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Abonyi, G. et al. (2013) Managing reforms for development: Political economy of reforms and policy-based lendingcase studies. Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Asian Development Bank, 2013.

Abonyi, G. et al. (2013) Managing reforms for development: Political economy of reforms and policy-based lendingcase studies. Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Asian Development Bank, 2013.

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Successful reform has to resolve two separate and conflicting dimensions: people and time. Reforms, by their very nature, challenge the status quo, often threatening those with a stake in the current system—from society’s power brokers, to better-off stakeholders who may benefit unintentionally and disproportionately from a policy, through to the intended beneficiaries, even if the status quo is unsustainable over the long term. Their changed influence, incentives, and behavior, as a result of reforms, have to be managed, until the success of the reforms becomes apparent for both them and society more widely.
Time, too, has to be assuaged, in the sense that while technocrats may see cuts are needed in, say, subsidies because of a weak budget, the near-term negative effects on low-income groups will be on the minds of both those supporting the political status quo and reformers. And the technocrats know this, so we come full circle.
This is what the Asian Development Bank (ADB)—and many other development agencies—in an admittedly long process of trial and error have found out over more than 2 decades of supporting reforms. The more deeply these agencies became involved in reform efforts, the more they recognized that, although there is no blueprint for success, there are clues as to what may work in particular situations, and how the reform process can be better managed. This recognition and acceptance of the wider, political economy dimension of reforms began in ADB in the late 1990s and led to early work to better understand reform processes to improve reform outcomes.
Successful reform has to resolve two separate and conflicting dimensions: people and time. Reforms, by their very nature, challenge the status quo, often threatening those with a stake in the current system—from society’s power brokers, to better-off stakeholders who may benefit unintentionally and disproportionately from a policy, through to the intended beneficiaries, even if the status quo is unsustainable over the long term. Their changed influence, incentives, and behavior, as a result of reforms, have to be managed, until the success of the reforms becomes apparent for both them and society more widely.
Time, too, has to be assuaged, in the sense that while technocrats may see cuts are needed in, say, subsidies because of a weak budget, the near-term negative effects on low-income groups will be on the minds of both those supporting the political status quo and reformers. And the technocrats know this, so we come full circle.
This is what the Asian Development Bank (ADB)—and many other development agencies—in an admittedly long process of trial and error have found out over more than 2 decades of supporting reforms. The more deeply these agencies became involved in reform efforts, the more they recognized that, although there is no blueprint for success, there are clues as to what may work in particular situations, and how the reform process can be better managed. This recognition and acceptance of the wider, political economy dimension of reforms began in ADB in the late 1990s and led to early work to better understand reform processes to improve reform outcomes.

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Published by: a2b159802 on Mar 23, 2013
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03/11/2014

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Political Economy of Reformsand Policy-Based LendingCase Studies
January 2013
Managing Reformsfor Development
ByGeorge Abonyi, Romeo Bernardo, Richard Bolt,Ronald Duncan, and Christine TangEdited by Jonathan Aspin and Richard Bolt
 
Political Economy o Reormsand Policy-Based LendingCase Studies
January 2013
Mnging Rformsfor Dvlomn
ByGeorge Abonyi, Romeo Bernardo, Richard Bolt,Ronald Duncan, and Christine TangEdited by Jonathan Aspin and Richard Bolt
 
Printed on recycled paper
© 2013 Asian Development Bank All rights reserved. Published 2013.Printed in the Philippines.ISBN 978-92-9092-945-1 (Print), 978-92-9092-946-8 (PDF)Publication Stock No. BKK125203Cataloging-In-Publication DataAbonyi, G. et al.Managing reorms or development: Political economy o reorms and policy-based lendingcase studies.Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Asian Development Bank, 2013.1. Policy reorm. 2. Political economy. 3. Southeast Asia. 4. Pacic.I. Asian Development Bank.Te views expressed in this publication are those o the authors and do not necessarily reect the viewsand policies o the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board o Governors or the governmentsthey represent.ADB does not guarantee the accuracy o the data included in this publication and accepts noresponsibility or any consequence o their use.By making any designation o or reerence to a particular territory or geographic area, or by usingthe term “country” in this document, ADB does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal orother status o any territory or area.ADB encourages printing or copying inormation exclusively or personal and noncommercial usewith proper acknowledgment o ADB. Users are restricted rom reselling, redistributing, or creatingderivative works or commercial purposes without the express, written consent o ADB.Note:In this publication, “$” reers to US dollars.6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550 Metro Manila, Philippinesel +63 2 632 4444Fax +63 2 636 2444www.adb.orgFor orders, please contact:Department o External RelationsFax +63 2 636 2648adbpub@adb.org

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