Sunday, 21 August 2016

New Book | Sustainable Energy for All: Innovation, Technology and Pro-poor Green Transformations | by David Ockwell & Rob Byrne

Sustainable Energy for All: Innovation, Technology and Pro-poor Green Transformations
by David Ockwell & Rob Byrne. Routledge, 2016, 214 pages, Paperback, ISBN: 9781138656932.


About the Book
Despite decades of effort and billions of dollars spent, two thirds of people in sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to electricity, a vital pre-cursor to economic development and poverty reduction. Ambitious international policy commitments seek to address this, but scholarship has failed to keep pace with policy ambitions, lacking both the empirical basis and the theoretical perspective to inform such transformative policy aims. Sustainable Energy for All aims to fill this gap. Through detailed historical analysis of the Kenyan solar PV market the book demonstrates the value of a new theoretical perspective based on Socio-Technical Innovation System Building. Importantly, the book goes beyond a purely academic critique to detail exactly how a Socio-Technical Innovation System Building approach might be operationalized in practice, facilitating both a detailed plan for future comparative research as well as a clear agenda for policy and practice. These plans are based on a systemic perspective that is more fit for purpose to inform transformative policy ambitions like the UN's Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 initiative and to underpin pro-poor pathways in sustainable energy access. This book will be of interest to academic researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the field of sustainable energy access and low carbon development more broadly.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Beyond Hardware Financing and Private Sector Entrepreneurship
2. Innovation Systems for Technological Change and Economic Development
3. Innovation in the Context of Social Practices and Socio-Technical Regimes
4. Emergence and Articulation of the Kenyan Solar PV Market
5. Policy Regime Interactions and Emerging Markets
6. Learning from the Kenyan Solar PV Innovation History
7. Conclusions: Towards Socio-Technical Innovation System Building

About the Authors
David Ockwell is Reader in Geography at the University of Sussex, UK, and Deputy Director of Research in the ESRC STEPS Centre. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Sussex Energy Group and a Fellow of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. David sits on the board of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network.
Rob Byrne is Lecturer in SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) at the University of Sussex, UK. With David, Rob co-convenes the Energy and Climate Research Domain of the ESRC STEPS Centre. He is also a Research Fellow in the Sussex Energy Group and a Fellow of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Rob sits on the board of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network and is a member of Climate Strategies.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry on "Mobility and Social Dynamics"| 28 Nov-02 Dec | Pondicherry, India

Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry on "Mobility and Social Dynamics"
Dates: 28 November to 2 December 2016
Venue: Pondicherry University and the French Institute of Pondicherry

The Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry has been designed as a programme of intensive and multidisciplinary training workshops addressing theoretical and methodological issues in social sciences research.

Themes
Each edition of the Winter School is based on a cross-cutting theme in the field of social sciences, taken as a guideline throughout the training workshop. For the 2016 Edition, the following theme has been chosen: "Mobility and Social Dynamics". The specific topics addressed encompass: spatial and social mobility, circulation, international migration, diaspora and the homeland, gender, survey design, data collection and analysis. Three parallel workshops will be coordinated by international teams of academics, with specific themes:
Workshop 1. Documenting Processes of Spatial Mobility: Qualitative and Ethnographic Approaches
Workshop 2. Using Survey Data to Understand Social and Geographical Mobility
Workshop 3. Social Mobility in its Indian Complexity: Conceptual and Methodological Dynamics

Schedule:
During five consecutive days, the Winter School will be organised around two poles:
  • plenary sessions (one day, lectures by senior academics) presenting state of the art, overview of theoretical and methodological issues on a particular research topic;
  • methodological and disciplinary workshops (three full days, three workshops à la carte for small groups) devoted to tutorials: theoretical models, text analysis, survey methods and data collection, data analysis, etc.
The training will end with a one-day knowledge and project restitutions and the delivery of certificates to participants.

Participants: The Winter School is open to Doctoral and Master Students of all fields in social sciences. Trainees will be selected on the basis of their qualifications, while taking into account the value of the training with regards to their research or professional projects. The teams of trainers will be multidisciplinary and international, composed of young and senior researchers originating from several Indian universities and research centres of excellence, as well as from abroad. It is the result of a long-lasting Indo-French collaboration between Pondicherry University and the French Institute in Pondicherry, as well as with CNRS, IRD and EHESS in France.

Venue:
The training will take place at Pondicherry University (School of Social Sciences and International Studies, Silver Jubilee Campus) and at the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), from November 28 to December 2, 2016.

