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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 →
24 September 2014
The new government of Malawi that was ushered into power following the 20 May 2014 elections started its tenure facing an ultimatum from donors: restore fiscal integrity or forget about the resumption of budgetary support that makes up as much as 40% of the total budget.
Donors suspended budgetary support to the tune of US$ 150 million following the revelation of massive looting of public funds to the tune of US$ 100 million by syndicates involving civil servants, politicians and businessmen.
This unprecedented looting has been christened “cashgate“. It involved making massive dubious payments to suppliers that often did not provide any goods or services. The popular expectation was that the new government would quickly address donors’ concerns about cashgate in order to restore their confidence in the public financial management systems, but this has not happened. Continue Reading →
15 September 2014
By Pablo Yanguas.
ESID’s latest working paper investigates why some of Ghana’s regions have had greater access than others to public spending on education, and uses this case to illustrate how elite politics – and, in particular, regional coalitions – shape access to service provision in developing countries.
“Rethinking the politics of development in Africa? How the ‘political settlement’ shapes resource allocation in Ghana” was authored by Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai and Sam Hickey. The paper draws on two of ESID’s main research strands, social provisioning and recognition, and builds on our already sizeable portfolio of work in Ghana. Continue Reading →
27 Aug 2014
By Kate Pruce.
Research in the sector of international development is often well-suited to engaging with policy and practice, dealing as it does with questions about and potential solutions to real-world development challenges. There are also significant benefits to reaching a wider – including non-academic – audience in terms of contributing to current debates, and being in a position to offer policy-relevant recommendations in your field of expertise.
It is important to remember that impact is a process, not an event, which is not always recognised by tight deadlines and time-limited funding contracts. Results are often not immediate. Achieving impact requires long-term relationship-building (think 6-10 years), and ideally stakeholder engagement from the outset of the research. ESID’s project on India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act adopted this approach, and has successfully engaged key representatives from the Indian Planning Commission and National Advisory Council with the findings and implications of the research. Continue Reading →
15 August 2014
In July ESID hosted a small research workshop devoted to the question of whether and how the concept of ‘political settlements’ can be deployed to study urban poverty and development. Much of the discussion pivoted around presentations by Tom Goodfellow, who has recently published an article about the political settlement in Rwanda and specifically Kigali, and by Diana Mitlin and Gayatri Menon, whose ongoing work – including their ESID project on urban poverty in India – raises a number of issues about the applicability of the political settlements model to developing country cities. Here are five of the key questions raised: Continue Reading →