July 1, 2017
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(USAID 2017)

This User’s Guide to DRG Programming has been crafted to serve as a fundamental reference tool for USAID Missions and Bureaus to utilize in pursuit of advancing democracy, human rights and good governance. This Guide outlines the structure and breadth of the DRG Center’s technical expertise, as well as the DC-based DRG cadre. The Guide catalogs the funding and implementing mechanisms that may be accessed through the DRG Center and other offices, and technical resources which inform DRG work. With a strong emphasis on rigorous evaluation and learning, the DRG Center is committed to promoting evidence-based policy, strategy and programming in the DRG sector. The nine divisions that comprise the DRG Center are: 1) Civil Society & Media (CSM); 2) Cross-Sectoral Programs (CSP); 3) Elections & Political Transitions (EPT); 4) Empowerment & Inclusion (EI) 5) Global & Regional Policy (GRP); 6) Governance & Rule of Law (GROL); 7) Human Rights (HR); 8) Learning; and 9) Strategic Planning. There are also two permanent working groups within the DRG Center, the DRG Gender Working Group and the Training Leadership Team.

(World Bank, 2017)

Why are carefully designed, sensible policies too often not adopted or implemented? When they are, why do they often fail to generate development outcomes such as security, growth, and equity? And why do some bad policies endure? This World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law addresses these fundamental questions, which are at the heart of development. Policy making and policy implementation do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they take place in complex political and social settings, in which individuals and groups with unequal power interact within changing rules as they pursue conflicting interests. The process of these interactions is what this Report calls governance, and the space in which these interactions take place, the policy arena. The capacity of actors to commit and their willingness to cooperate and coordinate to achieve socially desirable goals are what matter for effectiveness. However, who bargains, who is excluded, and what barriers block entry to the policy arena determine the selection and implementation of policies and, consequently, their impact on development outcomes. Exclusion, capture, and clientelism are manifestations of power asymmetries that lead to failures to achieve security, growth, and equity. The distribution of power in society is partly determined by history. Yet, there is room for positive change. This Report reveals that governance can mitigate, even overcome, power asymmetries to bring about more effective policy interventions that achieve sustainable improvements in security, growth, and equity. This happens by shifting the incentives of those with power, reshaping their preferences in favor of good outcomes, and taking into account the interests of previously excluded participants. These changes can come about through bargains among elites and greater citizen engagement, as well as by international actors supporting rules that strengthen coalitions for reform.

Fragile States

John Wallis (World Bank, 2017)

This background paper addresses four questions. They may seem to be independent, but I hope to show they are closely connected. The questions are: 1) What did Weber say when he defined the modern state as the organization with a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence? 2) What conceptual framework might we bring to understand the dynamics of stability and growth in developing countries? Why do developing countries seem to be so susceptible to shocks and reversals? 3) What is the empirical evidence on economic shrinking (short run declines in annual per capita income), economic growing (short run increases in annual per capita income), and economic performance over the long run as measured by per capita income? 4) Is there a trade-off between security and growth, and how should we think about such a trade-off? All four points address in one way or another stability, instability, and social order. Weber may seem to be the least connected, but given the widespread use of his definition of the state and the focus on “a monopoly of violence” in the social science literature surrounding the political economy of development, it is the right place to start.

(UNDP 2017)

The objective of this report is to provide government and donor partners with an overview of the main priorities and actions needed to re-establish core government functions in the immediate aftermath of conflict. It draws on the lessons of international experience to provide a selective synthesis of priority measures likely to be applicable in most countries emerging from violent conflict. It focuses on the first three years after the end of major internal violence when external actors have the mandate or authorization to engage, often through a resolution of the United Nations Security Council. This is not an “off the shelf” toolkit or manual, and nor should it be. Rather, it aims to identify priorities on six core government functions - those functions required to make and implement policy - and to provide guidance on their execution. The six core government functions covered are: (i) executive decision-making and coordination at the centre of government; (ii) public revenue and expenditure management; (iii) government employment and public administration; (iv) the security sector; (v) local governance; and (vi) aid management.

