About the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP)

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Working Propositions

Six organising propositions underpin our work:

  1. The forms and processes of leadership directly influence the nature and quality of institutions and the patterns of state-building.
  2. Developmental ‘leadership’ is a political process, involving the legitimacy, authority and capacity to mobilise people and resources, and to forge coalitions, in pursuit of developmental goals.
  3. Coalitions (formal and informal) are groups of leaders and organisations that come together to achieve objectives they could not achieve on their own.
  4. Coalitions are the key political mechanisms that can resolve collective action problems, and are often based on prior networks.
  5. Institutions matter, but more attention needs to be given to issues of politics, power and agency, and therefore to the role of leaders, organisations and coalitions in shaping effective institutions.
  6. Domestic leaders, elites and coalitions are the agents required to contest, negotiate and devise legitimate, effective and durable institutions.

A global partnership

DLP is based at the University of Birmingham (UK) and involves a global partnership of leading academic institutions. For example, DLP is working closely with University College London, where DLP's Deputy Director of Research, Dr David Hudson, is based, and La Trobe University in Melbourne, where Chris Roche, DLP's senior research partner in located.

DLP's independent program of research is supported by the Australian Government. The DLP team is working with development agencies around the world, including the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the UK Government's Department for International Development.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more

News

New article on political economy analysis and ownership

Thursday 7th January 2016

A new article by Dr Jonathan Fisher and DLP Director Dr Heather Marquette discusses the tensions between development agencies' focus on donor-centric political economy analysis and their interest in fostering partner countries' ownership of development agendas and programmes.

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NIMD programme evaluation released

Thursday 3rd December 2015

An inception study led by DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal is part of the newly released evaluation report from the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.

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