Studies In Comparative International Development

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 123–151 | Cite as

Perspectives on participation in economic policy reform in Africa

  • Derick W. Brinkerhoff
  • Nicolas P. Kulibaba
Development Policy

Abstract

This article examines two questions regarding participation in economic policy reform in Africa: how do the circumstances surrounding participation and the ways it occurs influence the economic policy reform process, and can changes to enhance participation lead to improved policy outcomes? The general findings are, first, that the pattern of participation is an important variable in the policy reform process, but that its effects on reform outcomes are strongly mediated by African political and governance factors. Second, increased participation appears to enhance prospects for sustainable reform outcomes, though the weak capacity and responsiveness of the state and the incipient nature of civil society's associational infrastructure in much of Africa limit opportunilimits for institutionalizing participation. It is important to be aware of participation’s limits as well as its potential contribution to economic policy reform in the context of political liberalization, and to recognize the long-term nature of the transition to new modes of state-society cooperation.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derick W. Brinkerhoff
    • 1
  • Nicolas P. Kulibaba
    • 1
  1. 1.Abt Associates Inc.BethesdaUSA

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