While being a less tangible objective than changing policies or organizational structures, any finance solution’s success must be anchored in wide support and belief among core stakeholders. To measure perceptions around finance solutions, two major tools are available:
Perception surveys are increasingly used to collect baseline information for policy reforms. They can gauge existing views on a finance solution before starting any work, and flag any concerns. Results demonstrate to what extent key (groups of ) stakeholders understand and support the concept. Effective perception surveys inform the activities and advocacy strategy for the solution. The OECD provides detailed guidance on the design and application of perception surveys.2
Box 7.1: Six Steps in Designing a Perception Survey According to the OECD
Political Economy Analysis (PEA) stems from the challenges of addressing development issues with strong technical approaches and repeatedly seeing these approaches fail. We now know that additional elements must be considered in planning and development investment. The World Bank’s problem-driven PEA model is presented below (Box 7.2). It shows that in addition to exploring the technical and economic feasibility of an approach, we should also explore three levels of the political economy:
1structural factors, 2institutions, and 3stakeholder interests, constellations and power.
Box 7.2: Political Economy Analysis Explained Further
Although a problem-focused PEA is appropriate for specific biodiversity trends, a PEA can also be implemented for a specific sector or finance solution. Below are some sample questions for conducting a PEA.
Who are the key stakeholders? What are the formal/informal roles and mandates of different players? What is the balance between central/local authorities in provision of services?
What is the balance between public and private ownership? What are financing arrangements (e.g. public/private partnerships, user fees, taxes, donor support)?
To what extent is power vested in the hands of specific individuals/groups? How do different interest groups outside government (e.g. private sector, NGOs, consumer groups, the media) seek to influence policy?
Is there significant corruption and rent-seeking? Where is this most prevalent (e.g. at point of delivery, procurement, allocation of jobs)? Who benefits most from this? How is patronage being used?
Who are the primary beneficiaries of service delivery? Are social, regional or ethnic groups included/excluded? Are subsidies provided, and which groups benefit most from these?
What are the dominant ideologies and values which shape views? To what extent may these serve to constrain change?
How are decisions made within the sector? Who is party to these decision-making processes?
Once made, are decisions implemented? Where are the key bottlenecks in the system? Is failure to implement due to lack of capacity or other political/economic reasons?
Who are likely to be the “winners” and “losers” from particular reforms? Are there any key reform champions within the sector? Who is likely to resist reforms and why? Are there “second best” reforms which might overcome this opposition?
Numerous resources are available online for PEA. The GSDRC Topic Guide is one good starting point.