First Annual Beijing Week on
Energy and Environment
Dates: June 28 – July 5, 2015
Location: Columbia Global Center, Beijing
The Jordan Capacity Building Initiative
Between 2011 and 2013, André Corrêa d’Almeida supported Columbia University Global Center Amman in the development of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISDP). One of the goals was to train development practitioners on integrated approached for sustainable development. 500 participants from 50 different organizations participated in this capacity building program designed and led by André Corrêa d’Almeida.
Currently our work with Jordan focuses on creating a Columbia University-wide graduate level and executive training learning opportunities in the field of refugee response – policy and practice – with a focus on the Middle East and neighboring regions. This partnership with Columbia School of Social Work aims at methodically deliver practical and multidisciplinary trainings for high priority skills in the field of refugee response and contextualize practice within the broader political and institutional setting in which response occurs or needs to occur.
Fisca Decentralization in Jordan
This research project aims at reframing the debate and discussing the parameters of an intergovernmental transfer formula for Governorates (working paper available under ARCx’s “Publications” page).
Decentralization has been on the Government of Jordan’s agenda for more than twenty years. However, a close examination of the political discourse reveals three features that warrant further analysis. First, there is no clear distinction between the political, fiscal and administrative aspects of decentralization and the sequence by which they should occur. Second, more emphasis has been paid to aspects of administrative decentralization, rather than to the transfer of political power and financial resources from the central government to governorates needed to increase transparency and accountability, as well as the autonomy and capacity of sub-national governments. Third, the little that has been written about the autonomy of governorates does not adequately consider the need for an intergovernmental transfer system to allocate national revenues to sub-national governments. Drawing from fiscal decentralization experiences in other countries, and from the specific historical and institutional context of Jordan, this article constitutes the first attempt to model capital transfers and to discuss the parameters of an intergovernmental transfer formula. The results show that a more comprehensive and appropriately structured mix of transfer decision criteria can help mitigate the ambiguity of Jordan’s transfer policy. This includes changing the weights of some current transfer criteria and factoring in new ones.
Kazakhstan Sustainable Development Program
Program Foundations and Introduction
The Kazakhstan Sustainable Development Program (KSDP) is an applied research and professional training initiative for Kazakhstan offered in New York City and funded by Bolashak International Scholarship. The program was developed and is led by Professor André Corrêa d’Almeida. In 2018, KSDP will focus on two main focus areas: sustainable finance and educational leadership. Current Kazakhstani partners include the Astana International Finance Center (AIFC) and the Almaty Management University (AMU). The Program will bring mid-career professionals from Kazakhstan that demonstrate a focus on various sustainable development, education, and green finance sectors to New York City (NYC) to study alongside world-renowned research scientists as well as to get area-specific experience in financial organizations.
KSDP has the duration of six to nine months and is broken down in two intertwined main components – applied research and professional placement. During this period each participant will produce an applied project related to their professional mandate – one that contributes to building capacity in his/her business area.
In complement to and integrated with their professional placement participants will develop their individual applied projects with the support of several NYC-based partners and research centers (KSDP will adjust the pool of partnering research centers every year depending on the range of individual projects of each program cohort). Each participant will be paired with one academic mentor. Connecting participants with research experts will allow the former to develop a strong research and theoretical foundation for their projects.
Each participant will be paired with one professional mentor from his/her hosting NYC-based company. Professional mentors from the hosting companies will guide participants in their skills development and provide them with specific on-the-job training expertise and knowledge. Professional placements occur intertwined with work on campus during the entire period of the program. The final project will be graded.
Selected participants will ideally be notified two months before the start of the program in order to allow for adequate pre-departure preparation. These two months plus the first four weeks in NYC will be used to finalize the terms of reference (ToR) of each participant’s project.
KSDP is an applied research and practical program designed to custom fit specific professional development needs for its key personnel.
Highly Skilled Returnees
ARCx’s skilled Migration initiative combines Institutional Rational Choice, the Institutional Analysis and Development framework, Return Migration theories and International Development theories to understand how Mozambican highly skilled returnees (HSRs) interact with the institutional setting in the home country while pursuing their personal aspirations.
A better understanding of the constraints imposed by institutions on HSRs’ behavior and personal satisfaction can allow governments in developing countries to prioritize interventions for institutional development given the very scarce resources available. These could have the interacting effect of increasing the capacity of HSRs to contribute to the development of Mozambique and provide positive signals to encourage the return of more.
We are currently developing the seven-year follow up study to the 2009/2010 baseline research, which results are available at The African Capacity Building Foundation Virtual Library.
Our work in Portugal focuses on two distinct areas: (i) innovation of urban systems and the future of life in the city, and (ii) institutional development. We are studying Lisbon and Cascais with the goal of examining how innovation from within cities administration is making urban systems smarter and shaping people’s lives.
With our Smart(er) LisbonX initiative (LxX) the focus is on how cities adapt to and adopt new data and technology innovations to make their management systems more inclusive and responsive to decision making and citizens. Their successes and failures are valuable lessons, first, for other cities in Portugal and around the world focused on innovation. Second, a better understanding of how cities adapt to and adopt new data and technology innovations allows much better informed dialogues between city governments, data/tech companies and civil society about the future of our cities.
Our work on institutional innovation in Portugal has a research component on key aspects of the politico-institutional architecture of democracy in Portugal that informs a dialogues series – Espaço Diálogo – with Parliamentarians from all seven parties represented in the Portuguese parliament. The focus is on developing consensus around key reforms the country needs, such as the functioning of the parliament, parliamentarian status, parties funding, electoral law and regulations, among others.
Our work in the United States of America focuses on smarter cities, direct democracy and the circular city data program.
The work is developed around a “Smart(er) NYCitywide Research Group” with scholars from 11 universities and research institutes that André Corrêa d’Almeida created in 2015. The goal is to develop case studies aiming at examining how innovation from within the New York City (NYC) government is making urban systems smarter and shaping people’s lives. These case studies will be published by Columbia University Press in the spring of 2018 and aim at fostering innovation and dialogues between city governments, data/tech companies and civil society about the future of NYC and other cities in the U.S. and around the world.
Our work on direct democracy aims at learning from the U.S. long tradition on ballot measures – a mechanism that allows the legislative process to be more directly representative of, and overseen by, citizen’s interests and aspirations – in order extract constitutional lessons for younger democracies.
Circular City Data Program
ARCx created and leads the new Circular City Data Journal with the collaboration of colleagues from NYU, Cornell Tech and Columbia University.
Read more here.