Governance Assessments and Domestic Accountability: Feeding Domestic Debate and Changing Aid Practices

Stefan Meyer

How is it possible to manage the competing tensions that arise in aid accountability? Based on governance assessments, this paper analyses current developments in mutual accountability relations between donors and aid recipients and how these relate to the domestic accountability of governments to their citizens. Donors are challenged by inaccurate perceptions of themselves and ...» more

Voice and Accountability Indexes

Because ‘voice and accountability’ is a broad term comprising several areas of donor intervention - including civic education, rights awareness, empowerment, democracy promotion and support to civil society and the media - the literature on tools and indicators for measuring the impact of development interventions on voice and accountability is highly fragmented. With the ...» more

The Politics of Governance Ratings

Christiane Arndt

What explains the popularity and misuse of the prominent governance indicators produced by the World Bank and others? This article in the International Public Management Journal argues that producing and using a range of more targeted, transparent indicators will benefit all stakeholders. Among hundreds of existing governance indicators, the most popular are perception-based ...» more

Survey of Donor Approaches to Governance Assessment


Many development agencies are engaged in assessing governance. What are their approaches and how can these be more effectively harmonised? This study from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development surveys donors' use of general and thematic governance assessments. Most approaches are driven by policy dialogue, detailed planning of governance enhancement ...» more

M&E of Participation in Governance

There is generally very little information available on evaluating the effectiveness of the inclusive/participatory aspects of governance programmes. A particular difficulty is that there is a limited understanding of what improvements in governance actually look like. Nevertheless, some common principles identified in the literature include the need for both quantitative and ...» more

The Practitioners’ Guide to the Household Economy Approach

Tanya Boudreau

The Household Economy Approach (HEA) is a livelihoods-based framework for analysing how people obtain access to the things they need to survive and prosper. This Practitioners’ Guide from the Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme (RHVP), FEG Consulting and Save the Children provides tools for those involved in fieldwork and analysis of HEA assessments. Central issues in ...» more

Outcome-Based Conditionality: Too Good To Be True?

Nuria Molina

Does linking aid disbursement to a results agenda (outcome-based conditionality) actually build recipient ownership and development effectiveness? This report for the European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD) analyses the different interpretations of outcome-based aid delivery adopted by the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission ...» more

On Measuring Governance: Framing Issues for Debate

Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay

How can the measurement of governance be enhanced? This World Bank paper highlights key issues for users and providers of governance indicators. It contends that: (1) all governance indicators have weaknesses; (2) there are no easy solutions in measuring governance; and that (3) the links from governance to development outcomes are complex. Policymakers should view the ...» more

Making Statistics Work for Development


How can statistics be used to improve development policies and their outcomes? This booklet outlines how the Department for International Development (DFID) is working to promote the availability and use of evidence at country, regional and international levels. It sets out DFID’s statistics strategy and how statisticians contribute to better development policies, more ...» more

Public Governance Indicators: a Literature Review

M G Mimicopoulos, L Kyj

How can governance best be measured? This paper from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) gives an overview of governance indicators and discusses their advantages and disadvantages. It argues that new transforming factors such as the Information Age, globalisation and decentralisation should be taken into account in governance assessments. ...» more

Measuring Governance: What Guidance for Aid Policy?

J Court, V Fritz, E Gyimah-Boadi

How can aid policy be rigorously and systematically linked to governance situations in developing countries? This paper from the Overseas Development Institute examines current techniques for measuring governance applied to the issue of scaling up Irish Aid. There are a growing number of sources of governance indicators which should be used to inform aid decisions. However, ...» more

Good Enough Governance Revisited – 2007

M S Grindle

Given limited resources of money, time, knowledge and capacity, what are the best ways to move towards better governance in a particular country? This article from the Development Policy Review argues that the concept of good enough governance falls short as a tool to guide decisions in real world contexts. Rather the feasibility of particular interventions can be assessed by ...» more

Governance Matters VI: Governance Indicators for 1996-2006

World Bank

This paper from the World Bank presents the latest update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) research project. It covers 212 countries and territories and measures six dimensions of governance between 1996 and 2006: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of ...» more

The Worldwide Governance Indicators Project: Answering the Critics

D Kaufmann et al

Are criticisms of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) tenable? This paper from the World Bank summarises and responds to recent critiques of the WGI. It argues that such criticisms are misguided as they misinterpret the indicators, lack empirical support or apply a conceptual framework which is ill-suited to the practical aim of the WGI.The WGI have reported on ...» more

Media Matters: Perspectives on Advancing Governance and Development from the Global Forum for Media Development

M Harvey

Why is the media important in development? This report from the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) is the result of a year-long collaboration between media development practitioners and social, political and communications scientists. It asks why media matters, how its impact can be measured, and considers the key challenges across the sector. It argues that independent ...» more

Governance Indicators: A Users’ Guide


Demand for ways to measure different aspects of democracy, human rights and governance is increasing. This has led to a rapid growth in the number of indicators to assess government performance, the quality of institutions and people’s perceptions. This guide, put together by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Commission, offers advice on where to find ...» more

Does More Transparency Go Along With Better Governance?

Roumeen Islam

How are information flows linked to governance? This paper from Economics and Politics presents a new indicator, the transparency index, to measure the frequency with which governments update economic data made available to the public. It also uses the existence of a Freedom of Information Act as an indicator of transparency. Cross-country analysis shows that countries with ...» more

The Aid ‘Darlings’ and ‘Orphans’ of the Great Lakes Region in Africa

S Marysse et al

How does selective allocation of Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) affect developing countries? This discussion paper from the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) at the University of Antwerp looks at the consequences of aid flows in the Great Lakes Region in Africa. The 'aid darling' status of Rwanda and 'aid orphan' status of Zaire/DR Congo and Burundi ...» more

Local Capacity, Village Governance, and the Political Economy of Rural Development in Indonesia

A Bebbington, L Dharmawan

The idea that local people are best placed to address local problems is widely accepted, but how can the nature and effectiveness of local capacity be examined? This paper from the journal World Development develops a framework for conceptualising local capacity to address livelihood and governance problems and applies this to recent research from rural Indonesia. It suggests ...» more

Measuring Democratic Governance: A Framework for Selecting Pro-poor and Gender Sensitive Indicators

United Nations Development Programme

How should we measure democratic governance? Most indicators are developed by external stakeholders to compare nation states and are not designed to help countries undertake governance reforms. This UNDP guide presents a framework for generating pro-poor gender sensitive indicators to help policy makers monitor and evaluate democratic governance at the country level. It argues ...» more