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SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Globalization, pro-poor policies and Developmental Synergism: how civil society practitioners, policymakers and researchers work on cross-purposes in Africa / Глобализация, защита бедных и «Разливательный Синергетизм»: как представители гражданского общества, политики и научная общественность работают в Африке
Омилуси Майк

Ph.D, Кафедра политологии, Государственный университет Экити, Адо-Экити, Нигерия

PMB 5363, Нигерия, г. Адо-Экити, ул. Иуороко-Роуд, PMB 5363

Omilusi Maik

Ph.D., the department of Political Science, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria

PMB 5363, Nigeriya, g. Ado-Ekiti, ul. Iuoroko-Roud, PMB 5363

watermike2003@yahoo.co.uk

Аннотация.

Данное исследование основано на лабораторном исследовании научной литературы и носит обзорный характер. Исследование сфокусировано на практиках повышения эффективности государственной политики в сфере борьбы с бедностью и адаптации такой политики к реалиям глобализации. В работе проводится критический анализ существующих платформ и моделей взаимодействия государственных и частных субъектов, чья деятельность направлена на борьбу с бедностью в Африке. Основное внимание автора нацелено на исследование конкуренции и дополнения действий различных субъектов данной деятельности, их синергии. В работе используются статистические данные о деятельности государственных и частных субъектов политики борьбы с бедностью. Исследуются пути взаимодействия различных субъектов и недостатки такого взаимодействия. Партнерство государственного и частности сектора, неправительственных организаций гражданского общества в строительстве политики по защите бедных. Немаловажной новизной статьи является выявление влияния глобализационных процессов на данную работу.

Ключевые слова: развитие, глобализация, борьба с бедностью, исследователи, Африка, правительство, бедность, гражданское общество, органы государственной власти, обзор

DOI:

10.25136/1339-3057.2019.3.28904

Дата направления в редакцию:

07-02-2019


Дата рецензирования:

10-02-2019


Дата публикации:

10-10-2019


Abstract.

Based on desk research, this paper seeks to build on existing literature concerning how Africa can enhance effective government systems needed to make policies work better for poor people and meet the challenges of globalisation. While making an in-depth examination into the current seemingly antagonistic public-private development platforms in Africa, the paper also feeds into a dominant narrative which indicates areas of relevance to poverty reduction and participatory development when critical actors work in synergy. Through the use of an analytic narrative and descriptive method of data analysis, it therefore, explores the role national partnerships can play in bringing governments, the private sector and civil society together around shared strategies for formulation and implementation of pro-poor policies.

Keywords:

poverty, government, Africa, researchers, pro-poor policy, globalisation, development, сivil society, government departments, overview

* By developmental synergism, I mean the expected defined collaborative efforts among state and non-state actors in the development paradigm to ensure effective service delivery through mutually coordinated policy formulation and implementation.

Introduction and Background to the Study

Globalisation brings with it rapid change. And this has generated uncertainty and anxiety amongst millions of people across the world. It has also raised legitimate public concerns, for example about the impact of globalisation on people’s culture, the environment, inequality within and between countries, and the effect on the world’s poorest people. Indeed, the policy syndrome of growing inequality has been a concern in developed countries. Globally, the role of civil society and academic researchers in development cooperation has featured prominently in development discourse in recent years. It is observable that there are often gaps between government plans and the actions on the ground. Governments often do not have the capacity or will to implement their strategies. In Africa, relationships between contemporary governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) have largely been adversarial and imbued with mutual mistrust, with CSOs increasingly demanding participation in the policy process.

For many years after political independence, many African countries have had different governments mostly with low capacity for people-driven and inclusive development programming options due to incompetent political leaders coupled with lethargy researchers and seemingly reticent civil society groups. Though there has again been a resurgence of more comprehensive development planning by some African governments over the last decade, what appears missing on the spectrum of development approach is the required synergy among other local developmental partners/interest groups in bringing the lofty plans into fruition.

Across different strata of development, policies by governments in some fundamental socio-economic sectors are formulated separately and implemented independently. This lack of integration weakens the likelihood of creating a harmonious and productive relationship between them. Not only are opportunities for synergy not identified and maximized but opportunities to deal with inevitable tensions- arising from the relationship between drivers of policy change and decision making styles- before they become serious problems are missed. The supposed think-thank of the society in academia is engrossed in opaque theoretical postulations while the independent civil society researchers are dismissively perceived as antagonists by the ruling governments.

