Journal Article


Hybrid Public Action

Published on 1 January 2009

Two previously independent debates in international circles are now coming closer together: development (poverty reduction, economic progress, etc) and human rights (violations of rights and refugee protection). Totally separate during the 1950s-1980s, moving in parallel in different issue networks and communities with different publications, conferences, organisations or departments, they are increasingly found together for both substantive and tactical reasons.

The same can be said for the themes that stimulated the research programme whose results are being presented in this IDS Bulletin: decentralisation, local government, participation and governance on the one hand, and poverty and inequality on the other. It has been assumed that as societies get better at being broader and open so services improve and things will get better for those in poverty. However, the two themes have followed their own routes and it is only now, with concerns about accountability and transparency, that the two have bumped into each other.

The current study is a continuation of previous work by LogoLink, that advances understanding of the changing roles of social actors and their strategies in promoting local democratic environments that contribute to reducing poverty and exclusion. It draws on specially commissioned studies that look at two central dimensions: key actors, processes/strategies and the relationship between them. At a global level, the rationale for this research draws on discussions with donors and international actors about the impacts of participation on poverty reduction and social inclusion and where there is a general consensus that top-down development policymaking and implementation has fallen short of addressing the needs of the poor.

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Introduction: Local Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction and Inequality: The Hybrid Character of Public Action Peter K. Spink and Nina J. Best

Pathways out of Patronage Politics: New Roles for Communities, New Rules for Politics in the Philippines Jude Esguerra III and Enrique Villanueva

Building Democracy with Equality:The Participatory Experience in the RuralProvince of Anta, Cusco, Peru Romeo Grompone Grille and Marisa Glave Remy

The Communitisation of Public Institutions and Services in Nagaland, India Kamleshwar Singh and Kaushal Kumar Jha

The Social Support Network for Rural Migrant Workers in Chengdu, China: Local Governance and Civil Society in the Fight Against Poverty and Exclusion Ming Zhuang

Pressure From Below: The Case of Walukuba-Masese Division in the Municipality of Jinja, Uganda Harriet Namisi and Margaret Kasiko

The Citizen Voice Project: An Intervention in Water Services in Rural South Africa David Hemson and Imraan Buccus

Confronting Gender Violence in the Zongolica Mountains of Mexico: The Work of the Veracruz Network of Citizen Organisations Cuauhtémoc Paz Cuevas

Building a City from Within: Urban Housing Policies in the Municipality of Diadema, São Paulo, Brazil Kazuo Nakano, Patrícia Cobra, Lizandra Serafim and Karina Uzzo

The Local Politics of Public Action:Relationships, Bargains and the Question of ‘Impact’ Naomi Hossain


Naomi Hossain

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Spink, P.K., Hossain, N. and Best, N.J.
IDS Bulletin, volume 40, issue 6


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