The UN Member States have set ten specific targets for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 , the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Of these targets, target 16.7 aims at ensuring “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels”. Among the 17 SDGs and the 169 targets defined to achieve the Goals, target 16.7 may be viewed as a key target because it focuses on political decision-making, which is a crucial prerequisite for all of the desirable policy outcomes defined in SDG 16 and in the other SDGs. This chapter discusses the official indicators for monitoring target 16.7 and argues that the Global State of Democracy Indices – a set of democracy measures developed by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) – can function as valid proxy indicators.
Content and discourse analysis belong to the standard toolbox of qualitative research in the social sciences. They enable scholars to analyze the structures and practices of public communication. Rooted in the positivist epistemological tradition, qualitative content analysis is aimed at the systematic mapping and classification of textual data. Researchers formulate hypotheses and construct a coding frame of categories to structure the data and detect underlying patterns or trends. In contrast, discourse analysis is embedded in the constructivist and hermeneutic traditions of the social sciences. The key aim of this method is to interpret the implicit meaning of discourse fragments and situate them in the context of larger frames, discourses or narratives.
My online lecture was organized by the “Art of Research Lab”, a group of young researchers and scholars committed to improve the quality of social research. The event continued a fruitful cooperation with young researchers from Kazakh National University, Almaty. I discussed exemplary applications of content and discourse analysis in order to facilitate their use in Kazakhstan’s growing community of social scientists.
BTI is a global expert survey on the quality of democracy, market economy and governance, now in its eighth edition (!) scheduled for publication in 2018. Questionnaires will be sent to country experts at the end of October. The submission of country reports will trigger off an elaborate procedure of reviewing, revising, calibrating, editing and lesson-drawing, keeping us busy throughout the next year.
The meeting was a first occasion for Peter Thiery and me to present the draft of a comprehensive paper that situates the concepts guiding the BTI in the scholarly literatures on democratic theory, democratization, policy reform, good governance, economic transformation and aid effectiveness. Our paper also uses unpublished data from the BTI production process to evaluate the validity of the measurement and aggregation techniques underlying the composite indicators in the BTI dataset. Author-reviewer differences are studied across subsequent BTI editions. Various statistical models are constructed to assess the impact of changes among authors, reviewers and coordinators and to compare the effects of different aggregation rules. We plan to complete and publish the paper during the next months.
To upgrade their research capacity, think tanks need access to methodological and conceptual tools that have recently been developed by researchers in the field of policy analysis and evaluation. My three-day workshop with Belgrade Open School provided an overview on rationalist and institutionalist approaches of policy analysis, focusing on examples from Europeanization studies. Notions of causation and strategies to deal with confounding causes formed the basis of our discussion on evaluation methods. The workshop also included an introduction to regression and factor analysis, two key tools of empirical policy research.
Founded in 1993, BOS has become one of Serbia’s leading civil society organisations for post-graduate training and public policy advocacy.
As a non-partisan and non-profit organization, BOS strengthens human resources, improves the work of public institutions and organisations, develops and advocates public policies in order to develop better society based on freedom, knowledge and innovation.
A full day of teaching with the staff of Ukraine’s leading independent think tank for International Relations, the Institute of World Policy. The main themes were:
1. Research design / causation, theory building;
2. Conceptualization and measurement
3. Qualitative and quantitative methods
4. Evaluating policies
Video clips available here