However, considering the dominant role which the state plays in Africa, it will be necessary to consider the fact that knowledge is created and held by individuals, small groups, and large institutions, ranging from universities and governments to multilateral development agencies because, as would be examined in this paper, along with many legitimate concerns about development impacts on the people and influence of globalisation on policy processes, there will be strong vested interests continuing to shape decisions locally and sometimes nationally towards their needs and concerns.

A central argument of this paper is that given the policy environment, the strategic planning and engagement of researchers with policymakers and the public, in order to ensure the highest impact and contribution to Africa’s prosperity, is hampered by antagonism and unbridled self-interest. To impact public policy and decision-making, the paper contends that civil society practitioners and researchers – without compromising their independence –need to develop strategic partnerships with governments in promoting good governance, protecting human rights, and advancing economic reform.

Problem Statement |Study Rationale

Policy making is a multifaceted discipline and activity that cannot be adequately considered apart from the environment in which it takes place, the players involved, and why it is being undertaken. The valuing of other forms of knowledge reflects a turn in the democratisation agenda, which in the past two decades has increasingly favoured citizen-led approaches to development, reflected in a particular narrative which invests the poor and marginalised with the power to inspire bottom-up change. The degree of integration between research and policy-making is however underestimated. Researchers have devoted much time and energy to talking about bridging the gap between research and decision making, yet significant gaps still exist between the two. There is little interaction between policymakers and researchers, thus meaningful discussion of available research findings, their suitability to policy-related problems, and identification of other policy areas requiring research attention is severely lacking.

This paper is the product of a review of recent literature on issues of globalisation in the context of pro-poor policies and horizontal/vertical synergy among critical stakeholders. The rationale for this study is premised on the need for symbiotic interaction among researchers, civil society and policy-makers at the stages of research issue identification and formulation. It reviews fundamental concepts, provides the political context and a pragmatic way forward for public and private sector stakeholders to continue to leverage on opportunities embedded in globalisation to achieve national cohesion/sustainable development and suggests areas for further inquiry. In other climes, collaborations between academics, practitioners and policymakers are on the rise, so it is important Africa gets it right.

Globalisation and Developmental Synergism : A General Scan

Globalization is a very different concept. In a very broad sense, it may be seen as referring to the ‘networks of interdependence at multi-continental distances’, as Keohane and Nye put it in their introduction to Governance in a Globalizing World (Nye and Donahue 2000:12). Globalisation represents an acceleration of the trend in which the world has become increasingly compressed, economically, culturally and politically. It refers to the exposure to flows of capital, goods, manpower, and information and technology, which result from global dynamics or rules from multilateral institutions (Sindzingre 2003:34). In most basic terms, the globalization of the world economy is the integration of economies throughout the world through trade, financial flows, the exchange of technology and information, and the movement of people. Some scholars (Chow 2003; Hoogvelt, 1997; Sassen 1998) have described globalization as a complex and multifaceted process of worldwide economic, social, cultural and political expansion and integration which have enabled capital, production, finance, trade, ideas, images, people and organizations to flow transnationally across the boundaries of regions, nation states and cultures.

The participation of private actors in the public sphere, conducted through direct and indirect CSO and citizen interactions with government, business community and external agencies to influence decision making or pursue common goals (Putnam 2000). Thus, by developmental synergism, I mean the expected defined collaborative efforts among state and non-state actors in the development paradigm to ensure effective service delivery through mutually coordinated policy formulation and implementation. In other words, think tanks, universities and other civil society research institutions can serve as political training grounds, grooming emerging political leaders in policy debates prior to an opportunity arising for them to move into formal political sphere.

Globalisation and Public Policy in Africa: Any Mutual Engagement?

Globalization has effects on different issues of society especially in policy and policy making. The question of what policies are needed to benefit from globalization has preoccupied economic thinking in recent decades (Ouattara 1997). The challenge facing the developing world, and African countries in particular, is to design public policies so as to maximize the potential benefits from globalization, and to minimize the downside risks of destabilization and/or marginalization (Ouattara 1997). Is it not strange that investigation of some facets of economic issues — how to make globalization work for development, the determinants of growth or the handicaps of Africa — so often led to an emphasis on the role of ideas, values, culture, ethics, democracy and freedom? There is no compelling conclusion with so volatile, elusive and sensitive subjects. But the ideas of right and the right ideas seem inescapable.

