The last few decades have seen a growth in the number and influence of governance indicators in development. These indicators shape the institutional reform agenda in many countries. They create pressure for 'reforms as signals', however, which are often limited to changes in form and not function: governments look better after reforms but are not actually better. Given evidence that this is indeed the case, the question is how to construct governance indicators and promote reforms that actually make governments more functional. Select experiences show that this is possible and suggest a new set of principles that could be used to guide institutional reforms in the future.
Matt Andrews is Associate Professor of Public Policy. His research focuses on public sector reform, particularly budgeting and financial management reform, and participatory governance in developing and transitional governments. Recent articles focus on forging a theoretical understanding of the nontechnical factors influencing success in reform processes. Specific emphasis lies on the informal institutional context of reform, as well as leadership structures within government-wide networks. This research developed out of his work in the provincial government of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa and more recently from his tenure as a Public Sector Specialist working in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. He brings this experience to courses on public management and development. He holds a BCom (Hons) degree from the University of Natal, Durban (South Africa), an MSc from the University of London, and a PhD in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.