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Three ways to curb corruption by boosting local media

6 Jun 2016
The role played by journalists in anti-corruption is extremely valuable. What can donors do to maximise the media’s role?

Political Buddhism, ‘Unethical Conversions’ and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka

25 Feb 2016 | PhD Defence
The Anti-Conversion Bill was never adopted in Sri Lanka, but the heated debate surrounding the law proposal in 2004 points to the dilemmas of proselytism. How far can you go to convert someone to your religion?

Education fees in Nepal give households a hard time

7 Oct 2015
During my fieldwork in Ilam district, Eastern Nepal, I had the chance to visit many different homes, and to experience parts of the everyday life of Nepali families. So far, in every single stay, I was impressed by the children’s motivation for doing homework until late in the evening, and their great ability to speak English. One of them, a 4,5-years old was copying mathematical rules and letters several times, “just for fun, as he is doing it every evening”, as his older brother told me.

Blurred lines: When the military becomes intertwined with civil society

17 Sep 2015
When general al-Sisi appeared wearing a suit for the first time, it caused public outrage among the middle class in Egypt. It also sparked immediate speculations of a presidential run. The suit became another symbol of the blurred lines between military and civilian relations.

Stopping illegal trafficking of endangered species requires combatting corruption

3 Sep 2015
Corruption and illegal trafficking endanger the world’s biodiversity

Seven months of war in the favela

13 Aug 2015 | CMI field notes
In the past, Brazilian intellectuals have coined the term “metaphor of war” to account for the representations of the crime and violence in Rio de Janeiro. The logic of war is at the very core of Rio’s pacification of the favelas, which in practice is carried out through armed confrontations between the police and armed groups within pacified favelas, where the main objective (on both sides), in spite of the rhetoric of peace, is still to kill the enemy.

Making remittances work against money laundering

20 Jul 2015
Hawala networks can be useful partners in the work against money laundering of corruption gains, rather than the obstacle they are often considered to be.

Development aid: A blind spot for EU anti-corruption efforts

10 Jul 2015
The European Union needs to develop a coherent strategy and invest in tackling corruption outside its own neighbourhood.

Print media in Kuwait: Pluralism with a bias

25 Jun 2015
The number of newspapers in Kuwait has skyrocketed, but their owners are all closely affiliated to the political elite. Does this lead to a certain bias in the newspaper’s electoral coverage?

How to curb corruption in emergencies

4 Jun 2015
At lunchtime 25 April Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake. Following high death tolls, numerous charitable organisations scurried to the South Asian country in order to provide humanitarian aid on the ground. The United Nations alone made a flash appeal for close to half a billion USD in emergency support.

Educating Afghan children: Blinded by numbers

8 May 2015
Access to education has been one of the main priorities for Afghan authorities and the international community for the past 14 years, but despite formidable investments in the country’s educational sector, many Afghan children leave school without being able to read or write. What has gone wrong?

How can Norway best support Afghanistan?

24 Mar 2015 | Afghanistan Week 2015:
The current situation in Afghanistan is the subject of two opposing narratives: one is a success story about international support and involvement since 2001; the other is a story where much has gone wrong and everything can only get worse. Agreeing on a narrative that is closer to the truth is crucial when deciding what form Norwegian support and involvement should take in the future, write Arne Strand and Liv Kjølseth.

The dubious effects of economic growth

22 Dec 2014
Ethiopian women are flocking to the labour market making money of their own. Does this mean that there will be more gender equality? With a grant from the Research Council of Norway's scheme for Young Talented Researchers, CMI’s Lovise Aalen will lead a new project studying the impact of economic growth on the lives of women in developmental states.

Creating successful businesswomen

4 Dec 2014
A field experiment from Tanzania shows that female entrepreneurs have less success than their male counterparts even after training and provision of grants. Why is it so hard to succeed for women running small businesses, and what will it take to shift the tide?

Increasing local ownership, reducing administrative costs

27 Oct 2014
A new report concludes that Norwegian umbrella and network organisations are effective in building capacity in the South, but are cost-inefficient and have poor systems for monitoring and evaluations. Researchers recommend a channeling of more funds to funding mechanisms for civil society in the South rather than leaning on umbrella and network organisations in Norway.

