OPAD supports states in transition to manage institutional change transnational governance structures–with their increasing responsibilities and powers–need better instruments for transparency and more accountable governance. In response to these challenges, OPAD strives to build the capacity of state, civil society organizations and intermediaries to increase transparency and accountability of state and non-state operations. We advocate for more democratic and inclusive systems of governance mechanisms, mobilize civil society efforts to participate in inter-governmental and transnational institutions. Through these efforts we hope to help the UN and other international institutions become more effective and deliver better results for people worldwide, support states in decentralization and service delivery support, mentoring and training–delivering training and professional development, legal systems strengthening support, political economy analysis and evaluation. We provide strategic analysis and advice for international organizations and donor agencies on their approach to strengthening political institutions.
OPAD improves the lives of the world’s citizens by ensuring that state institutions encourage inclusive development, are more responsive and accountable to the people they serve, and have the capacity to deliver essential services–from health and education to security and job creation. We empower citizens to hold government to account for better service delivery and protecting their rights. We believe that political dynamics shape development impact more than any other factor, and we have pioneered innovative approaches to safeguard that governance reform initiatives are informed by realities on the ground.
Government and Public Sector Reform
OPAD strengthens national and sub-national government institutions to deliver better public services to citizens in an inclusive and accountable manner.
We help create fairer societies by working with governments to engage with and support underserved and hard-to reach groups, including the ultra – poor, orphans, vulnerable children, the elderly, minorities and the disabled.
• Enlightening the policy and regulatory environment
• Public Financial Management
• Strengthening organizational systems
• Promoting transparent and accountable governance processes and capacity, including taking social services closer to the people
Empowerment and Accountability
Accountable, responsible, and accessible state institutions need to be complemented by empowered citizens who can make their voices heard in governance processes. They should be able to inﬂuence decision making that affects their daily lives and hold policy makers and service providers to account. Palladium believes the reform of government and public institutions must be complemented by empowering citizens to inﬂuence the decisions that affect their lives in spheres such as health, education, the environment, economic infrastructure, etc. We partner with civil society, community-based organizations, the media, and others, both individually and via collective action initiatives, to support improved services for citizens and protection of their rights. We apply innovative facilitation and knowledge building approaches that empower local actors.
Anti-Corruption and Transparency
Corruption is one of the greatest obstacles to economic and social development. The harmful effects of corruption are especially severe on the poor. Palladium supports governments, the private sector, and non-state actors to develop the systems and skills to address corruption and foster transparency. We apply evidence-driven approaches, such as applied political economy analysis and institutional systems reviews, to measure and diagnose governance issues and drivers of corruption that most constrains the private sector and service delivery.
The strategies we utilize address the ﬁve key elements of an effective anti-corruption strategy:
1. Increasing political accountability
2. Strengthening civil society participation
3. Creating private sector engagement
4. Implementing effective institutional restraints on power
5. Improving public sector management
Applied Political Economy Analysis
We promote politically smart and adaptive programming, putting principles such as ‘thinking and working politically,’ ‘doing development differently,’ and ‘problem-driven iterative adaptation’ (PDIA) into practice.
Develop strategies, tools, and decision-making processes as well as research, monitoring, and learning systems to ensure that governance programming is ﬂexible, adaptive, effective, and grounded in political realities.
Governance Integration and Service Delivery
We leverage our deep technical expertise in a range of sectors, including health; environmental and natural resources; food security; economic growth; education; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to improve service delivery through improved governance. We work to convene multiple stakeholders from the public and private sectors and civil society to ﬁnd solutions to service delivery issues that ensure citizens’ demands and needs are heard and met.
OPAD works with associates to ensure politically conducive backgrounds for inclusive development and to enable citizens’ voices in change processes. We recognize that democratic institutions are not only created through formal arrangements, and we seek to understand the informal constraints and opportunities in local institutions that affect democratic governance outcomes. We engage local dynamics such as patronage, corruption, and collective action to reduce obstacles to development goals.
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
OPAD draws on a global team of gender and social inclusion (GESI) experts to lead innovative community approaches across all sectors. Through GESI, we develop and implement broad, comprehensive strategies to address socioeconomic inequities in culturally sensitive ways. Through project leadership and implementation, research and analysis, we maintain a repository of global best practices on gender integration and adapt our tools to local context for improved advocacy and decision making. We provide technical assistance to policymakers, governments and interagency groups to ensure that gender issues are integrated into policies, programs, national budgets and evaluations.
We engage a range of stakeholders in our social inclusion and capacity development approaches, including women, youth, and indigenous populations as well as religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities. These leaders then become effective policy advocates, promoting community-level social and behavior change. We also work to promote attitudinal and social behavior change to help create sustainable enabling environments for excluded groups and to combat issues such as gender-based violence.