10 July 2014.
The ESID partnership includes many dedicated and accomplished researchers, but few are as outspoken and immune to conventional wisdom as Lant Pritchett. A Professor at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, Lant is also one of the key members of ESID’s growth project. His contributions to ESID include the Visual Handbook on The Dynamics of Economic Growth, a paper with Eric Werker on a “Grand Unified Theory” of inclusive growth, and another paper with Kunal Sen and colleagues on estimating the magnitude of growth episodes, with the compelling title “Trillions Gained and Lost”. Continue Reading →
2 July 2014.
By Pablo Yanguas and Rowena Harding.
Nick Manning retired in December 2013 from the position of Head of the Governance and Public Sector Management group at the World Bank. During a visit to Manchester earlier this spring we managed to ask him a few questions about aid, donors, the public sector, and the potential for research to have a real impact.
23 June 2014.
Political and policy-making elites are at the centre of the challenges of inclusive development: their commitment constrains the menu of potentially inclusive policies, whilst their capacity determines the chances that these will ever be fully implemented. Arguments about the causal role of elites revolve around whether they are either inclusive or extractive, patrimonial or developmental (or both). Yet we know surprisingly little about what makes some elites more developmental than others.
Conventional arguments about elite commitment focus either on the personality traits and personal background of specific leaders, or alternatively they explore the structural features of the political settlements that elites inhabit. However, the analysis of implementation processes in developing countries highlights the limitations of either personalising or depersonalising politics: choices about policy as well as its implementation are often shaped by the constellation of political and policy-making elites at the very top. The current state of the literature suggests that the next step in trying to understand the role of elites in economic development would be to bring into the analysis the specific characteristics of elite members: What are their defining features? Have they changed over time? Continue Reading →
20 June 2014
By Kate Pruce.
ESID’s aim is to “create a robust, relevant and accessible body of evidence that will help local, national and international efforts in developing countries to secure states that are more effective at and committed to delivering inclusive development”. Rather than looking for quick fix solutions, we want to ensure scientifically rigorous evidence leading to the creation of useful knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in the field of development.
This approach is the basis for a workshop series on impact evaluation for international development, with the focus of the first workshop being on tools and methods that can be used to create a deeper understanding of the process of change. In his opening remarks Prof David Hulme set the scene within the context of increasing interest in impact evaluation, visible in DFID’s focus on evidence and the ESRC’s commitment to impact assessment. The programme was varied, with presentations ranging from studies in challenging conflict-affected environments to health, education and poverty alleviation. This provided the opportunity to tackle key debates based on empirical data and researcher experiences of the complexities of carrying out an impact evaluation in practice. Continue Reading →
17 June 2014.
by Sarah Hunt.
Over the past year training donor agency staff in Political Economy Analysis (PEA), I have found the topic inevitably means facilitating a debate. The overt aim of training is to introduce practical tools for carrying out Political Economy Analysis. But, from the outset, talking about politics in development means engaging with ideas of change – and this touches not just on the contexts where donor agencies work, but on the internal systems of donors themselves. In my experience, practitioners value the space to reflect on these issues.
Development practitioners, even outside governance portfolios, all have a grasp of how and why the politics matters for development interventions. Beginning with a reflection on political economy concepts, starts to generate a basis of shared understanding. Building a collective, systematic approach to analysis is a central aim. But delving into the ‘political’ in development provokes deep debate about the way change happens, about the dynamics of particular country and sector contexts, and about how donor agencies work. Continue Reading →