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Why multi-stakeholder groups succeed and fail


  • Truex, Rory
  • Soreide, Tina


Anti-corruption initiatives increasingly use multi-stakeholder groups, comprised of representatives from government, private sector, and civil society organizations, to drive implementation at the local level and serve as a force for transparency. In theory, the multi-stakeholder groups ideal is quite appealing -- each stakeholder has its own interest in the initiative and contributes its unique capacities. In practice, many multi-stakeholder groups have fallen short of expectations. This paper considers two separate but related questions. First, what are the unique barriers to implementation facing multi-stakeholder groups? Second, what policy measures can be taken to improve the likelihood that multi-stakeholder groups will succeed? The authors use existing research in political science and economics to develop a multi-level framework that accounts for the"nested nature"of multi-stakeholder groups. The framework is then applied to experiences of MSGs from the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, a new pilot program that aims to promote transparency in construction through the release of material project information. The evidence shows that the barriers facing multi-stakeholder groups are substantial, but once the level (individual incentives, organizational dynamics, country context, or international pressures) of the challenge confronting a multi-stakeholder group is identified, the specific barrier, its root causes, and appropriate solutions can be identified. More broadly, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative experiences suggest that multi-stakeholder groups are best used as a means of promoting dialogue and building consensus, not as the locus of policy implementation and oversight.

Suggested Citation

  • Truex, Rory & Soreide, Tina, 2010. "Why multi-stakeholder groups succeed and fail," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5495, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5495

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenny, Charles & Soreide, Tina, 2008. "Grand Corruption in Utilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4805, The World Bank.
    2. Andvig, Jens Chr. & Moene, Karl Ove, 1990. "How corruption may corrupt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 63-76, January.
    3. Mueller, Dennis C, 1976. "Public Choice: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 395-433, June.
    4. Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne, 2009. "Is Transparency the Key to Reducing Corruption in Resource-Rich Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 521-532, March.
    5. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    6. Rajeev Goel & Daniel Rich, 1989. "On the economic incentives for taking bribes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 269-275, June.
    7. Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
    8. Tsebelis, George, 1995. "Decision Making in Political Systems: Veto Players in Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, Multicameralism and Multipartyism," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 289-325, July.
    9. Wester, Philippus & Merrey, Douglas J. & de Lange, Marna, 2003. "Boundaries of Consent: Stakeholder Representation in River Basin Management in Mexico and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 797-812, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anica Zeyen & Markus Beckmann & Stella Wolters, 2016. "Actor and Institutional Dynamics in the Development of Multi-stakeholder Initiatives," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 341-360, May.
    2. Waligo, V.M. & Clarke, J. & Hawkins, R., 2014. "The ‘Leadership–Stakeholder Involvement Capacity’ nexus in stakeholder management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1342-1352.

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    Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Social Accountability; Emerging Markets; Corporate Law; Corruption&Anticorruption Law;

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