Prof. Mick Moore spoke at the World Bank a few weeks ago to share his views on, among other things, the future of the governance agenda. He also talked about a publication entitled “An Upside Down View of Governance”, published earlier this year by the DfID-funded Centre for the Future State (CFS), which he heads at the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom. Prof. Moore made the case that the governance agenda requires a fresh narrative – one that revolves around public authority, the legitimacy of which derives from shared local ownership of change processes.
For external actors, such as members of the international donor community, cultivating legitimate and effective public authority means departing from state building projects based on normative models. While these models may have worked elsewhere, they often have elements that are incongruent with realities of many local contexts.