Sean Malloy (IDEA 2017)

Sub-state constitutions serve similar purposes as central-state constitutions. They define the system of governance of the sub-state entity, outline its institutions and define the responsibilities of those institutions. They also explain the separation of powers between sub-state institutions, and may codify citizens’ rights vis-à-vis the sub-state entity. The constitutional space can be forged in a number of ways. In some settings it is created by peace agreements between sub-state and central-state elites. In other cases, the space afforded to the sub-state entity is the result of bargains that occur outside formal peace processes but which are nevertheless the result of negotiations over how political power is held and exercised. The space may also be dictated from the top with few (or no) negotiations with the sub-state entity. This report explores the process and design of sub-state constitutions in fragile and conflict-affected settings, and their role in the broader political settlement and/or peacebuilding process.

Countering Violent Extremism

Mareike Schomerus, Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy and Jassi Sandhar (ODI, 2017)

There is no consensus on what violent extremism is and how best to prevent or counter it. The term ‘violent extremism’ has become a catch-all for a number of phenomena, and there is considerable variation in how terminology is used. Violent extremism conflates belief and use of force. Critics also see the use of ‘extremist’ as always politically motivated: it can be used to denounce those that threaten the political status quo. However, its use to describe primarily Islamist groups has obscured the fact that extremist beliefs and support for violence are found across different cultures, religions, and political situations. This topic guide introduces conceptual and practical approaches to violent extremism in different contexts. It introduces explanations of violent extremism put forward by different disciplines, how these approach the study of violent extremism and prominent myths and contradictions.

Caitriona Dowd (IDS 2017)

Social media and digital technology offer immense potential for citizens, policymakers and practitioners to raise awareness of, monitor, and respond to violence. With Kenya’s elections approaching, technology can help to raise awareness of insecurity, support early warning, combat incitement of violence and promote accountability. However, digital technology also carries a number of risks. To maximise effectiveness and inclusivity, 1) greater support must be given to locally legitimate peace messaging and counter-speech; 2) government, media and civil society should collaborate to improve transparency and accountability in the regulation of online activity; and 3) social media monitoring of violence should be undertaken in conjunction with other reporting systems that seek to overcome inequalities in digital access and use.


Andrea Cornwall (IDS 2017)

Through the lens of four case studies focused on women’s political participation (Palestine and Sierra Leone), and the passage of domestic violence law (Brazil and South Africa), this paper looks at the role of social and political action in advancing women’s rights. In so doing, the paper assesses how research in fragile and conflict-affected settings might be framed to examine the ways in which social and political action can effect change for women in these contexts. The paper explores change at multiple levels: within, below and beyond the state. It highlights the role of women’s organisations within accountability: in both ensuring delivery on commitments, and tracking their subsequent effective implementation. In conclusion, the paper underlines the importance of understanding the political landscape in which social and political actors operate as a constantly shifting field of action, both contextually and temporally, in which critical junctures aligning particular strategies, tactics, and actors can occur to produce politically meaningful gains. It is in the learning from these junctures on what worked and how, that research can contribute to making positive change in the future.

Governance, Transparency and Accountability/Anticorruption

Karen Brock and Rosemary McGee (IDS 2017)

The change Making All Voices Count wants to see is more responsive, accountable governance. The programme has contributed to this change by supporting tech-enabled initiatives which amplify citizen voice and nurture government responsiveness, and by building understanding of when and how the technologies help create and support change. In March 2017, partners from 34 of the programme's projects met with Making All Voices Count staff and associates in South Africa in order to share their stories of change. The learning event participants analysed their experiences using a framework that describes seven streams of tech-enabled change: the information stream; the feedback stream; the naming-and-shaming stream; the conducive innovation system stream; the connecting citizens stream; the infomediation stream and the intermediation stream.

