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Daily List 212

Today's highlights

Friday 31st October 2014

Defence

The Armed Forces Covenant in action: Part 5: Military casualties, a review of progress: fourth report of session 2014-15: report, together with formal minutes relating to the report.

House of Commons papers (2014-15) - 527.
Corporate Author:
Defence Committee
Author:
Rory Stewart (chairman)

Although Armed Forces personnel have a lower rate of criminal offending than the general population, the rate for violent incidents is substantially higher, particularly amongst those who have previously been deployed in combat roles and those who misuse alcohol. The MoD needs to understand better the links between deployment, alcohol misuse and violent behaviour especially domestic violence. In particular, there has been no research as to the incidence of domestic violence amongst Armed Forces personnel. The Committee also found a 'shocking' backlog in the processing of claims for War Pensions and for the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. The Committee is concerned that the demand for support from the Defence Recovery Capability already exceeds supply. Veterans need more support navigating the overlapping bureaucracy of the health system. Despite assurances from the MoD and the Department of Health, the Committee is concerned that, as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq fade from the public's mind and personnel move on to other lives, the necessary long term support for those injured physically and psychologically will not be maintained. The MoD, in conjunction with the Health Service, has introduced some measures to support veterans with mental health problems and amputees but other conditions also require this focus. The MoD should monitor the results of its work and report the outcomes in its annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant.

  • ISBN: 9780215078544
  • £11.00

Economy

Demand and supply of skills in Ghana: how can training programs improve employment and productivity?.

World Bank studies
Corporate Author:
World Bank
Author:
Peter Darvas, Robert Palmer

Skills development in Ghana encompasses foundational skills, transferable/soft-skills, and technical and vocational skills. This report focuses on one segment of this skills development system: formal and informal technical and vocational education and training (TVET) at the pre-tertiary level. TVET represents a major intersection between education, youth and the labor market. The government has long promised to the population that increasing technical and vocational skills training opportunities will help solve youth unemployment. However, market distortions and inefficiencies have led to an adverse cycle of high costs, inadequate quality of supply and low demand, leading to further pressures on the effectiveness and efficiency of TVET services. This adverse cycle means that the political and policy promise of skills development helping to ease the unemployment problem is at risk of remaining unfulfilled.The report focuses on social and economic demand for (pre-tertiary) technical and vocational skills and maps out the supply of these skills from formal and informal, private and public sectors. The dual purpose has been to both carry out an institutional and policy analysis and also to establish a platform for monitoring sector performance and assisting policy and Development Partner harmonisation. The report analyses the economic and social demand for technical and vocational skills and the suitability of the current supply as well as the effectiveness of policy, coordination and financing of technical and vocational skills development. The report annex provides the summary of economic demand analyses from the key sectors reviewed and provides a full mapping of all technical and vocational programs in Ghana. The study offers a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for improving Ghana's pre-tertiary technical and vocational skills development sector, which will be of interest to policy makers and development partners in Ghana.

  • ISBN: 9781464802805
  • £22.00

Economy

Area C and the future of the Palestinian economy.

World Bank studies
Corporate Author:
World Bank
Author:
Orhan Niksic, Nur Nasser Eddin, Massimiliano Cali

