Building State Capabilities: Latest Research and Policy

Policy brief State

The International Growth Centre (IGC) sponsored its first “Growth Forum” in South Sudan on 10th December 2012. The event was co-sponsored by the Centre for Strategic Analyses and Research (C-SAR). The forum was focused on “Building State Capabilities” and brought two leading economists from the United States to present policy relevant research to an audience that included senior policy-makers, interested citizens and key members of the international donor community in South Sudan. The Honourable Priscilla Nyangang Kuch, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, welcomed everyone to the public event. In her opening remarks, the Honourable Deputy Minister touched on many of the challenges South Sudan is currently facing, including, importantly, the need to build institutions and human capital. Lant Pritchett, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, argued that the ideas widely shared and propagated by the international community about how to build state capabilities in developing countries are, in fact, wrong in pushing for the transplantation of best practice, and do not adequately reflect the causal ways that state capabilities will arise. Nada Eissa, Professor at Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, concentrated her talk on labour markets. Drawing from recent research, Eissa highlighted the policy implications of the unique characteristics of labour in South Sudan.