Unlocking Africa’s potential: The relationship between effective governance and poverty

This paper explores the impact of better governance on reducing poverty and improving human development in Africa.

The overarching priority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to improve human development outcomes. At the heart of that focus is poverty reduction. The first target of the first SDG is to ‘eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere’. Goal 16 of the SDGs introduces a framework for improving governance and this research aims to demonstrate the impact of more effective governance on poverty reduction. It does so by comparing the effect of improved governance to the reductions in poverty realised by two other SDG targets with strong links to poverty, specifically the elimination of certain communicable diseases (SDG 3.3) and the provision of universal access to improved sanitation facilities (SDG 6.2).

About the authors:

Zachary Donnenfeld is a researcher with the African Futures and Innovation programme at the ISS. Previously, he worked at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures and the Environment Food and Conflict Laboratory at the University of Denver. Zach received his MA in global finance, trade and economic integration from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in June 2015.

Ciara Aucoin is a researcher with the African Futures and Innovation programme at the ISS. Previously, she worked for the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) in Sussex, UK and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum in New York. Ciara received her MSc in development practice at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

This paper forms part of the ISS series on the Sustainable Development Goals. Other papers in the series:

Refreshing Africa's future: prospects for achieving universal WASH access by 2030

Envisioning a healthy future: Africa’s shifting burden of disease

Development partners
This paper was made possible with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The Institute for Security Studies is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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