Mushtaq H. Khan (World Bank 2017)

The weak enforcement of a rule of law is closely related to the prevalence of corruption. Corruption involves different types of rule-violations by bureaucrats, politicians and businesses where power is misused for private benefit. Not surprisingly, corruption is correlated with the weak enforcement of formal institutions in general, including property rights and the formal rules of politics. All of these are in turn strongly correlated with the level of development. Countries that have high levels of corruption are likely to have weak property rights, a weak rule of law, high levels of corruption, informal political rents, and low levels of productive capabilities (even if they sometimes have high per capita incomes as a result of natural resources). These correlations raise important questions and challenges for policy.

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (World Bank 2017)

To understand why corruption has become the crucial issue for the latest generation of protest movements and uprisings, from Tunisia to Moldova and from India to Brazil, public corruption is best conceived as part of a broader social order context and not at individual level. Presuming corruption to be the exception and public integrity the norm in every society does not reflect the reality and can lead to erroneous development strategies, as norm building and norm enforcement require two very different approaches. Corruption is hardly a social ‘malady’ to be eradicated, but rather a default governance order, as all states have started from being ‘owned’ by a few individuals who control all resources to eventually reach a situation when the state represents everybody equally and shares public resources equitably. Particularism is a natural inclination--people tend to favor their own, be it family, clan, race or ethnic group: treating the rest of the world fairly seems to be a matter of extensive social evolution and sufficient resources. The public-private separation in public affairs and the complete autonomy of state from private interest are exceptions in the present world, difficult to reach and difficult to sustain as well.

Human Rights/Rule of Law

Nadia E. Nedzel (SSRN 2017)

‘International’ definitions of the rule of law, such as that developed by the World Justice Project, are inaccurate. A careful study of the comparative history of the term indicates that the common law conception (which limits the powers of government through various structural devices and cultural attitudes) is more likely to lead to both greater liberty and stronger and more consistent economic development. In contrast, the civil law term, Rule through Law (Rechtsstaat or L’État de Droit) wherein government is supposed to limit itself is historically less effective. The purpose of this study is dual. It is NOT intended to state that Common Law is ‘better’ than Civil Law. Instead, it explains to some extent the discontent that led to the popular Brexit vote, and it provides insights that can be used by entities trying improve government, liberty, and economic development.

Roger Magnusson (SSRN 2017)

Effective laws and an enabling legal environment are essential to a healthy society. Most public health challenges – from infectious and non-communicable diseases to injuries, from mental illness to universal health coverage – have a legal component. At global, national and local levels, law is a powerful tool for advancing the right to health. This tool is, however, often underutilized. This report aims to raise awareness about the role that public health laws can play in advancing the right to health and in creating the conditions for all people to live healthy lives. The report provides guidance about issues and requirements to be addressed during the process of developing or reforming public health laws, with case studies drawn from countries around the world to illustrate effective practices and critical features of effective public health legislation. Part 1 introduces the human right to health and its role in guiding and evaluating law reform efforts, including efforts to achieve the goal of universal health coverage. Part 2 discusses the process of public health law reform. The law reform process refers to the practical steps involved in advancing the political goal of law reform, and the kinds of issues and obstacles that may be encountered along the way. Part 2 identifies some of the actors who may initiate or lead the public health law reform process, discusses principles of good governance during that process, and identifies ways of building a consensus around the need for public health law reform. Part 3 turns from the process of reforming public health laws to the substance or content of those laws. It identifies a number of core areas of public health practice where regulation is essential in order to ensure that governments (at different levels) discharge their basic public health functions. Traditionally, these core areas of public health practice have included: the provision of clean water and sanitation, monitoring and surveillance of public health threats, the management of communicable diseases, and emergency powers. Building on these core public health functions, Part 3 goes on to consider a range of other public health priorities where law has a critical role to play. These priorities include tobacco control, access to essential medicines, the migration of health care workers, nutrition, maternal, reproductive and child health, and the role of law in advancing universal access to quality health services for all members of the population. The report includes many examples that illustrate the ways in which different countries have used law to protect the health of their populations in ways that are consistent with their human rights obligations. Countries vary widely in terms of their constitutional structure, size, history and political culture. For these reasons, the examples given are not intended to be prescriptive, but to provide useful comparisons for countries involved in the process of legislative review. (Advancing the right to health: the vital role of law can also be downloaded free of charge, in full, or chapter by chapter from WHO, or from IDLO.)


