July 1, 2018
  Governance Information Bulletin 2018:3 Subscribe | Unsubscribe



Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers (Carnegie 2018)

Pressure on civic space keeps increasing around the world, driven by a toxic mix of rising authoritarianism, growing populism, and weakening democracy. Battles over legitimacy are central to this trend. Powerholders not only attack specific civic groups carrying out activities that they object to, but they also often deny the legitimacy of civil society itself, questioning what right unelected civic groups have to insert themselves into policy debates. In many cases, they dismiss civil society organizations as inauthentic elite actors working at the behest of foreign powers. Such attacks find resonance among citizens sympathetic to larger currents of nationalism and xenophobia.

  • Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers, The Legitimacy Landscape
  • César Rodríguez-Garavito, Objectivity Without Neutrality: Reflections From Colombia
  • Walter Flores, Legitimacy From Below: Supporting Indigenous Rights in Guatemala
  • Arthur Larok, Pushing Back: Lessons From Civic Activism in Uganda
  • Kimani Njogu, Confronting Partisanship and Divisions in Kenya
  • Youssef Cherif, Delegitimizing Civil Society in Tunisia
  • Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, The Legitimacy Deficit of Thailand’s Civil Society
  • Özge Zihnioğlu, Navigating Politics and Polarization in Turkey
  • Stefánia Kapronczay, Beyond Apathy and Mistrust: Defending Civic Activism in Hungary
  • Zohra Moosa, On Our Own Behalf: The Legitimacy of Feminist Movements
  • Nilda Bullain and Douglas Rutzen, All for One, One for All: Protecting Sectoral Legitimacy
  • Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers, The Legitimacy Menu
  • Steven Klein & Cheol-Sung Lee (SSRN 2018)

    This article develops a conceptual framework to theorize the processes of mutual penetration between civil society, the state, and the economy, where incumbents and challengers continuously formulate new strategies against each other. We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration. Under each form of infiltration, we delineate three sub-modes: the politics of influence, the politics of substitution, and the politics of occupation, which correspond to strategies for discursive influence, functional replacement, and institutional take-over, respectively. We challenge the exclusive focus on ‘the politics of influence’ as inadequate for analyzing these processes, while highlighting the other two modes as necessary additions. Finally, we elucidate the implications of our theory of forward and backward infiltration for the study of civil society and participatory democracy more generally.

    Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)

    Emily Myers and Elizabeth Hume (Alliance for Peacebuilding, 2018)

    The threat and impact of violent extremism are palpably real, but consensus around how to define, discuss, and respond to violent extremism remains nebulous. Over the last decade, the peacebuilding field has deepened its understanding of the drivers of VE. Research has shown that grievances linked to state and security force abuses, perceptions of marginalization and injustice, relative economic and social depravation, and desire for justice and purpose most consistently underpin mobilization to extremist violence. However, aggregated evidence of what has worked to address these drivers has yet to emerge, hindering our ability to articulate cohesive programmatic and policy responses to VE. This P/CVE subsector review aims to answer three essential questions: 1. What do peacebuilding approaches to P/CVE reveal about the relationship between violence and violent extremism? Are there significant differences between the two phenomena that should shape programming and evaluation? 2. What are the primary theories of change in peacebuilding approaches to P/CVE? 3. Which theories of change are supported by research and evidence of impact? Which are not? Where are the gaps? In answering these questions, the authors study 9 publicly available cases identifying the Theory of Change being applied and the evidence supporting its efficacy as an intervention.