The sceptics would argue that those scenarios, which really determine the policy-making in Africa, are nationalism, regionalism and especially geopolitics, but not globalisation. Definitely, globalization has effects on our international law, national and international and cross national policies. We cannot omit the role of globalization in the area of policy and policy making. Because globalization constraints the domestic and external terrains of policy choices over several policy areas for the African state, invariably blurring the tenuous distinction between the external and external policy fields, Jinadu (2010) avers that the policy process within the African state becomes the critical focus area where the struggle and contestation over policy and its ideational foundations, consequences and outcomes are waged.

Although the governmental sphere is where the most obvious attempts are being made to formulate transnational social policy, other social dialogues taking place at different levels and in various locations and sites outside the boardrooms and bureaux of international and regional institutions also shape the political processes that generate social policies (Smith et al. 1997; Yeates 2002). While the globalization cheerleaders see nothing but virtue in globalization, the skeptics have a tendency to blame globalization for most of our policy problems. Clearly, there is a pressing policy rationale to carefully define globalization and assess its implications across policy domains. Some scholars tend to attribute the ubiquitous incidence of poor governance and underdevelopment of the continent to neo-colonial activities, which they claim emanate from the intervention of such development partners as the World Bank.

Although globalisation has been associated with what many in the development field have described as Africa’s marginalisation in the world economy, it is largely felt that in developing democratic countries, policy agenda is driven by global forces. Problems arise in a context in which economic and social conditions play a major role in shaping opinions and political strategies (Zaei 2014:76). In a global environment, it is possible to speak of the convergence of concerns for which global strategies may be formulated. As such, in a global context, more and more issues[1] will be structured by larger forces outside African nation’s constitutional framework of public policy-making.

Pro-Poor Policies in Africa: Inhibited by Globalisation?

Economists have described the 1980s as Africa’s lost decade. The 1980s were also a transition period marking the beginnings of the decline of developmentalism and the rise of neoliberalism, euphemistically called globalisation (Shivji 2007:34). The impact of globalization on the poor is not a black or white issue. Making a direct causal impact between globalization and poverty reduction is difficult (Molloy, 2016). To its advocates, globalization is a “positive-sum game,” whereby every country is expected to benefit equally on a comparative basis, while pessimists see it as a “zero-sum game” that only exploits poorer countries for the benefit of the richer ones Mambula 2011:66). Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence to show that there are those who, to a greater or lesser degree, are excluded by global processes, or are incorporated under conditions that are not of their choosing and that are detrimental to their livelihoods and well-being (Beall 2002:32). L'Huillier (2016) argues that:

The processes of globalization are geared toward a global culture that promotes a change in traditional export/import patterns in favor of what the world market demands. However, it is these market forces and economic objectives that are driving the growing inequality within and between nations, resulting in billions of people living in varying states of poverty.

In Africa, following largely an inward-oriented development strategy in the early decades of the post-independence period, the majority of African countries failed to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the dynamic growth impetus associated with globalization in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of becoming more integrated into the world economy, they were largely marginalized and experienced slow growth and stagnation. As a result the incidence and depth of poverty has risen in the region (Nissanke and Thorbecke 2007:30). Africa is by far the poorest continent on the planet. 28 of the world’s poorest countries are African. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the second largest population of hungry people. The largest is in Asia. Half of the African population lives in poverty. These people do not have access to basic human needs, such as nutrition, clean water, shelter and more. 47 percent of the African population is living on $1.90 or less a day (Degn 2018:5).

Indeed, today, several decades after gaining political independence, the high primary commodity-dependence remains one of most conspicuous characteristics of the trade pattern of countries in Africa with the rest of the world. The failure of these economies to diversify and undergo structural transformation, and hence, to benefit from the technology-driven, highly dynamic aspects of on-going globalization has entailed a high cost to the region not only in terms of low economic growth but also in persistent poverty (Nissanke and Thorbecke 2007:91). International trade and international mobility of capital and labour have had an enormous impact on global development, but the gains from increased integration have not been distributed equally. For example, in recent years, Sub-Saharan Africa has only received about 1 percent of the foreign direct investment in the world, and the region may be losing as much as US$4 billion a year because of the emigration of top professionals seeking better jobs abroad (Tungodden et al 2004:31).

