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Working paper 106
Frederick Golooba-Mutebi with Yvonne Habiyonizeye
Studies examining the impact of different kinds of organisational and institutional reform on service delivery in the health sector in developing countries highlight and explain advances, strengths, weaknesses, shortcomings and failures in delivery. They rarely explore directly the role of the prevailing political arrangements in individual countries, specifically how politics is organised and practised, in influencing approaches to, and the nature and quality of, service delivery. This paper seeks to contribute towards filling the gap. It explores the extent to which the operation of Rwanda’s political system in the light of the prevailing political settlement shapes service delivery and outcomes in the health sector. A political settlement begets specific rules of the game and incentives, constraints, opportunities and risks in its own context. All things being equal, in Rwanda’s dominant party/dominant leader political settlement, the short- to medium-term prospects of the current government losing power to opposition rivals are slim. Consequently, there is no pressure on the government to deliver on popular expectations or suffer electoral defeat. In the face of marked achievements in recent times, therefore, the paper explores the possible influences on service delivery in post-genocide Rwanda. It argues that the nature of political organisation and how politics works are decisive.
Working paper 105
This paper explores the evolution of the business–government dimensions of South Africa’s democratic political settlement. It details how and why market-based reforms were embraced by both political and economic actors in the 1990s as part of a broader commitment to a rule-bound political settlement. It explores two aspects of the subsequent play of the game: the rise and decline of a ‘corporatist’ elite bargain; and the evolution of initiatives to foster black economic empowerment. Overall, rule-bound, disciplining reforms were embraced more readily than pro-active initiatives to build capability. The result has been that South Africa became mired in a combination of economic stagnation and the strengthening over time of forces antithetical to market-based reform.
Working paper 104
The resurgence in local content reforms in most oil-rich Africa countries is broadly understood within the elite-political projects of creating opportunities for domestic capitalists to accumulate rents. New insights from an extended political settlements framework (incorporating ideas) help offer a more explicit understanding of this drive and go further to situate the current local content commitments in Ghana within deeper forms of politics and power relations. The paper asserts the critical role of not only the rents accumulation interests of politicians and domestic capitalists in driving the surge in local content, but also key political settlement tendencies (partisan policy making, coalition building and clientelist politics), underpinned by a linked array of elite interests and ideas. This paper offers deeper political economy insights into the drivers of elite commitment to governing oil in the national interest and argues that current debates concerning the factors driving local content reform in oil-rich African countries could be stronger with a focus on the entwining of interests and ideas generated by the configuration of power within political settlements.
Working paper 101
The gulf in living standards is widening between cities and rural areas of developing countries that have large rural populations. Legacy as well as emergent factors contribute to this trend. An old urban bias from colonial and post-independence times was supplanted by a newer metropolitan bias as global investments began to arrive on these shores. More poorly served by social and physical investments, individuals in rural areas are less well prepared to compete for the better positions. Trends in the technology of manufacturing processes are worsening the prospects for rural youth. Citizenship bonds between the urban rich and the poor in rural areas are fraying as widening differences in lifestyles and aspirations, overlaid on existing inequalities, are cleaving societies into disparate segments of space-age rich and stone-age poor residents. Managing their vastly unequal situations within a common framework of policies and laws is making the tasks of a development state more difficult. This paper examines the forces giving rise to urban-rural inequality and presents the need for institutional and policy reforms.
Working paper 103
Lars Buur and Padil Salimo
In the view of international donors, multilateral organisations and government officials, social protection in Mozambique benefits from strong government commitment to it. Their argument is that, in contrast to many African countries, the government has demonstrated a level of commitment and support to social protection that is quite unprecedented. This view relies on the fact that more than 90 percent of the budget allocated to the implementation of social protection programmes comes from the state budget and that, even within the complex context of the financial crisis that has devastated the economy since 2013, social protection has continued to receive special attention from the government in its budget allocations. Based on a political economy analysis, this paper challenges the common narrative of social protection in Mozambique, by arguing that social protection has been used as a means to mobilise resources from international agencies, in order to ensure the political survival of the Frelimo government. The paper argues that government support of social protection emerged as a reaction to the poor performance of poverty-reduction initiatives, becoming also a mechanism to overcome social protests after the 2008 and 2010 riots in Mozambique, which threatened to jeopardise the stability of the regime and its reproduction of power.