    Chris Mahony, Leigh Payne, Andrew G. Reiter, Tricia D. Olsen & Laura Bernal-Bermudez (SSRN 2018)

    The United Nations and the World Bank recognize the need to channel conflict towards socially regenerative pathways, and work to prevent conflict prior to its effect on the social, economic, and political systems that drive human development. Yet there is a scarcity of empirical investigations into the requisite societal incentives and capabilities for the fostering of local dynamics to reduce the risk of conflict, including the establishment and function of constitutions, human rights institutions, and transitional justice processes. As part of the joint World Bank-United Nations “Sustaining Peace: Making Development Work for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts” project, this study provides an initial exploration of the relationship between these factors and conflict reoccurrence. In Part I, the authors define the set of concepts used in the study and set out the hypotheses drawn from the existing literature on relationships of transitional justice mechanisms and institutional and civil society factors to conflict non-recurrence. The section identifies underlying assumptions, their logic, and the scope for their interrogation. It further summarizes existing empirical studies on the hypothesized relationship between post-conflict policy and conflict reoccurrence, and the existing gaps in understanding. Part II of the paper, with a technical appendix attached, presents a summary of findings based on a statistical testing of the relationships described in part I. The authors find that new constitutions and trials of certain perpetrators of violent crimes are correlated with conflict non- recurrence. They do not find any statistically significant relationship between particular provisions of national constitutions, national human rights institutions and ombuds offices, and non- prosecutorial transitional justice mechanisms and conflict non-recurrence. In the concluding section of the report (Part III), the authors set out the policy implications of their findings and outline areas for further investigation. The findings suggest that international agencies could most directly target conflict non-recurrence by focusing, first, on the creation of new constitutions and the promotion of prosecutorial mechanisms to advance accountability for middle and low level perpetrators of abuses. Despite our statistical findings, the authors do not recommend abandoning support for national human rights institutions and ombuds offices, specific constitutional provisions, truth commissions, and amnesties. These mechanisms do not increase (or decrease) the likelihood of reoccurrence of conflict. However, they may advance other goals, and provide transitional governments the flexibility in determining the set of institutional mechanisms they prioritize following conflict.

    (UNDP 2018)

    This toolkit is designed for UNDP practitioners and partners who are working on programs that are either specifically focused on preventing violent extremism (PVE), or have PVE-relevant elements to them. It draws on best practice for design, monitoring and evaluation in complex, conflict contexts adapting these for PVE programming. The toolkit includes modules, processes and approaches as well as an indicator bank that can be used within UNDP, with national and community level partners, and as part of a capacity-building approach around monitoring. This toolkit was developed by UNDP in collaboration with International Alert, an organization working with people directly affected by conflict to build lasting peace.

    Fragile States

    LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development (IGC 2018)

    This report sets out clearly the characteristics of fragility, including the lack of basic security, inadequate government capacity, the absence of a properly functioning private sector, and the presence of divided societies. It also looks at the wider consequences. Because state fragility doesn’t just condemn people to poverty; it impacts upon the world, driving mass migration, providing safe havens for piracy and trafficking, and enabling terrorist training camps to thrive. The Commission’s findings are clear. If international assistance, aid, and – crucially – economic development are to help make our world safer and more prosperous, we need to address what we call the ‘syndrome’ of fragility. What works: (1) realism, not idealism; (2) local, not international priorities; (iii) reconciliation first, not elections first; (iv) working with governments not around governments; and (v) institution building and nation building. The solutions to such fragility, the Commission concludes, will be largely domestic. That may be slow and tough, but it is likely to be more lasting. Homegrown solutions and locally negotiated coalitions of governments, businesses, and civil society are the things that will make well-designed international support more likely to be effective. That is why this report argues that international actors – donor countries, aid agencies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), development finance institutions, security forces, and NGOs – need to do things differently, learning from the mistakes that have been made and the evidence that has been collected over the years. Above all, they must stop setting out long lists of unachievable objectives and unrealistic timetables, and start working with governments rather than around governments. Domestic actors – governments, political parties, media, and civil society – need to do things differently, too. This emphasis on greater national respect and responsibility will only work if they set out their national priorities – about where they are going as a country and who they want to be. Owning those priorities, learning from mistakes, combatting corruption, and demonstrating accountability are all crucial.