Yet, for many agencies seeking to alleviate famine and cope with Africa's crippling level of poverty, globalisation is a key and controversial issue (BBC, 2002). However, research tends to suggest that while trade does indeed reduce poverty, it can only do so effectively with a number of pre-existing conditions. These are: high levels of education, developed financial sectors, and, hugely importantly, good governance and minimal corruption (Fox 2016:84). Globalisation may have certain corrosive effects on the sovereignty and territoriality of states, but this does not render them politically impotent in the way many accounts suggest. Additionally, where inequalities do arise, Molloy (2016:55) posits that the gap is typically not the result of globalization, but rather domestic government policies that dampen the positive impacts globalization could have brought. It is not therefore, the concept of globalisation, nor the liberalisation of free trade, that should be the target of those who rightly want to see the elimination of the scourge of global poverty but the aims of eliminating corruption and improving governance in many of these developing countries.

Civil Society Practitioners, Policy Makers and Researchers: The Seeming Tripartite Contradictions

Research and advocacy organizations (RAOs) serve a useful function of linking policy makers, who are primarily politicians, with society's needs, aspirations, problems and their possible solutions (Osei-Amponsah, Anaman and Addo 2006:1). Even when there is demand from governments and the private sector for intensified multi-stakeholder cooperation to deliver more widespread, sustainable and inclusive growth, such demand has not been met in Africa owing to some entrenched variables. Research findings can only be used as an input to pro-poor and development policies if researchers and policy-makers cooperate closely to understand specific needs, ensure relevance of topics, and improve communication, dissemination and implementation of the research recommendations. In Africa, however, many factors hinder the development of strong linkages between researchers and policymakers, and sometimes even lead to a mutual feeling of mistrust between the two groups as discussed in this section.

Conflicting Operational Zones and Allied Matters

The communication gap between “scholars” in their proverbial ivory towers and “society” in general is a recurrent problem that is certainly not exclusive to developing countries (Razafindrakoto and Roubaud 2007:57). By nature, Ndiaye (2009) contends that researchers have a relatively high level of intellectual independence due to the creativity and innovation demanded by their work. They dislike intrusion into their work by elements outside of their research hypotheses or models. In this, they can be distinguished both from decision-makers, who are guided by political motivations, and business people, who are motivated by profit. In Africa, relations between researchers and decision-makers are highly dependent on national political environments (Ndiaye 2009:12).

Researchers who spend a significant amount of their time on policy research risk lower performances in terms of their academic research, which results in less recognition and sometimes suspicion within the research community. Policy-makers who rely heavily on research evidence risk endangering their political support base (Marouani and Ayuk 2007:48). African think tanks are challenged to ensure tangible impact via effective engagement of policymakers and the public. Barriers to impact include limited ability to communicate, limited media exposure and networks, low interest of and access to policymakers, misaligned priorities, limited responsiveness to immediate demands, and a lack of trust (McGann, et al 2017).

Reliance on Foreign Institutions for Quality Data

It should be pointed out that data, and especially data of good quality, are essential for national governments and institutions to accurately plan, fund and evaluate development activities and pro-poor policies. African policy makers turn primarily to international organizations, international research institutes or their own technical experts or diplomatic missions to obtain information and analysis as policy inputs. Local universities and research institutes may have the capacity but are often not able to engage in cooperation with policy makers. This has been attributed to low research capacity, which has historically been described as weak (e.g. Stolper 1964) and a major factor in the continent’s development problems. For Instance, in 2015, 65% of the Millennium Development Goals’ indicators for countries in Central Africa were either estimated, derived from statistical models, or were last measured prior to 2010 (Beguy 20116:23). For years, decisions in one of Africa’s largest economies were based on data that were not credible or accurate or timely. This is the story of many countries in Africa (Beguy, 20116:23).

Unfriendly Disposition of Political Technocracy to Researchers

Researchers and policy-makers are known to pursue different interests, which in itself presents a discord in the uptake of research evidence. Because development implies the capability, not only technical or managerial but also political, to bring about change through policies, the absence of collaboration among these stakeholders has forestalled such. The absence of institutionalised and systematic knowledge translation platforms in the majority of African countries reduces the opportunities for dialogue between researchers and policy-makers, which contributes to the widening of the communication and trust gaps between the key constituencies and stakeholders. Although non-partisanship is held to be a technocratic virtue, an apolitical technocracy does not obtain. In practice, politics and technocracy are interlocked. Many of the technocrats in the Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government are engrossed in political activities that often guarantee them promotion and transfer to “juicy” desks. Their policy interventionism is usually motivated by the need to control the apparatus of the state on behalf of their benefactors and safeguard the political turf of the incumbent ruling party. In this instance, overtures from academics/researchers and civil society (considered as “outsiders”) are repulsed.

