All Funded Projects
In the context of the global financial and economic crisis, the International Labour Organization gives particular importance to independent worker organization and social dialogue. A great deal of research exists on “private” governance, but less attention has been paid to regulatory approaches in the public sector.
The project takes the example of the International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending and investment arm of the World Bank, which has made it a condition of financing that client firms conform with a code of social and environmental practice. The research project seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of this type of contractual governance mechanism with respect to the ILO’s key labour standard of freedom of association.
Despite many studies on the impact of climate change on migration, little has been done to understand that phenomena on a larger scale and what are the significant factors. This project intends to bring further expertise on whether, when and how the environmental change affects migration; and how it relays on social, economic and political institutions.
The issue of climate change is becoming increasingly significant, especially for managing water. In some mountain rural regions, it has even strong consequences on migration to urban areas. The effects are a feminization of the population that have to struggle with daily life. This project addresses the impact of outmigration and climate change on the demographics in the mountains of Bolivia and Nepal.
In emerging economies and among the growing middle classes, changing labor markets and production processes along with rising purchasing power is translating to a “moving up” on the energy and protein ladder. The consumption patterns of these new consumers raises concern in terms of environmental impact and social inequalities. This project will shed light on consumption practices in Bangalore (India) and Metro Manila (The Philippines) towards the goals of understanding opportunities for more sustainable forms of consumption.
More and more, non-core multilateral aid has been increasing over the last twenty year in place of traditional multilateral aid. This multiplication of funds may lead to a fragmentation of aid, and therefore affects its effectiveness. This project seeks to understand the mechanisms of this new trend for non-core multilateral aid and proposes to be the first in depth analysis on that matter.
The last 20 years have experienced significant reshaping of the world economy with the emergence of new economic powers. However, how they influence and impact the international trade rules still needs clarification. Therefore, this project will investigate, with the involvement of economists, legal experts and political scientists, different angles of the interaction and implication of the emerging powers in the world economy.
Studies have shown that the main border crossing point between Brazil and Peru is an important factor of spreading various endemic diseases. Government of both countries are required to unify their effort to face that challenge and analyze it in depth. For a better handling of the situation, this project focuses on the link of cross-border migration and the spread of the diseases in order to control and eliminate the risk.
The global burden of diseases in resource-constraint countries have raised concern about the global health architecture and the need to find new schemes of collaboration and partnerships. The tendency of private-public partnerships is becoming more and more widespread in order to meet the health needs of poorer countries. This project seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of private financing on global health initiatives and to understand the impact of the growing trend of private philanthropy in developing countries. Results of this study will contribute to a better understanding of the global health architecture and the challenges it faces in the near future.
The overall aim of this project is to provide a methodological and conceptual contribution to address the governance of natural resources as a complex process involving multiple levels and scales. The main objective is to develop a comparative geographical information system methodology to address land governance at multiple levels by investigating interrelations between land tenure, land use, land cover and biodiversity in the cases of Bolivia and Laos. The identifications of these complex geographical context and their local dynamic outcomes will allow finding processes that are globally relevant to policymakers in development and conservation.
As the Millenum Development Goals declare, the achievement of a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers is essential. Enhancing urban safety and security is a priority. This research will analyze to what extent cultural events and public art contribute to enhancing urban safety and security in three violent and unsafe African cities: Douala (Cameroon), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Luanda (Angola).
To achieve several of the Millenium Development Goals, significant improvement must be made in innovation and access to affordable medicines, particularly in developing countries. This research project will examine existing and new ideas for global partnerships to address the problems of lack of access and innovation for medicines on a sustainable, priority needs’ basis. The research question mainly deals with the economics of product development partnerships for neglected diseases in order to define efficient mechanisms.
Literature on globalization and its impact is vast and growing and has highlighted both its positive effects and possible risks. According to economic theory, total welfare should increase when countries open up, but the gains and losses generated in the process for different countries and groups have not yet been fully understood. The project will examine the missing area of investigation in the link between globalization and human development by looking at whether globalized economies are able to offer increased opportunities to their populations in different socio-economic domains.
Addressing the global challenges arising from climate change requires international environmental cooperation. While scholarship acknowledges that in democratic systems domestic support for international cooperation eventually determines its long-term prospects, we know very little about how the design of international agreements affects individual support for establishing and joining such institutions. The project examines the determinants of preferences for international environmental agreements in four important democracies: the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The research findings will provide policymakers with important knowledge about which types of international environmental cooperation are likely to have long-term prospects in democracies and which will not.
