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Presentation on theme: "MANAGING SUCCESSFUL GOVERNANCE REFORMS LESSONS OF DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION PREM learning week presentation Mark Robinson."— Presentation transcript:


2 Key reform areas Fiscal management and tax administration Anti-corruption Civil service reform Innovations in service delivery

3 Conceptual framework Formal and informal institutions shape incentives for reform Political commitment to reform depends on assessment of potential risks and benefits Political risks: loss of patronage resources and erosion of public support Political benefits: electoral dividends from improved economic performance and service delivery

4 Political influences on incentive structures Political institutions: Which institutions, whether part of the state apparatus or informal, influence reform implementation? Connections between state and society: How to mobilise the support of political parties and civil society? Political agency: How to package reforms, moderate scope and pace, identify levels and arenas for reform

5 Structural features of politics and society Institutional depth: longevity, adaptability, and legitimacy of formal and informal institutions that shape pacts and bargaining strategies Composition of governing elites: resistance to reform efforts and pro-reform coalitions Composition of civil society: scope for building new reform coalitions and sources of political support to offset opposition

6 Design considerations (1) Sequencing, timing and pace of reforms: speed and ambition versus gradualism and incrementalism Technical capacity: capacity constraints blunt reform impact, autonomous institutions can foster implementation but undermine bureaucratic commitment

7 Design considerations (2) Decentralisation: devolution of responsibility can deflect reform but encourage innovation and competition Monitorability of reform: commitment to reform contingent on openness to public scrutiny and legislative oversight

8 Key findings Political agency and political institutions Formal and informal institutions Timing and sequencing Containing resistance and cultivating support Devolution to local governments Composition of governing elites Technical capacity

9 Political agency and political institutions (1) Political leadership: vision of potential benefits, willingness to consider reform options, reliance on technocrats Political commitment: importance of visible political commitment, sustainability more vulnerable

10 Political agency and political institutions (2) Political feasibility: severity of crisis (war or fiscal crisis) creates space for reform Political longevity: durability of political institutions enhances credibility and predictability, but creates opportunity for entrenchment and backsliding

11 Role of formal institutions Formal institutions place boundaries on behaviour of bureaucrats and politicians Institutions govern the extent of reforms: wholesale change versus within institution change Insulation of policy makers and institutions does not prevent predation Exclusion of organised groups weakens oversight and accountability

12 Role of informal institutions Clientelism generates reciprocal expectation of patronage in return for support for reforms Influence of political culture on bargaining and accommodation in democratic contexts Variable influence of ascriptive factors: caste and religion not significant in governance reform in India, but kinship and family important determinants of reform outcomes in Uganda

13 Timing and sequencing Incremental approaches work well in democratic political contexts, to build up support and mitigate opposition Cumulative reforms can have a significant impact over time e.g. fiscal pact in Brazil Incremental reform can limit wider impact and inhibit more difficult reforms Long term time horizon compatible with rapid implementation of far-reaching reforms where vested interests are not threatened

14 Resistance and support for reform Limits to political mobilisation increase scope for reform implementation Fragmentation of political opposition minimises resistance and maximises support Successful reforms generate benefits for many or do not threaten vested interests Difficult structural reforms require incentives, compensation of losers, and strong leadership to succeed Improved pay and conditions and positive customer feedback create reform incentives

15 Devolution to local governments Devolution to lower levels of government for reform implementation may not deflect opposition Sub-national governments can take the lead in governance reform e.g. states in India and municipalities in Brazil Centralising initiatives can be effective in ensuring elite accommodation to reform and overcoming sub-national resistance

16 Composition of governing elites Changes in governing elites are not a critical factor in successful outcomes: rural landowning interests unaffected by governance reforms in India Influence of traditional sub-national elites can be reduced by reform e.g. fiscal responsibility law in Brazil

17 Diversity and depth of civil society Limited engagement in reform design but gradual opening up to greater inclusion positive for reform in India Citizen engagement in governance reforms increases with higher literacy and active media Mobilisation of organised citizens builds support for reforms in India Limited civil society engagement in implementation of governance reforms in Brazil and Uganda

18 Technical capacity Successful reforms require high levels of bureaucratic capacity to ensure effective implementation and ownership High degree of technocratic involvement in design and implementation in Uganda, but not conducive to broader participation Use of private sector advice and technical expertise in reform implementation in India

19 Key success factors Type of reform: incremental reforms produce modest benefits but can have cumulative impact, generate support and stronger prospects for sustainability Political regime: political commitment is major determinant of successful implementation, but needs to be broad based for sustainable reform

20 Key success factors (2) Technical capacity: significant determinant of successful design and implementation Paradox of state capacity is that it takes time to build up and develop; weak states lack capacity in initial stages of reform Insulation of technocrats is conducive to rapid reform but mitigates accountability and oversight

21 Implications for analytical work More systematic evaluation of country level and sub-sector governance programs Further comparative research in specific reform areas e.g. civil service reform Political feasibility analysis for identifying risks and opportunities at country level

22 Importance of regime type Consolidated democracies: incremental approach to minimise opposition and build support Unconsolidated democracies: limited scope for PSG reforms, focus on political institutions Partial democracies: strong commitment and incentives can be conducive to reform Authoritarian regimes: lack of political commitment and weak institutions not conducive to reform

23 Development policy lending Stronger country ownership conducive to ownership and willingness to take risk Policy-based lending premised on greater participation, consultation and oversight Trade-offs between accountability and efficiency gains in incremental reforms Focus on long-term structural changes over an extended time frame vs. short- term, high impact reforms

24 Technical assistance and investment loans Mix of lending instruments tailored to country conditions is an optimal approach Investment lending required to address priority governance areas that may lose resources from budget support Strengthened skills in political and institutional analysis in country offices


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