Registration

The application should further include:
  • Full CV
  • Postgraduate degree certificate
  • These 2 documents should be sent by email to winterschoolpy@gmail.com
  • The registration fees of Rs. 2,000 are payable at Pondicherry University on arrival.
  • Selected students will be offered round trip train fare (II Sleeper) and accommodation for the duration of the programme in the University campus.
Contact: All correspondence should be addressed to the team of coordinators: winterschoolpy@gmail.com.

CfP: Second CSLG Roundtable on Administrative Tribunals in India: Can Tribunals Deliver Justice?| 23 August | JNU Convention Centre, New Delhi

Second CSLG Roundtable on Administrative Tribunals in India: Can Tribunals Deliver Justice?
Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Venue: JNU Convention Centre, New Delhi
Organizer: Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU

CONCEPT NOTE
Administrative tribunals were envisaged as alternative judicial bodies to resolve disputes in specific areas. This was pushed via the infamous, Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 and was largely criticized as violating the separation of powers principle embedded within the Constitutional framework and an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Since then the Supreme Court has, in several cases viz., S. P. Sampath Kumar v. Union of India; L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India; Union of India v. R. Gandhi, President, Madras Bar Association; Rajiv Garg v. Union of India; and Madras Bar Association v. Union of India, tried to address jurisdictional disputes between High Courts and these specialized tribunals and also emphasized on the need for strengthening the structural and functional independence of tribunals to curb interference from the executive.
Legal commentators like Arvind P. Datar have criticized this trend towards what he refers to as "tribunalization of the judicial system", wherein the parliament has legislated to establish a number of tribunals, thereby systematically limiting the judicial functions and powers of the High Courts and civil courts. There are three fundamental objections that have been raised. First, despite the various Supreme Court rulings, the executive exercises inordinate control over these tribunals through resource allocations. Second and a related point is that most of these tribunals are inadequately funded and lack the resources to function effectively. Third, these tribunals usually have a limited number of benches thus effectively impeding access to justice.
Panel - 1 will discuss about the tribunal system in India and their functioning with specific emphasis on the questions such as whether tribunals have collectively been able to overcome their birth infirmities and have emerged as valuable parts of the Indian judiciary. Should be a common administrative framework for tribunals in India? The Law Commission has pushed for a series of measures to bring in some measure of uniformity in the selection process, eligibility criteria for appointment and also meeting infrastructure and financial requirements. It has recommended the establishment of a National Tribunal Commission, through which a common cadre based Tribunal service, could be selected. Further all Tribunals service should be placed under the Ministry of Law and Justice, instead of functioning under their nodal ministries.
Panel - 2 will review the functioning of the National Green Tribunal in India. The NGT was established in 2010. Since half a decade of its functioning, there have been a number of important cases that it has adjudicated specifically with reference to urban pollution issues. It has sought to substantively expand its jurisdiction by developing a standard for judicial review for administrative actions. The inclusion of expert members as full Centre for the Study of Law and Governance members of the tribunal has strengthened the expertise deficit that judicial bodies have often found difficult to address. There has been some controversy over whether there is a general rule of exclusion of the writ jurisdiction of the High Court when there is an alternative remedy available. In this context aspects such as the institutional architecture of the NGT, its jurisdiction as well as its substantive jurisprudence on issues such as air pollution, protection of wetlands, groundwater, etc will be discussed.
References:
Law Commission of India (2008), L. Chandra Kumar be revisited by Larger Bench of Supreme Court, Report No. 215.
Rajya Sabha (2015) The Tribunals, Appellate Tribunals and Other Authorities (Conditions of Service) Bill, 2014, Seventy-Fourth Report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.

Programme Schedule
PANEL 1 – Administrative Tribunals in India (10am -12.30pm)
Speakers
  • M. P. Singh (Central University of Haryana & NLU Delhi)
  • Justice G C Bharuka (Formerly of High Court of Karnataka)
  • Ananth Padmanabhan (Carnegie India)
  • Jaivir Singh (CSLG, JNU)
  • P. Puneeth (CSLG, JNU)
Lunch – 12.30-2.00pm

PANEL 2 – National Green Tribunal (2.00pm - 5.00pm)
Speakers
  • Gitanjali Nain Gill (Northumbria University)
  • Geetanjoy Sahu (TISS, Mumbai)
  • Leo Saldanha (Environment Support Group)
  • Shibani Ghosh (Centre for Policy Research)
  • Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava (Hindustan Times)

Faculty Coordinator: Nupur Chowdhury (+91-11-26738943)
Student Coordinators: Pankaj Kumar, Monis Ahmad, Afreen Gani (+91-9654800292)

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New Book | The Global Innovation Index 2016: Winning with Global Innovation | by WIPO and others

The Global Innovation Index 2016: Winning with Global Innovation
edited by Soumitra Dutta, Francis Gurry and Bruno Lanvin. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and others, 2016, e-Book, ISBN 9791095870012.