Executive: Public Administration – Regulatory Agencies

Momi Dahan and Michel Strawczynski (SSRN 2017)

Do budget institutions play a role in explaining why government effectiveness is higher in some advanced countries than in others? Employing an original panel dataset that spans four different years (1991, 2003, 2007 and 2012) we find that budget centralization has a negative and significant effect on government effectiveness in OECD countries after accounting for a list of control variables such as GDP per capita and government expenditure in addition to country and year fixed effects. We show that less centralized countries display significant better performance in health and infrastructure but similar effectiveness in tax collections. The negative impact of budget centralization seems to bite especially at the execution stage of the budgeting process, while it is not significant at the formulation and legislation stages. These results survive a list of sensitivity tests.

Paul Smoke (SSRN 2017)

Fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations reform have become nearly ubiquitous in developing countries. Performance, however, has often been disappointing in terms of both policy formulation and outcomes. The dynamics underlying these results have been poorly researched. Available literature focuses heavily on policy and institutional design concerns framed by public finance, fiscal federalism, and public management principles. The literature tends to explain unsatisfactory outcomes largely as a result of some combination of flawed design and management of intergovernmental fiscal systems, insufficient capacity, and lack of political will. These factors are important, but there is room to broaden the analysis in at least two potentially valuable ways. First, much can be learned by more robustly examining how national and local political and bureaucratic forces shape the policy space, providing opportunities for and placing constraints on effective and sustainable reform. Second, the analysis would benefit from moving beyond design to considering how to implement reform more strategically.

Legislatures/Deliberative Bodies


As countries look forward towards implementing the SDGs, it will be critical for parliamentarians to proactively reflect upon their role in SDGs implementation and monitoring. Each parliament and its parliamentarians understand best the political and social context under which they operate and are best able to determine what can and should be done to allow the parliament to play an active role in SDG delivery. By sharing good practices from other parliaments and discussing the application of international standards to the work of parliaments, the handbook is an opportunity to start a discussion among key actors within and outside parliament on how the institution can best fulfill its mandate.

(GPG, 2017)

This paper looks at how direct access to sources of accurate information, expertise and analysis can improve the effectiveness of members and the wider parliament. Central to the provision of this information in many democratic parliaments is a dedicated parliamentary research service, the purpose of which is to provide objective information, analysis and advice to all parliamentarians. Parliamentary research services are generally shaped by the culture and traditions of their countries and their legislatures and there is no single model for developing new services. This Guide outlines practical steps to help shape thinking when planning a new research service or expanding an existing one.

(GPG, 2017)

This paper examines how parliament scrutinizes and evaluates the effects and consequences of a law after it has been implemented, can enhance the parliamentary and legislative process. Traditionally, parliament’s attention has tended to move on to other matters once a law has been approved and enacted. However, parliaments across the globe are increasingly becoming aware of the ‘end-to-end’ legislative process, and the role that post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) can play in making sure that laws are achieving the results that were originally intended. This Guide provides step-by-step information on how to undertake PLS, as well as examples of its implementation across the globe.

Parliamentarians have an opportunity, and a constitutional responsibility, to play a significant role in supporting and monitoring implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Agenda 2030 Declaration acknowledges the “essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets, and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of our commitments.” Members of parliament are uniquely positioned to act as an interface between the people and state institutions, and to promote and adopt people-centered policies and legislation to ensure that no one is left behind. Parliament’s Role in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: A Parliamentary Handbook is designed to be an easy-to-use resource that can help parliamentarians and parliamentary staff members play an effective role in implementing the SDGs. It introduces Agenda 2030 and lists good practices and tools from around the world that can be adapted, as needed, depending on the national context. Parliamentarians around the globe is invited to use this handbook as a practical tool to promote engagement on the Sustainable Development Goals.

