Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Development Policy Review January 2023 round-up

Expert comment

Written by Annalisa Prizzon

Image credit:Book lot on table Image license:Tom Hermans / Unsplash

The first issue of Development Policy Review for 2023 is now out. As a reminder, Development Policy Review is an online-only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the links between research and policy in all aspects of international development. It does so across the spectrum of social science disciplines, intellectual persuasions, institutional backgrounds and regions.

We have just reviewed the authors’ guidelines on the methods and areas we would welcome new manuscripts. Please check them out and consider submitting your latest research to Development Policy Review.

Back to the latest issue. Here is a summary of the rationale, findings and recommendations of the 11 articles you will find in the first edition of 2023.

  • Adaptative management. While adaptative management of aid programmes was introduced as a corrective to the overemphasis on accountability and technocracy of prevailing results-based management approaches, there is little evidence of its use in practice. In their Open Access article, Lena Gutheil and Dirk-Jan Koch present an assessment of a development programme in Uganda and Viet Nam. The programme aimed to introduce substantive adaptive and social transformative innovations.

  • Aid localisation and global value chains. In her Open Access article, Kelly Gerard investigates what can be learned from global value chains to improve aid chains – i.e. subcontracting to local organisations – particularly from the case of multi-stakeholders partnerships.

  • Aid flows and public health expenditure. In their article Yoojin Lim, Youngwan Kim and Daniel Connolly analyse the relationship between aid flows and public health spending in recipient countries. They find that aid could lead to reductions in health expenditure when donor community’s surveillance focuses more on risky or untrustworthy recipients and indirectly creates incentives for good recipients to divert funding away from the health sector.

  • Cash transfers in Malawi. In his OA article, Hangala Siachiwena investigates why donors, over six years, were unable to persuade Bingu wa Mutharika's government of Malawi to adopt social cash transfers; but why they succeeded with Joyce Banda's administration within two months of her being in office. Joyce Banda’s experience was different from that of her predecessor: she had worked with civil society, was acutely aware of poverty, and had good relations with external non-governmental organisations and donors. She saw priorities in rising vulnerability and exclusion, favoured safety nets, and was anxious to gain support for her administration. Social protection came rapidly into favour, pilots were expanded into a national programme.

  • Taxing “the informal sector” in sub-Saharan Africa In his OA article Mick Moore analyses the evidence on taxing the informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa. The continual drive to register more taxpayers provides an unduly favourable impression of the extent of policy and managerial efforts to collect more revenue. The informal sector narrative locates the apparent cause of revenue scarcity in the alleged under-taxation of small enterprises and poorer people and thus helps divert attention from failures adequately to tax more privileged Africans and larger enterprises.

  • Urban development frameworks in Bolivia and Ecuador. In their OA article, Francesca Blanc and Giancarlo Cotella explore the role that “pasteurised” urban narratives play in the domestic institutionalisation of the global urban development frameworks and how domestic institutional configurations have influenced their different implementation in two Latin American countries in Bolivia and Ecuador.

  • Determinants of the rise in chicken production in Latin America. Latin America has witnessed massive increases in the production and consumption of chicken meat over the last 60 years and well beyond its share of the developing world's population. In their article, Gregory Scott and Enrique Vigo analyse growth rates for chicken meat in Latin America, why they have differed, and how the role of innovation and development policies contributed to bringing about this growth, in turn leading to the patterns of governance of these activities today.

  • Voluntary contributions to Kenya’s national health insurance schemes. In their article, Raphael Indimuli and co-authors investigate why informal workers in Kenya are abandoning health insurance schemes. They use micro-traders as a case study to understand inactive membership among voluntary contributors in Kenya's national health insurance scheme.

  • COVID-19 and migration in Kerala. In their free-to-read article, Reddy Sai Shiva Jayanth and co-authors unpack the economic and social disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment, sources of income, and lives of different categories of migrant labourers in the Indian state of Kerala. First, they found that households dependent on international migrants were more severely affected than those with family members who were internal migrants. Second, lifestyles changed (more reliance on a plant-based diet) and so did borrowing patterns (more reliance on informal money lending). Third, opinions on future migration prospects were pessimistic, including reverse migration.

  • COVID-19 vaccination in Bangladesh. In their free-to-read article, Avinno Faruk and Ishmam Al Quddus analyse the demand-side constraints in the early vaccination campaign in Bangladesh. They found that willingness was not an issue in Bangladesh. The challenge was getting individuals to register. Once they did, compliance was very high. When the information gap regarding registration was addressed by campaigning, registration and take-up increased.

  • Indonesia's rural electrification policies. In their OA article, Hafidz Wibisono, Jon Lovett and Dhimas Bayu Anindito illustrate how external actors influenced the reform of Indonesia's rural electricity policy. They do so by analysing the position of the global sustainability storyline in pre- and post-SDG and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) periods; and by exploring the dynamic of coalition structure within both periods.

DPR issues are published every two months. The next digest will be in March. We also have new special issues in the pipeline, so watch this space!