Working paper 58
Tim Kelsall, Sothy Khieng, Chuong Chantha and Tieng Tek Muy
This paper examines the quality of primary education provision in Cambodia using a ‘political settlements’ framework developed at the University of Manchester. The framework characterises Cambodia as a ‘hybrid’ settlement with a weak dominant party and predatory administration, albeit with some islands of administrative effectiveness. Such states can achieve developmental progress in circumscribed areas with multi-stakeholder support, but more wide-ranging, top-down reforms will normally disappoint. We use the framework retrospectively to explain the balance between quantity and quality in Cambodia’s education provision, and also prospectively to assess the prospects for reform. We conclude that, although new leadership in the education ministry promises to bring faster, deeper reform than ever before, powerful forces for inertia still exist. These forces could potentially be alleviated with enhanced international support, but development partners’ current ways of working leave much to be desired. The paper concludes by outlining a number of policy options.
Working paper 57
Pritish Behuria and Tom Goodfellow
This paper explores the political economy of growth in Rwanda during two decades of economic expansion under the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). It builds on recent work emphasising the importance of party-owned enterprises in sustaining this progress, but goes further by analysing state-business dynamics in four key sectors of the economy: coffee, mining, construction and financial services. For each sector, the evolution of the ‘deals environment’ (Pritchett and Werker 2012) is detailed and the differential degrees of growth, liberalisation and foreign competition are explained. This detailed sectoral analysis enables us to develop a deeper understanding of how political concerns have affected Rwanda’s economic growth trajectory. The paper argues that while the Pritchett-Werker framework is a helpful starting point, the ‘deals environment’ in Rwanda has not progressed along a linear trajectory from ‘closed disordered’ to ‘open ordered’ deals as posited in the model. Instead, the maintenance of growth has involved the cultivation of carefully protected pockets of ‘closed’ deals in strategic nodes of different sectors. Moreover, the combination of rapid economic liberalisation with politically motivated ‘closed’ deals has led to a degree of continued (or renewed) disorder in some sectors, which may yet threaten growth in the long term.
Working paper 56
Political settlements analysis has highlighted the role of powerful political and economic actors in shaping institutional outcomes across countries. Its focus on national elites, however, risks biasing this type of theorising towards local factors, when in fact many policy domains in developing countries have become transnationalised: much like private finance or transnational activism, foreign aid can play a significant role in shaping political settlements, for instance those underlying public finance management or basic service delivery. This paper has four aims. First, it revises the basic concept of political settlement with a combination of field theory and contentious politics that emphasises contestation between incumbents and challengers and the mechanisms through which they are affected by transnational forces. Second, based on this conceptual framework, it outlines six ideal types of aid influence over a developing-country political settlement, illustrating donor tendencies to support continuity or change. Third, it investigates the ethical implications of donor influence over political settlements, identifying the types of intervention favoured by consequentialist and non-consequentialist calculations. Finally, the paper presents the kernel for a practical ethic of assistance, which asks whether current debates in the aid community have fully come to terms with the responsibility that derives from agency in the contentious politics of inclusive development.
Allocation of resources in Ghana’s education sector plays a political as well as a developmental role. Education is seen by Ghana’s ruling elites as critical to their legitimacy and to their ideas of promoting national development, with increasing incentives for politicians to directly influence the sector. This briefing focuses on education delivery and performance management at the district level. It looks particularly at how some districts have managed to overcome the effects of competitive clientelism and contradictory governance arrangements. Where incoherent governance arrangements fail to generate improvements, reform-minded coalitions of state and non-state actors are required.
Ghana has a mixed record in terms of health outcomes. Research presented in this briefing suggests that these outcomes reflect the character of politics in Ghana, as well as the interaction of politics with the governance arrangements for the health sector. Improved performance will require building higher levels of oversight and accountability and learning from success stories where there are pockets of bureaucratic effectiveness.
In Ghana, the manner in which political power is contested tends to increase the incentives of ruling elites to politicise public institutions and distribute resources according to political criteria. This briefing sets out the ways in which power and politics in Ghana, in the form of ‘competitive clientelism’, have shaped the developmental character of natural resource governance in the country, with a particular focus on mining and oil.
This briefing analyses the ways in which Ghana’s current political settlement and the structure of its domestic economy shape the relationship between the state and the business sector. This analysis is used to explain why Ghana’s sustained growth has occurred without a corresponding transformation of the economy towards more high productivity sectors.
This briefing presents research into the effectiveness of India’s Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) programme. It examines the implementation of BSUP in five different Indian cities. Security of tenure, universalised services and institutionalised community participation are found to be key to successful inclusive urban development. These findings provide useful lessons for urban policy in India and elsewhere.
Working paper 55
Josephine Ahikire and Amon A. Mwiine
The paper looks at the ways in which power and politics shape the realisation of women’s rights and gender equity in Ugandan state policy adoption and implementation. The key question explored is around the nature of political power and its influence on gender policy incentives in terms of adoption and implementation. The argument is structured around the politics of recognition – recognition referring to what has been made possible in the form of gender-sensitive policy outcomes, the incentives for the different courses of action, and what influences the ability of the political system to channel women’s interests and representation into effective policy formulation and implementation. This question is explored by investigating the progress of two policy agendas, namely the Domestic Violence Act of 2010 and the promotion of girls’ education within the Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy instituted in 1997.