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12 March 2014.
Earlier this year Thomas Carothers was a guest lecturer at ESID’s “Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture”. During his visit to Manchester we were able to ask him about some of the key ideas included in his influential book on politics and aid with Diane de Gramont. Check out a video of one of his responses below. And scroll down for a summary of his lecture. Continue Reading →
5 March 2014.
On January 22nd the India International Centre of New Delhi hosted a workshop presenting the findings of an ESID-led research project on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the world’s largest social welfare scheme. An audience of public servants, NGO representatives, journalists and researchers from across India discussed the project findings and its implications for policy-makers.
The rationale for ESID’s research into MGNREGA is a clear empirical puzzle: despite similar implementation mechanisms across India, there is dramatic variation in outcomes across and within states, with poorer ones exhibiting seemingly lower demand for publicly supplied employment. The research team’s findings indicate that politics –manifested in terms of state capacity and elite commitment– is a key explanation for such variation. In particular, analysis suggests that MGNREGA implementation is driven less by the demand of poor beneficiaries than by the vagaries of supply, which is affected by the extent to which stakeholders recognize the political benefits of providing jobs to the very poor.
The project’s findings generated a lively discussion, with attendees reaffirming or questioning the analysis on the basis of their experience working with MGNREGA providers and recipients. Continue Reading →
5 March 2014.
ESID’s latest Working Paper argues that spatial inequality in developing countries is not rooted so much in geographical features or resource endowments as it is in elite power relations and the demands of patronage politics. The paper’s author is Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, a University of Manchester PhD who is now professor at the University of Ghana Business School in Accra.
Here are some excerpts from the paper: Continue Reading →