    C. Dowd & J-P Tranchant (IDS Working Paper 2018)

    This research sets out to understand the effect of processes of decentralization on violent conflict in Africa, and what entry points these provide for research and policy actors to engage in meaningful and effective governance, peace-building and conflict resolution. The research employs a mixed methods approach, combining large-n, cross-national quantitative research on the relationship between decentralized political authority and the level, frequency, intensity and nature/form of political violence with qualitative process-tracing through secondary literature on pathways to violence in three specific decentralized governance contexts: Kenya, Mali and Nigeria.


    (ODI 2018)

    While our understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities that adolescent girls face due to gender norms has grown exponentially over the last decade, our understanding of what works to transform discriminatory gender norms in specific contexts remains nascent. Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) mixed methods longitudinal research programming is following the lives of 18,000 adolescent girls and boys in six focal countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East throughout adolescence (10–19 years) to explore what types of policies and programs are most effective in shifting harmful gender norms and why – not just in the short term but more sustainably. This GAGE on briefing discusses change strategies to support gender norm change through: (1) empowering girls; (2) engaging with boys and men; (3) supporting families; (4) promoting community social norm change; (5) strengthening school systems: and (6) strengthening adolescent focused services and systems.

    (UNDP 2018)

    Justice for women is one of the main accelerators for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Not only does investing in justice for women help to achieve gender equality and advance women’s empowerment, but it also creates a foundation for long-term growth and peaceful and inclusive societies. Despite the recent progress made in this area globally, women still face barriers to accessing justice that are often the result of policy, legislative, institutional, and societal failure to remove discrimination, gender bias, stereotyping, stigma, and indifference. Shortcomings of the justice system, including corruption and impunity, have also further undermined women's needs. Women who continue to face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination as well as those affected by crisis, conflict, and disasters, are often exposed to heightened risks of exclusion, violence, and abuse and do not receive adequate support. This practitioners Toolkit on Women’s Access to Justice, developed by UNDP, UN Women, UNODC, and OHCHR provides evidence-based guidance for a coherent and consistent policy and programming approach to overcoming these obstacles. This guidance will help to ensure coordinated responses when addressing legal and justice challenges that women face within the context areas of marriage, family, and property rights; ending violence against women; and women in conflict with the law. Designed primarily for staff of the UN system, the toolkit presents a menu of options for scaling-up work and responding to current deficits in women’s access to justice programming and the growing demand for technical assistance in this area.

    P. Oosterhoff, & C. Sweetman, (IDS 2018)

    This issue of Gender & Development addresses Sexualities. Sexual health and rights have been prominent in the human rights and women's rights movement for decades. The Platform for Action from the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women highlighted the right of women to have control over and make decisions concerning their own sexuality, including their own sexual and reproductive health (Paras 92, 93 and 94). Since then, the concept of sexual rights has gained broader acceptance; these are the rights of all human beings to have the possibility of pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence (WHO) (2015).

    Governance, Transparency and Accountability/Anticorruption

    Sarah Chayes (Carnegie, 2018)

    In the past half decade, a succession of uprisings against corruption has broken out worldwide. The frequency and significance of these events forces the question: What is going on? And does this international phenomenon hold lessons for others beset with systemic political corruption, not least in the United States? A look at countries as diverse in culture and political history as Brazil, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Lebanon, Romania, South Africa, and South Korea suggests that it does. Takeaways: Activists elsewhere who wish to challenge corrupt systems should consider the following: (1) Leadership is necessary to give direction to what might be spontaneous and multipolar protests. The leaders must be rigorously principled and able to cross political and identity boundaries. (2) Consistent decisionmaking mechanisms should be established to allow for transparent processes that can federate participants. (3) A detailed reform agenda that targets the kleptocratic network’s diverse capabilities will be crucial to exploiting whatever window of opportunity does open. (4) This agenda should be communicated to ordinary people in such a way as to capture their imaginations, so support doesn’t flag when some symbolic victory is achieved. (5) Long-range planning is required to effectively deal with the multiple likely countermoves the campaign will encounter. And (6) Alliances are force multipliers. Independent individuals or institutions within a corrupt government invariably control some levers of power, or at least information. Because kleptocratic networks are transnational, alliances outside the country’s borders are also key.

