Parallel session
Aid and governance

Does foreign aid still play a role in shaping democratic trajectories in sub-Saharan Africa?

Given significant economic and political developments over the past five years, this panel revisits previous UNU-WIDER research findings on aid and democracy in the region. The growing importance of Eurobond financing and Chinese infrastructure funding is occurring in tandem with more consolidated aid from traditional donors and a plateau in democracy assistance.

The domestic political ramifications of this shifting aid landscape will be examined in countries that have experienced worrying cases of democratic backsliding in recent years, and discussion will address what this means for future research and policy.

Session videos

Parallel 5.1 | Aid and governance

Danielle Resnick | Nic Cheeseman | Lise Rakner | Discussant: Verena Fritz | Q&A


Danielle Resnick | Chair | Presentation

Danielle Resnick is a Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI. As a political scientist her research focuses on the political economy of development. Key research areas include the impacts of public sector reforms on accountability and efficiency, drivers of agricultural policy volatility and reform, urban governance structures and their influence on service delivery, democratization and political participation, and foreign aid effectiveness. She currently co-leads IFPRI’s strategic research on Strengthening Institutions and Governance.

Nic Cheeseman | Presenter | Presentation

Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy and International Development at the University of Birmingham. His research focus is on African democratization, political processes, and the relationship between democracy and conflict. Professor Cheeseman has written numerous book chapters and published over 20 journal articles and was awarded the inaugural GIGA prize for the best article published in Comparative Area Studies. He is the founding editor of the Oxford Encyclopaedia of African Politics, the Oxford Dictionary of African Politics, and the co-editor of the Handbook of Kenyan Politics. 

Lise Rakner | Presenter | Presentation

Lise Rakner is Professor in the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen. Her research interests cover the fields of Comparative Democratization, with particular emphasis on human rights, electoral politics and political parties in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Rakner's work also extents to political economy, with an emphasis on economic reforms, taxation, business associations, budget processes and aid effectiveness. She has conducted a number of governance assessment analyses for international agencies and donor governments.

Mamoudou Gazibo | Presenter | Presentation

Mamoudou Gazibo is Professor of Political Science at the University of Montreal, Canada. He has been a consultant for international organizations including the African Union and the International Organization of Francophone States. In 2010, he chaired the Niger constitution drafting committee and served as special counsellor to the Prime minister. His research focuses on comparative politics and African politics with an emphasis on comparative method, democratization and governance in sub-Saharan Africa, China-Africa relations and the issue of emergence in Africa.

Verena Fritz | Discussant | Presentation

Verena Fritz is a Senior Public Sector Specialist with the Global Governance Practice at the World Bank. Dr Fritz is task managing public sector operations and analytic work with a focus on Africa, and works on governance and political economy diagnostic tools as well as on rethinking approaches to public sector reforms.