Achieving prosperity for all within planetary boundaries requires that governments take wide-ranging transformative action, but achieving ‘triple-wins’ by joining up policies across economic, social and environmental realms can be challenging. A companion analysis undertaken under the ODI Nexus project () analysed key indicators in these realms in lower income countries and identified the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Thailand as front-runners in achieving more holistic development outcomes. Looking deeper at these case studies, we sought to identify national policy interventions that struck a balance between the different realms of development and explored the policy development, legislation and implementation processes required for integrated transformational policy to succeed.
In each we found national-scale, triple-win policies led from the president’s or prime minister’s office. These policies can usually be traced to specific political moments that forced a reckoning with the failures of previous development policy, often resulting in radical change of direction in development planning. Yet, despite the existence of triple-win policies, as of 2019, there was limited evidence of triple-win outcomes being achieved. Instead, the case study countries typically performed well in one or two realms, often to the detriment of progress in the other(s).
We present potential reasons for the lacklustre impact of these policies and conclude with suggestions for future work to outline where in the policy landscape it may be possible to enact transformational nexus policies and how to support them to achieve their outcomes in the timeframes required to ensure equitable prosperity within planetary boundaries.
The current design of UK public policy and mainstream political and social discourse has consistently equated paid work with good citizenship and desirable parenting. The article presents findings from a recent qualitative study that explores how lone mothers with different moral rationalities judge themselves before and after making a transition from welfare (and being full-time carers) to paid work. The findings suggest that the design of public policy and related discourses worked well with the moral rationalities of some lone mothers who believed that paid work made them better mothers. However, it left others with moral values on direct care behind, as they suffered from physical and emotional exhaustion and feelings of guilt in paid work. The article highlights how dominant ideologies reinforce the pre-existing hierarchy of paid work and care, with the latter being viewed as deserving of less acknowledgement.
Scholars of childhood typically view children as agentic; poverty researchers, aware that poverty reduces children’s life-chances, may be tempted to consider them as victims. Adults experiencing poverty report feelings of powerlessness, and, by analogy, poverty may reduce children’s agency. However, comparatively little is known about the impact of poverty on child agency or the extent to which children use their agency to mediate the effects of poverty. Therefore, 55 low-income children from two Chinese schools were invited to participate in group discussions and qualitative interviews spread over several hours. Considering poverty to be multidimensional, children identified that their agency was restricted both by poverty and their status as children but argued that they were not without agency. This was confirmed in interviews with parents and teachers. Six strategies were identified that children use to ameliorate poverty’s effects. The strategies group into three pairs, the first strategy in each pair reflecting a child’s decision to accommodate to their circumstances with the second being an attempt to alter them. The first pair (norm adaptation and active communication) comprised coping strategies addressing the present; the second pair (self-improvement and self-sacrifice) were expressions of constructive agency; and the third pair (lowered expectations and rebellion) were partially acts of despair. Giving greater recognition to children’s attempts to improve the lives of their families and themselves may lead to more effective modes of policy intervention.
On 6 December 2022, Jakarta passed a controversial law criminalising extramarital sex within Indonesian territories. In this policy article, in response to Indonesia’s recent criminalisation of extramarital sex, the author problematises how such legislation compounds domestic sex workers’ encounters with poverty. Then, the author visits Indonesia’s minimum tolerance of prostitution, arguing how such an impractical policy hinders Jakarta from eradicating the socioeconomic root causes of prostitution. Next, the author suggests policy directions that Jakarta should take into account in order to deconstruct the problems of underprivileged, marginalised and impoverished women and girls entering the sex industry. Here the author emphasises that Indonesia can deny the recognition of prostitutes, but it has to recognise prostitutes as local citizens. Therefore, social protection schemes designated for domestic citizens should be made accessible on a gender-blind basis, regardless of beneficiaries’ socioeconomic backgrounds.
This article presents a typology to capture varying degrees of inclusive, sustainable economic transformation in low- and middle-income countries. We perform a cluster analysis of these pillars – poverty and inequality, environmental sustainability, and economic transformation – proxied by a set of quantitative indicators with data pooled between 2000 and 2018. This is supported by descriptive analysis of correlations in change over time between indicators as well as an exploration of the contextual risk and governance profiles underpinning these changes. From this analysis, we identify five clusters of countries with a range of outcomes across the three pillars. Countries consistently performing well across the three dimensions are not readily evident, though some countries are able to achieve moderate outcomes. Policy implications point to the need to get the basics right around pro-poor infrastructure development and making certain sectors greener in an effort to advance tripartite gains.
This chapter explores the unpaid work of family members with elderly relatives in the lead-up to nursing home care in two jurisdictions: Ontario, Canada, and Sweden. Unpaid work includes providing care, as well as the navigation and the advocacy work required to seek, apply for and enter nursing home care. Although Sweden has a universal social democratic approach, and Canada a selective liberal approach, both countries have seen rationing in long-term care funding and reduced access to nursing homes. In both jurisdictions, families take on extensive unpaid work and experience increasing stress leading up to nursing home admission. In Canada, after admission, families often experience a sense of guilt and continue their unpaid work in an attempt to fill care gaps. This contrasts to Sweden, where families express relief, as safety and continuity of care increase, enabling them to be visitors rather than care providers, which may reflect higher staffing levels.
Taking care of bodies – body work – is central to nursing home care. Typically, it encompasses the work involved in cleaning, dressing, feeding and toileting people unable to perform these tasks on their own, and the interpersonal interactions that facilitate these tasks. Yet many residents are active in caring for their own bodies. In nursing homes resident bodily care is an institutional responsibility, and this resident self-care is a variety of ‘unpaid work’, contributing to the overall work required to maintain the nursing home population. It is rational to surmise that if some residents do this bodily care for themselves, workers will have less to do, but supporting residents’ autonomy in self-care can take more, not less, staff time. This is ‘body-work-that-isn’t’: the work involved in promoting and supporting resident autonomy in bodily self-care and sexual expression. This chapter describes and analyses this unpaid work, which is both important to residents’ well-being and dignity and mostly uncounted in job descriptions, policy and organisational workflows.
This chapter offers an analysis based on ethnographic research in six Norwegian nursing homes with different degrees and forms of integration into local communities, with community understood as the local neighbourhood, a village or a city. It is also informed by fieldwork carried out in nursing homes in Canada, the UK, the US and Sweden, adding an international, comparative dimension to our analysis. COVID-19 has made clear the urgent necessity of opening up nursing homes, in Norway and elsewhere. This unbracketing furthermore implies opening up for wider social relationships and for beneficial forms of unpaid work from families and friends. However, and in alignment with other chapters in this volume, this is a benefit that should add to, as opposed to replace, paid care work.
Beginning with an overview of the various forms of unpaid labour done by and for those who live in, visit and work in nursing homes, this chapter identifies the conditions in Norway, Sweden and Canada that shape this work in particular, and different ways to bring both rewards and tensions to the various players. It demonstrates that the boundaries between paid and unpaid work are flexible, based more on conditions than on choice. It argues that naming unpaid labour as work does not eliminate care – or love for that matter. Rather, it calls attention to the conditions that are required to keep the care and the love in this labour.