Effective States and Inclusive Development

The challenges of managing development differently

8 April 2015 By Pablo Yanguas. On April 2nd ODI hosted a group of aid practitioners and public sector researchers gathered for the purpose of discussing whether the “Doing Development Differently” (DDD) agenda can in fact be managed by development organisations. It seemed

Researching the political economy of social protection in Africa

30 March 2015 By Tom Lavers When and why do states take a direct interest in the welfare of their populations? What types of state introduce social policies and which ones are capable of delivering on these commitments? Research on the politics of social policy in Europe, the US, Lati

Political aid thinking, fast and slow

17 March 2015 By Pablo Yanguas. These days I am reading psychologist Daniel Kahneman‘s book Thinking, Fast and Slow (2012), in which he outlines two aspects of our brains which determine how we process information, associate ideas and solve problems. Kahneman speaks of two syste

‘Leave no-one behind’: what do we mean by ‘inclusion’?

12 March 2015 By Kate Pruce and Diana Mitlin By calling for a pledge to ‘leave no-one behind’ as the first principle of the post-2015 development agenda, the UN High Level Panel report places social justice at the heart of the  new agenda, emphasising the need to reach the most vulner

Social accountability or social transformation? Working ‘with’ and ‘against’ the grain

06 March 2015 By Sophie King Social accountability has become an important ‘buzzword’ among development actors seeking to understand the forms of state-society relations that may be supportive of better public services. Malena and McNeil (2010: 1) define it as: ‘the broad range of act

Clues to a better governance agenda?

05 March 2015 By Sam Hickey David Booth’s recent blog on ‘Five myths about governance and development’ raised a number of significant challenges to what remains of the good governance agenda, and spoke directly to ESID’s own research agenda. My posting on David’s blog suggested that E

Building democracy from below in Uganda

4 March 2015 As much ESID research further attests, despite the widespread adoption of democratic institutions and increased economic growth in much of sub-Saharan Africa, the progress of democratisation and development remains heavily constrained by the persistence of neopatrimonial

Undertaking PSR research in Uganda

2 March 2015 By Badru Bukenya. Research projects that rely on elite/expert interviews with government bureaucrats and politicians are quite cumbersome to execute (Lilleker, 2003; Morris, 2009), particularly in developing country contexts. In Uganda most bureaucrats would prioritise ac

Understanding the politics of inequality

23 February 2015 By Sam Hickey, Sophie King and Sarah Hunt History has much to tell us about the politics of inequality, but the moral of the story depends upon the lens through which we choose to interpret its lessons. The recent DLP conference on this theme raised many of the questi

Why such a commitment to public sector reform in Rwanda?

By Dr Benjamin Chemouni 17 February 2015 The case of public sector reforms in Rwanda is apparently exceptional. As mentioned already in the blog post presenting ESID’s Public Sector Reform project, Rwanda is an outlier in terms of state effectiveness compared to the other case studies