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Comparative Analysis Model

Underlying Principle

Comparative Knowledge Model is one of the least-used but a highly significant model for developing country which is now gradually gaining acceptance.  The model can be used for empowering people by matching cases of bad governance with those of good governance, and then analyzing the different aspects of bad governance and its impact on the people.  

The model is based on using ICT to explore information available in the public or private domain and comparing it with the known information sets. The outcome is strategic learnings and arguments, for instance, if a given amount of money can build '5' schools in village 'A' then why does the same amount of money build only '2' schools in village 'B'?

Essentially, the model continuously assimilates Best Practices in the areas of governance and then uses them as benchmark to evaluate other governance practices. It then uses the result to advocate positive changes or to influence 'public' opinion on these governance practices. The comparison could be made over a time scale to get a snapshot of the past and present situation or could be used to compare the effectiveness of an intervention by comparing two similar situations. 

The strength of this model lies in the infinite capacity of digital networks to store varied information and retrieve and transmit it instantly across all geographical and hierarchal barriers.




Applications/ Possible Projects


This model could be applied in the following possible ways:

  • To learn from past policies and actions and derive learning lessons for future policy-making.

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the current policies and identify key learnings in terms of strengths and flaws in the policies. 

  • To effectively establish conditions of Precedence, especially in the case of Judicial or legal decision-making (example for resolving patent-related disputes, public goods ownership rights), and use it to influence/ advocate future decision-making. 

  • To enable informed decision-making at all levels by enhancing the background knowledge and also providing a rationale for action.  

  • To evaluate the performance and track-record of a particular decision-maker/ decision-making body.


Organisations / Projects based on such models  

  • Global: Human Development Indicators - The Human Development Report of UNDP makes use of archived Statistical information pertaining to literacy, health, national income etc. as a benchmark to assess the progress made by different countries with regards to their Human Development Index and suggests policy recommendations based on that.


Many countries now also prepare national level indicators to compare progress made in different states in a country.


  • India: Comparative Learning from Disasters : In the wake of earthquake in Kutch in India (January 2001), there was a lot of comparative learning relating to disaster management drawn from a high intensity earthquake which shook Latur in India in 1993. The extensive information available on internet on both these earthquakes open up vast scope of comparison by all segments of the society. 

(a presentation by Mr.Praveen Singh Pardesi- Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Maharashtra cadre and currently Joint Secretary to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, India)

Comparison of different Disasters can make people realise that damages to life and property incurred are not just a factor of intensity of the disaster but also dependent on the preparedness of the Government machinery and conducive government policies to  handle that disaster. 

Also see: Comparative Damages from Disasters in 1999

  • Philippines : is the non-partisan, non-sectoral online directory and quick reference center on Philippine elected government officials and election candidates for both the national and the local levels. As such, it has a dual purpose of helping the voters know who are running in their respective area and who their incumbent elected officials are.


  • Green Rating of Ministers (India) : The Centre for Science and Environment in India in 1999 started an online and offline survey of how Green its Chief Ministers are. The results of it are published in print and partially on the website to enable public to keep track of environmental performance of their Chief Ministers.



  • France : Opening of a Platform for Comparison of programs of Electoral Candidates - The site compare according to 15 topics the principal proposals of the electoral candidates for the town hall of Paris. The platform also presents the electoral system of the capital, the biographies of the candidates to the town hall of Paris as well as a list with accompanying notes of links relating to the local elections. In addition to information which it will offer to the Parisian voters, this experimental project has as an ambition to open a discussion on the interest for the democratic life of comparative electoral sites. Its users are invited to make share of their comments and reactions for the development of the site for the next elections.




In the recent US presidential election, FoEPAC endorsed Gore because of his better environmental track record. More details at



Developing countries could very effectively use this comparative model as ICT opens their access to the global and local knowledge products at a relatively low -cost. The model is very much based on the existing sets of information but requires the ability to analyse and bring out strong arguments which could then be used to catalyze existing efforts towards self governance.  

There is a vast scope of application of this model for Judicial advocacy as Landmark/Key Judgments of the past could be used as precedence for influencing future decision- making. Further, watch-guard organizations and monitor-groups can use this model to continuously track the governance past record and performance and compare with different information sets. 

The model however becomes ineffective in absence of a strong civil society interest and public memory which is essential to force decision-makers to improve existing governance practices. 


Source : Vikas Nath, Networking Networks for Empowerment and Governance

Presented at the Global Development Network 2000, World Bank, Japan.


Vikas Nath, Conceiver, Digital Governance and KnowNet Initiative

Inlaks Scholar, London School of Economics, UK


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