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Governance and Institutions


The World Bank’s support for building open, effective, and accountable institutions for inclusive development is critical, especially when countries are fighting economic recessions. This involves a focus on: (i) strengthening core government functions in developing countries, and (ii) developing a public sector grounded in transparency, which combines fiscal transparency, technological innovation, social accountability, anti-corruption efforts, and citizen participation to strengthen the social contract between governments and citizens. Evidence and research are much needed on how to bolster fiscal risk assessments and how to achieve enhanced infrastructure governance, strengthen human capital financing, adopt universally accessible GovTech solutions, and strengthen implementation of pandemic preparedness plans.

An ongoing impact evaluation project on a participatory development program to foster women's participation in Pakistan serves as a good example for the type of research and data project that the KCP can support in the new phase. The project sheds light on how participatory programs can increase the ability of citizens/communities to monitor and hold local governments accountable for the provision of public goods and services. It assessed two potential mechanisms for inclusive development: (i) quotas for participation among women and the poor in local decision making, and (ii) communitywide referenda to decide resource allocation. The idea is to test which mechanism better promotes community capacity to undertake self-initiated development activities, including long-term maintenance of local infrastructure, and identify impacts on broader forms of women's empowerment, such as women's mobility, labor force participation, political participation, household bargaining power, and aspirations for their children.

Working Papers

Good Countries or Good Projects? Comparing Macro and Micro Correlates of World Bank and Asian Development Bank Project Performance (2015)

This paper finds that project outcomes vary much more within countries than between countries. Among the macro variables, country growth and the policy environment are significantly positively correlated with project outcomes. Among the micro variables, shorter project duration and the presence of additional financing are significantly correlated with better project outcomes.

Rent Creation and Rent Containment: The Political Economy of Telecommunications in Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey (2017)

How does policy change in real polities, in terms of policy design and implementation? How is this shaped by the underlying nature of business-state relations and the overall political settlement in a country? This paper explores the political economy of telecommunications in three middle-income countries – Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey.

Does Better Information Curb Customs Fraud? (2020)

Better information helps curb customs fraud, but its effectiveness appears to be compromised by corruption. This paper examines how providing better information to customs inspectors and monitoring their actions affects tax revenue and fraud detection in Madagascar.

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