Strategic Network: New National Planning for Sustainable Development in the Global South

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Environment, Education and Development

Abstract

Summary
This initiative addresses a key challenge faced by developing country governments as they seek to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in September 2015. Many of these countries are seeking to guide their own development through a set of processes, policies and practices that can usefully be termed the 'new national planning'. Following an era of often ritualistic national planning, the 1980s and 1990s saw the very idea of producing national development plans as discredited. This was partly due to a lack of local ownership and commitment to plans produced, but also due to donors and international financial institutions promoting more market and less state centred ways of achieving development goals. While the 2000s saw the return of something approaching a comprehensive policy framework for development in the form of national Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), there is now evidence that national development planning has firmly come back into vogue. Our initial research shows that over 100 countries, a majority of them in the global south (including many of the largest and fastest growing), have a national development plan or similar document. These are usually very different from the formalistic national development plans of the 1960s and 1970s and involve much greater use of measurement, evidence and modelling. This is a renewed interest and belief in National Planning albeit in a very different globalised context characterised by unpredictability and complexity. The Sustainable Development Goals will be implemented through locally driven plans that take into account this global complexity and uncertainty and yet reflect the priorities and contexts of individual UN member states. Planning approaches cannot therefore be the same as before and indeed our preliminary dataset is showing the emergence of new ways of planning that strive to cope with uncertainty and complexity.

This new national planning has attracted little research interest, yet there is growing evidence that it has implications for how countries respond to the global and local challenges confronting them. Little systematic mapping of national planning processes and outcomes has been done and there is limited understanding of the processes shaping the new national planning at the national or global level. Neither the World Bank nor the UN, for example, have assembled comparative studies or datasets. More importantly, some crucial questions are emerging not least related to whether this new national planning produces better national ownership, accountability and ultimately better development outcomes than did either the PRSPs or the previous generations of planning (or non-planning). Our partnership will investigate this topic through a cross-disciplinary research/practitioner network and will strengthen capability for research and innovation across seven ODA recipient countries. We will establish a multi-disciplinary network of scholars, practitioners and policy makers who will analyse and better understand this re-emergence of national development planning in the global south. This strategic network on the 'new national planning' will create a new research and knowledge community that understands how national planning helps governments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in an era of complexity and uncertainty brought on by combined effects of forces of globalisation and climate change. The network will analyse development plans and create: an analytical framework for comparing plans; a detailed database of this new generation of plans; (at least) seven detailed case studies of the new national planning in ODA countries: and, a comparative analysis of National Planning in the 21st Century. The network will bring together policy makers, researchers and other development actors to identify key areas for future research and actively seek funding to establish a major applied research programme.

Planned Impact

The Strategic Network's research activities will benefit multiple stakeholders. These include:
1. Policy makers and technical analysts within national development planning ministries. Through the detailed case study work we have enlisted the support and co-operation of nine government departments responsible for producing national development plans who will benefit from the Network activities. By using causal process tracing which maximises interaction, the network will co-produce actionable ideas with those most likely to use them.
2. By involving co-investigators from seven of the nine developing country partners, the network will promote local capacity development. Including early career researchers (including graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) as part of country teams, the network will encourage the development of new in-country 'knowledge networks' that bring together government policy makers and local researchers. These can be useful resources in promoting continuous learning among policy makers. Access to external resources (PhD scholarships, post-doctoral awards, philanthropic grants) gives S3NP the ability to promote capacity development well beyond a GCRF financial base.
3. Global institutions (World Bank; UNDP); Donor agencies (DfID; Global Affairs Canada; EU) have all begun to engage with the new national planning at country level. This network will give them a critical sounding board for these new ways of planning with complexity.
4. The Strategic Network consists of academics and practitioners working in Universities, research institutions and government departments. Its activities will influence the way elements of 'planning with complexity' are conceptualised, taught and practised in these institutions. The network's substantial experience of impacting on 'public understanding' of complex development issues/global challenges (especially Hulme) ensures that S3NP's findings will be policy relevant and publicly accessible.
5. The S3NP Network will form an epistemic community that will develop a research agenda based on this initial work. It will actively encourage teaching and research within the academic community.Ultimately the impact of this network pivots on its ability to influence the 'art and science' of making plans that can cope with complexity.

