What follows is a discussion of two of the many challenges that often bedevil efforts to bring out pro-poor social and political change and an approach that is a way of dealing with them. You know the deal: well-meaning technocrats try to introduce a bit of governance reform...by stealth. Then it runs into trouble- usually due to vigorous attacks by vested interests likely to lose out if the reform succeeds - yet the potential beneficiaries are not organized, do not even know that they might benefit from the reform.
For the past few weeks, the Philippine media have been intensely focused on a controversy regarding a foreign loan meant to fund the creation of the National Broadband Network (NBN), a project envisioned to seamlessly link all government offices across the archipelago via the Internet.
Many years ago, in a class on the English Epic as a literary genre, one of my professors asked: 'What is an anthem?' We all struggled to come up with definitions of an anthem, as in the national anthem of a country. We thought that an anthem was a song set to music commissioned by the leaders of the country and declared to be the national anthem. He said that was not the case.
The importance of governance and state-building for stability in post-conflict situations has been recognized widely among the multi and bilateral aid policy-set. This belief is now being shared by the US military strategists according to an article in the NYT .
I want to thank all those who commented on my blog 'Public Opinion and Authoritarian Regimes'. The replies raise fascinating issues that are important aspects of the subject. Here are my responses.
Political transformations are challenging processes; they can be messy; the signing of a peace accord is often only the first step in a long process. Opening up the political space, particularly in places that experienced years of domination, will increase the number of voices that call for more participation and a say in the process. These calls can feel threatening to an elite still used to the principle of exclusion and patronage; they require a change of political mind-set and acceptance of a fundamentally changed political framework.
Last November 2007, CommGAP organized a workshop entitled Generating Genuine Demand with Social Accountability Mechanisms in Paris, France. Since then, we have been reflecting on the word “accountability” and what it really means in the work of governance. I recently recalled that Dr.
Or you can also say: Taking human beings seriously. To Immanuel Kant we owe the great insight that ‘Out of the crooked timber of humanity nothing straight was ever made’. Rigor is important, so are research, getting the right numbers and doing good analytical work. But those things are but a start.
In development practice today, when you ask ‘How do you improve governance systems in developing countries in order to improve the lives of the poor?’ the so-called hard skills dominate the discourse. But what are these so-called hard skills? At their most mind-numbing these are number-crunching skills derived from a variety of quantitative social science disciplines. Beyond that these are skills in technical analysis and solution-finding.
The ethnic clashes that broke out after the announcement of Kenya’s Presidential election results have reportedly resulted in over 500 deaths and caused some 250.000 people to leave their homes and seek refuge in tribal homelands; some 3000 Kenyans crossed into neighboring Uganda looking for safety.