The seminar "Empirics of Governance" was held on May 1 to 2, 2008, at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. This seminar was organized by the Office of the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics (DEC). One important question which the seminar aimed to address is how to help practitioners “use the right indicator for the right job”.
More specifically, the following objectives were set for the seminar: firstly, creating common understanding among the various stakeholders of the complexity of the issues and the need to move ahead when perfection is not attainable, and deepening the interaction between producers of indicators, researchers and operational users; and secondly, helping develop an operational/research agenda going forward. The latter includes development of indicators, their operational use within the Bank, and priority research activities.
Speakers included nine academics and five experts from outside the Bank who are involved in the production of governance indicators, representatives from International Financial Institutions, and a number of Bank staff. A special effort was made to capture a range of experience and views. A number of staff and advisors to the Executive Directors participated in discussion.
The first day of the seminar focused on “Governance Indicators: Issues of Measurement and Use in Research and Policy”. Four types of governance indicators were discussed during the four sessions: broad-expert based indicators, narrow/actionable expert-based indicators, indicators based on representative household and firm surveys and aggregate/composite indicators
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