Specific work packages built into the network activities create pathways to impact. The inception network event in Manchester is designed to encourage early engagement by policy makers and planners with the network and to gain their inputs into the core network programme activities. It impacts at both the international and national levels. Establishing a publicly available and searchable database of post-2012 plans from over 100 countries creates a global repository that will stimulate 'no-cost-to-funder' future academic and professional research on this important topic. In country causal process tracing work in seven DAC-aid recipient countries will nurture capacity development in academic and professional communities. The S3NP workshop in Ottawa in October 2017 continues this work, but deepens it by comparing the preliminary results of the case studies. The Ottawa workshop also begins to sharpen messages for future research activity based on these preliminary findings. Given the presence of Anglophone and Francophone countries in the project, the participation of the University of Ottawa, the world's largest bilingual university, is expected to be a major asset to the project overcoming major barriers to comparative analysis.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have discovered how widespread national development planning has become- 134 countries representing nearly 80% of the world's population now have a national development plan up from 60 in 2006. Through this grant we have created a rich data base of plans from 120 countries analysed through 10 themes and 92 variables. We also have carried out detailed research in 10 case study countries that include planning experiences from Bangladesh, Benin, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Tunisia, Togo, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Through this grant we have developed a research network and built capacity to do research in this area across disciplines that range from economics, planning, political science, geography and sociology. We are also in the process of creating a new community of knowledge and practice around new national planning based on the existing strategic network. Our research findings show that national development planning is being used by countries as a way to manage the effects of economic globalisation as well as plan for the attainment of sustainable development goals. We have identified four types of plans that range from those that are transformative to some that are mundane and have developed a typology used to characterise the plans. Our analysis suggests that while many countries demonstrate an ability to better analyse, plan and monitor future activity the least convincing area is how the plans will be financed.
Exploitation Route For the policy audience we have held in country workshops that have created new communities of practice in the case study countries as platforms for continuing dialogue over our findings. - see reports on website http://www.nationalplanning.org/index.php/en/home/. We have also taken our findings to the World Bank where we held a successful seminar (see http://www.nationalplanning.org/index.php/en/2018/02/07/watch-emerging-findings-national-planning-presented-world-bank/) and there is follow up dialogue on collaborative research with a focus on disruptive technologies. We have begun to communicate our findings to an academic audience and have presented findings at 2 conferences so far (DSA; CASID) and have 2 more presentations coming up (7th April at the ISA in San Francisco (https://www.isanet.org/Conferences/San-Francisco-2018) and also at the ACUNAS in Italy July 2018 (https://www.cigionline.org/partner/academic-council-united-nations-system-acuns). A journal paper is under review at the World Development Journal and a special edition of the Canadian Journal of International Development Studies. The huge data base we have created is being cleaned and we plan to make this a publicly available resource. A proposal for a major research centre is currently being prepared for submission under an ESRC call.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.nationalplanning.org/index.php/en/home/
 
