Poverty, Democracy and Development

Issues for Consideration by the Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development

Paperback: £30.00

Poverty, Democracy and Development

Contributors: S. K. Rao
Publication date: 1 January 2004
Size: 240mm x 165mm
ISBN: 978-0-85092-799-3
Pages: 94

The Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development was established by the Commonwealth Secretary-General in pursuance of the following mandate by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Coolum, Australia, in March 2002:
“Recognising the links between democracy and good governance on the one hand, and poverty, development and conflict on the other, we call on the Commonwealth Secretary-General to constitute a high-level expert group to recommend ways in which we could carry forward the Fancourt Declaration. This group should focus on how democracies might best be supported in combating poverty, and should report to the next CHOGM [i.e. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting]."

The Group was chaired by the Hon Dr Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister of India.

This paper was written as a background note for the Expert Group (immediately prior to the first meeting) and as such it was very important in clarifying some of the major themes which were discussed in the deliberations of the Group.

The note is in four parts: Part A reviews the extent of poverty and outlines some of the particular challenges confronting democracies in the current historical situation. Part B discusses the links between conflict, poverty and development on the one hand and democracy and good governance on the other, and possible ways by which support may be provided to democracies in combating poverty. Part C discusses possible strategies for winning global support, and the role of the Commonwealth in mobilising such support. Part D provides a summary of issues for the consideration of the Expert Group.

Dr Rao is an eminent economist who worked for both the Indian Government and Commonwealth Secretariat for many years. He is now the Principal of the Administrative Staff College of India in Hyderabad.

ContentsExpand or collapse me

1. Introduction

A. Poverty and the Challenges Confronting Poor Country Democracies

2 Poverty: How Widespread Is It?
2.1 The Concept of Poverty
2.2 Poverty: The Evidence
2.3 Is the World on Track in Reducing Poverty?

3 New Challenges Confronting Democracies in Combating Poverty
3.1 The Spread of Conflicts, Collapsed States and Terrorism
3.2 Challenges of Transition from Authoritarian Rule to Democratic and Market Freedoms
3.3 Globalisation
3.5 The Degradation of the Environment

B. Support for Democracies for Combating Poverty

4 Tacking Conflicts, Failed States and Terrorism
4.1 Why Do Conflicts Occur? What Causes the Phenomenon of ‘Failed States’?
4.2 The Adequacy of Current International Arrangements
4.3 Terrorism

5 Deepening Democracy and Good Governance
5.1 The Links between Democracy, Good Governance and Poverty Reduction: The Argument
5.2 Empirical Evidence
5.3 The Primary of Democracy
5.4 Deeping Democracy
5.5 The Quality of Economic Growth and Democracy
5.6 Corruption and Failure of Good Governance
5.7 Co-opting and Elites for Change

6 The Relationship between Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction

7 Participatory Processes and Empowering the Poor

8 The Washington Consensus and Pro-poor Economic and Social Policies

9 Trade Liberalisation
9.1 The Sequence of Reform
9.2 Why the Present Trade Regime Hurts the Poor

10 Aid and Debt Cancellation
10.1 Official Development Assistance
10.2 Other Sources of Aid
10.3 Aid Effectiveness and the Allocation of Aid
10.4 Debt Forgiveness

11 Reform of the Financial Architecture

12 Pro-poor Health Policies

13 Pro-poor Education Policies

14 New Technologies

15 Global Governance
15.1 Strengthening Global Governance
15.2 Decision-making Process
15.3 Transparency and Accountability

C. Strategies for Action

16 Winning Support for Global Action
16.1 The Strategic Interests of the International Community
16.2 Win-Win Approaches
16.3 Socially-responsible Business

17 The role of the Commonwealth

D. Summary of the Issues

18 Issues for the consideration of the Expert Group: A Summary