the most efficient but cheapest manner? Web 2.0 technologies (blogs, wikis, social networks, Software as a Service) can cooperate with the financial feasibility of microinsurance supplier companies. But in the case of Brazil, other challenges will have to be faced, such as the access to these technologies by microinsurance target clients and the small insurers.There are also opportunities such as the government programme for digital inclusion and the fact that Brazil is the country with the highest proportion of Internet users that use social networks and blogs to keep in touch.

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‘Scaling Up Innovative Climate Change Adaptation And Insurance Solutions In Senegal’

Reuters AlertNet, 19 September 2011 

The World Food Programme and the United States Agency for International Development join together with Oxfam America and Swiss Re in public private partnership.

New York, USA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxfam America, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swiss Re respectively, today committed at the Clinton Global Initiative to expand their ground-breaking “R4 Rural Resilience Initiative” to help the rural poor to protect their crops and livelihoods from the impacts of climate variability and change, including drought.

This innovative public-private partnership will be expanded from Ethiopia to Senegal over the next five years. It empowers farmers and food-insecure rural households with integrated risk management tools to develop long-term resilience.

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New Report – ‘Resource Efficiency-Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific’

A new United Nations report, ‘Resource Efficiency – Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific’  calls on countries in Asia and the Pacific to embark on a ‘green’ industrial revolution that takes advantage of improvements in resource efficiency so that they can prosper in the 21st century.

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‘What a global food crisis looks like: Oxfam’s food prices map’

Food prices have hovered near an all-time peak since late 2010 sending tens of millions of people into poverty. Oxfam’s new interactive map shows how poor communities across the world are being hurt by high and volatile food prices. This ‘food price pressure points map’ provides a global snapshot of the impacts of the global food price crisis.

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New Report – ‘Approaching the ‘Why, What and How’ of Low-Carbon Planning in South Africa’

Summary: This document presents the high-level findings from a conceptual exploratory study that considered the design of a Low Carbon Action Plan (LCAP) for South Africa, setting out the thinking of how to go about low-carbon economy planning and implementation. While developed specifically for the South African context, the approach explores a methodology which could be adopted in whole or in part by low-carbon economy planners throughout the developing world. As well as outlining the core elements of the LCAP, this document highlights some of the challenges and opportunities this process presents.

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New Article – ‘Urban food insecurity in Cape Town, South Africa: An alternative approach to food access’

Abstract: This paper presents data from the African Food Security Urban Network’s 2008 baseline survey of Cape Town. This survey found that 80% of the sampled households could be classified as moderately or severely food insecure. In urban areas the main driver of food insecurity is not availability but access. Access is typically viewed as being directly related to income. Households were found to use formal food markets, but more frequently depended on informal sector markets and informal social safety nets. The more food insecure and income poor a household was, the more likely it was to be dependent on less formal means of securing food. This suggests that there is some form of market failure in the formal food system. This paper therefore advocates for a food systems approach that validates and supports the role that the informal sector plays in urban food security.

Full Citation: Battersby, J. (2011). Urban food insecurity in Cape Town, South Africa: An alternative approach to food access, Development Southern Africa, 28 (4): 545-561 (Available with full subscription at:


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