4 June 2014.
By Pablo Yanguas.
On Monday David Hulme and I attended a half-day workshop at ODI entitled “Aiding reform: Lessons on what works, what doesn’t and why” (read the summary here). It was basically a gathering of scholars, consultants and practitioners working on/with political economy analysis (PEA), of the sort that takes place every few months around the UK and Europe. What David calls the “aspiring” epistemic community of PEA was well represented around the table: all the familiar faces and usual suspects from ODI, The Policy Practice, The Asia Foundation, The IDL Group, LSE, Africa Governance Initiative, or the Developmental Leadership Program, as well as representatives from DFID and the World Bank (the latter presenting their recent volume of PEA case studies). Continue Reading →
3 June 2014
By Kate Pruce.
Hosted by the Brooks World Poverty Institute, in collaboration with UNRISD and the Korean International Cooperation Agency, this event marked the launch of a new book: ‘Learning from South Korean Developmental Success: Effective Development Cooperation and Synergistic Institutions and Policies‘ (2014), edited by Thandika Mkandawire and Ilcheong Yi.
“For the learning process to be a useful exchange of experience, openness to new ideas and creative adaptation is essential” (Mkandawire and Yi, 2014:1)
When learning from the past there are a number of intervening factors to consider, including:
27 May 2014
By Antonio Savoia.
This was the key question that emerged at the World Press Freedom Day 2014 conference held on 5-6 May in Paris at the UNESCO headquarters. Not the usual academic folk I am used to mingling with, but the theme was so interesting that even an economist would join in. The theme was ‘media freedom and the post-2015 development framework’, with the view of feeding into UN process that will establish the new set of development goals. The UN High Level panel report, published last year, suggested creating a goal on good government and effective institutions. A component of it, the panel recommended, should be a target around ensuring ‘people enjoy freedom of speech, association, peaceful protest and access to independent media and information’.
23 May 2014
By Kate Pruce.
Current donor approaches to ‘successful transition’ in post-conflict states focus on institutional reforms, with the aim of creating an underlying settlement leading to strengthened security and democracy. However, this narrative simplicity disappears in any attempt to map this kind of sequence to a particular case. David Craig, Associate Professor at the University of Otago, and Doug Porter, Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University, have conducted political and institutional analyses of the contrasting cases of Cambodia and the Solomon Islands to explore the dynamics of post-conflict arrangements in reality. They engage closely with ESID’s language, which contributes to the framing of the current debates on political settlements.
15 May 2014.
By Indrajit Roy.
Political pundits have described the just-concluded elections in India as ‘transformational’. However, none of the issues highlighted by the national media, the intelligentsia and the ‘mainstream’ political parties – development, secularism, corruption – are really novel. Most of them have nothing to say about widening inequalities, sharpened by discrimination based on caste, ethnicity and religion, and the related questions of social justice. Their deafening silence makes all talk of ‘transformational politics’ sound like empty rhetoric.