The BRICS Development Bank: Why the world’s newest global bank must adopt a pro-poor agenda

There are currently very few documents within the public domain that
clearly articulate a mandate and framework for the proposed BRICS Bank,
particularly from a pro-poor and pro-equity perspective. This
policy brief aims to move beyond the BRICS governments’ current focus
on technicalities around capital contribution and governance, and instead
provide a solid vision for the principles, priorities and objectives on which
the Bank’s activities and operations should be premised. It seeks to
demonstrate how the BRICS Bank could be used as an instrument to
promote pro-poor development and reduce inequalities, both within the
BRICS countries and in other partner countries where projects will be
implemented. Read more at:


Engaging BRICS: Challenges and Opportunities for Civil Society

The emergence of BRICS represents an important change in the global political economy. Reactions to the rise of this new ‘club’ range from wary optimism to outright skepticism. There is anticipation that the BRICS – building on their own lessons and initiatives – will play a progressive role on economic and social issues at regional and global levels. The critical view, on the other hand, includes doubts about the nature and coherence of the group. There is also concern that the economic agenda of BRICS could pose new challenges to human rights and development, particularly given the absence domestic frameworks for accountability on international engagements.

This paper explores ideas and insights for civil society engagement with the BRICS agenda, based largely on interviews held with 34 representatives of the development sector, academia and media within BRICS countries and outside. Forty-four per cent of those interviewed are linked to work with women and socially excluded groups. Read more at:

Looking to the future of the MDGs with the UN Foundation Board

 How often do you come away from a Monday morning meeting celebrating its unique composition and remarkable content? My interaction with the UN Foundation Board at New Delhi on 29 March certainly qualified on both counts. The ocassion provided an opportunity for conversation on directions for the MDG agenda post-2015 with some of the best known names in global development – collectively the Board of the UN Foundation – and a handpicked group of policy experts and practioners from India.  Continue reading

Ban Ki-moon receives the ‘World We Want’ Letter

Civil society activists and anti-poverty campaigners representing more than 120 organisations from across the globe personally delivered a letter today containing recommendations for a breakthrough plan to end poverty and inequality to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The open letter to the UN Secretary General – shaped and signed by civil society organisations, including GCAP, the Feminist Task Force, CIVICUS, End Water Poverty and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) contains nine key recommendations, including calls for greater accountability, measures to increase gender equality and reduce social exclusion and the provision of quality affordable public services. Continue reading


MDG 2010: Open Letter to the UN Secretary General

An open letter signed by over 100 international and national civil society organizations ranging from women’s, environmentalist, development, faith-based and youth movements and trade unions has been sent to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in response to his report “Keeping the Promise – a forward-looking review to promote an agreed action agenda to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.”

Are You Listening, Pranab Babu

It is time again to call upon Kalavati Bandurkar – the face of Rahul Gandhi’s speech in parliament last year as he rallied for the Indo-US nuclear deal. Kalavati was in Delhi last month to release a manifesto that voices their concerns and hopes for Budget 2009-10. The proposal was the All India People’s Manifesto, compiled by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, a national coalition of more than 3,000 grassroots organisations. Through public hearings in over 300 constituencies in the last four months, the coalition tried to understand what citizens want from their government.