The End of Development? Why international development must adapt or fail

Panel | The New Role of the State

Panel 1 — China and the Poverty Challenge


Since the begin­ning of eco­nomic reform in 1980, China has lifted more than 600 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty, account­ing for more than 75% of poverty reduc­tion in the devel­op­ing world. How­ever, national poverty alle­vi­a­tion mea­sures have trig­gered Increas­ing inequal­ity among urban and rural areas, inland and coastal China: rapid eco­nomic growth has been loaded with chal­lenges, includ­ing rapid urban­iza­tion and labor migra­tion, demo­graphic pres­sures related to an aging pop­u­la­tion and per­sist­ing exter­nal imbal­ances. This panel dis­cusses what pol­icy mea­sures are required to address these chal­lenges and help China achieve a sus­tain­able growth? And what lessons does the Chi­nese expe­ri­ence offer about the shift­ing pat­tern of global poverty, and how other major emerg­ing coun­tries can tackle their own poverty challenge?

Panel 2 — Does Capac­ity Devel­op­ment Work?


Build­ing and man­ag­ing a sus­tain­able insti­tu­tional frame­work is a long-standing chal­lenge for devel­op­ing world gov­ern­ments. Address­ing capac­ity require­ments by improv­ing approaches sys­tems and processes is doomed to fail if it is not cou­pled with the effec­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of all stake­hold­ers. Indeed, capac­ity devel­op­ment often entails changes in roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties, which can face sig­nif­i­cant pres­sure from estab­lished power struc­tures, unless pro­vided with com­pelling polit­i­cal and social incen­tives. And these con­straints can prove dra­mat­i­cally self-sustaining as gov­ern­ments are trapped in vicious cycles where the state engages in mod­ern­iza­tion poli­cies that fail to lay the foun­da­tions of growth and focus instead on build­ing a “façade” through super­fi­cial reforms. For­eign inter­ven­tion in this sense still has to prove its impact, as five decades of capac­ity build­ing efforts from devel­op­ment agen­cies have yielded lit­tle progress or star­tling suc­cess sto­ries. How can the State fos­ter a true vir­tu­ous cycle that mobi­lizes all stake­hold­ers to build and sus­tain the ade­quate insti­tu­tional frame­work to fos­ter national devel­op­ment goals? This panel aims to dis­cuss this ques­tion through case stud­ies drawn from the Mid­dle East and Africa region (“MEA”).

Panel 3 — The Return of Dirigist Policy?


Cor­po­rate gov­er­nance in state-owned enter­prises (“SOEs”) presents unique chal­lenges. The inter­ests of minor­ity, pri­vate share­hold­ers must be pro­tected in order to ensure proper oper­a­tion of the enter­prise. How­ever, their pri­mar­ily finan­cial inter­ests do not always align with the some­times more social, and in that sense, unique inter­ests of the state. How can SOEs be man­aged to rec­on­cile and pro­mote the inter­ests of both the State and pri­vate share­hold­ers? This panel will attempt to answer this ques­tion by explor­ing key cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prin­ci­ples and prac­tices for man­ag­ing con­flict­ing inter­ests in SOEs so as to max­i­mize the value of the enter­prise to all stakeholders.