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Drivers of development unlock remarkable progress

According to new research released today by the Overseas Development Institute, there are four key drivers of progress in development. The report, Mapping Progress: Evidence for a new development outlook, systematically analyses development progress in 24 countries across the global south and ranks countries according to performance.

Countries often better known as hubs of war and famine have made remarkable progress across different sectors including growth, education, healthcare, governance and agriculture. The report identifies the crucial role of effective leadership, smart policies, proper institutional foundations and international partnership in driving development progress.

Countries are categorised into four categories: stars, surprises, potential performers and conundrums where progress in some areas has not delivered expected improvements in the lives of the poor.

ODI Director Alison Evans said:
'
Development is a highly complex business and people can get it wrong but quite often they get it right. The purpose of the Mapping Progress report is to show that progress is not only possible, it's happening.'

The real question we need to answer is 'what works and why?' Why have some of these countries seen such remarkable progress?  What have been the most interesting innovations?

Looking across at the strongest examples across the continent we can see that the most transformative and sustainable developments have occurred when the commitment to change has come from within African countries and communities.'

The drivers of development

Smart leadership - Transformation in Ghana, Rwanda and Brazil would not have happened without Presidents Rawlings, Kagame and Lula.

Smart policies - Progress has involved a changing role for government away from controlling (markets and prices) to facilitating and enabling (investment and production), and, in the best cases empowering citizens. Policies have been built on clear vision or national strategy and have been evidence based.

Smart institutions - In many countries, progress has been achieved through governance reforms that have decentralized and strengthened local institutions. Reforms have not only led to improved service delivery but also enabled more effective revenue collection and management of public finances.

Smart friends - Effective international partnerships can be important catalysts for progress.  These partnerships can take various forms beyond aid, including the transfer of knowledge and technology, international trading relations and diplomatic interventions.

Development Progress Stories include:

Ghana (Star Performer)

Government-led reforms of the domestic cocoa market have driven a tremendous record of agricultural growth - averaging over 5% for the last 25 years. Ghana is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal 1 - halving rates of poverty and malnutrition by 2015. Having raised food production per capita by more than 80% since the early 1980s, Ghana is largely self-sufficient in staple foods.

Star performers, such as Ghana, have shown sustained progress for more than two decades. By diversifying products and services they have added considerable value to national performance.  Star countries display a more mature level of development and are now beginning to face challenges more common to developed countries such as environmental degradation, aging populations and non-communicable diseases.  Other Star perfomers include Bhutan, Thailand, Brazil and Uganda.

Ethiopia
(Surprise performer)

Since emerging from civil war in 1991, Ethiopia has significantly improved access to education for its population. Primary school enrolment rates have risen by more than 13 million since 2005. A sustained Government commitment matched by increased spending, allowing the removal of school fees, has triggered this astonishing rise.  Other surprise performers are Rwanda, Cambodia, Laos and Somaliland.

Surprise performers such as Ethiopia have delivered progress against the odds, often recovering from crisis and war or dealing with ongoing conflict, challenging political situations and highly inaccessible topography.  The surprise elements of progress in these countries often lie in the speed of recovery, sometimes allowing them to eclipse previous levels of development.

Malawi (Potential Performer)

Malawi has the potential to deliver significant progress towards its development over the next decade according to a newly published global research project. The country's recent progress in providing economic stability has begun to have a positive effect on development indicators placing Malawi in the top twenty performers on several of the millennium development goals.  Growth of over 7% per year for most of the last decade and a steady fall in rates of inflation suggest a bright future for the country. Potential performers such as Malawi have shown recent examples of progress, often achieved over a limited period of time.  Progress may be limited to individual sectors or regions. Whilst these countries have already produced impressive results they now need to sustain them into the future. Other potential performers include Benin, Malawi and Burkina Faso.

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Resources:
Mapping Progress Report full PDF version here

Development Progress Stories:
Country case studies are free to download from: www.developmentprogress.org.

Contact:
ODI - Jonathan Tanner: +44 (0)20 7922 0431 or j.tanner@odi.org.uk
ODI - Ryan Flynn: +44 (0)788 546 6206 or r.flynn@odi.org.uk
Interviews with ODI authors can be arranged on request.
 