Working paper 102
Edward Ampratwum, Mohammed Awal and Franklin Oduro
Despite a series of reforms designed to improve the education system in Ghana, the quality of education remains low. This paper uses a political settlements analysis to explore why this is the case. Focusing on the issue of teacher accountability and performance, we argue that a key reform – decentralisation – remains a highly contested process. The current system generates insufficient incentives, from either a top-down or bottom-up direction, for effective forms of policy implementation and accountability to emerge at scale. In practice, educational quality differs significantly between districts. An explanation for the variation observed is the significant negative impact that intense party political competition can have in reducing the capacity of local actors to cooperate and to facilitate difficult reforms. The evidence suggests that improving educational quality depends on reform-minded coalitions made up of state and non-state actors at both district and school levels, and a stable political settlement at the district level. We conclude that where good practice is observed, it is as a result of efforts by these coalitions to devise and enforce local-level solutions to local problems.
Working paper 99
This paper examines the institutional and political determinants of the timing of growth episodes. We extend the earlier literature on the determinants of the onset of growth accelerations and decelerations by providing a more generalised approach to understanding growth episode transitions. We differentiate between six types of growth episodes – from growth collapses (where the episode specific growth rate, g, is -2 per year), to negative growth (g between -2 and 0), stagnation (g between 0 and +2), stable growth (g between +2 and +4), moderate growth (g between +4 and +6), and rapid growth (g over +6). Using multinomial logit models, in the context of a panel dataset of 125 countries from 1984 to 2010, we examine the likelihood of switching from one growth episode to another growth episode. We find that though bureaucracy quality has a positive effect while switching from negative growth episodes to positive growth episodes, it does not matter in most of the cases of switching from stable or moderate positive growth episodes to rapid positive growth episodes. Both contract viability and democratisation can explain the switching from negative growth episodes to positive growth episodes. Contract viability and democracy can also explain the movements from lower positive growth episodes to higher positive growth episodes. However, while contract viability is important for moving from stable or moderate positive growth episodes to rapid growth episodes, democracy is not important in explaining such switches. This suggests that while better economic and political institutions matter in taking a country from growth collapses to stable growth, economic institutions matter more than the political institutions for the transition from stable growth to rapid growth.
Working paper 98
An increasing body of knowledge is emerging about the ways in which the co-production of basic services can open up space for inclusive development and enhance state effectiveness in the global South. Limited evidence exists, however, about the particular forms of political relationship and programmes that are most likely to generate pro-poor outcomes and more enabling conditions for inclusive urban development. Through the lens of 12 months’ qualitative research into the Transforming Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU) programme, this paper examines what has shaped state vision, commitment and capacity for the co-production of urban poverty reduction in a low-income and neo-patrimonial regime. The discussion concludes that TSUPU (and successor programme partnerships) represents a pocket of effectiveness which has opened up spaces of political opportunity for moving towards more inclusive urban development planning and service delivery approaches. The constraints on this political opportunity being exploited to its full potential are significant and will require substantial regulatory and institutional change, in addition to sustained investment in movement building, to contribute to reducing urban poverty at scale.
Working paper 97
The Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) sub-Mission of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) sought to address the needs of some of the lowest-income and most vulnerable urban dwellers in Indian cities. The promise was that these residents would receive ‘a garland of 7 entitlements’ – security of tenure, affordable housing, water, sanitation, health, education and social security in low-income settlements in the 63 Mission cities. We researched the outcomes of the BSUP in five Indian cities (Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Pune and Visakhapatnam), which were selected because of their diversity. They presented a wide range of socio-economic contexts and economic development and also differed in the nature and extent of civil society involvement in BSUP programming.
The research findings analysed outcomes of the BSUP interventions and addressed the significance of State capacities, commitments and vision for urban development for these outcomes. The analysis then considered the ‘drivers of capacity, commitment and vision’. The vision (or idea) of urban development emerged as a significant indicator of outcomes. In practice, the BSUP became a housing programme. The extent to which informal settlement upgrading was preferred over resettlement and site redevelopment with the construction of medium-rise apartments made a significant difference to the satisfaction of residents. Also important, and particularly exemplified by experiences in Pune, was willingness to work with civil society organisations, incorporating their expertise and skills. However, these were not present in all cities. Residents in Bhopal and Visakhapatnam may face particular affordability challenges due to high levels of debt incurred through participation in the BSUP.
In summary, BSUP experiences and outcomes provide evidence of the significance of vision capacity and commitment. While in part these are determined by levels of economic and institutional development, they are also influenced by government willingness to collaborate with civil society agencies with appropriate experiences and skills.