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Governance and Political Economy
Reforming States, Delivering Services

An often unaccounted-for variable in many Bank operations – whether in support of institutional reform or frontline service delivery – is how aspects of the political economy affect reform, growth, and pro-poor policies. Often policy makers make and seek to sustain policy choices that are economically indefensible or unsustainable, or strongly resist reform measures.

Why do policy makers make such choices? Why do technically sound reforms succeed in certain environments but fail in others? How can we better understand the political economy contexts we work in, and especially the effect on reform and on pro-poor growth?

The Governance and Political Economy program provides support to Bank teams to enhance their understanding of political economy contexts in order to enhance the potential for effective outcomes for Bank operations, especially in public sector reform. The program’s main goal is to guide teams to valid options available to staff to advance public sector governance and, ultimately, pro-poor growth in the complex political economy contexts we encounter.

At present the program focuses on four areas:

Stakeholder Analysis for project teams to better understand the range of interests affected by proposed reforms or policies and how to best manage these to assure effective reforms and sustainable results.

Training to introduce operational staff to the main methodologies, relevant lessons from Bank and non-Bank work, and training in specific tools for analysis at different levels and for different contexts.

Brown Bag Lunches/Seminar Series to provide a platform for reviewing topical findings and for open discussions on the relevance of political economy and political economy analysis for Bank operations.

Notes and Briefs to illustrate good practices and practical lessons, provide quick reference guides on significant concepts and tools, and publicize model reports.

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