INCLUDE Platform

Rolph van der Hoeven

TITLE: Platform member
SPECIALISATION: employment and development economics and contemporary development issues

Rolph van der Hoeven is emeritus Professor of Employment and Development Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University (EUR) in The Hague, the Netherlands, and a member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV), where he has chaired various committees preparing policy papers on contemporary development issues. He also serves on the board of a number of international institutions and journals. Rolph was formerly Director of ILO’s Policy Coherence Group, where he spearheaded the ILO’s interaction and cooperation with the UN, IMF and World Bank on policy coherence. At the ILO, he was also Manager of the Technical Secretariat of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization in Geneva. Other previous positions include Chief Economist of UNICEF in New York, where he was part of the team that launched the campaign on Adjustment with a Human Face, and policy analyst for the ILO in Ethiopia and Zambia, where he advised African governments on employment and income policies. He was also involved in various research projects of the United Nations World Institute on Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) on globalization, inequality, and employment. Rolph holds a PhD in Development Economics from the VU University Amsterdam and an MSc in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Question of the Week 23 2017-02-22 10:32:50
I fully agree with observations of Assefa on the recently published German Marshall plan for Africa.

Having read the details of the German Marshall plan, I think also that  it is not a real plan but an intention document, with no clear funding proposal and no clear means of implementation.

It uses the we form, but from the text it becomes clear that 'we' means Germany or Europe, not Europe and Africa. The document would have been stronger if it was developed with input from African scholars and leaders.

An earlier idea of a Marshall plan for Greece in 2012 was not accepted by the German Government, because the German Government did not want to transfer unconditional funds to suffering Greece.

Yet the essence of the original Marshall plan was to provide war torn Europe which substantial funds (2 per cent of USA GDP) for a rapid reconstruction, carried out by the European countries themselves and tracking progress through the forerunner of the OECD. The proposed plan does not indicate the amount of foreign resources needed, either in FDI  or development aid.

As for the content, the emphasis on employment ( though rather vague) is of course to be welcomed, as is the call for strengthening domestic resource mobilisation in Africa, and the suggestions to break down unfair agricultural policies of the EU and to end illicit flows and tax evasion. Regarding the latter, no mentioning is made that in the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa in 2015, developing countries were unhappy that Western countries blocked proposals for the UN to get more instruments to deal with this, and continued to favour the OECD for dealing with issues of illicit flows.

It is therefore hoped that this proposal will be discussed with African Governments, scholars and people before it is unilaterally tabled at the forthcoming G20 meeting in the summer.