The Mountlennium project analyzes regional mountain initiatives with the aim of assessing the contribution of regional governance architectures to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Mountain regions have been recognized as critical human-environment systems on the world’s environmental agenda. Implementing sustainable development strategies, through regional initiatives, entails processes of rescaling that impacts on governance, collective action, and identity formation. The Mountlennium project focuses on five mountainous areas where regional governance initiatives have been launched: the European Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The project deals with the issue of the socio-political, economic and environmental potentials and problems that characterizes transnational, large-scale land acquisitions. The project’s preliminary findings from field research indicate that the on-going agrarian transformation associated with rubber-tree plantation in Cambodia and Laos increases the vulnerability of the less well-off segments of the population. The project aims at producing generalised insights for evidence based decision and policy making. It will provide material for policy dialogue with authorities, UN agencies, international financial institutions and non-governmental organizations in their effort to accompany the implementation of large-scale land deals and to mitigate their possible negative impacts.
Isolated mountain and Arctic communities and ecosystems are suggested to be some of the most sensitive to climate change, while historically suffering from economic, cultural and political neglect. This project seeks to identify key socio-cultural, relational and behavioural factors that increase or inhibit adaptation and resilience in the two case study regions: the Norwegian Artic Island of Svalbard and the Surselva-Andermatt Region in Switzerland.
The detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers is drawing the attention and resources of entities from all facets of contemporary society - including government agencies, not-for-profit groups, private companies, and international organizations, resulting in the creation of new forms of collaboration between state and non-state actors. While the international community focuses on developing ways to “govern” migration, the issue of the legal framework and key norms in the treatment of migrant detainees have largely been overlooked. The present project aims at filling this research gap at looking at the legal and normative framework of migration detention.
Motivated employees are the cornerstones of all organizations, as work motivation is one crucial determinant of individual and organizational performance. But what factors influence the levels of motivation? And to what extent do personal and organizational values matter?
Today, skilled migrants and scientific diasporas are regarded as valuable resources circulating between countries. The objective of this project is to advance knowledge-based evidence of skilled return migration and its impact on development, and to explore strategies to leverage the potential of scientific diasporas.
Eastern Congo is a notorious conflict area where impunity is favoured by the weakness of the state institutions. This project should contribute to a better understanding of what this impunity means to local communities. Such understanding is also relevant for the ongoing and future efforts of the international community to reestablish the rule of law and a ‘transitional justice’ in Eastern Congo.
Community forests are important in developing countries, where they have been expanding considerably. However, the UN program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in local complex socio-ecological environments is facing serious challenges. This project focuses on how the institutional arrangements of local forest stakeholders shape multiple forest outcomes and trade-offs between livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration.
Combating poverty is central to all discourse on development efforts, yet the gap between the better-off and those left behind is widening. The causes of this failure are to be found in the incapacity of taking into account the multidimensionality of poverty and the reasons for its unequal distribution among individuals. This project seeks therefore to better understand individuals’ unequal capacities for coping with uncertainties and responding effectively to new opportunities.
In light of the current economic slowdown, the prospect of achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 looks increasingly slim. Hence at this stage, it is crucial to realistically revise strategic choices. This project will investigate how different groups of stakeholders identify their development priorities.
The dynamics of confrontations between indivi- duals and groups are often characterized by emotions such as fear. Oftentimes, fear paradoxically leads to aggressive or exclusionary behaviours that prove difficult to be overcome. This project wants to try to lift some of these difficulties by looking at how emotional aspects of conflicts could be superseded by using appropriate resolution and negotiation strategies.
In contemporary transnational capitalism, the branding, financial services and intellectual pro- perty are managed in the ‘North’ while manufacturing and assembly is performed in the ‘South’. However, this configuration has been heavily criticized by international NGOs and civil society movements. This project asks how the actors and tools of global governance converge (or diverge) to regulate labour conditions in the electronics manufacturing industry in China and Taiwan.
Armed conflicts and instability cause massive population dislocation across national boundaries. Refugee communities are often associated with security risks for the host and home countries as conflicts may spread across regions. This research investigated the migration-conflict connection taking into account ethnical linkages between refugees and host country populations.
Victims having witnessed in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) often suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder which severly impeded memory processes. This project aimed at providing an attempt to coordinate psychological and legal knowledge in order to take into account the impact of after effects on witnesses in the Cambodia trials. By offering training and support to the legal professionals who could then interact more consistently with victims and witnesses, the research contributed to the overall purpose of the Court of establishing reconciliation.