(UNDP/PGA 2017)
As mounting research and data reflects, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people all over the world continue to experience violations of their human rights and exclusion. What LGBTI people want, and are entitled to, is dignity to live their lives free of stigma, violence and discrimination and to be able to reach their full potential and contribute to their families, communities and countries. Parliamentarians have a vital role to play in making this a reality. Advancing the Human Rights and Inclusion of LGBTI People: A Handbook for Parliamentarians sets out relevant human rights frameworks and highlights the role of parliamentarians in implementing Agenda 2030, to ensure no one, including LGBTI people, is left behind. It offers practical tips, tools and resources designed to support parliamentarians to undertake legislative, representational and oversight activities that advance the rights and inclusion of LGBTI people.


Lorne Sossin (SSRN 2017)

This study explores the adaptation of design thinking to administrative justice. Design thinking – or human centred design – approaches services and products from the perspective of the user. This perspective too often is missing in the design of administrative tribunals, most of which have been developed top-down to serve the needs of a particular policy interest of the Government of the day. The notion that administrative tribunals are “designed” for particular goals is not new. Typically, however, discussions of design relate to clarity of statutory mandates, protections of tribunal independence, and the procedures and rules by which a tribunal will function. The design concerns explored in this study arise subsequent to this “legal design” phase, once legislation to establish a tribunal and demarcate its powers has been enacted. It is often at that point that the functional design questions around how the tribunal actually will work come into focus. This paper is divided into two parts. The first part reviews the development of design thinking in the context of legal services and legal organizations. The second part explores the implications of this development for administrative justice, particularly in the context of the establishment of new tribunals, and situate the evolution of design thinking in administrative justice within broader trends in the common law world. The conclusion examines the criteria which should be applied to determine if the design of a new administrative tribunal is successful.

Elections and Political Parties

(NDI, 2017)

This guide aims to identify areas of disconnect between political parties and citizens, and highlights possible areas of party reform. The document includes: key recommendations for reform-minded parties; case studies and personal experiences from party practitioners; and worksheets and critical questions to help parties think through practical applications for the suggestions provided.

Civil Society Organizations

Richard Youngs (Ed.) (Carnegie 2017)

Great and varied change is afoot within global civil society. For civic activism, it appears to be both the best and worst of times. The positive dynamics of empowerment and the negative trend of constraints on civil society are interconnected. Regimes are reacting nervously to potent new forms of civic activism; in turn, as government restrictions bite, activists look for new types of civic organization to stay ahead of regimes’ repressive intent. While there is widespread agreement that global civil society is evolving, there are many uncertainties about how best to conceptualize this change and its significance, impacts, and long-term ramifications. Some observers celebrate the new activism; others decry the unfocused looseness of its structures and the disruptive imprecision of its aims. Some paint a picture of ever-stronger civic empowerment; others argue that governments increasingly have the upper hand over global civil society. Some believe a fundamentally different type of civil society is taking shape; others believe today’s ascendant civic movements in fact exhibit few truly new features. This report preesents an overview of emerging forms of civic activism in eight countries. The authors address what new kinds of civic activism are taking root, what issues new civic actors are focusing on, and how they relate to older civil society forms, especially advocacy and service-delivery NGOs.


Politically Engaged Programming/Politically Adaptive Programming

Wonkyu Shin, Youngwan Kim and Hyuk-Sang Sohn (SSRN 2017)

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, interest in building effective development partnerships has grown in the both the international development discipline and practitioner community. Responding to this trend, many scholars and policy-makers highlight participatory development cooperation among state actors and non-state actors as a means of achieving comprehensive development goals. Despite this emphasis, however, only a handful of empirical studies have examined whether such partnerships have any meaningful relationship with project outcomes. This study aims to answer whether and to what extent different types of implementing partnerships (i.e. state or non-state implementing agencies) affect the outcome of development projects. Using the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (WBIEG) project data with newly constructed implementing-partnership variables, this study shows that implementing-partnerships with host country governmental agencies tend to produce a less successful outcome compared to partnerships with non-state actors, and on average only attain moderate level outcomes. Projects implemented by non-state actors, on the other hand, are likely to result in higher level project outcomes. The paper further tests these findings by analyzing the relationship between the number of state and non-state partners interacting in a project and the subsequent project outcome. This result suggests that an increased number of non-state actor participants leads to a better project outcome; this positive participatory effect, however, diminishes as the number of governmental implementers increases.

