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ESR 13 Demand for good governance and policy access for the poor

Early Stage Researcher: Ahmed El Assal

Research Directors: Prof. Dr. Wil Hout (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Netherlands); Prof. Dr. Azza Karam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam, Netherlands

Objectives:
Various development agencies, including the World Bank, have advocated the implementation of strategies aimed at ‘demand for good governance'. Reflected among others in the emphasis on ownership and accountability in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, activities have been initiated that focused on the aim to strengthening citizens' groups and other civil-society organisations to ‘demand' governance reform from their governments. This ESR project will identify initiatives in Sub- Saharan Africa for strengthening citizens' demand for effective public service delivery and accountability, including through mechanisms such as citizen scorecards related to the performance of government officials, participatory public expenditure management, citizens' budget tracking initiatives, et cetera. The project will investigate which demand-side initiatives have been successful and will focus on a number of case studies to investigate more in detail why certain initiatives led to greater access to policy- making for the poor while others failed.

Expected Results:
The project will enhance knowledge on how demand for good governance initiatives may lead to greater policy access for the poor, and what would be instruments to increase their chances of success. The research findings will hold relevance for specific governance interventions and contribute to strategies aimed at inclusive development.

Secondments:
The project involves a strong collaboration between the International Institute of Social Studies of EUR and VU Amsterdam and therefore includes mandatory research stays of the ESR in Amsterdam for six months in total.
Further secondments are planned as field research periods (3 months each) in Africa, supervised by the University of the Western Cape (South Africa), and Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia).

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