October 26, 2010
  Governance Information Bulletin #17 Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Aid Strategy and Democracy Assistance

Benjamin Leo
In 'Can Donors Be Flexible', Benjamin Leo of the Center for Global Development discusses the complications of promoting innovative financing instruments for development initiative in the face of strict budgeting regulations imposed by donors, such as the United States. After describing successful non-traditional financing options such as Advanced Market Commitments and the International Financing Facility for Immunization, Leo presents multiple options for utilizing these mechanisms in the face of restrictive budgetary systems. Although no single approach will be a 'silver bullet', the author argues that they can be used to find methods of financing appropriate to donor countries. >>>

Daniel Kaufmann, AartKraay, and Massimo Mastruzzi
In 'The Worldwide Governance Indicators', Daniel Kaufmann of Brookings and AartKraay and Massimo Mastruzzi of the World Bank present a new dataset of indicators to measure broad dimensions of governance in over 200 countries since 1996. Indicators include: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. Indicator value are derived from 31 different data sources that aggregate perceptions of governance by individuals, commercial businesses, non-governmental and international organizations. The authors also discuss the significant analytic and methodological issues in organizing indicators. >>>

Austrailian Agency for International Development
This AusAid report reviews how Australian aid programs seek to build strong governance institutions, including parliaments and formal political processes. It argues that context is a prominent factor affecting aid effectiveness and can vary widely and change quickly. In addition, it notes that the Australian model of governance may not be appropriate or desirable for recipient countries. The report also examines the role of the Centre for Democratic Institutions, which supports institutional reform in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Melanesia. It also includes a series of recommendations to bolster the effectiveness of the Australian development policy.

Parliaments and Parliamentary Strengthening

The British Council and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)
This report follows a series of videoconferences held by the CPA with participants across the Commonwealth regarding how parliaments can recognize diversity in their respective home countries. These virtual forums allowed participants to compare and contrast how different countries' legislative bodies promote diversity. Although unanimous agreement regarding principles for diversity could be attained, the report presents the most widely accepted norms and values involving parliamentary processes and procedures. After describing discussions regarding topics such as gender, religious pluralism, disabilities and minorities, the report provides recommendations to promote diversity in each area.  >>>

Ian Holland
In 'Senate Committees and the Legislative Process', Ian Holland of the Australian Senate's Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee discusses the impact and power of Australian Senate Committee on the legislative process. Holland finds that only one-fifth of bills before parliament receive standing committee recommendations for amendment or reform. In addition, recommendation outcomes vary to a great degree depending on which committee is making a recommendation. Overall, Holland concludes by stating that committee recommendations have a limited impact on bills. He suggests further research should broaden understanding of the role of the minority party in committees and explore how changes to their institutional role can strengthen their participation in legislation.>>>

Inter-Parliamentary Union
'Is Parliament Open to Women' is a report including all presentations made at the Conference for Chairpersons and Members of Parliamentary Bodies Dealing with Gender Equality on 28-29 September 2009. Its topics include current trends in the challenges and obstacles to parliaments, the efficacy of electoral gender quotas in overcoming gender barriers, the presence of women in political parties and levels of female political participations, challenges faced by women inside legislatures, the adoption of a gender perspective regarding legislation and policy, and gender sensitive parliaments. In addition, the conference highlighted the constant challenges posed by cultural attitudes regarding gender roles in society and how they affect political participation. .>>>

United Nations Development Programme
This UNDP report compares and contrasts assessment tools for parliamentary performance developed by major NGOs engaged in parliamentary strengthening, including Transparency International, the World Bank, National Democratic Institute, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the OrganisationNationaleFrancophonie. Each organization's specific benchmarks are presented to illustrate the common standards and expectations of democratic parliaments against which parliaments can engage in self-appraisal. The report also provides a brief overview of how parliaments in different regions around the world have engaged in self-assessment, as well as how non-governmental organizations have used toolkits to appraise parliaments in their own country. It concludes by arguing that development priorities regarding parliaments are coming to a consensus around common institutional principles and benchmarks. >>>