Natural Resource Management: The importance of good policy makers

30 Jun 2014
- Policy makers and their decisions matter much more than a supposed resource curse, says Ricardo Soares de Oliveira. As East Africa booms with oil, he urges international actors and donors to repoliticise the international reform and financial agenda.

Out of poverty with inclusive policy

17 Jun 2014
Nepal consists of more than 100 different castes and ethnic groups. A recent social inclusion survey reveals deep social exclusion, discrimination and immense differences between the different groups. Will Nepal succeed in lifting the poorest castes and ethnic groups in the country out of poverty using inclusive policies?

Reducing poverty: The role of labour markets

12 Jun 2014
Poverty is in decline in Nepal. Steady economic growth and labour migration is part of the explanation.

P4P: Good intentions can go wrong

30 May 2014
In an effort to improve maternal and child health, Tanzanian authorities implemented a pay for performance (P4P) scheme in 2009. The more women the health workers convinced to give birth at health facilities, the bigger bonus they would get. The number of women giving birth at health facilities did increase, but the new scheme also had adverse effects.

Promoting human rights in ever changing contexts

31 Mar 2014
Uganda's new anti-homosexuality law has disheartened the international human rights community. Would it have been possible to foresee Museveni's approval of the law? In an ideal world, actors promoting human rights can design projects and interventions and see them through with norms and laws in mind. In the real world, where politics and erratic decisions come into play, human rights work is extremely challenging.

Fairness and redistribution

27 Mar 2014 | Let's be fair:
with Alexander W. Cappelen, Professor in economics and co-director of The Choice Lab at the Department of Economics, NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Rebuilding Angola

30 Jan 2014
Since 2002, the Angolan government has invested 55 billion dollars in rebuilding the country's infrastructure. Angola has also rebuilt the once bustling Benguela railway all the way from the port of Lobito to neighbouring countries of DR Congo and Zambia. -The efforts to rebuild and strengthen the transport sector are crucial to development and economic growth in Angola as well as for the region, says Ana Duarte and Regina Santos.

To pay or not to pay

28 Jan 2014
Taxpayer compliance in Sub-Saharan Africa is closely linked to peoples' views of the government's ability to deliver on important services, the fairness of the system, and consequences of tax evasion shows findings from the recent Afrobarometer survey.

Strengthening human rights in Ethiopia

28 Jan 2014
Ethiopia has great success in its work to eradicate poverty. Yet, the human rights situation in the country makes cooperation a challenging task for the international community. Norway should support the country´s human rights work by strengthening Ethiopia's internal debates on human rights, says CMI-researchers. -The best way to do this is through institutional cooperation, and close collaboration with Ethiopian partners.

Strengthening tax systems in developing countries

19 Dec 2013
How can donors strengthen tax systems in developing countries? By complementing their technical approach with measures to build a taxpayer culture, and challenging development countries to take the lead, says CMI researcher Odd-Helge Fjeldstad.

Can Ghana withstand the resource curse?

26 Nov 2013
Ghana discovered oil in 2010. The country now produces 100 000 barrels a day, amounting to an income of 1 billion dollars a year. Are the country's institutions strong enough to withstand the resource curse? -Yes, says Inge Amundsen, senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Here come the girls: Empowering young Tanzanian women

28 Oct 2013
In Tanzania, there is a striking increase in the number of girls who get pregnant from the ages 16 to 20. Among 16 year olds, 11 percent get pregnant, whereas 61 percent of the 20 year old girls start childbearing. Why do so many girls have babies when they are this young? How does this affect their economic situation and possibilities of entering the job market?

Ethiopia challenging Norwegian aid politics

30 Sep 2013
Ethiopian authorities are tightening the grip on political opponents, the Muslim minority and the media. Human Rights Watch describes the situation as alarming. The majority party in the soon to be Norwegian government has signaled cuts in aid to countries that do not respect human rights. Will they sacrifice Norwegian-Ethiopian relations on the altar of human rights?

There is no fuel!

