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Innovations in Governance Series

innovations in gov logoThis practitioner seminar series explores how new technology, approaches and global initiatives shape the landscape of good governance, with significant implications for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

From thinking politically to working politically: Are we really doing development any differently?
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
In June it will be seven years since the Centre for Global Development published the Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) paper. Few academic papers have had such an impact on development thinking. The question is whether the paper – and subsequent debate and experimentation - have had a demonstrable and beneficial impact on development practice. Experience to date suggests thinking politically is easier than working politically. Practitioners in development agencies, governments and contractors find that convincing theoretical literature can be tricky to operationalize in a fractious environment.
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International Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from the US Experience
Thursday, May 9, 2019
The U.S. Government and U.S.-based experts have exported the U.S. model of criminal justice for decades. Countries across Latin America, among other places, have undergone major reforms to adopt U.S.-style adversarial courtroom trials, drug sentencing guidelines, bail, plea bargaining, and case management practices. But is the U.S. system a model for export? Clearly there are some features of the U.S. justice system that should be emulated, but recent research shows that the system does not always work as intended, resulting in practices that can be discriminatory, inefficient and costly.
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Innovations in Governance: The Next Wave of Decentralization
Friday, March 29, 2019
Decentralization is a loaded term. It is often mischaracterized as the solution, as opposed to a complex and dynamic multivariate element within the landscape of the social contract. Permutations can be either liberating or deleterious, or both. The first wave of post-World War II decentralization occurred in the 1970s and 1980s with a focus on deconcentration. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the second wave included political power sharing, democratization, and market liberalization and brought in the private sector. The 1990s ushered in participatory decision making through civil society participation. The 2000s have seen a resurgence of development partner interest and funding for the next wave of decentralization.
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Thinking and Working Politically on the Road to Self-Reliance: Does USAID have a New Map?
Monday, February 25, 2019
“Commitment and Capacity” - these are the two legs of USAID’s new framework for partner countries’ Journeys to Self-Reliance.  Is this old wine in a new bottle, or might this new approach focus attention on the capacity of systems of governance, and on the capacity of people in government? This next event in the Innovations in Governance series explores the components of self-reliance and the connections to underlying theories of accountable governance. Drawing on case studies from South Sudan, Tanzania and Nigeria, speakers will analyze the tension inherent in promoting self-reliance in societies characterized by rampant corruption, broken social contracts, elite capture and various forms of inequality.
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Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Improved Governance
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The international development community has shifted emphasis from service delivery and capacity-substitution to more nuanced approaches that strengthen local systems and navigate local incentive structures.  Which governance approaches are producing tangible results? What are the methodologies, challenges and opportunities enabling the integration of governance into sectoral programs?
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Innovations in Governance: From Integration to Politics
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
New approaches to open government, freedom of information, and social accountability are revitalizing the field of government transparency. But do these approaches satisfy citizens, or sow seeds of discontent? Do they create measureable impact? Have they had unintentional consequence of “closing space” for civil society?
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