Julian MayInstitute for Social DevelopmentUniversity of the Western Cape
OutlineWhat is development studies and is it a useful thing to do if you plan to talk to Finance Ministers?What have we learnt about trying to reduce povertyWhat is pro-poor policy and why should we care?Is a development plan the answer?Talking to the Finance Minister
Development StudiesDevelopment studies is a field of critical inquiry concerning the contemporary dynamics of social, economic, political & population change in low and middle income countriesIt makes use of inter-disciplinary conceptual frameworks and methods to identify development goals that are possible and desirable, for whom & at what cost, the way in which such goals are prioritised & implemented, and the intended & unintended consequences of these choicesKnowledge creation in development studies is generated not only through research, but also through practice from community and policy engagement as well as from training
… the urgent need to revive development theory, not as a branch of policy-oriented social science within the parameters of an unquestioned capitalist world order, but as a field of critical inquiry about the contemporary dynamics of that order itself, with imperative policy implications for the survival of civilized and decent life, and not just in the ex-colonial countries. (Leys, 1996: 43)…a way to present radical concepts in a technical guise (Chambers, 2004: 5)Rebadge dissent by calling it ‘blue sky thinking’ and thereby reduce its hegemonic threat Leys, C., (1996). The rise and fall of development theory. East African Education publishers (EAEP), Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press and London Chambers, R., (2004), Ideas for development: reflecting forwards. IDS Working Paper 238. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex.
Scope of DS Dialogic processes Political economy• Ethically and ideologically what •Between disciplines within • Structures of global does development studies aim to development studies institutions economy do •Engaging students as ‘users’ • States• What is development and where and practitioners as researchers • Corporations does it occur, and hence, what •Between research institutions • Funders does development studies cover? and a range of users • Communities• How is this realised within institutions of teaching & research? Scenarios Circumscribing Bridging/ incrementalism Counter-critique
GovernmentalityKnowledge production as an aspect of governmentality, that includes studying ‘up’ into powerful agenciesGovernmentality requires analysing ‘the rationalities of rules, the forms of knowledge and expertise they construct, and the specific and contingent assemblages of practices, materials, agents and techniques through which these rationalities operate to produce governable subjects’ (Hart, 2004: 92)Development studies researchers in a developing country have an interesting role Hart, G., (2004), Geography and development: critical ethnographies, Progress in Human Geography , 28: 91–100.
Contribution of Recent Research on povertyreductionGrowth is not good enough for the poorDifficulty of achieving permanent upward mobilityRole of information asymmetriesMal-distribution of income, wealth and powerMissing and non-price rationed markets‘Economically-costly’ poverty and ‘poverty production’Governance, networks and accountabilityThe impact of HIV/AIDS, war, natural & man-made disasters and violence
Pro-Poor PolicyAlignment of social, sectoral & microeconomic policies for poverty reduction with macroeconomic goalsCapacity for formulating policy induced growthRole of finance ministries in prioritising and sequencing resource allocationPolitical discourse rather than only evidence-basedTranslation of research findings into policy and procedures for implementation
Is a development plan the answer?Broad national ownershipFocuses public sector priority on reducing poverty, setting out the main elements of a poverty reduction strategyIncludes poverty diagnostics based on indicators of poverty, the poverty profile, measures of chronic povertyAsserts government’s commitment to developing poverty reduction policies through a consultative processShould lay out participatory processes to monitor policy implementation and progress in poverty reduction, and to ensure accountability
ConcernsThe capacity and appetite of governments and of civil society for diagnostic analysisThe capacity and appetite of governments and of civil society for subsequent policy dialogue around budget prioritisationThe capacity and appetite of Finance Minsters to accommodate local time frames, priorities and debateThe capacity and appetite of implementing agencies to cope with the implications of policy during implementation, operation and maintenance
Maldives, Lesotho and South Africa in 2003 Maldives 310 000 people living on 200 coral islands Sultanate until 1968, current president re-elected for 5 consecutive terms HDI Rank = 84, GDP per capita = $4500, HIV prevalence = 0.05% Lesotho 2 million people living in mountainous area, most of which above 1830m Constitutional monarchy, military rule between 1986 and 1993. Several attempts to return the country to military rule HDI Rank = 132, GDP per capita = $2031, HIV prevalence = 31.0% South Africa 44 million people in a ‘rainbow nation’ History of apartheid well known as is transition to democracy in 1994 HDI Rank = 107, GDP per capita = $9401, HIV prevalence = 20.1%
Diagnostic Capacity - MaldivesUnique geographic constraintsLimited human resources with no universitySuccessfully completed and absorbed VPABurgeoning data collectionVPMS in process
Diagnostic Capacity - LesothoBureaucracy and civil society weakened by political insecurityHowever, poverty profile well developed using private sector and official dataPRSP in progress
Diagnostic Capacity - South AfricaCollection of official statistics disrupted during apartheid yearsWell resourced research sector and statistics officeNeeds outstrip current analytical capacityExtreme inequalities introduce complexityRDP, then Gear, then AsgsiSA, now the NDP
Capacity for measuringThe analysis of poverty is relatively well developed in all three countries, with money-metric measurement most commonStudies adopt cutting edge methodologies, producing reports that are multidimensional and dynamic in their conceptualisation of poverty, combining quantitative and qualitative forms of analysis.Poverty/wealth analysed as a lifetime experience in which vulnerability and accumulation play central roles suggesting that chronic poverty can be brought onto the policy agenda.
Capacity for Evidence-to-Policy Policy development shows little sign of being evidence- based, with one-size-fits-all macro-economic policies Macro-economic policies not linked to social or micro- economic policy Information not trusted and measurements and understanding of poverty inconsistently applied when formulating policy at national and international levels Governance structures often ineffective and viable monitoring and evaluation mechanisms yet to be established Statistics agencies are under-resourced, and absorbative capacity of government is weak
Capacity for Measuring-to-DoingsSignificant improvements in collection of data but some notable failingsTechnical solutions to measurement problem possiblePlans could open new arenas for the use of information for policy developmentMulti-year budgeting expanding role of MoFPoverty monitoring structuresInadequate understanding of politics of information and its usageMacro/micro/social policy linkages still not being made
Still an Anti-Politics Machine?“…by uncompromisingly reducing poverty to a technical problem, and by promising technical solutions to the sufferings of the powerless, and oppressed people, the hegemonic problematic of “development” is the principal means through which the question of poverty is de- politicised.” (Ferguson, 1990:256).
What to say to the Finance Minister?One size does not fit allPersistent poverty matters for growth and poverty reductionRelationship of individuals to the state and markets is dynamic since individual and political circumstances changePrioritising resources must be more evidenced based, accepting that part of the evidence is the political processAvoid conceptual clutter