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Localizing Development : Does Participation Work?

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  • Ghazala Mansuri
  • Vijayendra Rao

Abstract

The Policy Research Report Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? brings analytical rigor to a field that has been the subject of intense debate and advocacy, and billions of dollars in development aid. It briefly reviews the history of participatory development and argues that its two modalities, community-based development and local decentralization, should be treated under the broader unifying umbrella of local development. It suggests that a distinction between organic participation (endogenous efforts by civic activists to bring about change) and induced participation (large-scale efforts to engineer participation at the local level via projects) is key, and focuses on the challenges of inducing participation. The report provides a conceptual framework for thinking about participatory development and then uses this framework to conduct a comprehensive review of the literature. The framework develops the concept of “civil society failure” and explains its interaction with government and market failures. It argues that participatory development, which is often viewed as a mechanism for bypassing market and government failures by ”harnessing” civic capacity, ought to be seen instead as a mechanism that, if done right, could help to repair important civil society failures. It distills literature from anthropology, economics, sociology, and political science to outline the challenges for effective policy in this area, looking at issues such as the uncertainty of trajectories of change, the importance of context, the role of elite capture and control, the challenge of collective action, and the role of the state. The review of the evidence looks at a variety of issues: the impact of participatory projects on inclusion, civic capacity, and social cohesion; on key development outcomes, such as income, poverty, and inequality; on public service delivery; and on the quality of local public goods. It draws on the evidence to suggest several recommendations for policy, emphasizing the key role of learning-by-doing. It then reviews participatory projects funded by the World Bank and finds the majority lacking in several arenas – particularly in paying attention to context and in creating effective monitoring and evaluation systems that allow for learning.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 11859 and published in 2013.

ISBN: 978-0-8213-8256-1
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:11859

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Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
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Web page: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org
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Related research

Keywords: Social Development Governance Poverty Reduction Social Development - Participations and Civic Engagement Governance - Local Government Public Sector Development - Decentralization Education For All Education Finance Civil Society;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Khemani, Stuti & Walton, Michael, 2011. "Civil Society, Public Action and Accountability in Africa," Working Paper Series rwp11-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Christopher Blattman & Nathan Fiala & Sebastian Martinez, 2012. "Employment Generation in Rural Africa: Mid-Term Results from an Experimental Evaluation of the Youth Opportunities Program in Northern Uganda," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1201, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "The Regressive Demands of Demand-Driven Development," Working Papers 2011-21, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  4. Ban, Radu & Jha, Saumitra & Rao, Vijayendra, 2012. "Who Has Voice in a Deliberative Democracy? Evidence from Transcripts of Village Parliaments in South India," Research Papers 2103, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  5. Joaquin Morales Belpaire, 2012. "Decentralized Aid and Democracy," Working Papers 1212, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  6. Ravallion, Martin, 2011. "Knowledgeable bankers ? the demand for research in World Bank operations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5892, The World Bank.
  7. Afridi, Farzana & Iversen, Vegard, 2014. "Social Audits and MGNREGA Delivery: Lessons from Andhra Pradesh," IZA Discussion Papers 8095, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2012. "Political Clientelism and Capture: Theory and Evidence from West Bengal, India," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Mccourt, Willy, 2012. "Can Top-Down and Bottom-Up be Reconciled? Electoral Competition and Service Delivery in Malaysia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2329-2341.
  10. Sambanis, Nicholas & Milanovic, Branko, 2011. "Explaining the demand for sovereignty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5888, The World Bank.
  11. Himanshu & Lanjouw, Peter & Murgai, Rinku & Stern, Nicholas, 2013. "Non-farm diversification, poverty, economic mobility and income inequality : a case study in village India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6451, The World Bank.
  12. Afridi, Farzana & Iversen, Vegard & Sharan, M.R., 2013. "Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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