Advancing Gender Equality through Voluntary Standards for Trade

Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) have emerged as one of the main tools used to articulate, encourage and enforce sustainable and ethical practices in global value chains. With this study we explore the nature and evolution of VSS and assess their potential contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG 5). The purpose of the study is to enable policymakers in developing and emerging economies to identify opportunities to engage with VSS initiatives as a means to deliver on gender commitments while also promoting trade and economic development.  

Guidance Note on Data Analysis for Gender and Trade Assessments

The first step in gender-aware economic analysis involves building the statistical picture of an economy as a gendered structure. Such a picture, if appropriately disaggregated in terms of production sectors, workers’ and households’ characteristics can provide a useful baseline from which to track the direct and indirect effects of trade changes by gender. By highlighting existing inequalities, it can help assess whether proposed trade reforms and agreements are likely to redress or intensify bottlenecks to women’s access to economic resources and opportunities. It can also guide the selection of relevant indicators for ex-post monitoring.

Sustainability Impact Assessment for the Modernisation of the EU-Chile Trade Agreement

SIAs analyse the potential economic, social, human rights and environmental impact of trade agreements being negotiated by the European Union (EU). They are based on a robust analysis of the changes that are likely to be caused by the trade agreement in the EU, the partner country and developing countries. Equally important, they include wide-ranging consultations of stakeholders in the EU and the partner country. SIAs are undertaken independently by external consultants commissioned by the European Commission. SIA findings and recommendations feed into the negotiations, helping negotiators to optimise the related policy choices.


Research note: Covid-19 support to businesses risks leaving behind companies in developing countries

Most governments in the world have announced, and are implementing, programmes to respond both to the health and economic consequences of Covid-19. However, the magnitude of responses to Covid-19 (including health responses and economic stimulus packages) by governments has varied considerably, from nothing to about half of GDP.[1]

A simple linear regression between the level of support and some possible explanatory factors – the forecast level of impact of Covid-19 on the economy, GDP per capita, and the level of government debt before the crisis – shows that not the severity of the anticipated economic impact Covid-19 but GDP per capita is the most important of these three factors (for more details see below).

Angola export diversification study

Angola’s economy is characterised by an extremely high dependency on two exports: oil (95% of total exports) and diamonds (3-4% of total exports). Not only is this unsustainable - oil reserves are expected to be depleted in the medium term, and extraction generates few jobs - but it also means that the country is extremely vulnerable to oil price shocks. Export diversification is therefore imperative and urgent. Periodic increases in the world oil price (as happening presently) or postponements of graduation from least developed country status are no excuses for inertia!

External Evaluation of the European Union’s Policy Coherence for Development

This evaluation provides an independent assessment of the EU Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) actions, in terms of policymaking and awareness-raising mechanism, being implemented over the 2009-2016 period. It therefore aims to improve the impact of relevant EU policies by lookign at the PCD tools and mechanisms, outputs of PCD process, as well as overall PCD outcomes and impact achieved in a number of selected case studies. The evaluation also judges the EU's capacity to improve the impact of its intervention through of policy coherence instruments.

Download the final report.

More information on the evaluation is available from the European Commission website.