NEW! World Development Report 2017

Main Messages World Development Report 2017

Ineffective policies can persist, while potentially effective policies are often not adopted. WDR 2017 coverThe World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law explores why some policies fail to achieve desired outcomes and what makes other policies work. The main messages of the WDR 2017 are:

  • Successful reforms are not just about “best practice.” To be effective, policies must guarantee credible commitment, support coordination, and promote cooperation.
  • Power asymmetries can undermine policy effectiveness. The unequal distribution of power in the policy arena can lead to exclusion, capture, and clientelism.
  • Change is possible. Elites, citizens, and international actors can promote change by shifting incentives, reshaping preferences and beliefs, and enhancing the contestability of the decision making process.
  • Three guiding principles for rethinking governance for development are:
    1. Think not only about the form of institutions, but also about their functions.
    2. Think not only about capacity building, but also about power asymmetries.
    3. Think not only about the rule of law, but also about the role of law.

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