Publications

Published Date: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

The digital divide in Asia and the Pacific continues to widen over time. It affects ESCAP low-income countries (mostly LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS) which need ICT connectivity the most in their efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In response, ESCAP member countries recently endorsed the AP-IS Master Plan and Regional Cooperation Framework Document which provide a regional platform for key stakeholders to coordinate and collaborate towards expanding investment in developing missing fibre-optic networks and improving inclusive broadband access. In that context, this brief explores how to promote broadband infrastructure investments.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

This paper attempts to shed some light on the relationship between gender, financial constraints and productivity. It uses firm-level data from 23 Asian countries, and models with correction of selection biases. On the basis of an objective measure of financial constraint, this paper finds that the provision of adequate funds by financial institutions is important for productivity but gender is not a significant explanatory factor of productivity and female-owned enterprises are not necessarily more credit-constrained than male-owned enterprises. It is concluded that the impact of gender on productivity is not direct but mostly indirect through key drivers of productivity. The paper thus stresses the need, for governments, to address challenges related to sectoral segregation, gender-based discrimination, uneven time spent on non-productive activities, and transition from informal sector to formal sector as they are related to key drivers of productivity.

Published Date: 
Monday, April 3, 2017
resource Type: 
Books
Abstract: 

The diversity of the issues covered by this report required the collaboration of a large community of experts and practitioners based in the region and beyond. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acknowledge the contributions made by more than 100 experts towards the preparation and production of the Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Goals Outlook report.

Learn more at Asia-Pacific SDG Partnership.

Published Date: 
Friday, March 31, 2017
Abstract: 

The 2017 edition of the United Nations WWDR, the forth in a series of annual, theme-oriented reports, addresses an often overlooked issue that is critical to water resources management and the provision of basic water-related services: wastewater. Maximizing wastewater's potential as a valuable and sustainable resource requires creation of enabling environment for change, including suitable legal and regulatory framework, appropriate financing mechanisms and social acceptance. With a political will to do so the current obstacles, such as lack of knowledge, capacity, data and information on wastewater, can be effectively overcome.

Published Date: 
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Abstract: 

The theme of the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. These are timely issues for countries in Asia and the Pacific to focus on.

Overall, the region has made impressive gains in reducing income poverty in recent decades. Nevertheless, too many people across the Asia-Pacific region still confront poverty as part of their daily
life. Some 400 million people, almost one in ten, live in extreme income poverty. One in four people in the developing countries of the region are deprived in additional ways that impact their health,
education and standard of living and increase the likelihood that all people in the region will not benefit from shared prosperity.

As the development context of our region changes, the relationships between and among governments, the public, the private sector and other players are evolving. Relationships between countries are also changing, and there is evidence to suggest that gaps between the poorest countries in the region and middle-income countries may be growing.

This report highlights three key entry points for addressing poverty and expanding prosperity in the region: through pro-poor urbanization, effective management of rural–urban transitions with a focus
on rural development, and enabling investment in sustainable and equitable infrastructure. Although people in extreme income poverty are more likely to live in rural areas, they are also increasingly found in our cities and peri-urban areas. The provision of high-quality, low-carbon and resilient infrastructure, with emphasis on meeting the last-mile needs of the poorest, will be essential and requires a paradigm shift in planning and design.

Our analysis is set in the context of long-term trends in the Asia-Pacific region that will shape approaches to poverty alleviation and the prospects for achieving prosperity. These include increasing
regional cooperation, growing urbanization, shifting demographics (including ageing in some countries and migration), growing but uneven access to information and communications technology and the
rising demand for natural resources.

Effective action on eradicating poverty requires tackling the systemic, sociocultural and geographic factors that underpin marginalization, exclusion and lack of protection for human rights. The number
of people likely to be in vulnerable employment in the region is now greater than the global average, for example, and women are particularly affected. Measures to ensure that all people can benefit from growth in the region on an equal footing are needed.

By analysing the links between these trends and highlighting good practices, this report will provide useful input into regional and global dialogues, including at the upcoming High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and its preparatory events. Our three organizations are pleased to partner to support achievement of the 2030 Agenda at all levels of governance in our region, and we hope that this report provides useful insights into opportunities for making progress.

