On May 18-19, the Program on Poverty and Governance will host a two-day conference on the provision of public goods and good governance throughout the world. This conference, co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, will bring together an interdisciplinary group of economists, political scientists, policymakers, and public health researchers examining these questions. Public goods—goods and services such as education, healthcare, sanitation, potable water, and other benefits provided by the government—are intrinsically tied to issues of governance, which we broadly define as the exercise of political authority and the use of institutional resources to manage society’s problems and affairs. More specifically, factors such how political leaders get elected, the way in which government projects get funded, whether the community participates in decision-making, and the extent to which the distribution of government benefits is done through clientelistic networks, among others, play an important role in the quality and coverage of public goods that governments provide. Additionally, a critical question in large parts of the developing world relates to the role of international players and foreign aid in the provision of public goods –does external provision of public goods enable or hinder governmental capacity to deliver public services in poor communities? Through two days of presentations and panel discussions, the conference will explore how various facets of governance affect the provision of public goods and services throughout the world.
The conference will be held in Encina Hall at Stanford University May 18th and 19th, 2012. Guests are encouraged to RSVP by May 16th. Any questions may be addressed to the Program on Poverty and Governance program associate Elena Cryst.