Is ownership necessary if countries are to implement policy reform? Much of the recent discussion of policy reform in developing countries sees ownership as necessary if policies are to be implemented successfully and sustained (e.g. Killick, 1995; Sandbrook, 1996; Leandro et al., 1999; Dijkstra and Van Donge, 2001). Typically, the concept of ownership is not defined and is used in a loose sense, frequently indistinguishable from the related, and equally rarely defined, notion of commitment. For example, one can find the view that ownership is necessary for commitment, which requires that ‘the executive authority must be [cohesive and] firmly convinced of the necessity of [reform]’ (Sandbrook, 1996, p. 5). Leandro et al. (1999, p. 288) acknowledge that no clear and unambiguous definition of ownership appears in the literature, and consider it to be some combination of commitment and capacity to ‘conceive, negotiate and implement reforms’. The first aim of this chapter is to provide an operational distinction between ownership and commitment in the context of policy reform.