    Hamish Nixon, Alina Rocha Menocal et. al. (ODI 2018)

    Corruption is high on the agenda of national governments, international organizations, aid providers and civil society. At the same time, decentralization has become a dominant policy reform across the developing world, within a context of democratization and expectations that ‘democratic decentralization’ would bring government closer to the people, increase accountability and help to combat corruption. However, research on decentralization shows it has a mixed record in the real world, and corruption research and policy-making increasingly recognizes the need to disaggregate corruption – corruption takes many different forms and has different causes and effects in different settings, and strategies to combat corruption are also likely vary across these types and settings. As a result, the links between decentralization and corruption are complex, and the role of decentralized governance in combatting corruption remains unclear. The report concludes with a number of important recommendations to support more effective anti-corruption efforts: (1) Anti-corruption efforts need to be grounded in an approach that combines principal-agent, collective action, and social norm-based understandings of corruption. (2) Structural reforms and anti-corruption efforts should pay closer attention to the need to build the coherence of government arrangements across different levels and political, administrative and fiscal dimensions of governance. Among other things, this entails supporting reforms that: (a) Improve the clarity of fiscal powers and the alignment of fiscal decentralization with functions and accountabilities. Concrete steps include ensuring grant mechanisms are implemented as intended and are free from procedural interference, revenue powers are well regulated, and participatory budgeting is reflected in budget outcomes. (b) Clarify the degree and form of political autonomy to create clear local accountabilities. Devolution with authority, or clearer accountabilities in deconcentrated models, can support more autonomous local politics, and enablers such as more independent electoral administrations and autonomous local participatory bodies can provide a supportive environment. (3) Direct approaches to corruption – such as anti-corruption agencies – need to fund and empower local offices of those agencies to perform appropriate actions locally with the independence required. As a default or residual approach, awareness raising will have limited impact. And: (4) Indirect, legal or regulatory approaches may not require additional formal law, policy or regulation. In fact, simplification and clarification of these measures may be more appropriate.


    Executive/Public Administration/Regulatory Agencies

    Bryn Welham, Karen Barnes Robinson, Dina Mansour-Ille and Richa Okhandiar (ODI 2018)

    This paper reviews the literature on the links between public expenditure and gender responsiveness and outlines a number of gender-responsive expenditure management (GRPEM) reforms that could be taken forward by low-capacity states. The guide begins with a definition of GRPEM in the broader context of government policy, and outlines typical approaches to GRPEM, along with country examples of real-world experience. The paper also addresses the reality of budget reform in low-capacity countries in order to discuss how GRPEM can best work in practice in these contexts, provides recommendations for how a ministry of finance or planning can begin to integrate gender considerations into public expenditure management systems as well as an annotated bibliography of key literature to guide further reading.


    Oren Perez, Judit Bar-Ilan, et.al. (SSRN 2018)

    The recent literature on e-democracy reflects a certain disillusionment with the capacity of e-ruling initiatives to generate processes that serve concurrently the goals of democratization and of “good governance”. The main challenge has been to create e-ruling platforms that facilitate a deliberative process that is sufficiently inclusive and also makes a significant contribution to the policy debate. The present article contributes to this debate through the analysis of a wiki-styled system that combined a forum and a collaborative writing tool. This system enhances the opportunities of citizens to influence the policy debate beyond conventional ‘notice-and-comment’ platforms. The experiment sought to test the capacity of this platform to facilitate an epistemically complex dialogue in a setting that closely resembles real regulatory consultation. We also examined the dynamics of the deliberative process, focusing on the influence of differences in social value orientation on participation levels (distinguishing between active participants and lurkers). The analysis is based on a field experiment held at Bar-Ilan University in December 2014. The topic of the experiment was a debate over the Bar-Ilan University Code Concerning Political Activity on Campus. The Code establishes procedures and rules for conducting public and political activities on campus.

