Tag Archives: state building
The g7+ group of 18 fragile and conflict-affected states has joined together to share experiences and promote a new development framework in what are the most difficult of circumstances. Supported by the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, the group achieved a major breakthrough at the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in November 2011—an agreement on a New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. A major part of this is a new orientation to the relationship with donors.
The New Deal priorities what fragile states themselves think are the most important issues to building peaceful and prosperous societies by identifying five Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs):
- Legitimate politics – Foster inclusive political settlements and conflict resolution
- Security – Establish and strengthen people’s security
- Justice – Address injustices and increase people’s access to justice
- Economic foundations – Generate employment and improve livelihoods
- Revenues and services – Manage revenue and build capacity for accountable and fair service delivery
These are meant to frame a country-led, inclusive way of setting national goals and establishing a national development plan. This, in turn, is meant to increase country-donor harmonization and donor co-ordination. (more…)
When the new head of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, engages the wider public, he asks, “What Will It Take to End Poverty?” When the prime minister of the United Kingdom touts his accomplishments in the development field, he writes about “Combating Poverty at Its Roots.” And when NGOs fundraise, they stir your heart by telling you, “Sponsoring a child is the most powerful way you can fight poverty.”
But given great reductions in absolute poverty (from 55 to 22 percent of the developing world’s population over the past three decades) and great improvements in the lives of the poor, is this focus on poverty reduction detracting from more important issues? (more…)
Everyone in the development field recognizes that learning is essential to development. But what kind of learning matters most?
For most major development actors, the emphasis is squarely on individual learning. Achieving universal primary education, for instance, is the second Millennium Development Goal, coming just after ending poverty and hunger. Organizations such as the World Bank believe that education is “universally recognized as one of the most fundamental building blocks for human development and poverty reduction,” and that, as DFID puts it, it is “fundamental to everything we do.”
Yet, societies and states must also learn if they are to develop the new institutions, new knowledge, and new capacities that are essential to creating wealth, improving governance, and enhancing resilience. And this larger, macro level learning requires very different types of investments from those individuals need—investments that rarely get prioritized in the development field. (more…)
Cross-posted at Global Dashboard.
Corruption is generally vilified as an unmitigated evil. It disenfranchises the poor, weakens public services, reduces investment, and holds back whole societies. And yet, in some instances, corruption can actually be very useful, lubricating business in a way that promotes growth, creates jobs, helps smooth the introduction of needed reforms, and reduces poverty.
What explains this paradox? (more…)
CGD should be praised for undertaking such an initiative. Getting aid right in Pakistan matters a lot to US national interests, as well as to the idea that donors can contribute to state building. No fragile state is as important as Pakistan. Its governance problems have allowed terrorists to use its territory to plan attacks, and make its growing stockpile of nuclear weapons less secure. On the other hand, its strategic location and growing population (the country will be the 4th largest in a generation) ought to make it an important emerging market.
It is also rare that any think tank so closely examines aid policy in a specific country, though the importance of Pakistan means that two Washington organizations have done so in the last year (the Wilson Center issued a report in December).
But, CGD’s approach is flawed. Although the report makes sensible recommendations (on things like opening markets, promoting investment, engaging reformers, and improving USAID operations), it says almost nothing specific about Pakistan. There is no attempt to understand the drivers of its political economy, and the causes of its weak governance. There is no attempt to delve into the reasons why its leadership has consistently failed the country or why its state apparatus works so badly, especially for the country’s tens of millions of poor people. All its ideas more or less repeat verbatim what could be said about U.S. aid to almost any developing country. There is no context. (more…)