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The Making Reform Incentives Work for Developing Countries project seeks to explain how wealthy countries and international organizations can more effectively support reform efforts in low and lower-middle income countries. The project primarily consists of two large-scale surveys intended to learn from the opinions and experiences of policymakers and practitioners from around the globe.



The Reform Efforts Survey (2014)

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The goal of the Reform Efforts Survey is to provide the research and policy communities with an explanatory account of how international development agencies tried to support the reform efforts of 126 low and lower-middle income countries between 2004 and 2013. With data specific to a variety of policy domains, including health, education, and public financial management, among others, we will explore when, why, and how developing countries pursued some reforms and delayed or abandoned others. We will also seek to learn why some reform efforts make only short-lived, cosmetic changes to policies and programs, while others produce long-lasting positive impacts. Our hope is that the Reform Efforts Survey will inform and improve how development agencies support reform efforts in low and lower-middle income countries.


The MCA Stakeholder Survey (2012)

Millenium ChallengeIn 2004, the United States Government created the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to provide a reward for governments that adopt policies and build institutions to facilitate economic growth and poverty reduction. However, the MCC’s impact as an incentive for policy and institutional reform in developing countries remains under-researched. A small body of anecdotal evidence suggests that governments have implemented reforms to enhance their chances of becoming eligible for MCC assistance. Yet, little is known about this “incentive effect.” In the fall of 2012, we conducted a first-of-its-kind survey of 640 policy elites in 100 low and lower-middle income countries with an ambitious goal: to measure the reform influence of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility criteria, as observed by policymakers and practitioners in MCA “target” countries.