Thursday, January 29, 2009

PB for Pro-Poor Policy?

Deborah Bräutigam, "The People's Budget? Politics, Participation and Pro-poor Policy," Development Policy Review, Vol. 22, No. 6, pp. 653-668, November 2004.

  • Big finding: the common factor among various places with pro-poor policy is a pro-poor political party (akin to Baiocchi et al.'s 2004 finding of political party as best predictor of PB adoption).
  • (654) PB often focuses on spending: should focus on taxing (consider that in design: work on tax assessment model, customize by user income/wealth... although that gets touchy!)
  • (655) History: early 1990's experts favored exclusionary technocracy: problems more complex, regular folks can't grasp, political pressures push away from difficult choices and well-grounded policy making
  • Reaction (and J!) from former Brazilian Finance Minister Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira et al.: "if democracy is not to be undermined as a consequence of economic reforms, the representative organisations and institutions must participate actively in the formulation and implementation of the reform program, even if this participation weakens the logic of the economic program or increases its cost"emphasis mine, because that responds to the discussion of the time and expense required to educate and engage lots of citizens
  • (658) Now remember, the fact that PB doesn't necessarily produce pro-poor policy doesn't mean PB is a bad idea. My skidsteer won't put a man on the Moon, but it's still a darn fine piece of equipment. Be clear on what you're trying to achieve.
  • PB comes in corporatist and activist models:
    1. activist model: that's Brazil, where everybody can jump in
    2. corporatist model: check out Ireland and Mauritius, with government panels still comprised of and dealing directly with institutional actors



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