7 November 2014
By Pablo Yanguas.
Two weeks ago Harvard Kennedy School and ODI co-hosted a very particular kind of workshop, entitled “Doing Development Differently”. I say particular because I have not attended anything similar in my years as a grad student or researcher: the list of participants was small, largely a self-selected group mixing incredibly qualified veterans and refreshingly energetic newcomers; the format of sessions was heavily geared towards interaction, so that everyone felt like a contributor; the pace of debate was relentless, with real space for reaction and accumulation; and the point of it all was not simply to share knowledge or pad a CV, but to build a community and even lay down the foundations of a manifesto. Credit for all this must go to the three individuals who led the experiment: Harvard‘s Matt Andrews, and ODI‘s Marta Foresti and Leni Wild. Reacting against the unfortunate trend of getting the “usual suspects” of aid together for yet another session of group therapy, they conceived and successfully executed a different model for informed policy debate. Continue Reading →
5 November 2014.
By Sundar Burra.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), articulated in 2005-06 with a budget of more than Rs.60,000 crores, signalled the beginning of a focus upon the ‘urban’. There were 65 cities where the Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) sub-Mission and the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) sub-Mission were to be implemented. A few hundred smaller towns were to be covered under other similar programmes.
The JNNURM – particularly its UIG component – was primarily meant to be a demand-based, reform-driven programme that would be a game-changer and incentivise the induction of private capital. That did not happen, for many reasons, but at least because – as in other government programmes – expenditure became the measure of success and various key reforms were put on the back burner in the race to spend budgetary allocations. The BSUP, the poorer cousin in JNNURM, became synonymous with building new houses for the urban poor and its impact was limited. Legislation for Community Participation and Public Disclosure has not been passed in many states. Continue Reading →
10 October 2014.
By Pablo Yanguas.
Last month I was delighted to participate in a conference on “New Directions in Governance” organised by the World Bank‘s Governance Partnership Facility and the Overseas Development Institute in London. Many interesting arguments came up in that meeting, and a new and slightly more daring agenda seems to be emerging. The kind folk at ODI interviewed a few of the participants, and have posted videos of those interviews on the event site. I was asked to comment on bureaucratic barriers to politically-informed aid, which is the subject of ESID‘s project on political-economy analysis. Continue Reading →
8 October 2014.
ESID‘s latest working paper explores how exclusive pacts become wider political settlements, using the recent post-conflict history of the Solomon Islands as an illustration. In “Post-conflict pacts and inclusive political settlements: Institutional perspectives from Solomon Islands”, David Craig from University of Otago and Doug Porter from Australian National University argue that external interventions are unlikely to solve broader and wider institutional challenges involved in the transition from short-term pacts to long-term settlements. Continue Reading →
25 September 2014
By Kate Pruce.
This ESID working paper, authored by Tim Kelsall and Seiha Heng, examines Cambodia’s growth experience, analysing four economic sectors and the environment for business across these sectors. The deals environment has been semi-ordered and fairly open, with the resulting state-business relations creating both positive and negative growth feedback loops.
The currently unstable political settlement could lead either to a shift away from rent-seeking to inclusive growth and social provisioning or to further entrenchment of the inner circle with increased political repression. Therefore the challenge for the regime is to oversee a transformation of Cambodia’s political settlement and its growth strategy, without bringing the whole thing crashing down. Continue Reading →