David Booth

David Booth
Overseas Development Institute | ODI · Politics and Governance

BA, PhD

About

110
Publications
21,071
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2,509
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Introduction
My interests span research into the politics and political-economy of development and the promotion of innovative approaches to development programming. I am currently working on African development prospects and training in applied political economy analysis.

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Sub-Saharan Africa faces an alarming long-term outlook. With a massive demographic dividend in prospect, few countries have the means to turn this to their advantage by rapidly expanding employment-intensive economic sectors. Economic analysis is facing up to this challenge, with new attention to structural change, technology absorption and the cap...
Article
Full-text available
The forthcoming final conclusions of the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) programme are the impressive product of a decade of high-grade, multidisciplinary research steered by the ESID leadership at The University of Manchester. They are significant in their own right but also as the culmination of at least 20 years of cumulative w...
Article
The forthcoming final conclusions of the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) programme are the impressive product of a decade of high-grade, multi-disciplinary research steered by the ESID leadership at the University of Manchester. They are significant in their own right but also as the culmination of at least 20 years of cumulative...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Since 2007, the failures and successes of Gatsby's programme in Tanzania's cotton sector have shown the importance of (1) combining technical diagnosis with political insight and capability; (2) supporting indigenous problem-solving coalitions; and (3) adaptive programme management. • Donors looking to maximise their impact should consider emulatin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Full details on the author's website: http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2018/02/07/new-speri-paper-revisiting-the-developmental-state
Technical Report
Full-text available
Policies to move African economies from growth to transformation are urgently needed, but are they feasible, given typical political-economic constraints? Drawing on a multidisciplinary literature, this paper warns against the twin errors of ignoring such constraints and treating them as insuperable. There is no doubt that typical patterns of power...
Research
Full-text available
One of the keys to economic transformation across Africa today is a greater role for employment-intensive, export-oriented manufacturing. After taking due account of differences in contexts and time periods, international experience – especially in Asia but also in Africa-region leaders such as Mauritius – points to employment-intensive manufacturi...
Article
This article considers the possible long-run implications of the liberalisation programme currently under way throughout Tropical Africa. A strengthening of private-sector institutions and a corresponding shift in the relationship between the state and civil society is clearly on the agenda, but-the paper argues-it would not be fruitful for researc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Comparative analysis of 'political settlements' has emerged as an attractive alternative to earlier institutions-and-development thinking, especially single-track conceptions of institutional advance. But political settlements theory remains under-specified and can be hard to apply in practice. Existing typologies are conceptually narrower than the...
Chapter
Revisits Ole Therkildsen's celebrated critique of 'blueprint' planning in the light of the recent revival of interest in adaptive planning.
Technical Report
Full-text available
More examples are needed of aid programming that works by being responsive to country realities: politically smart, problem-driven and locally led  DFID's SAVI programme has revealed a hitherto untapped potential for change leading to better development results at state level in Nigeria  SAVI provides low-profile support to state-level organisati...
Article
Full-text available
In Africa as in Asia, will successful agricultural transformation happen first in countries whose rulers are driven by concerns to avert fundamental rural-based political threats? This article explores this question with reference to Rwanda, where the political incentives are found to be different from those in comparable African countries. Whilst...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Currently available concepts of the developmental state are not fit for the purpose of making sense of the diversity of regime types in Africa today. Extant concepts bear too many of the marks of their origins in a very specific set of debates about then newly industrialising countries in East Asia in the 1980s. In view of the comparative evidence...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The international system may not play a primary role in shaping the destinies of countries, but there are sound practical reasons for examining how global forces help to shape political and economic incentives in developing nations. While recent studies have tackled this issue for states that are already failing, there has been little discussion of...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper is a contribution to ongoing discussion about improving the use of development assistance by starting from country realities and 'thinking and acting politically'. It is prompted by two concerns: 1) to build on the synergies that now exist between better country-context analysis and more innovative thinking about ways of working to facil...
Article
Full-text available
The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, reaffirmed in Busan in 2011, grew out of a consensus on the importance of ‘country ownership’ for the success of development efforts. But in Paris and again in Busan it was tacitly assumed that most aid-recipient countries already have development-oriented political leaderships. This article consider...
Article
Full-text available
Academic debate on Rwanda has significant thematic gaps, and does not usually make use of a theoretically informed comparative framework. This article addresses one thematic gap – the distinctive approach of the RPF-led regime to political involvement in the private sector of the economy. It does so using the framework of a cross-national study whi...
Article
Full-text available
Research into the governance of public goods provision in Africa suggests that, on their own, bottom–up pressures from voters and service users are only a weak factor in improving performance. It confirms the importance of working with politicians and service providers as well as clients. However, getting ‘uptake’ of these findings into the practic...
