To support self-reliance, international development programs must engender sustainable and long-lasting change. However, many programs that focus solely on sector-specific results—for instance, health, education, or agriculture—fall short of reaching or sustaining goals because they overlook governance systems, citizen engagement and accountability. They also focus on technical solutions to issues that may, in fact, be due to contextual or political economy constraints.
In all sectors, integrating governance and a political economy lens into a program’s approach has been shown to substantially improve sector-specific outcomes and sustainability. RTI’s cutting-edge research, project implementation, and monitoring and evaluation capabilities provide effective integrated governance approaches that promote lasting results in any sector—or across sectors—and move countries closer to the goal of self-reliance.
RTI researchers have examined the powerful connections between governance and sector outcomes, drawing on our project teams’ successes implementing USAID-funded projects in Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda, and elsewhere. To support local ownership and sustainability—and regardless of sector—our approach brings together local government and the community to define problems and needs. We provide local governments the tools to plan, finance, and improve services, and help civil society constructively engage the government and hold officials and service providers accountable. In many instances, we are also working to strengthen linkages between national and local government to increase impact and ensure sustainability.
RTI’s GovLab is a platform to design and deliver integrated governance solutions by linking RTI research, project implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. GovLab provides access to research and tools, a structured platform for learning and mechanisms for a community of researchers and practitioners to engage on governance issues.
GovLab has an active research agenda in integrated governance and promotes innovative approaches to governance programming. For example, we are conducting multi-year research to construct a framework and set of indicators to measure integrated governance. GovLab experts have also refined the Integrated Good Governance Barometer, a tool that measures and reinforces the capacity of local governments to deliver transparent, responsive services. We are also testing an Applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA) methodology across our integrated governance portfolio. This includes baseline or comprehensive applied PEAs, inserting PE questioning into other technical assessments and rapid, on-going PEA embedded into project implementation.