PEA / Thinking & working politically

Effectiveness of working in consortia

The role of working in partnerships to address complex development challenges is gaining increasing attention. Development research suggests that collaboration might be the key to meaningful and practical solutions to complex real-world problems (Gonsalves 2014: 2). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promote multi-stakeholder partnerships. Working in consortia is one ...» more

National climate change governance

Neil Palmer (CIAT): Farms of the Future project, Nepal

Without the rapid implementation of pro-poor, climate-informed development policies, climate change impacts could result in 100 million more people in extreme poverty by 2030. Development policies need to consider climate risk scenarios while expanding ‘no-regrets’ social protection programmes that provide benefits to vulnerable populations under different climate ...» more

Libyan political economy

Much has changed in Libya since April 2014. However, Libya remains highly unstable and divided along multiple fracture lines, with a multitude of armed and non-armed groups. Given the fluidity of relations between these groups, literature on the country situation becomes quickly outdated. Libya has three rival claimants to power: a reconvened General National Congress (GNC) ...» more

The political economy of cash transfers: A comparative analysis of Latin American and Sub-Saharan African experiences

Margherita Scarlato and Giorgio d'Agostino

Conditional cash transfer (CCTs) programmes became popular throughout Latin America during the 1990s and have since been launched in several other emerging and developing countries, generally without conditions. This paper compares the consolidated experience of CCTs in Latin America (LA) with a variety of models of cash transfers (CTs) in middle- and low- income countries in ...» more

Thinking and Working Politically: From theory building to building an evidence base

Niheer Dasandi, Heather Marquette & Mark Robinson

This paper discusses the steps required to build a robust evidence base for ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) in development. The ideas behind TWP are increasingly common in development discussions, and understanding which parts are necessary and sufficient conditions for success is crucial for moving it into mainstream development programming. After reviewing existing ...» more

Accelerating sustainability: Why political economy matters.

Hubert Schmitz and Ian Scoones

The decline in poverty and gains in living standards since the 1960s presents today's most pressing development challenge: a greater demand for resources. This paper brings together what the world can learn from development studies and from sustainability studies to understand how to accelerate sustainability in order to meet this demand. It argues that the development era of ...» more

Public sector management reform in developing countries: Perspectives beyond NPM orthodoxy

Derick W. Brinkerhoff and Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff

What alternative frameworks for theory and practice offer insights and guidance beyond the new public management (NPM) orthodoxy? This article offers some answers to this question. It is the introduction to a special issue of the journal Public Administration and Development titled ‘Beyond conventional public sector management reforms in developing countries’, and includes ...» more

The three political economies of electoral quality in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Terence Wood

This paper focuses on electoral quality and malpractice in the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands. It argues that the electoral malpractice the countries experience is a product of three interacting political economies: national, international and local. It aims to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the origins of these electoral issues ...» more

Strategy testing: an innovative approach to monitoring highly flexible aid programs

Debra Ladner

How can we develop a rigorous and meaningful monitoring system that will support, rather than hinder, a flexible, adaptive programme approach? This paper outlines the Strategy Testing (ST) approach The Asia Foundation has developed in response to this question. It finds that ST is a promising monitoring approach, contributing to broader efforts to reorient development ...» more

A governance practitioner’s notebook: Alternative ideas and approaches

Alan Whaites et al.

This resource aims to stimulate thinking and debate. It provides briefings by a wide range of experts on politics, public sector reform and stakeholder engagement. The book charts the evolution of donor thinking and practice, highlighting current challenges and offering insights into new ways of working. It stresses the golden rule that supporting governance reform is ...» more

Improving development aid design and evaluation: Plan for sailboats, not trains

Rachel Kleinfeld

How do reforms that require political engagement differ from traditional technical reforms? Why is political engagement different, and what are the implications for design and evaluation? How should development programmes that engage politics be designed? And how can those who fund or implement such programmes evaluate whether their efforts are contributing to reform? This ...» more

Adapting development: improving services to the poor

Leni Wild, David Booth, Clare Cummings, Marta Foresti, Joseph Wales

This report argues that if we are to avoid reproducing the pattern of uneven progress that has characterised the MDG campaign, there must be more explicit recognition of the political conditions that sometimes enable, but so often obstruct, development progress. In this context, domestic reformers and their international partners must pursue innovative and politically smart ...» more

A Typology of Political Conditionality Beyond Aid: Conceptual Horizons Based on Lessons from the European Union

Svea Koch

This paper asks how political conditionality needs to be conceptualised and researched to reflect global changes. It argues that a diversification of political conditionality “beyond aid” is now taking place. Political conditionality reaches across different external policy fields and includes cooperative and punitive measures. It has also moved from political rights toward ...» more

Political economy constraints for urban development

Experts highlight evidence gaps in particular on the political economy of urban service delivery; social and political participation by urban poor people; the relationship between urbanisation, urban poverty and urban violence; the relationship between state fragility, state legitimacy and the national political settlement; and what works and what does not in tackling political ...» more

Thinking and working politically

Development assistance works best, and is least liable to do harm, when the people designing it are thinking and working politically (TWP). This thought has been around for some time, but what it implies in practice has not always been clear. Big steps have been taken to encourage donor agency staff to think politically about…» more

Political economy of energy in southern Africa

Some African states, with encouragement from international donors, have developed regional power sharing arrangements as a strategy to deal with the continent’s energy problems. Power pools aim to balance electrical loads over a larger network, lower electricity prices, and expand access by encouraging trade and investment in the sector. The Southern African Power Pool ...» more

Public service reform

The focus in this Pack is on action: on the public service reform intervention, conceived as an exercise in helping. The readings included in this pack have been chosen to be interesting and fresh rather than comprehensive; that is, to stimulate thinking rather than necessarily to ‘cover all the bases’ in public service reform as…» more

The political economy of education systems in conflict-affected contexts

Mario Novelli; Sean Higgins; Mehmet Ugur; Oscar Valiente

This rigorous literature review offers insights into the global, national and local governance of education systems in conflict-affected contexts. It finds that the literature is nascent, fragmented and partial, yet provides rich and complex insights into the challenges of improving education systems in conflict-affected contexts. The review concludes with a theory of change ...» more