The domestication of governance assessments: evidence from the Rwandan Joint Governance Assessment
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Number of pages
SourceConflict, Security & Development, 13, 4, (2013), pp. 449-470
Article / Letter to editor
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Conflict, Security & Development
SubjectDistributional Conflicts in a Globalizing World: Consequences for State-Market-Civil Society Arrangements
In this paper, I consider the strengths and weaknesses of including local actors in governance assessments through an analysis of the Rwandan Joint Governance Assessment (JGA) and its supporting institutions. The JGA is the first and only governance assessment produced and approved by donors and a recipient country. The approach is seen by many as a model to replicate elsewhere, because it combines donors' need to assess governance in the countries in which they work with a desire for context sensitivity and local ownership. However, local and/or joint approaches may also face a variety of problems ranging from implementation difficulties to the risk of political co-optation. The case study presented in this paper highlights the practical and political challenges faced during the implementation of the JGA and analyses to what extent these have the potential to compromise the approach. For both the donors and the recipient government, the process represents unknown terrain in which they continually struggle to position themselves. The findings also point to more general problems that can arise when international frameworks are embedded in local contexts.
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