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Email Update - Issue No. 2

Welcome to the GRC Exchange Email Update service - sharing information about governance in development.


1. Launch of the Organisation Database

2. New Topic Guides

3. New Key Documents

  • Good enough governance: poverty reduction and reform in developing countries
  • Reconciliation after violent conflict: a handbook
  • Study of short-term measures used to address weaknesses in public financial management systems
  • Debate: democracy and development. A contradiction in the politics of economics
  • State failure in developing countries and strategies of institutional reform
  • Widows and AIDS: redefinitions and challenges
  • Children and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sierra Leone
  • Who gets what from whom? The impact of decentralisation on tax capacity and pro-poor policy

4. New Training Courses and Events

  • Managing labour adjustment in privatisation and civil service reform
  • HELINA 2003 conference: information and communication technology in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa
  • Ethics for policy makers: it's all about 'why'
  • Decentralised government: improving financial performance

Launch of the Organisation Database

The GRC Exchange is pleased to announce the launch of its Organisation Database, featuring summaries of the key organisations working in the field of governance. Each summary identifies the organisation's objectives, its approach to governance, the focus and country/regional coverage of its work, plus contact details. Links to resources held on the GRC Exchange website are also provided.

New Topic Guides

Introducing 3 new cross-cutting topic guides available on the GRC Exchange:

Decentralisation - focusing on the implications of decentralisation for the poor, providing key resources that outline practical benefits and approaches to decentralisation policy and acknowledge potential areas for concern.

Budget support - providing key sources of information on the governance aspects of Direct Budget Support.

PRSPs - examining the governance aspects of PRSPs.

New Key Documents

To read the full document summary and access the text, click on the links provided. To request items by email, please contact

Good Enough Governance: Poverty Reduction and Reform in Developing Countries (Grindle, M., Kennedy School of Government, 2002)
Good governance is considered the key to poverty reduction. But how can it be achieved? What should come first and how should things be done?

Reconciliation after Violent Conflict: A Handbook (Bloomfield, D. and Barnes, T., International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2003)
How can societies reconcile after violent conflict? Can victims and offenders work together to achieve shared goals and rebuild society? What lessons have been learnt from reconciliation processes in Guatemala, Northern Ireland and South Africa?

Study of Short-Term Measures Used to Address Weaknesses in Public Financial Management Systems (Brooke, P. 2002)
Effective systems of public financial management and accountability make a critical contribution to the achievement of development outcomes. Yet, is there evidence that these measures are effective in supporting long-term improvements in financial management systems?

Debate: Democracy and Development. A Contradiction in the Politics of Economics (Leftwich, A., 2002)
Western donor organisations insist on the democratisation of developing countries as a condition for aid. It is believed that democratisation fosters development. Yet, is there strong evidence that this is really true?

State Failure in Developing Countries and Strategies of Institutional Reform (Khan, M., 2002)
What is the role of the state in developing economies? New research looks at the arguments and suggests that a shift in the focus of reform is needed as well as political reorganisation in poorly performing economies.

Widows and AIDS: Redefinitions and Challenges (Sleap, B. 2001)
What is the impact of HIV/AIDS on women in developing countries and particularly on widows? Using local case studies in Africa, the Panos AIDS Programme assesses the epidemiology of AIDS in women and widows and asks questions about its psychological and socio-economic effects.

Children and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sierra Leone (Mann, N. and Theuermann, B. 2001)
What is the role of children in the process of reintegration and reconciliation in Sierra Leone, after the decade-long armed conflict? What procedures must be used in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in order to safeguard the rights of children and make sure that their account of the events is properly recorded?

Who Gets What From Whom? The Impact of Decentralisation on Tax Capacity and Pro-Poor Policy (Schneider, A., Institute of Development Studies, 2003)
Does decentralisation bring responsive government closer to the people? Or does it dilute the ability of poor people to organise and influence the government? How can advocates of decentralisation make sure they do not inadvertently hurt the people they are trying to help?

To search the full range of key texts within the GRC Exchange's Information Database, visit . If you wish to recommend a document, please contact

New Training and Events

To find out more about the following events, click on the links provided. To request items by email, please contact

Managing Labour Adjustment in Privatisation and Civil Service Reform. 7th - 10th October 2003, Adam Smith Institute, London, United Kingdom
Participants will learn how to gauge the true impact of reform on labour issues, and form practical plans for restructuring, retrenching and retaining the workforce.

HELINA 2003 Conference: Information and Communication Technology in the Fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. 12th - 15th October 2003, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The conference will discuss the broad range of issues facing those who develop and manage HIV/AIDS interventions, and the potential for information and communication technologies to further these aims.

'Ethics for Policy Makers: It's All About 'Why'. 21st October 2003, Institute On Governance, Canada
This workshop will leave participants with a deeper understanding of ethics in the policy context and the active role it can play in strengthening a policy proposal.

Decentralised Government: Improving Financial Performance. 24th May - 25th June 2004, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
This programme seeks to relate theoretical insights to the practical situations faced by those involved in decentralised government finance.

To search the full range of events available through the Training and Events service, visit . If you wish to recommend a training course or event, please contact

DFIDThe University of BirminghamIDS