Notes to Editors:

1.     Development Progress Stories targets national-level progress that is equitable and sustainable, and where beneficiaries are a significant share of the population. Each case study details a specific country's achievements in one of eight major areas of development: economic conditions, health, water and sanitation, education, governance, environmental conditions, agriculture and rural development, and social protection.
2.     Methodology: To develop the stories, ODI research teams spent several months on qualitative and quantitative research, assessing more than 250 examples of countries across the eight sectors. Stories were selected based on an extensive analysis of development indicators, and more than 100 experts, drawn from academia, donor agencies and civil society organisations in both the North and the South, were consulted. Stories identified were passed between quantitative and qualitative research teams for cross-checking, and vetted by the project's external review panel.
3.     ODI is the UK's leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues.  Its mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries.  Locking together high-quality applied research, practical policy advice and policy-focused dissemination and debate, ODI works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries.  Further details can be found on the ODI website (www.odi.org.uk). 

This research is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does not have editorial control over the content of the report or this media release.

 


12 June 2011

Africa's progress belongs to Africa

 'Progress in African development happens best when it is lead by African states and citizens' is the message from a new global research project released by the Overseas Development Institute. The Mapping Progress report identifies the crucial role of effective leadership, smart policies, proper institutional foundations and international partnerships in driving development and calls for a new outlook on development. The report highlights star performers, surprise performers and potential performers across the continent for their progress in various areas including growth, agriculture, healthcare, education and sanitation.

 
ODI Director Alison Evans said:
'Looking across all of these tremendous examples we can see that the most transformative and sustainable developments have occurred when the commitment to change has come from African countries and communities.
 
'This has happened in a number of ways - from the quality of political and technical leadership, to the quality and quantity of financing to specific innovations in delivery.
 
'The world's perception of Africa needs to change and we hope that this report will show a continent making great strides towards a brighter future.'
 
The drivers of development
 
Smart leadership - Transformation in Ghana, Rwanda and Brazil would not have happened without Presidents Rawlings, Kagame and Lula.
 
Smart policies - Progress has involved a changing role for government away from controlling (markets and prices) to facilitating and enabling (investment and production), and, in the best cases empowering citizens. Policies have been built on clear vision or national strategy and have been evidence based.
 
Smart institutions - In many countries, progress has been achieved through governance reforms that have decentralised and strengthened local institutions. Reforms have not only led to improved service delivery but also enabled more effective revenue collection and management of public finances.
 
Smart friends - Effective international partnerships can be important catalysts for progress.  These partnerships can take various forms beyond aid, including the transfer of knowledge and technology, international trading relations and diplomatic interventions.
 
Development Progress Stories include:
 
Ghana (Star performer)
 
Government-led reforms of the domestic cocoa market have driven a tremendous record of agricultural growth - averaging over 5% for the last 25 years. Ghana is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal 1 - halving rates of poverty and malnutrition by 2015. Having raised food production per capita by more than 80% since the early 1980s, Ghana is largely self-sufficient in staple foods.

Star performers, such as Ghana, have shown sustained progress for more than two decades. By diversifying products and services they have added considerable value to national performance.  Star countries display a more mature level of development and are now beginning to face challenges more common to developed countries such as environmental degradation, aging populations and non-communicable diseases.  Other Star perfomers include Bhutan, Thailand, Brazil and Uganda.
 
Ethiopia (Surprise performer)
 
Since emerging from civil war in 1991, Ethiopia has significantly improved access to education for its population. Primary school enrolment rates have risen by more than 13 million since 2005. A sustained Government commitment matched by increased spending, allowing the removal of school fees, has triggered this astonishing rise.  Other surprise performers are Rwanda, Cambodia, Laos and Somaliland.
 
Surprise performers such as Ethiopia have delivered progress against the odds, often recovering from crisis and war or dealing with ongoing conflict, challenging political situations and highly inaccessible topography.  The surprise elements of progress in these countries often lie in the speed of recovery, sometimes allowing them to eclipse previous levels of development.
 
