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Feasible policy: Beginning with things as they actually are

Brian Levy's picture

Taking governance seriously is profoundly discomfiting for development work. It forces each of us to examine critically and with humility what we bring to the development endeavor. The more we know about a country’s governance and political realities, the more we are confronted with the limitations – as well as continuing relevance – of our hard-won technical knowledge.

Forging new frontiers in public procurement

Robert Hunja's picture

For a long time, public procurement was seen as (and was) the backwater of the public financial management agenda. Procurement, the means by which public budgets are translated into goods, works and services for provision of services, was considered a back-end function, narrowly associated with the purchasing transaction. However, over time, appreciation of the centrality of procurement to budget execution, provision of services and to the governance agenda has grown. 

How does a citizen express her “voice” in the face of State neglect?

Cyprian Fisiy's picture

What does the demand for good governance mean to an ordinary citizen living in a remote village in the developing world? For a woman in Bangladesh, social accountability means she can state “when I open the tap every morning, water should flow from it.”  Could a villager in Cameroon in similar circumstances demand such a service of the state?

Manna from heaven: Rich or poor?

Onno Ruhl's picture

When I first went to Nigeria, I had a picture in my mind of an oil country with a struggling non-oil economy. This picture came from two statistics I knew: 95 percent of Nigeria’s exports are oil and 85 percent of Government revenues come from oil. What I did not know was that oil is only the fourth largest sector in the economy, with the wholesale and retail sectors being larger. 

Changing power relations: Community schools in Nepal

Ariel Fiszbein's picture

I had heard (and read) about the community schools in Nepal for several years.  Last February, I finally had a chance to visit them.  Community-run schools are often seen as a potentially powerful way of improving accountability for results.  While there are many variations across the world, the basic idea is actually quite simple: give parents and community members the authority to make key decisions (such as hiring teachers) and managing resources. 

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