1 Jul 2013 | From Cairo
It is no longer the Egyptian people against the current regime. The people have split into two fronts, opposing each other as pro- and anti-Morsi. People, who expect violence, expect it to arise from clashes between the groups, not between the security forces and the people...

Dodging the health problems of the poor

30 May 2013
Less than 10 percent of money spent on health research is spent on diseases that primarily affect 90 percent of the world's population, including the poorest. Are even the meager 10 percent spent wisely? No, says Professor David Sanders and argues that a fear of stepping into the realm of politics makes global health actors and donors prioritise wrongly.

When humanitarian action becomes politics

28 Feb 2013
The idea that you can incorporate humanitarian action into political agendas usually backfires, says Antonio Donini from the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.

CSR in the Arab World: A mission impossible?

25 Feb 2013
CSR is on the rise in the Arab World, but the initiators find it difficult to root the concept beyond the ranks of state-owned enterprises and crony capitalists. - When CSR projects are initiated in Arab countries, they do not enter an empty void. Many businessmen have pre-existing conceptions of social responsibility, originated in Islam, says CMI-researcher Kjetil Selvik.

Struggling Sudanese economy

29 Jan 2013
Political unrest and conflict, combined with failed strategies and policies, have led to a dramatic decline in foreign exchange revenues and foreign direct investments in Sudan. According to Hassan Ali Gadkarim, there is no miracle cure. The government of Sudan has to build lasting peace with its neighbours and establish accountable public institutions to win the foreign investors back.

What happens if Chávez dies? (And why do they love him so much?)

10 Dec 2012
Plaza Bolívar in the center of Caracas was filled with people today. Most people wore red t-shirts with images of the Chávez. A boy was sitting on his father´s shoulders, waiving with a doll of Chávez clad in military outfit.

Women in the market: Equal opportunities?

28 Nov 2012
A field experiment from Tanzania shows that business training improves sales and profit figures for men, but has no effect for women's business performance. -Promoting development among female entrepreneurs is challenging and needs comprehensive measures. We need to pay more attention to the external constraints that limit their possibilities, says Bertil Tungodden.

Born in the USA

24 Oct 2012
This year, Professor Philippe Bourgois from the University of Pennsylvania was invited speaker at the Bergen Summer Research School (20-22 June), co-hosted by the CMI. During his visit, he was interviewed on his long-term research among drug-addicts in inner-city US ghettos. His research will be linked to a new program on urbanization and urbanity at CMI (Nefissa naguib and Are Knudsen).

Heading for trouble in Afghanistan

26 Sep 2012
With the support of NATO and the US, Afghan warlords are regaining strength. -The international community has chosen a dangerous path, warns researcher Akbar Sarwari.

Assessing corruption risks critical for success of REDD

7 Sep 2012 | Op-ed
Learning the right lessons from past experiences with corruption in the forest sector is crucial to prevent broad undermining of REDD+.

Can corruption threaten REDD+?

29 Jun 2012
Norway has invested more money in the forest protection programme REDD+ than any other donor country. Corruption concerns have been widely raised when it comes to REDD+. Will Norwegian investments be in vain?

Africa loses big money on tax breaks

11 Jun 2012
Many African states could raise substantial tax revenues. Instead they race to offer foreign investors the most favorable tax treatment.

Breaking the landlords' hold on labourers

31 May 2012
The transition from a feudal to a modern economy has changed the labour market in Nepal. There are more and better paid jobs available, also outside the agricultural sector. Yet, some Nepalese labourers in rural areas continue to have coercive traditional contracts with landlords. Government programmes can help poor families out of these contracts through access to insurance, credit and social services.

Economic growth does not eradicate undernourishment

26 Apr 2012
South Asia has gone through a period of strong economic growth the past two decades. GDP per capita has more than doubled over twenty years. Surprisingly, better economic conditions have not led to improved nutrition in South Asia. The number of undernourished children is almost at the same level today as it was twenty years ago.

Hunting for per diems

23 Apr 2012
Allowances, or per diems, have become an important source of income for civil servants in sub-saharan Africa. -Existing practices need to be revised, says CMI-researcher Tina Søreide.