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Morocco, Algeria, Egypt: Assessing EU plans to import hydrogen from North Africa

May 15, 2022

A new study commission by CEO and the Transnational Institute shows the EU's plan to drastically increase imports of renewable hydrogen from North Africa is not realistic from a cost or energy perspective, and instead diverts renewable electricity away from local needs and local climate targets.The study was written by energy expert Michael Barnard and sees production costs making renewable hydrogen potentially up to 11 times more expensive than using natural gas, and that's before storage and transport costs are factored in.The EU's unrealistic import targets are allowing Big Oil and Gas to sneak hydrogen from natural gas through the back door, using green hydrogen as a trojan horse to keep drilling and selling their main product.

Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

The Unfreedom Monitor: A Methodology for Tracking Digital Authoritarianism Around the World

April 1, 2022

Digital communications technologies have been a powerful tool in the advancement of democratic governance, but in recent years there is concern that they are being used to undermine democracy as well. The Unfreedom Monitor, part of Global Voices' Advox project, aims to study and report on this growing phenomenon. This briefing document provides an overview of key developments in digital authoritarianism in a sample of 10 countries, while explaining the theoretical framework and methodology behind the project. The document also provides a basis for expanding this research to other countries so we can deepen our understanding of digital authoritarianism globally as well as its crucial implications for the future.

Untapped Opportunities for Climate Action: An Assessment of Food Systems in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

March 22, 2022

A summary report providing a synthesis of the 14 country assessments with recommendations and priority actions.

Confronting the Climate Crisis with Food Systems Transformation: Stories of Action from 14 countries

March 22, 2022

Integrating food systems transformation into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the national climate actions at the heart of the Paris Agreement, is critical to delivering on interconnected ecological, biodiversity, health, economic, social, and cultural goals. Taking a food systems approach builds climate resilience and results in a diversity of context-specific solutions for food production, distribution, consumption, and waste. Yet, food systems are rarely prioritized in climate policy. This catalogue of global Case Studies complements a suite of publications that are designed to centre food systems transformation in future climate debate and policy.

How have corporate industrial food systems been entrenched into the Arab region?

November 23, 2021

* This report examines the rapid growth of agribusinesses and corporate food systems in the Arab region since the 1980s, especially the underlying political and economic factors. Egypt, Morocco, and Lebanon are used as case studies.* The following characteristics are highlighted and explained: 1) The critical function of capital and investment funds that come from three main sources - Gulf region; Western multinationals; local companies. 2) Agribusinesses in the region must be understood as a system, relying on personal relationships and informal ties among the region's elites, organized as joint ventures and partnerships, with large companies monopolizing market shares, and exerting considerable power over consumers and smaller suppliers/producers. 3) The centrality of political connections and government support in the agribusinesses' smooth operation.* Companies discussed include: Savola, Al Marai, Danone, Nestle, Juhayna.* Understanding the roots and key features of these corporate industrial food systems is very important because of implications for policy discussions and for actions to address concerns. For example: How does government support for free market rather than smallholder farmers affect food sovereignty? How best to address avian flu outbreaks in Egypt that usually leave large intensive poultry agribusinesses in stronger positions? Instead of focusing activist actions on Gulf and local companies which are less likely to be swayed by publicity, it is more effective to lobby multinational companies headquartered in Europe and the U.S. that have entered markets in the Arab region.

The Rationale for Sponsoring Students to Undertake International Study: An Assessment of National Student Mobility Scholarship Programmes

May 1, 2019

This research, driven in partnership by the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), looks at the reasons why some national governments invest in supporting outward mobility scholarship programmes. The study aims to improve our understanding of why governments sponsor these programmes; how they are designed, administered, and funded; who participates and where they study; and what impact the programmes are having.The report contains detailed case studies of 11 countries and their approaches to national outward mobility scholarship programmes, with comparative case study analysis and recommendations for countries looking to establish or develop outward mobility scholarship programmes.

The Cost of Justice: Exploratory assessment on women's access to justice in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Yemen

June 1, 2018

Women in the Middle East and North Africa region face challenges in their attempts to seek and get justice. Despite some promising legal awareness initiatives, mostly led by civil society, women's knowledge of their rights and family law is limited. They lack social capital and the financial means to claim their rights, and the systems in place to provide financial support are insufficient and often ineffective. Women's pursuit of justice is further limited by entrenched patriarchal values at community and court levels. Though some laws in the countries covered by this research have been positively amended recently, women still face discrimination in the judicial system based on their sex, their religion, and their financial status.This report was commissioned by Oxfam and civil society organizations in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Yemen to explore the impact of the cost of legal services on women's access to justice in personal status and family law proceedings in the four countries.

