Researching the politics of development



Politically-informed aid: Video and tweets from the New Directions in Governance conference

10 October 2014.
By Pablo Yanguas.
Last month I was delighted to participate in a conference on “New Directions in Governance” organised by the World Bank‘s Governance Partnership Facility and the Overseas Development Institute in London. Many interesting arguments came up in that meeting, and a new and slightly more daring agenda seems to be emerging. The kind folk at ODI interviewed a few of the participants, and have posted videos of those interviews on the event site. I was asked to comment on bureaucratic barriers to politically-informed aid, which is the subject of ESID‘s project on political-economy analysis. Here’s what I had to say:

At the time of the conference I also live-tweeted some of the most interesting comments from participants from my Twitter account. Here are some excerpts from that flurry of bite-sized reflections:

“Have we gone as far as we can in the governance almost revolution?”
“How you interpret progress in the governance agenda depends on what organisation you belong to.”
“More governance analyses being undertaken, but are not consistently evident in World Bank country strategy documents.”
“What matters most is not how much analysis goes into a country strategy, but how you use it to change how you do business.”
“Internal incentives and lending culture within the World Bank limit influence of governance approaches.”
“Things will stay the same at the World Bank as long as there’s accountability for inputs but not for results.”
“Evidence is vital, but only takes you so far. You need a powerful narrative supported by persuasive anecdotes”
“The point is not to unseat economists, but to marry their technical excellence to the political savvy of governance experts.”

You can find other tweets from participants at the event under the hashtag #newgov.