Malawi (Potential performer)
 
Malawi has the potential to deliver significant progress towards its development over the next decade according to a newly published global research project. The country's recent progress in providing economic stability has begun to have a positive effect on development indicators, placing Malawi in the top 20 performers on several of the Millennium Development Goals.  Growth of over 7% per year for most of the last decade and a steady fall in rates of inflation suggest a bright future for the country. Potential performers such as Malawi have shown recent examples of progress, often achieved over a short period of time.  Progress may be limited to individual sectors or regions. Whilst these countries have already produced impressive results they now need to sustain them into the future. Other potential performers include Benin, Malawi and Burkina Faso.
 
-----------ends-------------------------------

Resources: Mapping Progress Report full PDF version here

Development Progress Stories:
Country case studies are free to download from: www.developmentprogress.org.

Contact:
ODI - Jonathan Tanner: +44 (0)20 7922 0431 or j.tanner@odi.org.uk
ODI - Ryan Flynn: +44 (0) 788 546 6206 r.flynn@odi.org.uk
Interviews with ODI authors can be arranged on request.
 

Notes to Editors:

 

1.     Development Progress Stories targets national-level progress that is equitable and sustainable, and where beneficiaries are a significant share of the population. Each case study details a specific country's achievements in one of eight major areas of development: economic conditions, health, water and sanitation, education, governance, environmental conditions, agriculture and rural development, and social protection.
2.     Methodology: To develop the stories, ODI research teams spent several months on qualitative and quantitative research, assessing more than 250 examples of countries across the eight sectors. Stories were selected based on an extensive analysis of development indicators, and more than 100 experts, drawn from academia, donor agencies and civil society organisations in both the North and the South, were consulted. Stories identified were passed between quantitative and qualitative research teams for cross-checking, and vetted by the project's external review panel.
3.     ODI is the UK's leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues.  Its mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries.  Locking together high-quality applied research, practical policy advice and policy-focused dissemination and debate, ODI works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries.  Further details can be found on the ODI website (www.odi.org.uk). 

This research is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does not have editorial control over the content of the report or this media release.


 

12 June 2011

New stories add volumes to ODI's development progress library

15 February 2011

Eight new stories highlighting effective development interventions have been released by the Overseas Development Institute. The stories span progress in healthcare, education, good governance, access to water, social protection and economic growth in countries across Africa and Latin America.  Their publication completes an online collection of Development Progress Stories ahead of a final synthesis report to be launched later this year.

Their release coincided with an event held at the ODI to examine Africa after 50 featuring representation from the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rwandan High Commission.

Speaking at the event Punam Chuhan-Pole, Lead Economist for the Africa Region at the World Bank said:
'The Development Progress Stories provide us with interesting cross-sector insights into what drives successful development. By sharing our understanding of what works and why, we can not only inform the debate on development issues but help African countries learn from each other.'

ODI Director Alison Evans said:
'These stories show how smart policies and smart financing can really have an impact on people's everyday lives.  It's a real asset to policy makers and politicians to be able to draw on such striking examples of how a steadfast commitment to reducing poverty can transform lives. They contain some strong evidence of innovation and change which I look forward to studying further in the forthcoming synthesis report.'

The latest case studies look at:

  • Pipes and people: Progress in water supply in Burkina Faso's cities
    Since 2000, improved production and distribution in Burkina Faso have extended water supply to nearly 2 million people in the four principal urban centres in the country. In the capital, Ouagadougou, the number with access to the network more than doubled in six years.
  • Social protection in Brazil:  Impacts on poverty, inequality and growth
    Brazil's high inequality rate has been reducing since 1990, with positive impacts on income poverty. Social assistance has contributed to this scenario. Both pensions and transfers have increased access to education and health for poor households, although to date the evidence on impacts here is less promising.


The stories are all available to download from www.developmentprogress.org. In the coming months, ODI will complete the online publication of a planned library of twenty-four case studies, each highlighting progress from a different country, and will produce a Development Progress Stories synthesis report early in 2011.

This research is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

15 February 2011

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