January 21, 2011
  Governance Information Bulletin #21 Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Aid and Governance Strategies

Brian Levy and Francis Fukuyama
In this working paper commissioned for the World Bank, Brian Levy and Francis Fukuyama conceptualize development strategies in terms of interactions among economic, political, and social factors that affect trajectories of change. Four strategic sequences are described that are distinguished by combinations of these factors and their initial steps at fostering development. These include building state capacity, transformational governance, just enough governance, and bottom-up development. The authors argue that these sequences should not be understood as a simple toolkit to be applied to all situations. Instead, they conclude by exploring approaches to development that privilege the political and historical contexts of countries in question. >>>

Alex Arnell, et. al.
In this Institute for Development Studies Working Paper, Alex Arnell and his co-authors discuss the concept of adaptive social protection as a means by which development professionals can think about reducing vulnerabilities experienced by those in poverty. Their study of 124 development programs shows that the development community has traditionally dealt with three types of vulnerabilities (social protection, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation) in mostly separate and non-integrated ways. They find that programs which combine vulnerability types emphasize social protection less and focus more on prevention and transformation approaches. They conclude by offering a series of questions to guide future research on the concept of adaptive social protection. >>>

Jon B. Alterman and Michael Dziuban
In this report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jon Alterman and Michael Dziuban examine how water can be a destabilizing issue in relations among Middle Eastern states. Because states share the same groundwater reservoirs and increasingly consume them, the prospect of water shortages can cause instability. The authors argue that water scarcity in the near future is likely to increase and be permanent as demand is likely to grow. Groundwater depletion will lead to increased migration, political alienation, and potential breakdowns among patronage-based social relationships that use water as a resource to establish loyality. They conclude by arguing that water scarcity must be dealt with by national governments in ways can be easily understood by citizens. >>>

John Simon and Julia Barmeier
In 'More Than Money', John Simon and Juila Barmeier of the Center for Global Development review the concept of "impact investing" and its application to development. While impact investing is a long-established concept, its use in service delivery is a recent phenomenon. The authors examine the prospects of applying impact investing to development programs in different sectors, such as water, housing, and health care. They also explore what kind of investment opportunities exist for development professionals and how funding can be maximized for large-scale returns for recipients. Lastly, they provide specific recommendations for development practitioners, regulators, and finance institutions. >>>

Ole Jacob Sending
In 'Professionalization of Peace Operations', Ole Jacob Sending of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs describes how the multi-dimensional nature of peace operations has led to increasingly differentiated and specialized tasks performed by individuals with technical or professional expertise. This is true amongst all peace operations dimensions, including protection of civilians, rule of law, democratization, and involves refined and specific policy goals shaped by guidelines and best practices. Sending argues that these effects of professionalization can cause coordination challenges as individuals conceptualize solutions to problems in peace operations differently. He concludes by noting that organizational reform is inadequate to improving coordination and requires new conceptions of governance and policy implementation. >>>

Elections, Parties, and Parliaments

Mark Baskin
In 'Constituency Development Funds as a Tool of Decentralized Development', Mark Baskin presents a background paper for a workshop on the role of parliamentarians in facilitating grassroots projects at the 56th CPA Conference in Nairobi, Kenya held through September 10-19, 2010. This review of is part of SUNY/CID's larger project on Constituency Development Funds (CDFs), a policy tool which dedicates public money to benefit political subdivisions through spending allocations influenced by MPs in national parliaments. In addition to exploring the theoretical functions of CDFs, Baskin compares the characteristics of CDFs used in 12 countries. Finally, the author presents three case studies of the emergence and operations of such funds in Jamaica, Kenya, and Uganda to illustrate the challenges of CDF policy making and implementation.  >>>

Lesley Abdela and Ann Boman
In this review, Lesley Abdela and Ann Boman assess how the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) can integrate and mainstream gender into its program of work, structure, and strategic direction. It finds that parliamentarians place great trust in the work of the IPU and will take the concept of gender seriously if proposed by it. The authors also discuss the institutional, legislative, and cultural obstacles preventing women from gaining equality inside and outside of parliamentary institutions, The authors argue that the IPU can strength parliamentary outreach regarding gender by acting as an intermediary between media, local NGOs, and networks of international organizations on the ground in countries of interest. Lastly, the IPU can also provide technical assistance to parliamentary research departments or secretariats in development of resource centers that can provide information about gender issues. >>>

