Over the past twenty years, approaches to development in Africa have undergone a fundamental change. Practitioners no longer regard development as a largely technical exercise. Economic growth and social wellbeing are now rarely seen as simple matters of, say, getting the prices right for maize production or finding a medical cure for guinea worm disease. Instead, we now understand that technical fixes only work well if embedded in a political and organizational infrastructure that generates broad support for policies and ensures the reliable delivery of goods and services. In short, development practitioners now recognize the critical importance of institutions.