Accepted paper:

Politicization of national planning and development effectiveness in Zambia

Authors:

Cynthia Kamwengo (Durham University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will discuss how politicization of national planning through executive interference can strengthen or weaken the sustainability of development interventions introduced by trilateral partnerships and civil service organisations often deemed as 'effective'

Paper long abstract:

The Triangle of Hope project (2006-12) is a large-scale trilateral capacity building initiative in Zambia that has aimed to improve the efficiency of the civil service in managing national development and stimulating economic growth, implemented with the support of Japanese and Malaysian partners. Through a discussion of how political changes affected the outcomes of the ToH project, this paper will argue that politicization of national planning through executive interference can strengthen or weaken the sustainability of interventions introduced by trilateral development partnerships and civil service organisations often deemed as 'effective'. Drawing on key stakeholder interviews and archival research, it will discuss the impacts of: the increasing use of political patronage rather than merit as the basis of civil service appointments; the absence of protection mechanisms to support officials who speak out against negative policy changes made by the President; and the loss of institutional memory through staff turnover. Overall, the findings of this paper will highlight the limits to which bureaucratic 'pockets of effectiveness' can function in states in which decision-making power is highly centralised.

back to panel H4
Stream:
Transnational political economies of development
State capacity and the politics of development in Africa [paper]