December 10, 2010
  Governance Information Bulletin #20 Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Aid and Governance Strategies

Alina Rocha Menocal
In 'State Building for Peace', Alina Rocha Menocal of the European University Institute explores the evolution of approaches towards conflict resolution that combine the concepts of peace building and state building. The author illustrates the conceptual overlap between these two concepts as well as their potential challenges and inconsistencies. Menocal argues that these challenges can create tensions for the international community when seeking to resolve conflicts through the creation of strong state institutions. Finally, she concludes by offering key lessons and insights intended to improve donor policy and coordination as well as international interventions seeking to promote peace. >>>

Barrie Russell
In this technical guidance note, Barrie Russell of the International Monetary Fund explores different methods by which states can increase taxpayer compliance and legally extract revenue from civil society. Primarily, the note focuses on how states can develop a taxpayer compliance program that educates and assists taxpayers, simplifies laws and procedures, and engages in risk-based verification programs. In addition, Russell discusses the steps needed in developing a compliance program and the importance of evaluating risks to the tax and revenue collection system. Creating a compliance program also involves strategically evaluating how different changes to tax collection models can be more or less effective depending on the needs of the relevant state. >>>

Arjen E.J. Wals and Geke Kieft
In this Research Overview, Arjen E.J. Wals and Geke Kieft of the Swedish International Development Agency review the conceptual and intellectual evolution of 'Education for Sustainable Development' (ESD). ESD seeks to provide education that builds consciousness for the respect and defense of human communities' culture and the need to foster development while protecting the natural environment human beings rely upon. The authors discuss 'narrow' or 'broad' interpretations of ESD and argue that broader interpretations will lead to greater participation, self-determination, and autonomous decision making. Since every global region faces unique environmental and developmental challenges, the authors argue that ESD will manifest different priorities yet can maintain common themes and principles. >>>

Eric Scheye
In this report, Eric Scheye provides an overview of a conference held at the United States Institute for Peace in Washington D.C. regarding 'International Policy on Security Sector Governance'. Based on the work of conference participants, Scheye argues that SSR policies and operational guidance have been ineffective in planning, organizing, and implementing donor-supported initiatives. In addition, SSR policies and guidance has failed to reflect the economic and political contexts of donor countries and has created a disjuncture between programmic support and the willingness of donors to provide it. In addition, supply and demand for SSR is not balanced, as segments of partner governments can be expected to resist reforms and provisions. Lastly, program goals should be narrowed to clearly defined problems and not attempt comprehensive and transformative reforms. >>>

Elections, Parties, and Parliaments

Africa All Party Parliamentary Group
In this report, the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group discusses the factors constraining African parliaments from exercising greater control over governmental actions and the steps donors can take to increase their capacity. After describing an approach focusing on parliamentary oversight capacity, the report describes evidence gathered through visits and interviews at parliaments in Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi. It finds that African parliamentarians believe that donors often fail to understand the political context in which national parliaments are embedded and the resulting opportunities and constraints on parliamentary action. Because parliamentary assistance is inherently political, the report suggests that any donor support must be conscious of the relationships between parliament and other political actors in national society.  >>>

Jesús Orozco-Henríquez
In this International IDEA Handbook, Jesús Orozco-Henrîquez discusses how electoral justice can be protected and upheld through national election monitoring. Electoral justice refers to guaranteeing that all actions during elections conform to electoral law, and that any electoral irregularities will be subject mediation and dispute resolution. Thus, the result of electoral justice is to ensure that the electoral rights of all relevant citizens are defended. The handbook continues by describing how electoral disputes may be prevented, the multiple mechanisms which may be used to resolve electoral disputes and their basic components, and concludes with discussions of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and examples of their use. >>>

Benjamin Reilly, Per Nornlund, Edward Newman

In this United Nations University Policy Brief, Benjamin Reilly, Per Nornlund, and Edward Newman examine how developing democracies attempt to shape the evolution of their party system by regulating party formation, organization, and behavior. These attempts at regulation are intended to foster the development of non-sectarian and inclusive political parties while protecting free expression and minority participation. In addition, the authors review political science theories regarding political parties and find they have little relevance for party formation in fragile or developing countries. Lastly, they conclude with lessons learned and policy implications. >>>

Staffan I. Lindberg
In this piece, Staffan I. Lindberg of the University of Florida discusses the daily accountability pressures and response strategies of members of parliament in Ghana. His empirical research shows that the relationship between political clientielism and state institutions confounds existing theories that assumes institutional weakness. Instead, he finds that the institution of parliamentary office is strong, yet shaped by the influence of informal networks and relationships that privilege the conference of private goods to clientistic supporters. Concluding on theoretical note, Lindberg argues that clientielism can often undermine the conditions for its own existence and give way to new, less personal forms of political relationships. >>>