    (Bond, 2018)

    The Global NGO Technology Report is an annual research project that seeks to gain a better understanding of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use technology. Sponsored by the Public Interest Registry and researched by Nonprofit Tech for Good, the report summarizes how NGOs use web and email communications, online fundraising tools, social media, mobile technology, and data management and security software. Now in its third edition, the primary goal of this year’s report is to provide an updated set of technology benchmarks for NGOs worldwide. In the beginning of the report, the survey data is averaged globally, but due to regional disparities in Internet access and infrastructure, the report subsequently presents the survey data by continent.


    Ilya Somin (SSRN 2018)

    We can enhance development by making it easier for people to “vote with their feet” between jurisdictions. Few, if any, policy reforms can achieve such enormous increases in economic growth and opportunity. Foot voting is, in several crucial respects, a better mechanism of political decision-making than ballot-box voting. Foot voters generally have better incentives to acquire relevant knowledge and use it more wisely than ballot box voters do. Empowering foot voters enhances development by enabling citizens to move to areas with greater job opportunities, and incentivizing regional and local governments to adopt pro-development policies in order to compete for residents and businesses. Even greater gains can be achieved by expanding opportunities for foot voting across international boundaries, through immigration. Constitutional structures can be designed in ways that maximize the benefits of foot voting and minimize potential costs.

    Civil Society Organizations

    PACT (2018)
    This guidebook aims to support activists in developing and executing advocacy strategies that are tailored to the opportunities and constraints of their local context. While this guide presents key principles and frameworks that can guide advocacy campaigns, it also presents advocates with practical steps that can fit the resource constraints of typical grassroots organizations.


    Community Driven Development

    Howard White, Radhika Menon & Hugh Waddington (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) 2018)

    In community-driven development (CDD) programs, communities are in charge of identifying, implementing and maintaining their own externally funded development projects. In the last few decades, CDD programs have received substantial funding, notably from the World Bank. CDD program objectives have evolved over time. The programs in the early 1990s had more of an emphasis on poverty reduction and infrastructure building; the programs in the late 1990s and 2000s have focused on decentralization and improving local governance and social cohesion. 3ie carried out this synthesis study to assess how CDD programs have evolved over the years. We were interested in examining whether program objectives and design have changed over the decades and how effective CDD has been in improving outcomes. The authors synthesized evidence from 25 impact evaluations, covering 23 programs in 21 low- and middle-income countries. Findings include: CDD programs have little or no impact on social cohesion and governance. This synthesis study shows that the assumption that the entire community participates in the program is not valid. Data show that the participation in decision-making is limited to a small number of community members. There is a clear ‘funnel of attrition’; many people may be aware of the program and the community meeting, but few participate in the meeting and fewer still speak or participate in decision-making. People participated in making bricks, not decisions. Although CDD programs have included measures to improve the participation of Marginalized groups, there is no evidence on the impact of such measures. There is also no information about how program implementers facilitated the participation of different ethnic and religious groups living in a community.

    Assessment Tools and Strategies

    PACT (2018)

    This handbook provides practical guidance on how to administer the Government Performance Index (GPI). By the end of their review, readers should have the information and skills to understand the GPI and its background, describe the GPI’s domains and sub-domains, and administer the tool. The GPI helps Pact or other users and their government partners regularly review, document, and analyze government performance against a set of standard measurements. The results can then be used to adapt program approaches to improve performance at an individual agency, project, or program-wide level.

    (PACT 2018)

    Pact’s Organizational Capacity Assessment: Facilitator’s Guide is designed as a guide for Pact staff and partners to implement an Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA), as well as for use by external organizations interested in implementing an OCA process. Pact’s OCA is a comprehensive, participatory, and strengths-based approach for achieving organizational change, learning, and development. OCA supports organizations to measure their capacity, prioritize organizational challenges, and implement improvement strategies. The OCA is both a methodology and a tool used to guide the process.

    Network Analysis

    Alex Adel (PACT 2018)

    The Network Strengthening Toolkit is a set of educational publications developed by Pact’s Capacity Development team that explores the theories, approaches, and step-by-step techniques of analyzing and strengthening networks. The toolkit includes four modules that can be read for information on their own or that can be facilitated to a group to help them strengthen their network.

