Wednesday, June 23, 2010
PUBLICATION: The Politics of Poverty: Elites, Citizens and States (DFID)
A new DFID synthesis report, The Politics of Poverty: Elites, Citizens and States, shows how research from four major DFID-funded research programmes that are closing this year is changing academic and policy thinking on governance.
What difference does Governance make?
Governance is sometimes seen as an intangible concept. But at root it is a simple one. Governance describes the way countries and societies manage their affairs politically and the way power and authority are exercised. This makes a big difference to all our lives: it determines the security of our families from conflict, disease and destitution; our freedom to actively participate in our societies and to have a say in the way we are governed; and our opportunities to educate ourselves and to be economically productive, securing a better future for ourselves and our communities. Governance determines whether our states can collect taxes and use them responsibly to deliver public services. For the poorest and most vulnerable, the difference that good, or particularly bad, governance, makes to their lives is profound: the inability of government institutions to prevent conflict, provide basic security, or basic services can have life-or-death consequences; lack of opportunity can prevent generations of poor families from lifting themselves out of poverty; and the inability to grow economically and collect taxes can keep countries trapped in a cycle of aid-dependency.