Policy Briefs

CDE Policy Briefs provide useful research insights on important development issues. The series offers accessible, timely and policy relevant information on topics such as global change, innovations, sustainable development, natural resources, ecosystem services, governance, livelihoods, and disparities.

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Photo: Daniel Albanese

Inequality: What’s in a word?

The shockwaves of the global financial crisis continue to be felt. While polarizing tendencies have spread through politics, the discourse around economics has opened up. Instead of poverty, people are talking about inequality. It’s an issue that calls attention to the bigger picture.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download Policy Brief (PDF, 352KB)
More information: see CDEdatablog

Traditional three-stone cookstove
Photo: Lyell/alamy.com

A burning challenge: Making biomass cooking fuels sustainable in East Africa

In East Africa, as in much of the global South, people still rely on time-tested, “bottom-rung” energy sources like wood and charcoal. With proper resource management and improved cookstoves, use of biomass fuels like wood and biogas could be made more sustainable, while helping meet people's cooking-energy needs.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download Policy Brief (PDF, 1.1 MB)
More information: see CDEdatablog

Farmers Madagscar

Conservation vs local livelihoods in Madagascar?

Northeast Madagascar’s tropical rainforests are recognized as one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. But protected areas threaten the needs of local subsistence farmers who live off the land and depend on forests for various ecosystem services. While no simple solution exists, several policies show promise.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download Policy Brief (in English) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Download Policy Brief (in French) (PDF, 478KB)
More information: see CDEdatablog

Suffiziente Lebensstile

Enough is good enough: Sufficiency to curb resource overconsumption

Despite widespread implementation of various measures to increase efficiency, global consumption of resources continues to rise. This policy brief considers how practising a sufficient lifestyle may help to decrease resource consumption and enable a good life.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 708KB)
Download CDE Policy Brief (in German) (PDF, 737KB)

Policy Brief

Shifting water demands onto the vulnerable? Water impacts of agricultural trade and investment

Worldwide, people’s water uses contribute to an increasingly complex web of “virtual” water flows implied in agricultural production, trade, and investment. This policy brief examines key issues, with a particular focus on the water risks of market-driven agricultural investment in developing countries.
Learn more in CDE Datablog
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 481KB)

houshold energy consumption

Good intentions, big footprints: Facing household energy use in rich countries

Emission of CO2 by burning fossil fuels is altering our climate. The risks of maintaining this carbon-burning trajectory make it imperative to change course. This means drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuel-based energy as quickly as possible. Households account for a large share of CO2 emissions. But which households consume the most energy and how could their carbon footprints be reduced?
Learn more in CDE Datablog
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 432KB) 
Download CDE Policy Brief (in German) (PDF, 440KB)

Horitculture in Kenya

Commercial Horticulture in Kenya: Adapting to Water Scarcity

Commercial horticulture is Kenya’s second largest foreign exchange earner, exporting flowers and vegetables to Europe in particular. The economic benefits must be weighed carefully against social and environmental risks, including competition over precious water.
Learn more in CDE datablog
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 557KB)

policy brief pastoralism livestock production

Sustainable livestock production? Industrial agriculture versus pastoralism

People who herd animals or combine livestock keeping and cropping at a smaller scale – called pastoralists or agro-pastoralists – can sustainably produce animal products while providing vital ecosystem services.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 401KB)

EU Trade agreements

Shaping EU trade agreements to support human rights

This policy brief describes how integration of Human Rights Impact Assessments in EU trade policy can help ensure sustainable trade regimes that do not cause harm.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 667KB)

policy brief 4

Saving soils at degradation frontlines: sustainable land management in drylands

Healthy soils are under threat. Preserving and restoring healthy soils in drylands is possible. Sustainable land management points the way.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 645KB)

policy brief

The formalization fix? Land titling and land concessions in Cambodia

This brief examines the case of Cambodia, where over the last decade extensive land titling efforts have occurred alongside a wave of large-scale land concessions.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 547KB)

Land concessions in Laos

On the right path? Land concessions in Laos

This policy brief provides insights drawn from the national inventory of land concessions and leases, the most comprehensive accounting of land deals to date.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 746KB)

CDE Policy Brief land deals

Land deals intensify competition for scarce resources

This brief identifies the types of land targeted by investors and reveals key socio-ecological patterns of such deals.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 768KB)

Jatropha Biofuel CDE Policy Brief

Beyond biofuels: jatropha’s multiple uses for farmers in East Africa

Today, jatropha’s value in East Africa appears to lie primarily in its multipurpose use by small-scale farmers, not in large-scale biofuel production.
E-Magazine (ISSUU)
Download CDE Policy Brief (PDF, 915KB)