Assessing Governance Assessments; The Case of Mozambique Governance Assessments in the Context of Aid Effectiveness Discourse

Laura Torvinen, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

This case study builds on contemporary discourse on the relationship between governance, aid effectiveness and development. The findings suggest that the selected donor governance assessments portray a very similar image of the quality of governance in Mozambique despite their different conceptual and operational approaches. From the Mozambican perspective, the governance assessments are perceived to capture several critical aspects of governance although they seem to miss fundamental issues related to the nature of the political economy of the country. The assessments are seen as having contributed positively to governance in Mozambique by enhancing the voice of the non-state actors and by legitimizing their concerns. The impact of the governance assessments is, however, perceived to be undermined by the aid agencies’ restricted dissemination policies and top-down approaches. The way forward for assessing governance requires a shift from donor-led governance assessment towards country-led, joint assessments that build on country-specific analyses of what governance means, and towards a broad-based country ownership of the assessments processes and the results of the assessments.

About the speaker
Ms. Torvinen started her career in the field of development cooperation with the UNDP in Lesotho, in the early 1980’s. Since then she has worked as development practitioner and policy-maker for civil society organizations, the EU institutions, and for the Ministries of Finance and for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Her field experience is mainly from Eastern and Southern African countries, particularly from Mozambique. At present, she is senior adviser in the Department of Development Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki, dealing with the formulation of monitoring of Finland’s development policies and development cooperation. Ms. Torvinen holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration (1978) and a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK (1986). Since 2007, she is enrolled in the GPAC² at the Graduate School of Governance of the University of Maastricht.

Venue: Minderbroedersberg 4-6, Maastricht

Date: 21 November 2013

Time: 16:00 - 17:30  CET