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How can U.N. measure if better governance programs work?

Reuters has published an article reporting on the findings from our research on governance targets for the post-2015 development agenda.  The article entitled “How can U.N. measure if better governance programs work?" interviews both Mary Hilderbrand, author of the main assessment paper and Aart Kraay, author of a perspective paper, reviewing Hilderbrand analysis. 

But a study by Mary Hilderbrand, economics professor at Texas A&M University, released this week by the Copenhagen Consensus think tank casts some doubt on whether a development goal focusing on transparency, responsive government and reducing corruption will be effective.

There have been large investments in global governance over the last 20 years and yet the results are disappointing, she said. For example, one study of 80 countries that had World Bank governance programs found that governance improved in 39 percent of the countries and worsened in 25 percent. These results were no different than in countries without programs.

While the overall goal is laudable, finding ways to implement it in an effective and measurable manner is far more difficult, she said, adding it makes her leary of governance targets."

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