Increasing citizen agency through deliberation

Type :
Policy briefs
Author :
World Bank Communication for Governance & Accountability Program
Published :
Link :

Policy brief which argues that development is not only a matter of technocratic solutions prescribed by international organizations. Increasing development effectiveness means including in the process of policy making the perspectives of those who are most in need of aid. Informed public debate helps identify problems, find feasible solutions, and build consensus around them. Economic prescriptions and political initiatives, such as poverty programs, may not have the desired effects because they do not take cultural circumstances into account. The poorest and most disadvantaged groups are most often excluded from dialogue about how to improve their lives. Instead, development and government technocrats prescribe solutions that do not always fit the local contexts of the poor. Including the poor in the development dialogue means broadening the base of knowledge and experience on which decisions are founded. Inclusion helps target programs better, tailor solutions to those in need, and build agency for the poor—all of which may help them improve their position culturally, politically, and eventually in the economic system. Equal agency needs to add to equal opportunity to sustainably alleviate poverty (Rao and Sanyal 2010)