The three political economies of electoral quality in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Terence Wood

This paper focuses on electoral quality and malpractice in the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands. It argues that the electoral malpractice the countries experience is a product of three interacting political economies: national, international and local. It aims to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the origins of these electoral issues ...» more

NIMD Country Programme evaluation

Laure-Hélène Piron

The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy commissioned an institutional evaluation of the period 2011–2014, with a focus on three country programmes (Georgia, Guatemala and Mali). The first objective of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which NIMD achieved results in the period 2011–2014. The second objective was to assess the extent to which the NIMD ...» more

Making development work: The quality of government approach

Bo Rothstein & Marcus Tannenberg

This report synthesizes the current knowledge on why some countries have developed into prosperous societies while others have not, and puts forward conclusions for development policy. The report summarises qualitative as well as quantitative studies that have shown that quality of governance (QoG) factors, such as control of corruption, the rule of law, and administrative ...» more

Inclusive institutions

The term ‘inclusive institutions’ does not refer to a clearly defined field of theory or policy within international development, but to a normative sensibility that stands in favour of inclusion as the benchmark against which institutions can be judged and also promoted. Inclusive institutions are usually portrayed as both a means through which inclusive development…» more

Realising the right to a basic education in South Africa

Shaun Franklin & Daniel McLaren

Is South Africa meeting its constitutional and other legal obligations in making quality basic education accessible to all? This report finds that while progress has been made on access to basic education, quality and adequacy remain key issues that the government needs to address. This paper aims to guide the government in how to better fulfil these obligations and to provide ...» more

Social development and human development

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to ...» more

Systems Thinking: An introduction for Oxfam programme staff

Kimberly Bowman et al.

Systems thinking can be an important part of developing truly sustainable and transformative change. This introduction explains how a systems approach can be integrated within programmes and ways of working, and provides tools, case study examples and links to resources for further learning. It highlights the need for change at both a programme and organisational level to ...» more

Strategy testing: an innovative approach to monitoring highly flexible aid programs

Debra Ladner

How can we develop a rigorous and meaningful monitoring system that will support, rather than hinder, a flexible, adaptive programme approach? This paper outlines the Strategy Testing (ST) approach The Asia Foundation has developed in response to this question. It finds that ST is a promising monitoring approach, contributing to broader efforts to reorient development ...» more

A governance practitioner’s notebook: Alternative ideas and approaches

Alan Whaites et al.

This resource aims to stimulate thinking and debate. It provides briefings by a wide range of experts on politics, public sector reform and stakeholder engagement. The book charts the evolution of donor thinking and practice, highlighting current challenges and offering insights into new ways of working. It stresses the golden rule that supporting governance reform is ...» more

Theories of Change: Time for a radical approach to learning in development

Craig Valters

A Theory of Change approach demands a radical shift towards more and better learning in development thinking and practice. This paper outlines growing and diverse ways in which Theory of Change approaches are understood, and highlights four key principles. Recognising the need not to obsess over the latest tool/buzzword, it calls for a shift towards learning as a norm and ...» more

A new climate for peace: Taking action on climate and fragility

Lukas Rüttinger; Dan Smith; Gerald Stang; Dennis Tänzler; and Janani Vivekananda

This independent report commissioned by members of the G7 calls for action on climate and fragility risk. It highlights risks and policy gaps that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in three key sectors: climate change adaptation; development and humanitarian aid; and peacebuilding. The report suggests concrete action from G7 member countries is ...» more

Evidence on outcomes of an inclusive societies approach

This annotated bibliography covers 80 studies that include some evidence of inclusive outcomes. The studies range across sectors, such as the political sphere, health, and education; across groups, such as people with disabilities, women and ethnic minorities; and across indicators, such as increased growth, school enrolment, and policy changes. Several types of intervention ...» more

Improving development aid design and evaluation: Plan for sailboats, not trains

Rachel Kleinfeld

How do reforms that require political engagement differ from traditional technical reforms? Why is political engagement different, and what are the implications for design and evaluation? How should development programmes that engage politics be designed? And how can those who fund or implement such programmes evaluate whether their efforts are contributing to reform? This ...» more

Benefits to society of an inclusive societies approach

There are many claims for the benefits to society of an inclusive societies approach across a broad range of societal outcomes. The anticipated development benefits of inclusive societies are increasingly present in donor policy thinking and global dialogues, including the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal framework. The desired impacts range from economic benefits to ...» more

Public sector institutional reform

The public sector is the single most important investment instrument for the state, and improving the way it is managed is critical for development outcomes including service delivery, social protection and private sector regulation. Public sector governance reform involves institutional reform – that is, changing the rules and norms that govern public sector activity. How can ...» more

Adapting development: improving services to the poor

Leni Wild, David Booth, Clare Cummings, Marta Foresti, Joseph Wales

This report argues that if we are to avoid reproducing the pattern of uneven progress that has characterised the MDG campaign, there must be more explicit recognition of the political conditions that sometimes enable, but so often obstruct, development progress. In this context, domestic reformers and their international partners must pursue innovative and politically smart ...» more

A Typology of Political Conditionality Beyond Aid: Conceptual Horizons Based on Lessons from the European Union

Svea Koch

This paper asks how political conditionality needs to be conceptualised and researched to reflect global changes. It argues that a diversification of political conditionality “beyond aid” is now taking place. Political conditionality reaches across different external policy fields and includes cooperative and punitive measures. It has also moved from political rights toward ...» more

Political economy constraints for urban development

Experts highlight evidence gaps in particular on the political economy of urban service delivery; social and political participation by urban poor people; the relationship between urbanisation, urban poverty and urban violence; the relationship between state fragility, state legitimacy and the national political settlement; and what works and what does not in tackling political ...» more

Thinking and working politically

Development assistance works best, and is least liable to do harm, when the people designing it are thinking and working politically (TWP). This thought has been around for some time, but what it implies in practice has not always been clear. Big steps have been taken to encourage donor agency staff to think politically about…» more

Human rights

This topic guide provides an introduction to the interactions and links between human rights and international development. Human rights are increasingly visible in international development language, policies and programmes. Human rights, and the principles they are based on, are argued to improve the effectiveness of development programmes. But beyond that, a human rights ...» more