Fixing Food : Towards a More Sustainable Food System

October 1, 2016

Fixing Food is an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report on food system sustainability globally, spanning agriculture, nutrition, and food loss and waste. It draws on an interview programme with experts from the academic, public and private sectors and is published alongside the Food Sustainability Index (FSI), a quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, which ranks 25 countries according to their food system sustainability. The project was developed with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN).

Egypt Adrift Five Years After The Uprising

January 26, 2016

As Egypt approaches the fifth anniversary of its 2011 uprising, one would be forgiven for assuming that a major challenge to the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was gathering coherence and force, based upon its panicked and paranoid current actions. But such a conclusion would be misplaced. The regime's overblown fears of a largely neutered opposition raise a pertinent question: What is driving the Egyptian security establishment's overbroad and suffocating repression?The run-up to January 25 has seen a major crackdown that has included arrests, disappearances, random searches (including random surveillance of social media accounts), the shuttering of nonpolitical cultural fora, such as art galleries, and a heightening of visa monitoring for foreigners. For this upcoming symbolic date, the regime will not be caught unaware and flat-footed -- it believes that the mistakes of 2011 will not be repeated any time soon.Speaking to Reuters, an official at Egypt's Homeland Security Agency explained the state's motivations for the crackdown quite bluntly, stating that "We have taken several measures to ensure activists don't have breathing space and are unable to gather, and several cafes and other meeting places have been closed, while some have been arrested in order to scare the rest."Whereas late 2010 was marked by creeping dissatisfaction, increasing boldness, and stepped-up organizational efforts among opposition actors, there are no corollaries in today's Egypt. While the government continues to fare poorly in terms of overall performance, political life is stunted by fear and fragmentation, and there are few avenues that allow for the amplification of dissatisfaction into a broad-based challenge to the regime. Opposition forces are fragmented and intimidated, while the regime, the state, and social elites retain a baseline of cohesion, and domestic and regional instability have produced quiescence in some sectors of society.It is clear that 2016 will not be the year of the next Egyptian uprising, let alone revolution. Yet, despite indications that, for the time being, the regime is safe from any popular threat, it is behaving as if it faces an imminent challenge. Its actions reveal a deeply ingrained worldview in which even minor forms of dissent and nonconformity are no longer permissible.

Connected Women: How Mobile Can Support Women's Economic and Social Empowerment

March 1, 2014

This report explores how mobile services provided by Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation are enabling women to seize new opportunities and improve their lives. Accenture Sustainability Services were commissioned to conduct research on the services and to assess their potential social and economic impact if they were widely available across Vodafone's markets by 2020. It showcases the projects and the work of those involved and also poses the question -- what would the benefit to women and to society at large be if projects such as these were taken to scale and achieved an industrialscale of growth? This reflects the Foundation's commitment not solely to the development of pilots but rather the Trustees' ambition to see projects which lead to transformational change. In order to understand this more deeply, the Report looks at the benefits for women and society and providessome financial modelling for how the engagement of commercial players could achieve industrial, sustainable growth in these areas. Accenture has provided the modelling and, given the public benefit and understanding which the report seeks to generate, these are shared openly for all in the mobile industry to understand and share. It is the Trustees' hope that the collaboration with Oxford University and Accenture in the delivery of this Report will stimulate not only the expansion of existing charitable programmes but will also seed other philanthropic, social enterprise or commercial initiatives.

What Does Community Philanthropy Look Like? Case Studies on Community Philanthropy, Vol. 1

February 13, 2014

What makes the global spread of community philanthropy organizations so exciting is the variety of forms they take, adaptations to different local contexts, challenges, resources, and leaders. The core similarities matter -- all in some way help geographic communities mobilize financial and other kinds of capital for improvement of the lives of residents. But so do the differences. Some have endowments, some don't. Some are large, more are small. Some call themselves community foundations, others do not. This diversity is one sign of community philanthropy's flexibility, potential, and rising popularity.But it also presents a challenge to those who want to better understand and support community philanthropy, especially on a global level. A practice so varied, so organic and tied to local conditions, complicates classification, resists general conclusions, and calls for lots of learning through example. A movement relatively young and quickly evolving, with a limited body of applied research, requires ongoing documentation and study.The case studies presented here provide intriguing snapshots of locally driven development in communities across the globe.