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Policy Experiments, Democratic Ownership and Development Assistance


  • Jörg Faust


In an effort to enhance the impact of development aid, recipients are called on to provide democratically sustained 'ownership' for development policies, and donors to align their interventions with these ownership-dictated strategies of their partners. This article illustrates the weaknesses of such an approach. From a political-economy perspective, severe tensions exist between concepts of democratic ownership, on the one hand, and the experimental and iterative organisation of a society's encompassing interests in democratic settings, on the other. These tensions are even more pronounced in emerging democracies, making democratic ownership as a prerequisite for aid effectiveness an illusion, and provoking the re-emergence of traditional donor-recipient problems. Copyright (c) The Author 2010. Journal compilation (c) 2010 Overseas Development Institute..

Suggested Citation

  • Jörg Faust, 2010. "Policy Experiments, Democratic Ownership and Development Assistance," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(5), pages 515-534, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:28:y:2010:i:5:p:515-534

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    Cited by:

    1. Fuchs, Andreas & Dreher, Axel & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul, 2015. "Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China s Foreign Assistance," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112838, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta, 2016. "Is the Threat of Foreign Aid Withdrawal an Effective Deterrent to Political Oppression? Evidence from 53 African Countries," MPRA Paper 74649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:4:p:493-511 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alan Fowler & Kees Biekart, 2013. "Relocating Civil Society in a Politics of Civic-Driven Change," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(4), pages 463-483, July.
    5. Matt Andrews & Lant Pritchett & Michael Woolcock, 2016. "Doing Iterative and Adaptive Work," CID Working Papers 313, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    6. Fowler, A.F. & Biekart, K., 2011. "Civic driven change: a narrative to bring politics back into civil society discourse," ISS Working Papers - General Series 529, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    7. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i::p:o46-o63 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Matt Andrews & Lant Pritchett & Michael Woolcock, 2016. "Managing Your Authorizing Environment in a PDIA Process," CID Working Papers 312, Center for International Development at Harvard University.

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