Corruption and Primordial Inclination/Agenda

That there is a lack of accountability in African countries is an oversimplification. Accountability relations are everywhere – in official as well as private contexts (Chabal 1994:34). With matters of state only loosely defined, there is space for manoeuvre but it usually translates into deviations from official objectives rather than a stronger commitment to implement them (Hyden 2008:202). Many of the executive heads and government officials are blinded with material wealth and privileges associated with wealth and political power. Clientelism and rent distribution are institutionalized, papering over differences among the ruling elite to ensure political stability, and corruption is widely accepted as a tool used for political purposes (Gulhati 1990; Lewis 1996). There is extensive corruption and lack of effective control of mismanagement, and the interaction between politics and ethnic rivalries does make it hard to establish long-term stable and undistorted strategies (see Bigsten and Moene, 1996). Policies being funded by international development partners are also treated as confidential in terms of formulation and implementation with the intension of allocating part for personal use. In fact, in many instances, donor’s support is not made public and governments claim such projects as part of party manifesto. In all this, researchers and civil society organisations are side-lined and treated as intruders if they attempt to seek clarification. Little wonder, the public good motive is scarcely apparent in both policy making and action while policy choices and action rarely point to some visible organic link between the political leadership and the grassroots.

Ambition-Reality Gap

The ambition-reality gap is determined by these seven dimensions: information, technology, processes, objectives and values, staffing and skills, management systems and structures, and other resources: time and money. Khosa (2003:49) notes that the discrepancies between policy and implementation are largely caused by unrealistic policies and a lack of managerial expertise. Ambitious targets which fall short of their desired outcomes have been an albatross among researchers and policy makers in Africa.

More often, policy-making is informed by “off the shelf” ideas. Sometimes these are borrowed from other jurisdictions (Goodin et al 2011). Policy-makers also often do not have a clear sense of the full range of instruments available to them (Goodin et al 2011). Political leaders have over time, used policies to transform their countries and address societal challenges and complaints. Policies are always a response or reaction to several developments and mostly followed by institutional mechanisms for implementation. However, in many Africa countries……

Mutual Distrust/Confrontational and Partisan Non-Governmental Organisations

In many countries, adverse political contexts continue to be the main barrier to informed policy engagement. Many governments in Africa view the work of CSOs with suspicion and sometimes subject civil society leaders to severe harassment and intimidation. As politicians and corporate leaders blame one another for stubbornly low growth and increasingly costly environmental crises, trust in both the private and the public sector evaporates. Politicians, practitioners and scholars continue to debate the capacities, impacts and legitimacy of civil society actors. CSOs policy positions, as rightly observed by Court et al (2006), are also increasingly questioned: researchers challenge their evidence base and policymakers question the feasibility of their recommendations. In a number of African countries, NGOs are weak or play more of an oppositional rather than operational role and governments are highly suspicious of them. While some of these organisations respond to failures in both the public and private sectors or act as a complement to the state, some are unnecessarily antagonistic (without providing alternatives) and others, almost like an agent of the ruling party. In either of the latter description, the basis for developmental synergy is compromised.

Political Leadership and Personalised Policies

Observers often depict policymaking in developing and transition economies as typically closed and concentrated (even personalized) in the hands of the country’s political leadership and a small coterie of top administrators and key advisers (Grindle 1991; Schamis 1999). The economic structures of African countries create strong incentives for the emergence of patron-client networks and the domination of personalized politics (Gray and Whitfield 2014:95). Although researchers and practitioners can control the credibility of their evidence and ensure they interact with and communicate well with policy-makers, they often have limited capacity to influence the political context within which they work.

The power component—involving both raw and refined politics—manifests in the realm of clashing values, contending ideological and partisan stances, and competing interests, all played out in different institutional settings whose structural features shape the access of various players and the viability of the ideas and information they wield (e.g., Baker, Ginsburg and Langley 2004; Blendon and Steelfisher 2009; Gold 2009). In Africa, public office holders, especially executive heads, see the public governance as fiefdom and dispense government largess on the basis of patronage.

Charting a new Course: Some Considered Issues

One way of summarising the policy environment for poverty reduction is on two dimensions. Political commitment can be either low, where the desire and capacity to adopt pro-poor policies are weak, or high, where preferences and capacity are strong. Similarly, administrative capability can be weak, such that only a few fairly simple reforms are feasible, or strong, such that the reform programme can be more ambitious (Morrissey 2001:43). From the policy-maker’s perspective, Hyder et al (2011:11) suggested six distinct potential measures proposing a more comprehensive and cohesive vision of linkages between policy-makers, researchers and implementers. These include strengthening demand from policy-makers, creating formal processes to facilitate dialogue between researchers and policy-makers, implementing incentives for researchers, enhancing technical capabilities and competencies, and improving the packaging of evidence.

