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CSPS Seminar flyer "The Political Economy of Unfinished Development Projects"

Why does Ghana have so many unfinished development projects? - CSPS Seminar, 9 Sept 2021

Thursday, 9 September at 2 pm 

Development projects such as schools and latrines are popular with politicians and voters alike, yet many developing countries are littered with half-finished projects. Using an original database of over 14,000 small development projects in Ghana, Professor Martin Williams estimates that one-third of projects that start are never completed, consuming nearly one-fifth of all local government investment. What accounts for this phenomenon and what are its implications for how we make social policy for social development?

Presenter: Martin J. Williams, Associate Professor in Public Management, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

The paper is available on his website.

  • “The Political Economy of Unfinished Development Projects: Corruption, Clientelism, or Collective Choice?”  American Political Science Review 111(4), November 2017, p. 705-723.


A policy brief based on the paper can be downloaded here.  It presents three insights about why some projects fail, and gives three lessons for policymakers about how to improve infrastructure delivery.