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Www.qog.pol.gu.se The quality of public sector organizations has proved to be highly significant for economic growth, poverty reduction, reduced income.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.qog.pol.gu.se The quality of public sector organizations has proved to be highly significant for economic growth, poverty reduction, reduced income."— Presentation transcript:

1 The quality of public sector organizations has proved to be highly significant for economic growth, poverty reduction, reduced income inequality, improved health etc. How do we get there? -National characteristics -International dimension Capacity-Building and Reform in Developing Countries: Linking Policy and Politics

2 Outline Introducing ourselves & our research: –Key questions –Background –Main Findings –Future Research –3 Take-Away Points Discussant Q&A

3 Background: The State & Human Welfare What we know: –Strong capable democracies are the most welfare enhancing form of political organization What we don’t know: –How do you get it? The West followed one particular recipe: –First state became strong, then democratic Developing countries today following another: –Democratizing first, before becoming strong

4 Research Question Key Research Question: –What are the consequences for human development of ‘reverse sequencing’ (democratizing before the state becomes strong)? Main Research Finding:  Reverse sequencing can lead to more corruption, lower administrative capacity (i.e. states that are democratic but not strong & capable)

5 Democracy and Administrative Capacity in the World

6 Research Findings Mechanisms:  Democracies can’t use coercion to solve collective action problems & it becomes harder to state-build Concrete case study: Taxation in Rwanda & Lesotho  Democracy changes elite-ruler relations, destabilizing rulers & increasing the importance of patronage (corruption)  Concrete case study: Food Security Policy in Malawi

7 Taxation in Rwanda & Lesotho Question: –Are there differences in how they go about collecting tax in Rwanda (autocracy) compared to Lesotho (democracy)? Methods: –Interviews with RRA & LRA officials & detailed process tracing Findings: –Rwanda – use tax as a form of state-building to extend control of state over population (eg. aggressively extending tax-net). Have succeeded in increasing direct taxes. –Lesotho – avoid using tax to state-build - ‘too politically sensitive’ (instead emphasize voluntary compliance). Have not succeeded in increasing direct taxes, still reliant on trade

8 Food Security Policy in Malawi Question: How did democratization impact on food security in Malawi? Methods: Diachronic comparison before & after multi-party elections in 1994 Findings: Democratization destabilized elite-ruler relations which led to: –Fragmentation of policy making, as it became arena for elite competition –Undermined capacity of bureaucracy to implement, as patronage increased –Affected relationship with donors, concerned about corruption –Grain sold to Muluzi supporters → shortages

9 Future Research Party Systems & Elite Behaviour: are consolidated parties the missing link in containing elite behaviour & connecting elites to voters? –Compare Kenya & Ghana Taxation & Democracy: has democracy made governments more accountable to private sector than to voters? –Quantitative Study of all 48 African countries

10 3 Main Take Away Points 1) The West followed one particular recipe: –Strong first, democratic second Developing countries today following another: –Democratizing first 2) This may not lead to the same outcome: –Reverse sequencing can lead to more corruption, lower administrative capacity 3) We need to think more critically about the component parts of good governance – democratic institutions, bureaucracy, rule of law – and how sequencing in development of these institutions matters

11 Background: Administrative reforms in developing countries The main research discourse Do not transfer Western models to developing countries –Bad experiences –Build on local knowledge and local circumstances –Significant adjustments Routine explanation A lack of empirical studies on public officials

12 Key research questions How do public officials (i.e. public auditors) perceive what is legitimate structures and practices? How do they reform their organizations? How may problems of implementation be understood?

13 The State Audit Case (Riksrevisioner) Research Design and Data Three parts: 1. Arenas 2. NAO Namibia 3. NAO Botswana Methods –Observations (ap.100h + informal conversations) –Document studies –Personal interviews (59 with 46 persons)

14 Main findings Arenas –Harmonization in line with international (Western) standards –When gap between international and local, discussed how to change the local norms NAO Namibia & Botswana –Continuous change to achieve higher compliance with standards Problems of implementation –Underestimation of time and support needed –Management –Motivation

15 Future Research Professionalization of public sector officials in African countries The role and impact on audit on public sector performance: –Quantitatively: Cross-country comparative research, developing + developed countries –Qualitatively: The dynamic interplay between audit and non- state actors

16 3 Main Take Away Points 1)Professionals & Actors: -International instead of West – Africa -Not merely historic legacies & local conditions shape attitudes and action, identities are more dynamic 2) Sharing common understandings and practices –enables cooperation, internationally – regionally 3) Be critical to routine explanations: Ground conclusions on empirical work


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