11 August 2014.
By Leni Wild.
Another week, another review of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID): yet, amongst the scrutiny, not enough attention is paid to ensuring how DFID can learn from why certain approaches work better than others.
Last week, another enquiry into DFID’s internal workings was published, this time by the Cabinet Office and DFID’s Evidence into Action team. This is the latest addition, with others including the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)’s evaluation of how DFID learns, an internal review of DFID’s programme management incentives, capabilities and processes, and an inquiry, still underway, by the International Development Select Committee into the future of the UK’s approach to development. Continue Reading →
7 August 2014.
ESID‘s latest working paper investigates how ideas and beliefs held by India‘s elites – political, bureaucratic, business – have shaped the country’s political settlement and thereby state performance. The paper is authored by Pratap Bhanu Mehta of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, and Michael Walton of Havard’s Kennedy School of Government.
‘Ideas, interests and the politics of development change in India: capitalism, inclusion and the state’: a sweeping title which reflects the authors’ ambition to redefine how Indian politics is conventionally portrayed, crafting a history of the country’s recent development that moves beyond the old dichotomy between market-based reform and populist social provisioning. In particular, Mehta and Walton highlight how competing cognitive maps and policy designs have shaped the evolution of Indian development at key junctures. They believe that the country may be facing such a juncture right now, and that the transformation of the state in response to the demands of a more aspirational electorate will be the central challenge of this new phase. Continue Reading →
21 July 2014.
Last week ESID hosted Lant Pritchett‘s public lecture on “Promoting Millennium Development Ideals: The risks of defining development down”. You can read some live tweets of the talk under the hashtag #EffectiveStates, but we provide a more thorough summary below. We have also embedded three videos in which we asked him about some of the pressing dilemmas in current development debates. Continue Reading →
21 July 2014.
ESID’s latest Briefing Paper is entitled ‘Supply or demand? How politics influences the implementation of the MGNREGA in Rajasthan’. The sixth in a publication series aimed at policy-makers and policy researchers, this short brief summarises findings from the ESID project on India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
Specifically, the Briefing Paper highlights the discriminatory role of supply-side factors – such as political competition between Sarpanches – in the allocation of work to poor citizens. This leads the authors to recommend that policy-makers collect better and more comprehensive data on MGNREGA allocation in Gram Panchayats to identify and stop such instances of discrimination.