Erica Caple James
In 'Rupture, Rights, and Repair,' Erica Caple James explores how humanitarian and development interventions during the 1990s has distorted Haiti's political economy. Because of these initiatives, James argues that Haitians now treat suffering as a commodity to be exchanged for goods and services. Through anthropological research that compares Haitian women's interactions with international aid organizations and criminal syndicates, the author argues that Haiti's political economy of trauma is defined by exchanges of compassion and terror, respectively. James concludes by questioning the validity of conflict resolution strategies that involve retelling and reliving past traumas because such information is organized and intended for non-governmental and international organizations. Because their presence is not permanent, they often miss traumatic experiences may be falsely remembered as a means of acquiring resources. >>>

European Stability and the Balkans

James Hughes
In 'EU Conflict Management Policy', James Hughes of the London School of Economics explores how the EU's presentation of conflict resolution lessons from Northern Ireland are have not been applied other cases such as Kosovo. Hughes argues that these two cases provide evidence that the EU's immense efforts intended for reconstruction and development often were designed and implemented without an overarching strategic direction. Further, he argues that the 'lessons' of the Northern Ireland settlement have been ignored in the EU's public discussions and that policy intended to maintain the Kosovo's ethnic homogeneity are inconsistent with EU conflict management practices. >>>

Susan L. Woodward
In 'From Redistribution to Social Exclusion', Susan Woodward explains how the pursuit of exclusive social privileges by ethnic elites caused the collapse of the former Yugoslavia and still persist in the post-war period. She argues that the neoliberal model of reconstruction imposed by the West reinforced horizontal inequalities by creating perverse incentives for local actors to maintain subnational identities by posing other ethnic groups as a threat. After comparing the institutions of the post-Dayton Bosnian state with those of the communist era, Woodward concludes that the processes of war termination and postwar reconstruction created socioeconomic institutions that made the pursuit of ethnic exclusion and horizontal inequalities a logical goal. In this way, the flaws of the current Bosnian state are similar to those of the old Yugoslav socialist system. >>>


Laura A. Rowe, et. al.

This article describes a health capacity building program in Liberia that sought to train health professionals in service management and delivery. The six-month program prepared enrollees for strategic problem solving, financial and human resource management, and organizational leadership. In addition, the program was developed as a joint partnership including external donors such as Yale University the Clinton HIV/AIDS initiative and Liberia's Mother Patern College. After three training cycles, administration of the program was transferred to the College. As a north-south partnership, this model suggests ways in which external donors can foster sustainable progress in building service delivery capacity in developing countries. Finally, the authors discuss which specific program elements ensure successful program implementation, even in resource-poor environments. >>>


African Development Bank Group

In this case study, the African Development Bank examines how Uganda mobilizes financial resources for socioeconomic development. Although Uganda has recently experienced high levels of GDP growth, infrastructural investment has lagged. The study attributes lagging investment to the Museveni regime's tax policy and administration, which has created a narrow tax base combined with corruption and public management. However, the development of new oil reserves in 2015 will greatly add to domestic resources. As a new revenue stream, oil rents may reduce Uganda's need for external assistance, promote economic modernization, and reduce incentives of political leadership to create tax select tax exemptions. In addition, the case study extensively explores tax collection and domestic revenue performance. >>>

Message from the Editor

Below please find the seventeenth edition of SUNY/CID’s Governance Information Bulletin [GIB]. It draws attention to materials about technical matters involved in strengthening national, regional and local political institutions, as well as to broader issues of aid strategies, democracy assistance, government and public sector performance, and to developments in countries and regions where we are working. Each entry provides a link to a larger piece of research in the title and at the end of the entry.

Many thanks for your attention. We welcome all questions, comments and suggestions at gib@cid.suny.edu.  

In This Issue
Development and Governance Blogs

End Poverty in South Asia is a World Bank blog that discusses anti-poverty programs in South Asian states. Its writers are development professionals with vast experience in South Asia.

Dennis Whittle, founder of the GlobalGiving, writes Pulling for the Underdog. Whittle discusses aid strategies and reforms of official development agencies such as USAID.

Global Health Policy is written by experts from the Center for Global Development, and covers HIV/AIDS, pharmaceutical research and development, and broader issues with health service provisions in the developing world.

The Center for International Private Enterprise blog explores the relationship between economic liberty and democracy, and focuses on corporate governance, anti-corruption, and relationships between business sectors and government.

Tim Hartford writes as The Undercover Economist about the economic consequences of ordinary human behavior and economic development

The India Development Blog by researchers at the Institute for Financial Management and Research writes about socioeconomic development, service delivery, and climate change in India.
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