There is widespread agreement that better governance matters for growth and poverty reduction, but little consensus on how to achieve it. Attempts by the development community to promote better governance in developing countries have had limited success. New research shows how effective public institutions evolve through a political process of bargaining between the state and organised groups in society. They cannot be constructed by simply transferring institutional models from rich to poor countries. The focus should therefore be not so much on capacity building of formal institutions, as on the informal relationships that underpin them. Policymakers should think less about what ought to be happening, and more politically about what is actually happening, what works and why - and build on that.
S. Unsworth. Getting Better Governance: Insights from new Research. Trocaire Development Review (2006) : 17-33pp, April.