IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Can islands of effectiveness thrive in difficult governance settings ? the political economy of local-level collaborative governance

  • Levy, Brian
Registered author(s):

    Many low-income countries contend with a governance syndrome characterized by a difficult combination of seeming openness, weak institutions, and strong inter-elite contestation for power and resources. In such countries, neither broad-based policy nor public management reforms are likely to be feasible. But are broad-based approaches necessary? Theory and evidence suggest that in such settings progress could be driven by"islands of effectiveness"-- narrowly-focused initiatives that combine high-quality institutional arrangements at the micro-level, plus supportive, narrowly-targeted policy reforms. This paper explores whether and how local-level collaborative governance can provide a platform for these islands of effectiveness. Drawing on the analytical framework developed by the Nobel-prize winning social scientist Elinor Ostrom, the paper reviews the underpinnings of successful collaborative governance. It introduces a simple model for exploring the interactions between collaborative governance and political economy. The model highlights the conditions under which coordination is capable of countering threats from predators seeking to capture the returns from collaborative governance for themselves. The relative strength in the broader environment of two opposing networks emerges as key --"threat networks"to which predators have access, and countervailing"trumping networks"on which protagonists of effective collaborative governance can draw. The paper illustrates the potential practical relevance of the approach with three heuristic examples: the governance of schools, fisheries, and road construction and maintenance. It concludes by laying out an agenda for further empirical research, and suggesting what might be the implications of the approach for future operational practice.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2011/10/11/000158349_20111011150735/Rendered/PDF/WPS5842.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5842.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5842
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5842. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.