Managing Policy Reform: Concepts and Tools for Decision-Makers in Developing and Transitioning Countries

Managing Policy Reform: Concepts and Tools for Decision-Makers in Developing and Transitioning Countries

Managing Policy Reform: Concepts and Tools for Decision-Makers in Developing and Transitioning Countries

Managing Policy Reform: Concepts and Tools for Decision-Makers in Developing and Transitioning Countries

Synopsis

• A toolbox for designing, managing, and influencing policy reform in government and civil society
• Based on experience in over 40 countries

This comprehensive book provides concepts and tools to navigate the "how" of policy change in order to enhance democratic governance. It teaches decision-makers how to implement policy more effectively and increase performance feasibility of these reforms.

The research--part of the USAID Implementing Policy Change Project--stems from work with government officials, private sector entrepreneurs, and civil society groups, from regional to national and local levels in over 40 countries. The book includes dynamic tools for designing, managing, and influencing policy reforms in government, donor agencies, NGOs, civil society groups, and the private sector.

Excerpt

As countries make the difficult transition to democracy and economic liberalization, numerous policy changes are necessary. Decision-makers and reformers have tended to focus their attention primarily on the technical content of these reforms. These are important concerns, yet a singular focus on the technical aspects of reform ignores a major element of achieving results. Success in pursuing reforms requires recognizing that reform is about process and people (who wins and who loses from reforms), as well as about content. This is a particularly important facet of managing governmental affairs in a democracy.

Democratic governance requires an efficient, effective, and accountable public sector that is open to citizen participation and that strengthens rather than weakens a democratic political system. Because citizens lose confidence in a government that is unable to implement policies or deliver basic services, the degree to which a government is able to carry out these functions can be a key determinant of a country’s ability to sustain democratic reform.

From 1990 to 2001 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the Implementing Policy Change Project (IPC) to develop tools and approaches to improve the process of policy implementation in ways that encourage and enhance sustainable democratic governance. During that period IPC worked in more than forty countries on reform efforts across a wide variety of development sectors, from regional to national to local levels, with government officials, private sector entrepreneurs, and civil society groups. For example, at the national level in Zambia IPC consultants worked with the president’s cabinet to improve communications between line ministries and senior government officials to make the translation of policy into practice more effective and to improve accountability. At the local level in Bulgaria an IPC team assisted municipal governments, business associations, and civil society groups to increase citizen participation in policy and program decisions, develop transparent and accountable budget and finance systems, and improve local service delivery. In West Africa an IPC team supported the creation of national business associations and helped these groups lobby their governments for policy reforms. In Zambia, Bulgaria, and all the countries where IPC provided assistance, we found committed people from whom we learned as much if not more than they learned from us. IPC was not a . . .

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