Preface
We are pleased to present the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 on the theme 'Winning with Global Innovation'. The geography and process of innovation have changed considerably since the first GII. Science and research and development (R&D) are now more open, collaborative, and geographically dispersed. R&D efforts are simultaneously more globalized and more localized while an increasing variety of actors in emerging countries contributes to enrich the innovation landscape. Arguably, everyone stands to gain from global innovation. More resources are now spent on innovation and related factors globally than at any other given point in human history. Thus far, however, innovation has sometimes not been portrayed as a global win-win proposition. Two factors explain this state of affairs: First, evidence regarding the organization and outcomes of the new global innovation model is lacking. Second, governments and institutions need to approach global innovation as a positive-sum proposition and tailor policies accordingly. The 2016 edition of the GII is dedicated to this theme. The report aims to contribute an analysis of global innovation as a win-win proposition and so facilitate improved policy making. Over the last nine years, the GII has established itself as both a leading reference on innovation and a 'tool for action' for decision makers. The launch events of the GII rotate across capitals of the world to ensure visibility of this data-driven exercise and a high degree of implementation on the ground. After a launch hosted by the Australian government in 2014, in 2015 the UK's then Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, hosted the launch of the GII in London. Following the 2016 global launch, regions and countries will use the GII as a tool for action as in previous years. In addition, the theme chosen for the 2016 edition of the GII and the indicators themselves can make a contribution to the debates on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in November 2015.
We thank our Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), du, and A.T. Kearney and IMP3rove – European Innovation Management Academy for their support of this year's report. Likewise, we thank our prominent Advisory Board, which has been enriched by two new members this year: Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and Pedro Wongtschowski, Member of the Board of Directors of Ultrapar Participações S.A. and of Embraer S.A.; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Enterprise for Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII) and of the Brazilian Association of Innovative Companies (ANPEI).
We hope that the collective efforts of innovation actors using the GII will continue to pave the way for better innovation policies around the world.

Soumitra Dutta | Dean, College of Business, Cornell University
Francis Gurry | Director General, WIPO
Bruno Lanvin | Executive Director for Global Indices, INSEAD

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Global Innovation Index 2016: Winning with Global Innovation
Chapter 2: A Bigger Bang for the Buck: Trends, Causes, and Implications of the Globalization of Science and Technology
Chapter 3: Technology-Driven Foreign Direct Investment within the Global South
Chapter 4: Innovating Together? The Age of Innovation Diplomacy
Chapter 5: Local Needs, Global Challenges: The Meaning of Demand-Side Policies for Innovation and Development
Chapter 6: Becoming a Global Player by Creating a New Market Category: The Case of AMOREPACIFIC
Chapter 7: Radical Innovation Is Collaborative, Disruptive, and Sustainable
Chapter 8: The Management of Global Innovation: Business Expectations for 2020
Chapter 9: Global Corporate R&D to and from Emerging Economies
Chapter 10: From Research to Innovation to Enterprise: The Case of Singapore
Chapter 11: National Innovation Systems Contributing to Global Innovation: The Case of Australia
Chapter 12: Leveraging Talent Globally to Scale Indian Innovation
Chapter 13: How to Design a National Innovation System in a Time of Global Innovation Networks: A Russian Perspective


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

New Book | Grassroots Innovation: Minds on the Margin Are Not Marginal Minds | by Anil K. Gupta

Grassroots Innovation: Minds on the Margin Are Not Marginal Minds
by Anil K. Gupta, Penguin India, New Delhi, 2016. ISBN: 9788184005875.


About the Book
A moral dilemma gripped Professor Gupta when he was invited by the Bangladeshi government to help restructure their agricultural sector in 1985. He noticed how the marginalized farmers were being paid poorly for their otherwise unmatched knowledge. The gross injustice of this constant imbalance led Professor Gupta to found what would turn into a resounding social and ethical movement the Honey Bee Network bringing together and elevating thousands of grassroots innovators. For over two decades, Professor Gupta has travelled through rural lands unearthing innovations by the ranks from the famed Miticool refrigerator to the footbridge of Meghalaya. He insists that to fight the largest and most persistent problems of the world we must eschew expensive research labs and instead, look towards ordinary folk. Innovation that oft-flung around word is stripped to its core in this book. Poignant and personal, Grassroots Innovations is an important treatise from a social crusader of our time.