Article
Under-provision of essential public goods is making development in Africa slower and more inequitable than it needs to be. A good part of this problem concerns the governance of provision at sub-national levels. This article provides a mid-term report on a multi-country research effort to shed light on the institutional sources of variation in loca...
Article
At the heart of current policy thinking about Africa there is a significant knowledge gap concerning governance and development. This IDS Bulletin is concerned with what can be done about that, drawing on the initial experience of a new research venture, the Africa Power and Politics Programme. The APPP is committed to discovering forms of governan...
Article
This article draws together the main strands of argument being developed by the Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP), as reflected in this IDS Bulletin. The central question is what kinds of governance arrangements work better to support the provision of the public goods that are essential to sustained and inclusive development in Africa. Evi...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding of the relationship between institutions and economic progress made major headway in the 1990s. Since 2000 the pace of intellectual advance has been stepped up, with fresh thinking especially on governance systems and the role of aid. This article illustrates these propositions with special reference to relevant contributions to DPR o...
Article
Full-text available
Technical Report
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The integration process of the East African Community does have potential to improve the prospects for poverty-reducing economic growth The potential is greatest in two areas: cooperation in infrastructure and other public-goods provision, and growth-enhancing institutional change Progress on institutions will happen if business pressure groups and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
shown by their partners in country governments. Drivers of Change (DoC) is the name being given to a learning exercise at country level that explores the factors underlying the ‘political will’ problem and how they can be taken more centrally into account in country assistance plans. DoC analysis is distinguished by setting out in an open, evidence...
Article
Full-text available
The findings in brief • In Tanzania, General Budget Support is provided by 14 donors and together with HIPC relief contributes 20% of public expenditure. Despite this, however, GBS is not yet a dominant aid modality. • The immediate effects of the GBS programme have been strongly positive, but its role has been to facilitate a nationally-driven ref...
Article
Book reviewed: Our Common Interest: The Report of the Africa Commission. By the Commission for Africa. London: Commission for Africa, 2005. 462pp. £10.00 pb. (forthcoming in June 2005 from Penguin Books Ltd, Our Common Interest: An Argument. 192pp. £5.00 pb.). Copyright Overseas Development Institute, 2005.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The political dimension of Africa's development is the most important and the least well treated in this year's G8 debate. Most important because in the sub-Saharan region all of the most significant obstacles to public and private investment in development (from preventive health to infrastructure, from nutrition to trade) can be traced back to po...
Chapter
Argues that in view of their respective strengths and weaknesses, household surveys and PPAs are complementary tools but unsuited to challenging or checking each other's results.
Article
A collection on the past and future of social-development analysis provides an opportunity to reflect and connect. This article reflects on a ten-year-old book called Rethinking Social Development and connects it with a recent study of Poverty Reduction Strategy processes in Africa. It argues that the recent work fills a gap in the empirical basis...
Article
PRSPs have achieved a useful mainstreaming of anti-poverty efforts in national policy processes in Africa. However, the seven country experiences synthesised in this article reveal differences as well as commonalities. Whether or not vicious circles of patrimonial politics, state weakness and ineffectual aid can be replaced with virtuous ones, base...
Article
Whole issue. Incl. abstracts and bibl. references PRSPs have achieved a useful mainstreaming of anti-poverty efforts in national policy processes in Africa. However, the seven country experiences synthesised in this article reveal differences as well as commonalities. Whether or not vicious circles of patrimonial politics, state weakness and ineffe...
Article
Full-text available
An almost accidental by-product of the enhanced HIPC initiative, the process of producing poverty reduction strategy papers represents at least potentially a non-trivial change in the way international finance interacts with poverty reduction efforts at the national level. This paper reports the preliminary findings of a study commissioned by the S...
Technical Report
Part of a six-country study commissioned by a working group of the Special Program of Assistance (SPA) for low-income Africa.
Technical Report
Full-text available
• Trade policy potentially affects poverty through its effects on both growth and income distribution. The effects of trade on income distribution have been more firmly established than its impact on growth. This is significant given that poverty reduction is very sensitive to income distribution.  Trade policy theory does not unambiguously sugges...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The value of a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of poverty and the design of poverty-reduction strategies is now widely accepted. However, this paper argues, current expectations about the potential contribution to poverty analysis from disciplines other than economics remain rather too slanted towards what are presumed to be the spe...
Chapter
A short summary of the technical report for Sida with a similar title.
Article
There is a recognised tension between the development practitioner's need for timely intelligence on key topics, and the normal routines of academic development studies. Closing that gap involves, among other things, elaborating new ways of organising and doing research. This article, by an academic, is concerned especially with how to combine inte...
Article
Arguments about structural adjustment in Africa often suffer not just from a lack of empirically-grounded understanding of 'real markets' but also from an equivalent lack of realism about processes of economic liberalization and market reform. Drawing on two studies carried out in Tanzania during 1989-92, this paper illustrates the importance of re...

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