Working with the Grain: Integrating Governance and Growth in Development Strategies - Levy (2014)


This book builds on the innovative “with-the-grain” approach to governance reform and development policymaking. Working with the grain means to move thinking and attention away from traditional “best practice” methods and instead move towards finding a good fit for development approaches that can initiate and sustain forward momentum. Levy distinguishes among four broad groups of countries—according to whether their policies are dominant or competitive and whether their institutions are personalised or impersonal.  Levy also distinguishes among alternative options for governance reform, particularly “top-down” approaches that aim to strengthen formal institutions and options that aim to support the emergence of “islands of effectiveness.” He explores the “goodness of fit” between alternative reform options and divergent country contexts. By doing so, the book investigates how, over time, virtuous circles can link inclusive growth, positive expectations, and ongoing institutional improvement. The overall aim of this book is to seek and identify gains that can help move the working with the grain approach along and can give rise to positive changes in development outcomes.