About the Author

Professor Anil Gupta is the Executive Vice Chair of the National Innovation Foundation, and is also the founder of the Honey Bee Network. He has been a professor at the Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, since 1981. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004. He won the Asian Innovation Award (Gold) in 2000.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

New Book | Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition: Success Stories, Issue 1

Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition: Success Stories, Issue 1
by Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN), August 2016; written by: Sam Compton, edited by: Diana Szpotowicz and Paul Day.


Table of Contents
  1. Land Rights in Rwanda: Transparency, Land Rights, Land Tenure Regularisation
  2. Smart Fertilizer Mixer, Global: Agriculture, Innovation, Commercial
  3. Copernicus Sentinel: Satellite, Environmental
  4. Commodity Exchange, Ethiopia: Pricing and Transparency Of Commodities
  5. Orchard Water Management, South Africa: Agriculture, Innovation, Commercial
  6. Sharing Crop Insurance Methods, Africa: Agriculture, Insurance
  7. CommonSense, Ethiopia: Food Security, Smallholder's Livelihoods
  8. Open Data for Insurance, ASTI, Global: Agricultural Research Investment
  9. VetAfrica: Mobile App, Animal Care, Rural Development
  10. Food and Water Borne Diseases, Global: Sharing Food and Water Safety Data
  11. Moisture Reading Sensors, Global: Agriculture, Innovation, Commercial
  12. Scaling Up Nutrition Organisation, Global: Nutrition Improvements, National Planning
  13. Rice Wheel, Thailand: Converting Open Data to Printed Information
  14. Land Portal Foundation: Open Data, Common Land Vocabulary
  15. Satellite Data Helping Indonesian Farmers: Agricultural Insurance, Satellite Data

Foreword: The Data Revolution
Today's world never faced so many intense challenges as it does now. Soon the Earth's population will have more than tripled in less than a century, requiring us to increase food production by more than 60% in the next few decades. This comes at a time when major obstacles such a climate change, land degradation and loss of agricultural land, due to the expansion of cities, already make it difficult to maintain our current food production.
Yes, we do live in unprecedented times. Unprecedented times require unprecedented measures. Unprecedented times require change.
We need to change the way we do things. We need to increase food production, yes, but we need to increase quality food production, not just volume. We need to make sure the food produced reaches those that need it, and that it does not go to waste. Moreover, and some say more importantly, the world needs not just to be better fed but it also needs to be safer, wealthier, healthier, happier.
The industrial revolution is long gone. Even the Internet revolution and its extraordinary benefits seem to level off. What is the solution then? How are we going to reach our next level of global efficiency? Through open data.
In 1986, approximately 1% of the world's data production was in a digital format. Twenty years later, in 2007, it was 94%. Today, almost the totality of data generation is digital.
This means that we are now for the first time in the history of humanity, in a position to instantly share, disseminate, send masses of information anywhere around the globe (and beyond) at any time.
Data is knowledge; or rather, data may become knowledge once the concepts, the processes, the ideas, the decisions that led to its generation, are extracted and reformulated in a manner that can be understood, analysed, and accessed by everyone. Then data truly becomes knowledge. In turn, through wide dissemination, knowledge allows leaders and individuals alike to make better facts-based, enlightened decisions, leading to better societies and better individual well-being.
Open data is the next revolution. Humanity will be able to build on the gains made from the series of industrial and intellectual revolutions that has led the world to progress to where it is today. Open data allows governments, private sector and civil society for the first time to work together in a true participative manner.
Yes, we do live in unprecedented times. We also live with unprecedented tools, made largely and widely available through open data, examples of which are illustrated in the following pages.
It is now for us to make use of it, for the benefit of all.
André Laperriere, GODAN Executive Director

Sunday, 7 August 2016

New Report from UN ESCAP | Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Nurturing productivity for inclusive growth and sustainable development

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Nurturing productivity for inclusive growth and sustainable development
by United Naitons Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), Bangkok, 2016, ISBN: 9789211207156.


