Our portfolio of research on Institutions and Governance aims to both improve the performance of governments, and expand citizen participation in public decision-making. Increasingly, both public sector and community-based institutions are experimenting with strategies for reform, creating exciting opportunities for researchers to document what works and what doesn’t. Our portfolio includes studies of reforms designed to reduce corruption, inform and engage voters, and hold politicians accountable for their commitments. Often these strategies leverage advances in information technology to monitor public sector performance and provide information to citizens. We also draw on techniques from behavioral science to design tools for recruiting and incentivizing public servants and politicians. Our studies generate insights from household surveys, administrative data, and new digital data streams, often working in countries where data are scarce, think tanks are overwhelmed, and public sector accountability is limited. Ultimately, we aim to provide stakeholders with the evidence needed to effect positive change, while contributing to a broader understanding of the role of governance and institutions in promoting human development.
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