William & Mary

Paraguay's Former Minister of Planning Lectures on Institutional Reform, Consults on Reform Incentives Survey

From left to right Taylor Wilson ’15, Ashley Napier ’15, Julia Maciel, Brad Parks, Zach Rice, and Paul Burgess. Former Paraguayan Minister of Planning Julia Maciel gave a presentation to the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, as well as to the students and faculty from other departments at the College of William & Mary on Friday, September 14, 2012. Ms. Maciel discussed the policy and institutional reform process in Paraguay -- in particular, the role of domestic political leadership, external actors and inter-organizational cooperation. The discussion was followed by a question and answer session regarding reform adoption and implementation in the developing world. Ms. Maciel also responded to questions about the growing role of women in Paraguayan politics.

In addition to her presentation, Ms. Maciel met with many Institute faculty and staff members and advised on a variety of projects throughout the day. After Ms. Maciel attended a briefing on the latest work of AidData, she met with a team from the Reform Incentives Project including Project Manager Zach Rice, Senior Research Assistant Paul Burgess, and undergraduate research assistants Ashley Napier ‘15 and Taylor Wilson ‘15. She provided the team with detailed feedback on a survey questionnaire designed to assess the influence and impact of the U.S. Government's Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility standards on the policy reform process in developing countries. Ms. Maciel identified problems in wording and content and helped the research team identify practical ways to improve their questionnaire.

“Ms. Maciel’s feedback was truly indispensible to our survey project. Not only did she help to ensure that our survey questionnaire is as relevant as possible to MCA stakeholders and decision makers in developing countries, but she also provided our faculty, staff, and students with a unique perspective on the policy reform process,” said Project Manager Zach Rice. “It was a pleasure to learn from her experiences and insights.”

In October 2012, the Reform Incentives team will use a revised version of this questionnaire to survey over 2,600 senior policymakers from 120 low income and lower middle income countries.