Based on empirical research in government departments and projects, PARI explores the relationship between the formal architecture of organisations and their formal mandates on the one hand; and on the other hand, how they work in practice. PARI identifies the ways in which incentives are structured inside and outside organisations, which either work against or support the delivery of public goods (from appropriate policy making to effective implementation).
This research involves understanding operational capacities within government organisations, but also the histories of government departments and institutions, the nature of the political-administrative interface, the models of public sector management underpinning organisations of government, and organisational cultures. The aim is to develop context-appropriate interventions for improving the performance and accountability of government departments and agencies.
PARIâ€™s Situational Research in government organisations is supported by broader historical and sociological studies of the nature of the modern state and state building, with a focus on southern Africa. â€˜State-buildingâ€™ is the long-term historical formation of administrative capabilities needed to achieve certain goals, such as the efficient delivery of public goods to citizens and residents. These longer histories have important implications for understanding current state capacities and for development outcomes, and for identifying what kinds of interventions can meaningfully improve state capacity.
PARI has a PhD scholarship available under this programme. For more information and to apply, see here.