This report on the Productivity-Inclusiveness Nexus gathers the most recent empirical evidence on the main factors behind slowing productivity gains and rising inequality; it suggests possible common foundations and linkages between these two trends; it draws preliminary conclusions on the type of policy packages that are needed and on the implications for policy making, and it also suggests the specific areas where more research may be needed. The main message of this report is a call for policy makers to adopt a broader, more inclusive, approach to productivity growth that considers how to expand the productive assets of an economy by investing in the skills of its people and providing an environment where all firms have a fair chance to succeed, including in lagging regions.

The competition between water and energy needs represents a critical business, security, and environmental issue, but has not yet received the attention that it merits. Energy production consumes significant amounts of water; providing water, in turn, consumes energy. In a world where water scarcity is a major and growing challenge, meeting future energy needs depends on water availability –and meeting water needs depends on wise energy policy decisions. This paper serves as an objective, non-partisan information source that motivates policy-makers, business leaders, investors, NGOs, and the general public to ask further water-related questions – and to probe critically into the responses they receive. We also seek to increase visibility of water-energy nexus implications on business (opportunities, supply chain costs/inefficiencies, and risks), security (food, military, and energy), and the environment (agriculture, forest, and climate). The water-energy nexus, along with its wide-ranging impact and the challenging questions that result, has earned a rightful place on the global policy agenda.

The nexus highlights the interdependencies between the water, energy and food sectors, and the need to pursue an integrated management framework across the three sectors. The water-energy-food security nexus framework is particularly suited to the Arab region given the stressors, constraints and strong interdependencies between sectors. It is further necessitated by the cross-sectoral effect of climate change predicted for the region. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), as part of efforts to help member countries achieve an integrated approach to the SDGs - Sustainable Development Goals, is implementing a project to develop their capacity to examine and address the water and energy nexus.

How should companies meet the demands of a growing market for food, energy and water without damaging the integrity of the environment on which these services depend? And how should they take account of the additional complexity of climate change, inequality and population growth in their strategies? The interaction between food, energy, water and environmental systems is just one example of a ‘nexus’ that companies are increasingly being expected to manage.


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