Preface
A number of distinct phases of economic growth have occurred in the Asia-Pacific region over the past four decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, when surplus labour in agriculture began to migrate to jobs in manufacturing and services, regional economies underwent major structural changes. With the emergence of China as the "factory of the world" and the currency adjustments following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, regional economic growth became increasingly dependent on the export of merchandise to advanced economies. When external demand collapsed during the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008, concerns were raised that the Asia-Pacific region would also be severely affected. However, after a brief downturn, the region's economic growth rate recovered on the back of fiscal stimulus programmes and rapid credit growth, demonstrating the dynamism of Asia and the Pacific, which accounted for about two thirds of global growth in the years that followed.
This resilience reflected the region's increased purchasing power, but this was also a time when households and corporates became highly leveraged, despite the existence of excess capacity in certain sectors. Consequently, asset bubbles began to emerge in the context of ample liquidity injected into the global system by the advanced economies. This situation proved unsustainable, and a series of events and trends – sluggish exports, China's policy-led economic growth moderation, commodity price declines, strengthening of the United States dollar and normalization of its monetary policy, growing inequality and demographic challenges – have pushed the region into a low-growth and high-risk scenario.
The next phase of Asia-Pacific economic growth should, therefore, be driven by further rebalancing towards generation of domestic and regional demand, as well as by broad-based productivity gains. Supporting this strategy requires higher and more targeted fiscal spending, enhanced skills for workers and better infrastructure. Improving agricultural productivity and rural industrialization will also be critical, as 55% of the people in the Asia-Pacific region still live in rural areas. Productivity-led growth will, however, need to be accompanied by steady increases in real wages to support domestic demand and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This approach will improve the quality of growth by making it more inclusive and sustainable.
Recent volatility in financial markets, including exchange rate depreciations, is a reflection of the changing underlying dynamics, which policymakers are finding increasingly challenging to manage. Consumer spending is constrained by high household debt and a declining share of wages in national incomes, while private investment has not been as forthcoming in view of the high levels of corporate debt as well as domestic and global uncertainties. Moreover, despite record low overall inflation in the region, declining global commodity prices have had adverse impacts on commodity exporters, and manoeuvring room for monetary policy has been limited by capital outflow pressures as well as domestic financial stability concerns. Along with the economic slowdown and emerging policy challenges, progress on poverty reduction is slowing, inequalities are rising and prospects of decent employment are weakening.
These are some of the cross-cutting challenges facing the region that are dealt with in this issue of the Survey, which also contains analyses and policy suggestions tailored to specific subregions and countries. These challenges include population ageing and fiscal sustainability issues in East and North-East Asia; economic diversification and development of the services sector in North and Central Asia; natural disasters and risk-sharing mechanisms in the Pacific; female labour force participation in South and South-West Asia; and reforms of tax policy and administration in South-East Asia.
Fiscal policy can play an important role in supporting domestic demand through countercyclical measures and in strengthening the foundations for inclusive and productivity-led growth through better education, health care and infrastructure. A proactive fiscal policy could also alleviate the pressure on public services arising from rapid urbanization and a rising middle class in the region. One caveat is that such fiscal measures should be accompanied by sustained reforms towards achieving an efficient and fair tax system which delivers the necessary revenues.
Active labour market policies are also needed to support employment in times of economic slowdown and to foster a virtuous cycle in which high-quality education and vocational training increase labour productivity and translate into higher wages. At the same time, enhancing social protection for the poor and near-poor is an urgent priority as these groups tend to be highly vulnerable to economic downturns. Regional economic cooperation and integration, particularly in the areas of capital markets, intraregional trade, infrastructure development, and energy and information and communications technology connectivity, are other important avenues to boost domestic and regional demand.
It is also significant that total factor productivity growth has slowed considerably in recent years, as suggested by a sharper decline in output than can be explained by changes in employment and investment. Although cyclical elements may also be in play, fundamental bottlenecks in skills and infrastructure seem to be holding back the productivity potential of the region.
Access to high-quality education and higher research and development spending are important for effective diffusion of technology and innovation. There are also opportunities for productivity gains to be made from agglomeration and scale economies associated with urbanization – for which high-quality infrastructure is critical. At the same time, to ensure that productivity growth is inclusive and broad-based, greater attention needs to be paid to revitalizing agriculture and the rural economy, as well as to enhancing financing for small and medium-sized enterprises. Finally, there is a need to reorient the discussion on productivity to reflect such issues as intensity of resource use − particularly that of energy − and the associated environmental degradation.
All of these issues are closely related to the 2030 Agenda. As the most comprehensive intergovernmental platform for regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP is strengthening its work in the areas of financing for development, science, technology and innovation, trade facilitation, energy and capacity-building, all of which are critical enablers and means of implementation for sustainable development.
The multidimensional nature of poverty and inequality requires multidimensional solutions. This is why ESCAP is focused on supporting the efforts of member States to revive economic growth across the region and to make it more inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
Shamshad Akhtar | Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations; Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Chapter 1. Economic growth outlook and key challenges
Chapter 2. Perspectives from Subregions
Chapter 3. Increasing productivity for reviving economic growth and supporting sustainable development