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Institution Building with Limited Resources: Establishing a Supreme Audit Institution in Rwanda


  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie
  • Bigsten, Arne


This study examines the tensions between best-practice institutional benchmarks and local operational constraints in a developing country institution-building process. Drawing on data from document studies and key informant interviews, we investigate if and how staff capacity constraints affect the achievement of the programmatic ideal of supreme audit institution (SAI) independence, and what tradeoffs this gives rise to in the development of a SAI oversight function in Rwanda. The empirical results suggest that capacity constraints negatively affect important aspects of SAI independence, and point to the need for contextual institutional solutions to safeguard independence as well as to tackle capacity constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2012. "Institution Building with Limited Resources: Establishing a Supreme Audit Institution in Rwanda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1870-1881.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:9:p:1870-1881
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.04.021

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    institution building; capacity constraints; supreme audit institution; Rwanda; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa


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