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Symposium 2010

Working Group on Building States and Markets

The Challenge

State building—strengthening the legitimacy, robustness and resilience of the state—has steadily marched up the international community’s agenda in recent years. Unfortunately, the most common state building prescriptions— such as more aid, competitive elections and economic reform—do not seem to work well in practice.

The roots of state fragility lie in the combination of weak social cohesion and feeble state institutions. International action to combat fragility should therefore be first and foremost about encouraging institutional changes that foster a stronger sense of unity and a stronger sense of local ownership. Finding the right balance between decentralization and centralization is key, as is the use and development of indigenous capacities. Countries must be given the ability to solve their own problems.

The GES Working Group on Building States and Markets has two related goals: first, to reach consensus on how the international community can best contribute to state building in developing countries; and second, based on that consensus, to propose a series of practical projects that the GES network can undertake. Any and all recommendations are entertained provided they meet two criteria: they can be implemented by the GES network; and their implementation will help make states more inclusive, more cohesive and more development-oriented.

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Evaluate the effectiveness of all major donors and NGOs operating in a specific country by using a newly created scorecard that measures impact in various relevant areas.

    Evaluate the effectiveness of all major donors and NGOs operating in a specific country by using a newly created scorecard that measures impact in various relevant areas.

    Evaluate the effectiveness of all major donors and NGOs operating in a specific country by using a newly created scorecard that measures impact in various relevant areas.

    Polity, Academia
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    To provide sustainable and cost-effective energy security in developing countries, promote the establishment of non-diesel midsize energy resources, especially hydro systems.

    To provide sustainable and cost-effective energy security in developing countries, promote the establishment of non-diesel midsize energy resources, especially hydro systems.

    To provide sustainable and cost-effective energy security in developing countries, promote the establishment of non-diesel midsize energy resources, especially hydro systems.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    To help build coherent hybrid legal systems, taking advantage of various forms of state and nonstate public authority, establish rule-of-law institutes.

    To help build coherent hybrid legal systems, taking advantage of various forms of state and nonstate public authority, establish rule-of-law institutes.

    To help build coherent hybrid legal systems, taking advantage of various forms of state and nonstate public authority, establish rule-of-law institutes.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    To improve governance, pioneer a new type of governance institute that integrates a unique mix of research, policy analysis, training, mentoring and technical support, both to recommend policy and to ...

    To improve governance, pioneer a new type of governance institute that integrates a unique mix of research, policy analysis, training, mentoring and technical support, both to recommend policy and to ...

    To improve governance, pioneer a new type of governance institute that integrates a unique mix of research, policy analysis, training, mentoring and technical support, both to recommend policy and to help build the capacity to implement it in a few select areas.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Establish an agricultural logistics network of private sector warehouses to fill important gaps in countries’ commodity production, financing, trading and delivery infrastructure.

    Establish an agricultural logistics network of private sector warehouses to fill important gaps in countries’ commodity production, financing, trading and delivery infrastructure.

    Establish an agricultural logistics network of private sector warehouses to fill important gaps in countries’ commodity production, financing, trading and delivery infrastructure.

    Polity, Business

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Building Local Capacity to Solve Problems

    Development in poor countries will only happen when it is internally generated. Therefore, the main objective of aid programs should be to give countries greater ability to solve their own problems, t ...

    Development in poor countries will only happen when it is internally generated. Therefore, the main objective of aid programs should be to give countries greater ability to solve their own problems, to build better states, and to generate more growth. The best way to do this is to focus on key “nodes” that promise to have multiplier effects across a whole state. There are many specific projects that could achieve this: 1) Establish within fragile states organizations committed to developing local governance capacity. Activities would include recommending policies and priorities for the national or regional governments, training local-level officials in

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Localise democracy to strengthen moral fibre for development

    We live in an interdependent and shrinking world. The convening of this particular Global Economic Symposium makes that message very clear. The lingering effects of the recent global financial crisis ...

    We live in an interdependent and shrinking world. The convening of this particular Global Economic Symposium makes that message very clear. The lingering effects of the recent global financial crisis create a context that has made dissemination of that message more than necessary. The difficult process to reach understanding on such new global challenges as climate vulnerability only serves to reinforce that message. In the meantime, other age-old challenges continue to haunt us. We recognise that food, clothing and shelter are not the only basic needs; we also need education and health care for all of our people if

    Polity, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Building States in Fragile Situations: Keep It Simple!

    People must be given security, space and resources to build their own states, based on indigenous institutions and through existing power structures. One reason behind the limited success of aid for s ...

    People must be given security, space and resources to build their own states, based on indigenous institutions and through existing power structures. One reason behind the limited success of aid for state-building in fragile countries and failing states is the tendency of aid agencies to respond “in force” to fragility. Where there is no local administrative capacity, we insist on highly complex programmes across all sectors, using all aid instruments, and involving all types of humanitarian and development agencies. The buzz words are comprehensive, coordination, holistic, integration, ownership and results – all in the contexts where these approaches are

    Polity, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Two themes for solution discussion

    Building Growth Coalitions: Each African country is a crowded stage of domestic players, bilateral aid agencies of widely differing approaches and abilities, self-assured if somewhat ham-fisted multil ...

    Building Growth Coalitions: Each African country is a crowded stage of domestic players, bilateral aid agencies of widely differing approaches and abilities, self-assured if somewhat ham-fisted multilaterals, NGOs, consultants, development foundations and foreign governments. The cacophony can overwhelm and disorient, and often becomes a source of patronage of political power rather than being, as was intended, a source of development funding and advice. This is not to say that the continent is sufficiently served by these various international organisations. The world is into the fifth decade of international development support for Africa, and patterns are been emerging. These patterns

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Trade, not aid

    The standard solution for helping out developing countries has been to provide aid in cash or kind, depending on the level of comfort with the local administration. We should however promote the pract ...

    The standard solution for helping out developing countries has been to provide aid in cash or kind, depending on the level of comfort with the local administration. We should however promote the practice of promoting trade instead of aid, via increased market access, to provide a sustainable solution and help build states and markets. Increased market access can be prioritized depending on which countries need the most help and ones which are making an effort on their own to come up the development curve. This idea can be complemented by forming trade zones in worst affected areas, exports of which

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Teaching children how to live in a globalised world

    My idea is to create a global foundation to promote and enable the teaching of intercultural competence - or, if you prefer, cultural anthropology - to children in primary schools all around the world ...

    My idea is to create a global foundation to promote and enable the teaching of intercultural competence - or, if you prefer, cultural anthropology - to children in primary schools all around the world. Some basic tools of cultural understanding - such as Geert Hofstede's 5 Axes of Culture, for example - are ideal subjects for children as young as 6. The subject is engaging, stimulating, and above all useful, as it is designed to prepare the next generation to be the first that is actually trained to live in our modern, heterogenous, globalised world (not to mention our increasingly

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Stop building schools and start training teachers

    Everybody who knows anything about education knows that there are no best schools, only best teachers - and sometimes they can be found sitting under a tree. Lavish buildings and equipment are a wonde ...

    Everybody who knows anything about education knows that there are no best schools, only best teachers - and sometimes they can be found sitting under a tree. Lavish buildings and equipment are a wonderful asset and a wonderful luxury, but they are worthless without inspiring teachers. Given a choice, we must always go with the teachers, and teachers need recruiting, training, and inspiring. During a recent visit to Afghanistan I lost count of the number of school buildings put up by generous donor organisations and governments, some of which stood little chance of being used. Clearly, one understands that aid

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society