Mohandas Gandhi once declared, in his inimicably insightful and economical manner that “those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” The same could be said, in obverse, of politics vis-à-vis religion. We often bemoan the paucity of concrete policy debates in an election or lampoon incumbent presidents for declaring a “mission accomplished” we
Having spent a considerable part of my professional and academic life thinking and writing about the public sphere, it still amazes me how nebulous this concept is, and how difficult it is to be clear about what we mean when we talk about "the public sphere." Academics write multi-volume books
New policy and practice fields need intellectual energy; otherwise they don’t go anywhere quickly. Those promoting the new fields need to be producing justificatory essays, applied research, good practice manuals, policy briefs, evaluations, articles in refereed journals...and blogs too! They should be bombarding policy makers with all kinds of output of good quality; and they should be organizing the field as a serious discipline.
I have been forced to think about the role of the news media in the governance reform agenda a lot in the last few weeks. First, CommGAP had the workshop at Harvard.
A post from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), somewhere in the heart of the medieval section of this deeply multicultural city. I’m here with a team organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI), working with local partners on preparing a capacity building program for low income municipalities on increasing citizens’ participation in local governance. Colleagues from the WBI facilitated sessions on participatory budgeting and citizens’ feedback mechanisms. Two of us from the World Bank’s Development Communication Division contributed a few modules on participatory communication as a cross-cutting issue in enabling and sustaining citizen participation in local governance.
A recent report by the Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) entitled Public Sector Reform: What Works and Why? offers interesting insights into the recent work on governance at the Bank.
Greetings from Cambridge, Massachusetts! The first day of the 2 ½ day workshop on the Roles of the News Media in the Governance Reform Agenda is wrapping up. We are thrilled to report that we’ve had a series of rich and engaging discussions among some of the world’s best scholars and most seasoned practitioners. So far, we have had debates, at times heated, but mostly civil, among practitioners, pol
Decentralization has been a buzz word in the development world for a while, but disagreements remain about when and how different types of decentralization are successful in improving accountability and service delivery. Although decentralization is often used as a monolithic concept, the term can include political, fiscal, administrative or market decentralization, and can involve var
In the wake of the massive and horrific natural disasters in Myanmar and China, it is important to examine how the provision of humanitarian relief relates to issues of voice and accountability. In a general sense, communication should be an absolutely vital element of any relief effort.