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Shaping behaviour : how institutions evolve


Document type: article
Download file(s): 137971 (237 KB)
Abstract: Development is mostly about transforming institutions – cultural values, legal frameworks, market mechanisms and political processes. If aid is failing, it is in part because agencies misunderstand institutions and how they change. Jim Woodhill is director of the Capacity Development and Institutional Change Programme at Wageningen University and explains how this is the case. The development sector seems to be embracing the complexity idea. Understanding institutions is central to grasping the complexity and dynamics of social change. An institutional and complexity perspective offers no straightforward solutions, but has several principle-based implications. First, a deeper practical understanding of institutional innovation and the link to complexity is needed by development practitioners and policy makers. Second, aid must focus not on short-term concrete results but on long term capacities and processes that enable societies to be learning-oriented and highly adaptive. Development trends, such as generic budget support, fail to value the role of civil society as part of the critical conscience that triggers institutional innovation.
Authors: Woodhill, J.
Category: Policy
End Page: 8
Serial number: 10
ISSN: 1874-2033
Journal: The Broker
Keywords: development policy , governance , civil society
Language: eng
Organization: The Broker
Year: 2008
Right: © 2008 IDP. This article has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.
Subject: Development Cooperation General
Start Page: 4
Title: Shaping behaviour : how institutions evolve