Assessment Tools and Strategies

(UNDP 2017)

The CDA tool provides guidance on conducting conflict analysis and applying the findings of analysis for a range of purposes. The CDA presents an agency-neutral approach to conflict analysis that assists in the gathering of information, brings structure to the analysis and leads to a strong and methodically-substantive understanding of a context with the goal of supporting evidence-based decision-making for UN engagement. The CDA can be conducted as part of a strategic planning process (for example, the development of an UNDAF or at the start of UN Strategic Assessments), in anticipation of a new programme with key conflict dimensions, or in light of a potential trigger event including major elections, referendums, outbreaks of violence, changes in government. The CDA can also be applied to inform early warning systems and ascertain a country or region’s fragility, to inform conflict sensitivity frameworks.

Measurement, Evaluation & Learning

Peter M. Lance and Aiko Hattori. (DEC 2016)

The usual objective in program impact evaluation is to learn about how a population of interest is affected by the program. Programs are typically implemented in geographic areas where populations are large and beyond our resources to observe in their entirety. Therefore, we have to sample. Sampling is the process of selecting a set of observations from a population to estimate a chosen parameter - program impact, for example - for that population. This manual explores the challenges of sampling for program impact evaluations - how to obtain a sample that is reliable for estimating impact of a program and how to obtain a sample that accurately reflects the population of interest. There are two core challenges in sampling. First, one must select a sample that either intrinsically reflects the mix of types of individuals in the population, or one that weights (mathematically adjusts) the sample so that the mix of individuals reflects the mix in the population of interest. Impact studies usually require sampling both program participants and nonparticipants. The second challenge is to select a sample of sufficient size to learn whatever it is that one wishes to know about impact. Larger samples contain more information and, therefore, allow us to learn more (for instance, in general, larger samples allow us to detect smaller and smaller levels of program impact). The manual is divided into two sections: (1) basic sample selection and weighting and (2) sample size estimation.

Message from the Editor

SUNY/CID welcomes new and continuing readers to its Governance Information Bulletin (GIB) which highlights recent articles of interest for development practitioners and scholars in the area of democracy and governance. Areas of attention include: (1) development and international foreign aid, including strategies of democracy and governance assistance; (2) development and political institutions including legislative development; local governance and devolution; and public sector performance improvement and (3) program design, measurement and evaluation

In addition, all previous issues can be found at the SUNY/CID website here.

We welcome all questions, comments and suggestions at cidgib@albany.edu.

David E. Guinn

In This Issue

* User’s Guide to Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Programming

* World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law

* Governance and Violence

* (Re)Building Core Government Functions in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings

* Sub-State Constitutions in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings

* Countering Violent Extremism

* Using Digital and Social Media to Monitor and Reduce Violence in Kenya’s Elections

* The Role of Social and Political Action in Advancing Women’s Rights, Empowerment, and Accountability to Women

* More Accountable and Responsive Governance: How Do Technologies Help Make It Happen?

* Corruption Spotlight

* Corruption as Social Order

* The International Rule of Law and Economic Development

* Advancing the Right to Health: The Vital Role of Law

* Budget Institutions and Government Effectiveness

* Looking Beyond Conventional Intergovernmental Fiscal Frameworks: Principles, Realities, and Neglected Issues

* Parliament's Role in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: a Parliamentary Handbook

* Information and Expertise for Parliaments

* Post-Legislative Scrutiny

* Parliament's Role in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: A Parliamentary Handbook

* Advancing the Human Rights and Inclusion of LGBTI People: A Handbook for Parliamentarians

* Designing Administrative Justice

* Reflect, Reform, Reengage: A Blueprint for 21st Century Parties

* Global Civic Activism in Flux

* Do Different Implementing-Partnerships Lead to Different Project Outcomes? Evidence from the World Bank Project-Level Evaluation Data

* Conducting a Conflict and Development Analysis

* Sampling and Evaluation: A Guide to Sampling for Program Impact Evaluation

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