Published Date: 
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

In the absence of timely data on the development indicators, the UN system, including various regional and global organizations, often apply statistical and mathematical methods to extrapolate existing data series to fill the data gaps. This paper is proposing a time-related weighting system that increases accuracy of extrapolation methods, as used by ESCAP and its partner organisations in recent years to monitor the regional progress towards internationally agreed development goals. The results from a simulation study on a set of indicators across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prove substantive gain in accuracy by applying the weighting factors.

Published Date: 
Friday, March 24, 2017
resource Type: 
Books
Abstract: 

Amid the continuing uncertainty in the global trade, widening social disparities, and increasing environmental concerns, the forthcoming publication entitled "Unlocking the Potential for East and North-East Asia Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration" aims to lay the groundwork for building bridges between East and North-East Asia economies and beyond.

East and North-East Asia is home to some of the most advanced and globally-linked economies together with less developed and isolated countries. It is characterized by diversity in terms of stages of development, economic structure and size, political systems and culture. Due to these differences and long standing historical and geopolitical tensions, institutionalized regionalization has not made much progress. The report gives an overview of the current state of subregional cooperation and integration, and identifies potential areas for further strengthening subregional linkages including required policy actions.

Specifically, the report explores the issues and prospects of moving towards market integration through trade, foreign direct investment and movement of people; developing seamless connectivity in transport and energy; enhancing financial cooperation; and addressing shared vulnerabilities on environment and disasters under the framework of the Bangkok Declaration on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration. It proposes a set of recommendations for East and North-East Asia that would help the subregion reap greater benefits from strengthened cooperation and become a building block for deeper integration within the Asia-Pacific region.

Published Date: 
Friday, March 24, 2017
resource Type: 
Books
Abstract: 

Countries in East and North-East Asia have begun the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but are faced by a number of challenges. The forthcoming publication called "Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in East and North-East Asia" aims to identify subregional priorities and recommendations for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The subregion as a group is well advanced in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and some countries had achieved most of them long before they were developed. Adult literacy rate had reached above 90 percent by 2000 and recorded above 96 percent in 2015 in all East and North-East Asian countries. Moreover, maternal mortality and child mortality rates are well below ESCAP average in all of them. Given the large population, however, the subregion still has remaining challenges of MDGs, such as a large number of people in poverty.

A new, universal set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) shed lights on various issues which were not the scope or main focus of MDGs, but are more pertinent to East and North-East Asia, in particular areas associated with environmental sustainability. With demographic shift towards ageing population at an unprecedented speed and scale in human history, the subregion also potentially faces a new challenge of rising poverty and widening socio-economic inequalities among growing elderly population.

The report explains a set of priority areas for East and North-East Asia to implement the 2030 Development Agenda: promoting poverty reduction and safeguarding the basic needs; enhancing energy efficiency and optimizing energy structure; addressing climate change; increasing resilience to disasters; and enhancing resource efficiency to maintain resource security. It also recommends the countries in the subregion to jointly mobilize their contributions to the implementation of SDGs through national measures, enhancing subregional cooperation, and regional cooperation.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
resource Type: 
Books
Abstract: 

The Asia-Pacific region is undergoing profound and rapid population changes. All countries in Asia and the Pacific are in the process of ageing at an unprecedented pace. This overview summarizes the current trends in the process of ageing, through discussions on gender dimensions, accessibility to pensions and legislation on older persons. Key recommendations for policy-makers are also put forward for future reference.

Published Date: 
Friday, March 3, 2017
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

Brexit might affect exports of some countries in the Asia-Pacific region disproportionately more than others. Simulation results, under different Brexit scenarios, show that the potential reduction in trade faced by least developed countries (LDCs) of the region can range from 16% to 50% of their current export value to the UK in key sectors such as as fish, clothes, textiles and footwear. Simulations also show that it is the larger developing countries from the region that would benefit from any trade diversion that ensues in these sectors. Countries with higher exposure to Brexit induced risks need to engage in deeper analyses of the extent of such impacts and brace themselves for proactive discussions with the UK in order to limit negative impacts.

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