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Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action

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ISBN: 9780198747482 Year: Pages: 288 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747482.001.0001 Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press Grant: Harvard University
Subject: Economics --- Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-25 11:01:13
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Abstract

Governments play a major role in the development process, and constantly introduce reforms and policies to achieve developmental objectives. Many of these interventions have limited impact, however; schools get built but kids don’t learn, IT systems are introduced but not used, plans are written but not implemented. These achievement deficiencies reveal gaps in capabilities, and weaknesses in the process of building state capability. This book addresses these weaknesses and gaps. It starts by providing evidence of the capability shortfalls that currently exist in many countries, showing that many governments lack basic capacities even after decades of reforms and capacity-building efforts. The book then analyzes this evidence, identifying capability traps that hold many governments back—particularly related to isomorphic mimicry (where governments copy best practice solutions from other countries that make them look more capable even if they are not more capable) and premature load bearing (where governments adopt new mechanisms that they cannot actually make work, given weak extant capacities). The book then describes a process that governments can use to escape these capability traps. Called PDIA (problem-driven iterative adaptation), this process empowers people working in governments to find and fit solutions to the problems they face. The discussion about this process is structured in a practical manner so that readers can actually apply tools and ideas to the capability challenges they face in their own contexts. These applications will help readers devise policies and reforms that have more impact than those of the past.

Keywords

foreign aid --- reform --- policy --- government --- politics --- capability --- development --- poverty --- pdia --- services

Fragility, Aid, and State-building

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Book Series: ThirdWorlds ISBN: 9781315115344 9781138069718 9780367321772 9781351630337 9781351630313 Year: DOI: 10.4324/9781315115344 Language: English
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Subject: Political Science --- History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2019-11-08 11:21:24
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Fragile states pose major development and security challenges. Considerable international resources are therefore devoted to state-building and institutional strengthening in fragile states, with generally mixed results. This volume explores how unpacking the concept of fragility and studying its dimensions and forms can help to build policy-relevant understandings of how states become more resilient and the role of aid therein. It highlights the particular challenges for donors in dealing with ‘chronically’ (as opposed to ‘temporarily’) fragile states and those with weak legitimacy, as well as how unpacking fragility can provide traction on how to take ‘local context’ into account. Three chapters present new analysis from innovative initiatives to study fragility and fragile state transitions in cross-national perspective. Four chapters offer new focused analysis of selected countries, drawing on comparative methods and spotlighting the role of aid versus historical, institutional and other factors. It has become a truism that one-size-fits-all policies do not work in development, whether in fragile or non-fragile states. This is should not be confused with a broader rejection of ‘off-the-rack’ policy models that can then be further adjusted in particular situations. Systematic thinking about varieties of fragility helps us to develop this range, drawing lessons – appropriately – from past experience. This book was originally published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly, and is available online as an Open Access monograph at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351630337.

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