A Governance Practitioner’s Notebook: Alternative Ideas and Approaches

The OECD-DAC Network on Governance (GovNet) is a forum for practitioners from the development co-operation agencies of Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries. GovNet’s aim is to promote dialogue, knowledge exchange and research so as to advance innovative approaches to issues of governance and institutional development. For this purpose, the members of GovNet work collaboratively with each other and with other bodies and platforms.

GovNet has traditionally produced evaluations, guidance documents and summaries of “good practice”, however, this publication is totally different. It takes a new approach by articulating the thoughts, aspirations and concerns of a newly inducted governance adviser employed by a fictitious development agency. The publication does not offer definite guidance but it tries to stimulate ideas and thinking. It is primarily (but not exclusively) addressed to Govnet practitioners by focusing on challenges and dilemmas that they face and aims to provide them with a stimulus to their own thinking, and on contested issues of governance and institutions.

The book is a collection of specially written notes aimed at those who work as governance practitioners within development agencies. Its approach is in-formal, and intentionally non-definitive – there is no simple right or wrong answer. Its format provides space for experts to speak on today’s governance issues: politics, public sector reform and stakeholder engagement.  It encourages debate, charts the evolution of donor thinking, and highlights future challenges in the age of the Sustainable Development Goals. Each section introduces both technical issues and major areas of debate, providing ideas for future development support to institutional reform.

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