Afghanistan

Sarah Parkinson
In 'Means to What End?', Sarah Parkinson of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit examines the process of state building in Afghanistan and the evolution of US and NATO policy. After reviewing the initial intervention in 2001 and the multiple actors involved in Afghan state building, Parkinson discusses the implementation of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, agricultural and rural development, and education policy at the ministerial and interministerial level. In addition, Parkinson explores the process of subnational appointments and uses the passage of the Shiite Personal Status Law to review the lawmaking capabilities of the Afghan Parliament. Lastly, the author reviews the prospects of increasing the legitimacy of the Afghan state and possible improvements in policy making. >>>

Bangladesh

Jennifer Pouliotte, Barry Smit, and Lisa Westerhoff
In 'Adaptation and Development, Jennifer Pouliotte, Barry Smit, and Lisa Westerhoff explore environmental change and development in a rural village in southwest Bangladesh. In their vulnerability study, they find climate change affects villagers by altering environmental conditions that constitute how resources are used, especially in shrimp farming. Environmental changes thereby increase villager vulnerabilities and require strategies to adapt to new structural conditions. Lastly, the authors illustrate how adaptation to changing conditions occurs mostly through local non-governmental organizations and makes some improvement in villager livelihoods. >>>

Bosnia

Patrice C. McMahon and Jon Western
In 'The Death of Dayton', Partice C. McMahon and Jon Western discuss the failure of the Dayton Peace Accords to foster political stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They argue that the Dayton Accords has had the long-term of effect of merely freezing once-warring ethnic identities in an institutional structure that prevents the emergence of broad civic identities. Combined with broad governmental decentralization and a large public sector that takes up half of Bosnia's GDP, the country has failed to achieve substantial economic growth. Lastly, the authors conclude by arguing that the international community's shift to delegate more authority to local actors has backfired and has created new mobilization opportunities for ethnic nationalists. >>>

Lebanon

Mark W. Neal and Richard Tansey
In this article, Mark W. Neal and Richard Tansey examine the concept of effective corrupt leadership using a case study of the late Rafik Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon. Based on Hariri's experiences, the authors illustrate the difficulties of providing social services and maintaining political power in the context of corruption. Although corruption may be necessary to maintain one's hold on power, the authors show that Hariri's practices often had the unintended consequence of undermining his own authority. In addition, they discuss the interactive relationship between Hariri and his opponents regarding mutual charges of corruption and abuse of office. >>>

Liberia

Jeremy Farrall
In 'Building Democracy and Justice after Conflict', Jeremy Farrall of Australia National University explores the role of the United Nations Mission to Liberia (UNMIL) in fostering conflict resolution and democratization. Farrall describes how UNMIL was authorized to create stability during the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement from 2003 to 2006. After discussing the intended mandate for UNMIL offered by the UN Security Council, the author then describes the impact of UN peacekeeping in Liberia and its overall contribution towards protecting human rights and the creation of a democratic state. Finally, Farrall concludes by using the UNMIL experience to theorize about the possibilities and limitations of peace operations. >>>

Message from the Editor

Below please find SUNY/CID’s Governance Information Bulletin [GIB] that draws attention to technical matters involved in strengthening political institutions and to broader issues of aid strategies, democracy assistance, public sector performance, and to countries and regions where SUNY/CID is working.  Each entry provides a link to a larger piece of research in the title and at the end of the entry.

In this week’s GIB, please find recent reports, summaries publications on development by the World Bank, SIDA, USIP, AAPPG, UNMIL, and other organizations. 

Many thanks for your attention. We welcome all questions, comments and suggestions at gib@cid.suny.edu.  
In This Issue
Development and Governance Blogs

Views from the Center is a Center for Global Development Blog that covers policy responses to inequality in pursuit of reducing poverty in the context of globalization.

The Guardian's Global Development blog tracks progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and a series of benchmarks including eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Owen Abroad is written by Owen Barder and covers new trends in development, economics, Ethiopia, and the broader context of African politics.


Mo'dernity Mo'problems is written by a humanitarian policy specialist who focuses on the conflicts and cultures of states in Central Africa.

Economic Geographies is written by Rachel Strohm and covers development policy, academic research, and the relationship between economics and geograp

The Financial Access Initiative Blog explores new and existing projects that seek to make available financial tools to entrepreneurs in the developing world.

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