The service delivery model uses as its benchmark a model of a well-working market economy, loosely referred to here as the liberal market consensus, without implying that everyone within this consensus agrees in all respects. The consensus argues that to generate growth, states have to protect stable property rights, defined by strong contract enforcement, low expropriation risk, and low corruption; they have to ensure undistorted markets defined by low rents; and they have to achieve democratic accountability and civil society participation to keep the state in check (Khan 2004:66). If African governments are to be responsive to citizens’ demands, policies—including economic policies—must be decided democratically and involved major actors in formulation and implementation. The COHRED Working Group (2000:13) proposed a holistic framework encompassing paying attention to the process of planning and executing research and, decision-making; having platforms for researchers and policymakers; stakeholders identification and involvement; proving high quality and relevant research; fostering linkages between the research and policy processes and; context- the environment surrounding the research and decision making processes.

Of central importance are government preferences for pro-poor policies and the political capacity to promote a pro-poor agenda. Taken together these create commitment. Persuasive economic arguments supported by relevant research can shape preferences while technical and financial support can enhance political capacity. Thus pro-poor growth must focus on rural areas, improve incomes in agriculture, and make intensive use of labour. While conceptually quite obvious, these points are often forgotten and are not reflected in public policies or in the allocation of public funds by national governments or donors (Lipton 1977; World Bank 2000), yet most empirical analyses of these linkages have confirmed the importance of these relationships (for surveys, see Eastwood and Lipton 2000; Lipton and Ravallion 1995). Fundamentally however, policies to address poverty in African countries must address the rural dimension, especially the relevance of the agriculture sector that provides the livelihoods for most rural people. This can be engendered by a genuine partnership to tackle mutually agreed problems, coupled with energetic but constructive debate on areas of disagreement among critical actors.

Lack of effective progress in involving civil society groups and researchers in economic policymaking has implications for the promotion of social welfare and may threaten the long-term sustainability of the new democracies (Bangura 2001:45). This study subscribe to the fact that the democratization of economic policy making is essential if social and other issues of public concern are to be integrated in ways that contribute to cohesion and the well-being of citizens. Also, building capacity for frontier data scholarship and the interpretation of analyses for policy to reduce inequality should be incorporated into workings of government.

Also, external actors like policy advisors and donors, who tend to be the major proponents of poverty reduction strategies in developing countries, should show greater awareness of the prevailing policy environment, and work with it rather than against it. Donors can assist the policy-making process through providing technical assistance and aid, to support the budgetary costs at the initial stage of moving to poverty-reduction strategies and to support projects and sector programmes directed at helping the poor. Finally, African governments should institutionalise policymaking, improve governance, reform public institutions and extend consultation to all the involved stakeholders in policymaking.

Conclusion

Challenging political contexts continue to constrain the work of CSOs and researchers. But with globalisation, democratisation, decentralisation, reductions in conflict and advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs), there is potential for progressive partnerships in more and more developing countries (Court et al 2006:22). On the policy side, decision-makers working in areas of global governance, policy and advocacy should continue to break down traditional barriers so that business activity doesn’t take place parallel to civil society engagement, alongside separate governmental processes. It should be noted therefore, that analytical framework of public policies will need to be underpinned more clearly by the agenda of poverty reduction and social development, but the processes of decision-making that provide inputs to the formulation and implementation of such strategies will also need to become more engaging and citizen based.

To this end, new platforms are needed, along with new rules of engagement, which can bring together leading stakeholders to serve the common good (World Economic Forum 2013:47). In other words, benefits from globalisation could be explored and workable pro-poor policies achieved if only democracy, civil society participation, and other desirable political institutions could be deepened. While civil society must play a critical role in fostering advocacy and mediation in policy development, identifying crucial development priorities, proposing practical solutions and policy opportunities, and criticising impractical or problematic policies (UNDP 2014:7) technocrats and governments must operate from the window of transparency and create a conducive environment for inclusive governance where inputs can be accommodated. Indeed, there is a need to understand how policy-makers view research and what will stimulate them to promote data-based and thus on the appropriate pro-poor complementary policies. How this can be done through public policy with a view to eradicating poverty in such a way that people can lead better lives and ensure a better organised society requires further studies.

[1] These issues may include environment, terrorism, education, privatisation, trade, agriculture, health, human rights, gender that have largely become borderless/transnational in content and context.

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