Talking to the minister


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Talking to the minister

  1. 1. Julian MayInstitute for Social DevelopmentUniversity of the Western Cape
  2. 2. OutlineWhat 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 povertyWhat is pro-poor policy and why should we care?Is a development plan the answer?Talking to the Finance Minister
  3. 3. Development StudiesDevelopment studies is a field of critical inquiry concerning the contemporary dynamics of social, economic, political & population change in low and middle income countriesIt 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 choicesKnowledge creation in development studies is generated not only through research, but also through practice from community and policy engagement as well as from training
  4. 4. … 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.
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. GovernmentalityKnowledge production as an aspect of governmentality, that includes studying ‘up’ into powerful agenciesGovernmentality 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.
  7. 7. Contribution of Recent Research on povertyreductionGrowth is not good enough for the poorDifficulty of achieving permanent upward mobilityRole of information asymmetriesMal-distribution of income, wealth and powerMissing and non-price rationed markets‘Economically-costly’ poverty and ‘poverty production’Governance, networks and accountabilityThe impact of HIV/AIDS, war, natural & man-made disasters and violence
  8. 8. Pro-Poor PolicyAlignment of social, sectoral & microeconomic policies for poverty reduction with macroeconomic goalsCapacity for formulating policy induced growthRole of finance ministries in prioritising and sequencing resource allocationPolitical discourse rather than only evidence-basedTranslation of research findings into policy and procedures for implementation
  9. 9. Is a development plan the answer?Broad national ownershipFocuses public sector priority on reducing poverty, setting out the main elements of a poverty reduction strategyIncludes poverty diagnostics based on indicators of poverty, the poverty profile, measures of chronic povertyAsserts government’s commitment to developing poverty reduction policies through a consultative processShould lay out participatory processes to monitor policy implementation and progress in poverty reduction, and to ensure accountability
  10. 10. ConcernsThe capacity and appetite of governments and of civil society for diagnostic analysisThe capacity and appetite of governments and of civil society for subsequent policy dialogue around budget prioritisationThe capacity and appetite of Finance Minsters to accommodate local time frames, priorities and debateThe capacity and appetite of implementing agencies to cope with the implications of policy during implementation, operation and maintenance
  11. 11. 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%
  12. 12. Diagnostic Capacity - MaldivesUnique geographic constraintsLimited human resources with no universitySuccessfully completed and absorbed VPABurgeoning data collectionVPMS in process
  13. 13. Diagnostic Capacity - LesothoBureaucracy and civil society weakened by political insecurityHowever, poverty profile well developed using private sector and official dataPRSP in progress
  14. 14. Diagnostic Capacity - South AfricaCollection of official statistics disrupted during apartheid yearsWell resourced research sector and statistics officeNeeds outstrip current analytical capacityExtreme inequalities introduce complexityRDP, then Gear, then AsgsiSA, now the NDP
  15. 15. Capacity for measuringThe analysis of poverty is relatively well developed in all three countries, with money-metric measurement most commonStudies 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.
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Capacity for Measuring-to-DoingsSignificant improvements in collection of data but some notable failingsTechnical solutions to measurement problem possiblePlans could open new arenas for the use of information for policy developmentMulti-year budgeting expanding role of MoFPoverty monitoring structuresInadequate understanding of politics of information and its usageMacro/micro/social policy linkages still not being made
  18. 18. 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).
  19. 19. What to say to the Finance Minister?One size does not fit allPersistent poverty matters for growth and poverty reductionRelationship of individuals to the state and markets is dynamic since individual and political circumstances changePrioritising resources must be more evidenced based, accepting that part of the evidence is the political processAvoid conceptual clutter