Governance & Fragility

Governance & Fragility

Governance has become a major concern for both donors and aid recipient countries since the late 1980s. Very poor quality governance is also one of the defining characteristics of state fragility, and social unrest and violence may both exacerbate and be caused by weak institutions. Our work draws on some 80 studies prepared by UNU-WIDER’s global network.

© UN Photo/Kibae Park

The project brings together economists and political scientists to investigate the use of field experiments in the study of governance, and their limitations with regards to ‘what works’, ‘what is scalable’, and ‘what is transferable’ in foreign aid.

UNU-WIDER / Jan 2013
Buildings, Haiti © Dominic Chavez / World Bank

An integral part of development is the expansion of capability of the state to carry out its responsibilities and effectively both impose obligations (e.g. collect taxes, enforce the law) and provide services (education, infrastructure, health).

UNU-WIDER / Jan 2013
UNMIS Delivers Ballot Materials to Tali Payam © UN Photo/Tim McKulka

Foreign aid can exhibit multiple impacts on a developing country’s political economy. This project aims to better understand how aid influences the democratic process, with a specific focus on Africa.

UNU-WIDER / Dec 2012

Specifically, this project will uncover whether vertically divided authority reduces the delivery of basic urban services through reductions in intergovernmental transfers and highlight what donor modalities are most useful for ensuring that foreign aid intended to fund urban services does so in...

UNU-WIDER / Dec 2012