Description S3NP findings have been used to enhance effectiveness of public policy in participating countries. Dissemination workshops held in Benin, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ghana, Peru have created new country level communities of knowledge and practice that bring together local S3NP researchers and policy makers. We have used our findings to shape intellectual debate on the role of national planning. We have engaged with fellow academics at the CASID Conference (31 May -2 June 2017) in Toronto and the DSA Conference in Bradford (6-8 September 2017) where we had successful panels. We have written a paper that will appear in a special edition on Sustainable Development Goals of the World Development Journal. The findings have also been used to review practices and think about how best to plan for the SDGs. Policy engagement during the Ottawa workshop (8-12 January 2018) with officials from Global Affairs Canada shared ways to support country level development planning initiatives especially in countries where GAC work. A very successful seminar at the World Bank in Washington (16 January 2018) see https://youtu.be/qXMHsgs-LYc has seen ongoing policy engagement and initiatives for collaborative research. Our findings have also been used to generate new ideas for research and a major global centre to investigate New National Planning for SDGs at the University of Manchester is being proposed.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Ghana National Planning Commision
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Following on the National Workshop held as part of the S3NP Network, Prof Peter Quartey a co-investigator has continued to provide policy support to the Ghana National Planning Commission as an advisor. The work done internally has also created a community of practice that brings together academics, policy makers and practitioners in dialogue over National Plans
 
Title Data Base on National Plans from 120 countries 
Description We have created a repository that now has plans from 120 different countries. The National plans are in their original languages. We have also created a huge data base on these countries consisting of 92 variables organised under 10 themes. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We have been able to analyse the data and produce preliminary findings. We also have had requests from our World Bank Partners to begin working with them in mining these data. 
 
Description Collaboration with the Academic Council of the United Nations System 
Organisation United Nations (UN)
Country Global 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I contributed a paper on National Development Planning for Sustainable Development Goals based on the data that was generated by the S3NP Strategic Network.
Collaborator Contribution Partner convened a panel of experts to deliberate on the approaches to monitoring sustainable development goals during the UCUNS conference in Rome in July 2018
Impact Academic paper on Planning for Sustainable Goals Conference Panel
Start Year 2018
 
Description DSA Conference Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Admos Chimhowu convened a four paper panel at the Development Studies Association Panel on Planning for sustainable development goals: new thinking and emerging practices. Preliminary results of the S3NP project where presented. He was joined on the panel by Dr Binart Sarwar from the ODI; Dr Sanna Ojanpera (University of Oxford) Dr Dani Merlaba(IDE, Germany)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://nomadit.co.uk/dsa/dsa2017/conferencesuite.php/panels/5747
 
Description Global Affairs Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A Special panel was convened in Ottawa to present some of the emerging findings of the research by the S3NP Network to officials from Global Affairs Canada
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description National Dialogue Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 7 August 2017 the French Institute for Agrarian Research (INRA) held an Inception Stakeholder Workshop for the New National Planning for Sustainable Development in the Global South Project in Lima, Peru. The workshop was held in association with the Economics Department of the Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and sponsored by the National Centre of Strategic Planning from the Peruvian Government (CEPLAN). The event was coordinated by Leonth Hinojosa (INRA and Aix-Marseille University) and Jose Carlos Orihuela (PUCP) and was assisted by Alejandra Zuniga and CEPLAN's secretarial team. The workshop took place in CEPLAN's Conference Centre, Lima and was attended by government officials, civil society representatives and academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nationalplanning.org/index.php/en/2017/09/25/peru-inception-stakeholder-workshop/
 
Description National Stakeholder Workshop Ghana 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop was led by Professor Peter Quartey from the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at The University of Ghana with assistance from Dr Priscilla Twumasi Baffour. The event was opened by Dr Baffour with an introduction of the participants followed by a presentation from Professor Peter Quartey and Dr Nii Thompson, Director General of the National Planning Commission (NDPC) in Ghana.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nationalplanning.org/index.php/en/2017/07/25/inception-stakeholder-workshop-ghana/
 
Description Panel at CASID Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Lauchlan Munro convened a panel on the S3NP project at the CASID Conference in Toronto where five academic papers were presented by Dr Admos Chimhowu, Dr Lauchlan Munro, Prof David Hulme, Mr Begench Yazlyev and Ms Sarah Tal
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.casid-acedi.ca/
 
Description World Bank BBL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The S3NP lead team was invited to come and present emerging findings at the World Bank in Washington DC on the 16th of January 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.nationalplanning.org/index.php/en/2018/02/07/watch-emerging-findings-national-planning-pr...