The Broker Online


The Broker magazine features expert contributions at the forefront of international development debates. Our stories go beyond mainstream discussions, putting new or different developments into perspective.

About the magazine & archive Experts and authors

Oiling the wheels of change

In the previous issue of The Broker we described the knowledge policy of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We invited Rob de Vos, who has been responsible for knowledge management at the ministry since 2003, and Louk Box, rector of the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, to discuss the ministry’s efforts to adapt its knowledge policy to the changing global environment.

Conserving monuments – global institutions increase security

As instruments of peacemaking, global institutions like the United Nations are not really popular. In the stiff ‘new-speak’ of the modern policy sciences we should evaluate these institutions in terms of their accountability, policy targets accomplished, customer orientation, governance-to-cost ratio and policy efficiency. This is unjustified.

Editorial: Seeking the limits

On 20 June 2007 Bart Tromp died, at the age of 62. Just two weeks earlier, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I had been sitting with him under a luminous sky at a terrace at the Nieuwmarkt, in the oldest part of Amsterdam. We spoke for two hours. We had had been in contact before, by email and telephone, about the article he wrote for the first issue of The Broker, but this was the first time I had met him in person.

Nature pays, but who pays for nature?

Many western politicians are fond of giving public money to farmers to grow more food. A relatively recent phenomenon is to pay farmers to not produce food – or, more accurately, to pay them to produce nature. In Europe we spend billions of euros to promote nature conservation in agricultural landscapes. There are now proposals to extend such ‘payments for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes to include farmers in developing countries.

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