Fixing African Economies: Policy Research for Development

By Lucie Colvin Phillips; Diery Seck | Go to book overview

4
Kenya:
Policy Research and Policy Reform
T. C. I. Ryan1

At the time of its independence in 1963, Kenya's colonial heritage provided a variety of rent-seeking opportunities to the country's newly elected economic managers. Their enduring influence has often frustrated policy reform. Identifying unsustainable outcomes of these distortions is a key purpose of economic research.

Notwithstanding any preceding policy research and analysis, Kenya's political leaders have to ensure that the president will support their new reform proposals. Access to him and the appropriate presentation of research results are thus necessary components of any reform process. To have an impact, researchers must perceive problems in the ways that Kenyan policymakers do. The audience must be kept in mind when research results are presented. In examining the costs and benefits of any reform, it is unrealistic to ignore ethnic differences and the political constituencies upon which leaders depend. Policymakers must trust the researcher: they have neither the time nor inclination to read carefully worked out economic arguments. To some extent, this means that a researcher without political connections must find someone who has them to carry the message in a format that policymakers can easily understand and use.

Though Kenya has a well-established international reputation for preparing high-quality policy documents, such written statements do not necessarily constitute policy—a term that implies sustained action supported by money, facilities, and personnel. In part, this explains Kenya's reputation for backtracking on such controversial policies as grain marketing, where the real issue is a complex domestic perception of food security and rent seeking, or parastatal divestiture, where the underlying issue is economic sovereignty and rent seeking. Any proposed efficiency

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Fixing African Economies: Policy Research for Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Fixing African Economies: the Research-Policy Nexus 1
  • Notes *
  • 2 - Ghana: Promoting Accountability and Transparency in Government Behavior 25
  • Notes *
  • 3 - Nigeria: Understanding Attitudes Toward Democracy and Markets 65
  • Notes *
  • 4 - Kenya: Policy Research and Policy Reform 95
  • Notes *
  • 5 - Tanzania: Policy Research and the Mining Boom 117
  • 6 - Madagascar: Using Policy Research in Formulating Tax Policy 129
  • Appendix - Other Recent Tax Policy Research in Madagascar *
  • Notes *
  • 7 - Ghana and Uganda: Considering Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies 155
  • Notes *
  • 8 - South Africa: Policy-Oriented Research on Labor Markets and Poverty 183
  • 9 - Conclusions 209
  • Acronyms 227
  • References 229
  • The Contributors 237
  • Index 243
  • About the Book 249
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