Researching the politics of development



Researching the politics of service provision: A new conceptual and methodological approach

Briefing No. 8

Research Framing Paper No. 2
Although politics is now widely seen as critical in shaping the quality of service provision in developing countries, this recognition has yet to be integrated within the conceptual frameworks that shape research and action in the field.
A new approach aims to offer insights which open up new terrain for action. It extends the World Bank’s ‘accountability framework’ to include three ‘vertical’ levels, emphasising the ways in which political settlements and governance arrangements influence organisational behaviour. This multi-level framework takes specific public service provision agencies as the unit of analysis, with a focus on performance, exploring the sectoral manifestation of political settlements and drivers of organisational behaviour. This enables comparative analysis across multiple sectors and multiple countries in order to better understand variations in performance.

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