This is the first report to systematically evaluate and quantify the economic potential of Area C, which constitutes approximately 61 percent of the West Bank. The report reveals that lifting the restrictions on economic activity in Area C could have a large positive impact on Palestinian GDP, public finances, and employment prospects. Among other things, access to economic activity in Area C is expected to be a key prerequisite for building a sustainable Palestinian economy. However, full potential of the Area C could be materialised only if other restrictions on free movement of goods, labour and capital are removed and the overall business environment in Palestinian territories has become more attractive. The economic significance of Area C lies in that it is the only contiguous territory in the West Bank, which renders it indispensable to connective infrastructure development across the West Bank, and a relative abundance of natural resources situated therein. Area C offers large potential for the development of several sectors of the Palestinian economy: agriculture, stone and mineral processing, cosmetics, construction, tourism, and telecommunications. The report shows that access to economic activity in Area C could increase the Palestinian GDP by as much as 35 percent, the majority of this impact would stem from agriculture and Dead Sea minerals processing industries, as well as the multiplier effect, which has been estimated at 1.5. Although the importance of building connective infrastructure through Area C is discussed in the report, the quantification of this impact is beyond the scope of this report. An increase in GDP of 35 percent, although thought to be a conservative estimate, would be expected to result in at least $800 million increase in tax revenues for the Palestinian authority, which would drastically reduce its dependence on donor aid for financing chronic budget deficits.

  • ISBN: 9781464801938
  • £18.00

Economy

Climate change and migration: evidence from the Middle East and North Africa.

World Bank studies
Corporate Author:
World Bank
Author:
Quentin Wodon (editor)

Climate change and migration are major concerns in the MENA region, yet the empirical evidence on the impact of climate change and extreme weather events on migration remains limited. Information is broadly lacking on how households in vulnerable areas perceive changes in the climate, how they are affected by extreme weather events, whether they benefit from community and government programs to help them cope with and adapt to a changing climate, and how these conditions influence the decision of household members to migrate, either temporarily or permanently. This introductory chapter summarises briefly the main results of the study which relied on existing data as well as focus groups and new household surveys collected in 2011 in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen. The results suggest that households do perceive important changes in the climate, and that many households are being affected by extreme weather events resulting in losses in income, crops, and livestock. The coping and adaptation strategies used by households to deal with weather shocks are diverse, but also limited, with most households not able to recover from the negative impact of weather shocks. The ability of community level responses and government programs to support households is also very limited. Finally, while climate change is not today the main driver of migration flows, it does appear to contribute substantially to these flows, so that worsening climatic conditions are likely to exacerbate future migration flows.

  • ISBN: 9780821399712
  • £22.00

Environment

Cleaning Pakistan's air: policy options to address the cost of outdoor air pollution.

Directions in development (Environment and sustainable development)
Corporate Author:
World Bank
Author:
Ernesto Sánchez-Triana

The extent of urban air pollution in Pakistan - South Asia's most urbanised country - is among the world's most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, and the economy and environment of Pakistan. The harm from Pakistan's urban air pollution is among the highest in South Asia, exceeding several high-profile causes of mortality and morbidity in Pakistan. Improved air quality management (AQM) in Pakistan can have notable economic and health benefits. For example, the estimated health benefits per dollar spent on cleaner diesel are approximately US $1-1.5 for light-duty diesel vehicles and US $1.5-2.4 for large buses and trucks. This report advocates that Pakistan allocate resources to AQM, because its air quality is severely affecting millions of Pakistanis, and because experiences around the world indicate that interventions can significantly improve air quality. This report details a broad spectrum of research on Pakistan's AQM challenges, and identifies a comprehensive set of steps to improve air quality. The research presented here underpins the conclusions that addressing Pakistan's urban air pollution requires coordinated interventions to strengthen AQM, build agencies' institutional capacity, bolster AQM's legal and regulatory framework, implement policy reforms and investments, and fill knowledge gaps. However, Pakistan's policy makers face major obstacles, including limited financial, human, and technical resources, and can pursue only a few AQM interventions at the same time. In the short term, Pakistan's AQM should give highest priority to reducing pollutants linked to high morbidity and mortality: PM2.5 (and precursors like SOx and NOx) from mobile sources. A second-level short-term priority could be PM2.5, SOx, and emissions of toxic metals from stationary sources. An important medium-term priority should be mass transportation in major cities, controlling traffic, and restricting private cars during high-pollution episodes. A long-term priority could be taxing hydrocarbons, based on their contribution to greenhouse gases.

  • ISBN: 9781464802355
  • £26.00