PREM Notes

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This note series is intended to summarize good practices and key policy findings on poverty reduction and economic management (PREM) topics.

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    Lessons from Armenia's Institutional and Governance Review
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-12) Mukherjee, Amitabha ; Shahzadeyan, David
    Institutional and Governance Reviews (IGRs) are a new tool in the Bank's package of analytical and advisory activities (see PREMnote 75). Because they are politically sensitive, the development of these reviews involves careful tradeoffs. Though each requires thorough analysis of a country's institutional shortcomings, the final product must be acceptable to country authorities and other development partners. To be credible and acceptable, an IGR must reflect extensive participation by a variety of national stakeholders. In Armenia the Bank's IGR team engaged the government (executive, legislature, judiciary), civil society (nongovernmental organizations, political parties, trade unions, academics), and other development partners from the outset. This approach resulted in widespread acceptance of the report's analysis and recommendations within both Armenia and the Bank. Armenia's IGR was a pioneering effort by the Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region to systematically evaluate a country's public institutions and develop a program of reforms supported by follow-up operations. The IGR had two main objectives. First, it was to diagnose institutional dysfunction at the national level using quantitative benchmarks of performance. Second, it was to assess political realities and constraints to reform, to foster the sustainability of Bank operations. Armenia was chosen for several reasons. There was a dearth of analytical work on public sector institutional reforms prior to 1998. Moreover, country authorities evinced keen interest in an IGR-and were matched by strong support from the Bank's country unit and team..
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    Governing the Justice System : Spain's Judicial Council
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-06) Lopez Guerra, Luis
    Following the European model, many developing, and transitional economies have established councils, independent of other government branches to govern their judiciaries. Spain's experience illustrates the issues raised by the creation, and operation of these entities. It's Constitution states that the Council is to consist of the president of the Supreme Court who presides over it, plus twenty individuals, each of whom serves for five years. It is further required by the Constitution, that eight members from outside the judiciary be appointed by a three-fifths majority of Parliament. Nonetheless, the country's diverse political camps have differed on the methods for selecting members for the judiciary: opponents of election by judges cite potential ideological confrontations within the judiciary, and, the possible tendency to emphasize the interests of those who elected them is another factor. While experience suggests there is no single right answer to the selection of Council members, it does point to a broader latitude in election decisions. The note thus examines the core functions of the Council, as specified by the Constitution. Though not a court, the Council tasks are managerial, and administrative, and, develops and implements policies relating specifically to the organization of the judiciary.
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    New Frontiers in Diagnosing and Combating Corruption
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1998-10) Kaufmann, Daniel ; Pradhan, Sanjay ; Ryterman, Randi
    The World Bank has helped Albania, Georgia, and Latvia measure corruption and design strategies to combat it and improve governance. This note explains how empirical surveys can inform and transform the policy dialogue, so that a workable anticorruption agenda can be established. Early results are given as well as emerging conclusions. Also, challenges in performing these surveys are highlighted, as well as in translating survey results into institutional reform priorities.