This research project analyzed the role of migrant organisations in the receiving country but also their role as priviledged actors of development in the country of origin. This study integrated sociology, social psychology, anthropology and economics, and focused on Senegalese migrant organisations in four receiving city contexts (Geneva, Bologna, Barcelona and London).
Women are considered in some developing countries as a the principal agent in the struggle against poverty. Conditional cash transfer programmes may strengthen the stereotyping of women with the effect of increasing their traditional roles of "caring". There is a justified questioning on results of these programmes in terms of efficiency in the fight against poverty and the effect they may have on the position of women in these societies. The research project was based on a comprehensive study of the implementation of gender discourses and cash transfers programmes in three countries: Brazil, the Philippines and Mozambique.
This project focused on the relationship between climate change, conflict and the economic growth. The goal was to identify if there is a systematic causal relationship between these factors. Previous research so far has not been able to establish a real link. This project approached the topic through two innovative dimensions: institutional features of the political system and key climate conditions and therefore filled an important research gap.
The structural evolution of agriculture appears so deep that agricultural policies do not seem to affect farmer’s socio-structural situation. This research compared agricultural settings in France, Switzerland and Quebec in order to evaluate the impact of the political, economical and juridical context on farmer’s situation.
Developing countries are considered as weaker players in the context of climate change negotiations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) given that their power resources are limited. This research project examined the question whether reduced resources such as economic size can be compensated by the use of strategies. It provided a scientific basis to know which strategy works best, which is particularly useful for developing countries.
International human rights and humanitarian law stipulate that prisoners have the right to be treated humanely and especially receive adequate medical treatment. However, so called “natural” deaths in custody are frequent. The research focused on the conditions under which deaths in custody should be investigated and on how they can be prevented. It resulted in the elaboration of practice guidelines which will prepare humanitarian workers for investigations of deaths in custody worldwide.
Communication between people of different linguistic, social and cultural background is of great importance today in virtually all spheres of human interaction. The project addressed the question on how emotions affect communication in multi-linguistic negotiations. It has produced highly interesting empirical research results that will be helpful to develop language and culture sensitive strategies to minimize risks of misconception and misinterpretation.
This successfully completed research allowed to contribute to a better understanding of health services in developing countries through the activities of former Swiss missionary hospitals in Ghana and South Africa. The research was based on two case studies located in Ghana and South Africa. Historical explanations for the success and failure of health systems serve to guide today’s decision makers in view of setting up sustainable health systems.
The regulation of international migration flows forms an exception in the general trend towards the internationalization of public policy. In contrast to the flows of goods, services and capital, no strong international institutions have been set up as yet to regulate the flows of people. Examining four cases of migration partnerships (EU-third countries, Mexico-USA, Mexican Government-Mexican Migrants, Switzerland-Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina) the team investigated the factors shaping their institutional design.
This research project deals with the reasons of highly-qualified young people from developing countries, especially from Africa, for leaving their country. Excessive emigration whereby young, talented individuals do not return to their native countries has an extremely negative effect known as the brain drain. This study allowed to gain a better understanding of the expectations relating to migration that are cited by young people.
The relationships with the European Union (EU) have been at the top of the Swiss political agenda since more than fifteen years. Bilateral talks between Switzerland and the EU will very likely remain one of the most crucial issues of Swiss politics in the next years to come. By examining the agenda-setting of the bilateral negotiations and the possibility of a framework agreement, the project contributed to the evaluation of the opportunities and limits of the Swiss bilateral way.
The UN Global Compact (UNGC), with approximately 4000 members, the largest corporate citizenship initiative in the world, serves as an illustration of how corporations are expected to become involved in political activities on a global level. By signing the UNGC, companies voluntarily commit themselves to ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environment, and anti-corruption. This research provided a consistent conceptualization of corporate citizenship and developed a theoretical framework in order to understand the approaches of Swiss large multinational corporations and small and medium sized enterprises in the context of the UN Global Compact.
Economic gains to be made from the current round of trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seem to be relatively lower that the previous eight rounds of GATT and WTO. These claims are based only on economic gains from trade liberalization. However, political gains from trade agree agreements can have very significant economic value that has been neglected by current studies and analysis. This project filled an important research gap by examining the economic importance of political gains from trade agreements.