- Contact us
13 August 2014.
On 1st August 2014, the Government of Ghana (GoG) announced that it would approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance to help stabilise the economy. For watchers of Ghana, this decision is long overdue. What is, however, puzzling is how Ghana, Africa’s donor darling, paragon of democracy and good governance, the fastest growing economy in the world in 2011 (after becoming an oil producer at the end of 2010), and one of the world’s newest lower middle income countries, could experience such a dramatic turn of fortunes in just two-and-a-half years.
The Ghanaian currency, the Cedi, is now the worst performing currency in the world, depreciating against the US Dollar by 33% as at July ending 2014. Worst still, the gross debt to GDP ratio is 66.5% as at April 2014; inflation is 15% since the beginning of the year while the GoG has been running an average deficit of over 10% since 2012. The extremely high cost of living engendered by the economic crisis, has led to protests on the streets from labour unions and for the first time under the 4th Republic, a largely middle-class group, known as Concerned Ghanaians for Responsible Governance, has also taken to the streets demanding immediate government action to mitigate the difficult economic hardships.
So what explains Ghana’s rapid economic deterioration in just over 2.5 years? Continue Reading →
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 →