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

This International IDEA report summarizes a workshop on election-related conflict and violence. It discusses the many organizations undertaking research and performing conflict mediation activities, and reviews previous mediation efforts in several countries. Research outcomes include the development of analytic models such as International IDEA's Early Warning Tool, which enhances user's knowledge of election-related violence and their ability to detect and prevent impending violence. Plenary discussions also covered the need for more cooperation among NGOs and international organizations and the importance of fostering a collective culture among peace and security organizations for holistic responses to election-related violence.>>>

Oleh Protsyk
In this report for the UNDP and IPU, Oleh Protsyk of the European Center for Minority Issues discusses the relationships between minorities and indigenous people and national parliaments. He argues that parliaments play a paramount role as the institution that can recognize minorities and indigenous people and define their legal status in relation to the state. In addition, he discusses the results of survey responses taken from parliamentarians representing minorities in countries around the world. After reviewing parliamentary norms about minority inclusion and parliamentary evaluation of minority and indigenous representation, Protsyk concludes by noting future representational challenges for minorities in parliaments. >>>

Afghanistan

Manija Gardizi, Karen Hussmann, and Yama Torabi
In this discussion paper, Manija Gardizi, Karen Hussmann, and Yama Torabi of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit examine subnational governance in Afghanistan and the relationship between corruption and the state. After exploring Afghan perceptions about corruption, the authors discuss the self-perpetuating links between corruption, subnational governance, and state building. In addition, they review anti-corruption approaches practiced by the Afghan government and note its ambivalent policy actions despite more ambitious commitments. Finally, they conclude by stressing the importance of understanding corruption in the context of Afghan politics and a need to rethink anti-corruption approaches. >>>

Haiti

Elizabeth Ferris
In this speech, Elizabeth Farris of the Brookings Institute discusses the urgent issues that must be addressed in the reconstruction of Haiti. She argues that the impetus for a swift and thorough reconstruction effort is limited by difficulties in governance, displacement and refugees, housing, and violence. Farris reviews how progress in each of these areas is an interrelated problem that cannot be easily fixed given the instability and poverty that has defined Haiti's history. Finally, she concludes by offering suggestions for the international community regarding strengthening local governance, resolving housing and property disputes, supporting security sector development with MINUSTAH, and the need to maintain international attention. >>>

Kosovo

National Democratic Institute
This report provides the results from public opinion polling in Kosovo conducted in November 2010. After discussing the poll's methodology, margin of error, and sample demographics, it argues that Kosovars are split regarding the general direction of life in Kosovo, somewhat satisfied about progress since independence, and optimistic about the future year. Jobs, corruption, and management of the economy are the most pressing issues for Kosovars, While nine out of ten respondents indicated they would vote in the upcoming parliamentary election, opinions about the performance of NGOs and government institutions varies by ethnicity. Lastly, the overwhelming majority of Kosovars believe it is important to have a female presence in the parliament. >>>

Lebanon

International Crisis Group
This report by the International Crisis Group explores the ongoing crisis in Lebanon involving the Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of former Minister Rafiq Hariri. In anticipation that its own members will be named as participants in the assassination, Hezbollah has promised action if the Lebanese government, led by Rafiq Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, does not denounce the tribal. The report argues that none of the actors involved can afford to back down from their current positions without losing political standing among the public. It suggests that the least worst outcome would be some distancing from the Tribunal that does not wholly undermine its work. While Saudi Arabia and Syria support such an outcome, it is not clear that the parties involved will come to such an agreement. >>>

Uganda

John Kiyaga-Nsubuga and Yasin Olum
In this article published in the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance , John Kiyaga-Nsubuga and Yasin Olum examine the effects of Uganda's decentralization policy initiated in 1993 After applying Commonwealth principles regarding local democracy, they argue that such devolutionary efforts will be successful only if local democracy is properly conceptualized, facilitating conditions are carefully nurtured, and if institutional frameworks are sufficiently elaborate and effective to enable decentralization to achieve its stated objectives. Lacking these factors, the authors argue that the decentralization is likely to fail and that aspirations for local democracy will be unmet. >>>

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, CID, IDS, UNDP, ICG, 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

The Center for Global Development's Microfinance Open Book Blog is written by David Roodman and covers issues such as microloans and microcredit relevant to an upcoming book on microfinance.

Written by researchers at the Institute for Financial Management and Research, The India Development Blog covers development issues in India and its progress toward alleviating poverty.

Registan.net follows political development in Central Asia and offers critical insights into ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


PBS Wide Angle offers coverage about international relations and political development in countries around the world.


Good Intentions Are Not Enough explores the relationships between donors and recipients in the aid community and global affairs.

The Overseas Development Institute Blog discusses a wide range of current events and issues related to international development.


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