Robust institutions and effective governance are increasingly recognized by policymakers as not only important end goals but also key inputs towards inclusive and sustainable development. Governance refers to the manner in which power and authority is used to manage the collective affairs of a community, society, nation, or country. Institutions are the systems of formal and informal rules that constitute the environment within which policies, cooperation, and innovation occur. Both concepts are jointly relevant for promoting civic participation in political affairs, mutual accountability between leaders and citizens, transparent and efficient public administrations, and responsible stewardship of natural resources.
Consequently, Strengthening Institutions and Governance (SIG) is one of the six main research areas identified in IFPRI’s 2013-2018 Strategy and is being spearheaded by a cross-divisional task force. SIG research analyzes the constellation of institutional and governance arrangements, as well as the policy processes that they generate, which promote food security, poverty reduction, and equitable and sustainable rural development. In doing so, SIG research relies on interdisciplinary and multi-level perspectives, mixed methods, and learning across disparate country contexts. Priority attention is given to policy-relevant issues, ranging from the household to the global level, that revolve around the following four main themes:
- Strengthened assets and property rights
- Inclusive and effective collective action
- Pro-poor public investments and policies
- High-quality public service delivery through institutional innovations
To communicate results, strengthen analytical capacity, and foster greater awareness of diverse research on institutions and governance that exists in the broader academic and policy communities, SIG also hosts a monthly seminar series.