Imagine Lucy, a governance practitioner in her third year of employment, going to the field to assist more seasoned sector colleagues in mainstreaming governance and institutional strengthening in a major sector level operation in an Asia middle income country. Say, considering how the transport sector can contribute to equitable growth and remain environmentally, institutionally, socially and economically sustainable? Or, how fast urban growth can be managed across stakeholders and sectors so as to provide safe, healthy livelihoods not only for the gentry occupying the flashy centres, but also for the much less affluent segments living in slum or semi-slum at the peripheries?
Imagine further that Lucy has intensively listened to the advice from some of the most experienced and knowledgeable governance specialists on the planet. Would and could the wisdom so transmitted fit into the business processes of, say, ADB, in the same way that expertise on engineering, IT and financial market regulation is doing? Does it fit to the experience of a bilateral partner such as the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, which not least provides “soft” assistance in governance and institutional strengthening?
The Governance Network of OECD has recently published a Governance Practitioner´s Notebook that introduces a fictitious Lucy with the tasks described above. Without being prescriptive and formulaic, it tries to guide her as she is tackling public sector reform, politics, institutions and stakeholders in operational practice.
Governance is a key risk and challenge facing the Asia and Pacific region that can derail the achievement of favourable development outcomes. The Sustainable Development Goals also focus on governance and institutions in goal 16 and part of goal 17. But many development partners, including ADB, have struggled to mainstream the attention to governance and institutions effectively across operations.
May Lucy and her advisers have a new answer? Or, if not an answer, then sensible questions that will help practitioners deal better with the complex and contested issues around politics, institutions and stakeholders in the widely different situations found across Asia and the Pacific?
The aim of the event is to improve the dialogue, debate and collaboration in ADB and GIZ, and with their partners in government, business and civil society around governance and institutional performance issues. At the end of the event, it is the aim to have a number of specific recommendations on how to strengthen and mainstream attention to governance and institutional issues in the development collaboration between e.g. ADB and GIZ in the region.
The event program will be highly interactive, avoid lengthy presentations and aim at creating engaging exchanges between the new propositions and participants. Short to-the-point case studies will help ground the debate, so that it focuses on how to deal with the often thorny and complex governance and institutional performance issues in daily, practical work.
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The "New Ideas in Governance" event will feature selected authors of sections in the Notebook, who will present the ideas in the book; governance and sector practitioners from governments, development partners and civil society in Asia and the Pacific, who will present concrete cases of governance reforms. The event will also host the award ceremony of the Youth4Asia Governance Award, and showcase the innovative approaches to change employed by the future generations.
See presentation materials from this event on ADB Knowledge Events.