  • Module 1: Network Basics
  • Module 2: Network Analysis Part 1
  • Module 3: Network Analysis Part 2 [forthcoming]
  • Module 4: Network Strengthening [forthcoming]
  • Political Economy Analysis

    Verena Fritz, Marijn Verhoeven & Ambra Avenia (World Bank, 2017)

    Using fiscal resources to achieve results is critical for equitable development. Accordingly, many countries have sought to strengthen their PFM systems, following a fairly standardized set of reform recommendations and approaches. Yet, the results achieved, as well as the pace of reforms and the areas of progress vary considerably across countries. From an impact perspective, it is critical to understand what accounts for such different rates of progress. While non-technical drivers such as ‘political commitment’ are widely considered important, to date there has been little systematic analysis of how such drivers matter for reform progress, or how to utilize such insights when developing and pursuing PFM reforms. This report maps out what PFM progress looks like across countries, regions, and income groups, and then drills down into specific experiences. Based on a detailed tracing of PFM reform progress in a small N sample of countries, it explores the underlying nontechnical drivers and constraints reformers faced, and how these influenced the feasibility and robustness of efforts to strengthen PFM. While not presuming to offer a complete set of answers on how to better approach PFM reforms, the authors aim to provide a stronger empirical basis for some key questions, and to offer some concrete guidance on how reform stakeholders and external supporters can take non-technical drivers into account and better calibrate their approaches to PFM reforms.

    Measurement, Evaluation & Learning

    Evaluation Tool (Bond, 2018)

    The Bond Evidence Principles and checklist are for assessing and improving the quality of evidence in evaluation reports, research reports and case studies. They have been designed specifically for NGOs and can be used when commissioning, designing and reviewing evidence-based work. The principles help ensure that decisions about projects and programs are made on the highest quality basis. Organizations are using the principles to meet a variety of needs. For example: (1) to critically review and reflect on the quality of evidence-based work before signing it off (e.g. evaluation reports, case studies, annual reports and research studies); (2) to design terms of reference for evaluators and researchers, to ensure high quality work; (3) as a reference when designing project-specific Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plans; (4) to facilitate peer reviews of evidence-based work by other organizations; and (5) as a basis for organization-specific quality standards for evaluations and research. (In order to allow Bond to monitor use, readers will need to fill in a few details in order to access the Evidence Principles. )

    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

    * Examining Civil Society Legitimacy

    * The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration: Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society)

    * Peacebuilding Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: Assessing the Evidence for Key Theories of Change

    * Conflict Prevention and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence

    * Improving the Impact of Preventing Violent Extremism Programming: A Toolkit for Design, Monitoring and Evaluation

    * Escaping the Fragility Trap

    * Decentralization, Devolution, and Dynamics of Violence in Africa

    * GAGE on: Adolescence and Gender Norms

    * A Practitioner's Toolkit on Women's Access to Justice Programming

    * Introduction: Sexualities [Gender & Development]

    * Fighting the Hydra: Lessons From Worldwide Protests Against Corruption

    * Local Governance, Decentralisation and Anti-Corruption in Bangladesh and Nigeria

    * Gender-Responsive Public Expenditure Management: Public Finance Management Introductory Guide

    * The Prospects of e-Democracy: An Experimental Study of Collaborative e-Rulemaking

    * 2018 Global NGO Technology Report: Nonprofit Tech for Good

    * Foot Voting, Decentralization, and Development

    * Politically Smart Advocacy Manual

    * Community-Driven Development: Does It Build Social Cohesion or Infrastructure? A Mixed-Method Evidence Synthesis

    * Government Performance Index Handbook

    * Organizational Capacity Assessment: Facilitator’s Guide

    * Network Strengthening Toolkit

    * Political Economy of Public Financial Management Reforms: Experiences and Implications for Dialogue and Operational Engagement

    * Evidence Principles

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