Friday 6th December, 2013
Heather Marquette and David Hudson, DLP's directors of research, reflect on the inspirational achievements of Nelson Mandela - who embodied developmental leadership.
Friday 6th December, 2013
DLP will shortly be launching a new Opinions Page - a blog for voices and opinions on politics, power, policy and developmental leadership. Posts will come from the DLP team and from other experts. Upcoming features include a piece by Sarah Phillips on Somaliland's route to peace. Sign up for our e-alerts to find out more.
Thursday 5th December, 2013
In January 2014 DLP and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will be hosting a lecture and workshop to commemorate the work and vision of our founding Director of Research Dr. Adrian Leftwich. More details coming soon...
Friday 15th November, 2013
The PSA Development Politics Group and the University of Birmingham's International Development Department jointly hosted a workshop on the 15th November 2013. This explored the '(re)politicisation' of development studies and the need to move beyond criticism to constructive engagement with policy makers.
Friday 25th October, 2013
CLOSED. This post will support the management of DLP and GSDRC - both major research initiatives. It is a full-time role based at the University of Birmingham. Apply by 4 November.
Wednesday 23rd October, 2013
CLOSED. Are you a skilled communicator and editor with an interest in research communication? Join us as we develop an expanded communications strategy to help make DLP's research findings more accessible to decision-makers. This part-time role will be based at the University of Birmingham. Apply by 4 November.
Friday 5th July, 2013
Adrian directed his immense intellect, passion, and integrity towards better understanding the politics and leadership of development. The messages of loss, tribute and remembrance that we have received are shared here.
Friday 5th July, 2013
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Friday 5th July, 2013
It is our great pleasure to announce that the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) has appointed Dr. Heather Marquette, of the University of Birmingham, as its new Director of Research. Finding a successor for our late Director of Research, Dr. Adrian Leftwich, was never going to be an easy task. We're confident, however, that in Heather we have found someone with the passion, energy, drive and above all intellectual integrity to take forward the DLP research team's already significant work and to build on Adrian's legacy. Over the coming months we will develop a strategic agenda for the next phase of our research.
Wednesday 13th March, 2013
DLP are pleased to present a new publication from GIZ entitled 'Triangular Cooperation: A guideline for working in practice', edited by Julia Langendorf, Nadine Piefer, Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt, Dr. Ulrich Müller, and Lena Lázaro Rüther. Triangular cooperation is an interesting tool for development cooperation, linking North-South and South-South cooperation. However, there are still many open questions. In a joint approach of academia and practice, this publication attempts to give answers and presents illustrative cases to discuss the different aspects of triangular cooperation in practice.
Thursday 31st January, 2013
The Australian Aid Program has a strong interest in development issues in the Pacific. Though traditionally it has taken a rather technical, administrative and managerial approach to such issues, its recent public literature (and that of other aid agencies) reflects the green shoots of important new thinking around the importance of political and governance processes that can decisively promote or restrain development - and hence a more effective use of aid resources. This DLP Background Paper provides a short survey of the literature in the field and an assessment of the extent to which such research and policy announcements have really helped to provide and institutionalise a more politically informed understanding of development.
Tuesday 22nd January, 2013
As a recent DLP Research Paper showed, remarkably little serious academic research has been devoted to the role of leadership in the politics of development, though it is commonly referred to in policy documents as an important factor. While there is a substantial literature in the fields of business studies, corporate management and psychology, there remains a significant deficit in relation to development issues, but two important recent academic studies have begun to reduce that deficit. The second, by Robert Rotberg, 'Transformative Political Leadership: Making a difference in the developing world' is reviewed below.
Monday 14th January, 2013
As a recent DLP Research Paper showed, remarkably little serious academic research has been devoted to the role of leadership in the politics of development, though it is commonly referred to in policy documents as an important factor. While there is a substantial literature in the fields of business studies, corporate management and psychology, there remains a significant deficit in relation to development issues, but two important recent academic studies have begun to reduce that deficit. The first by Melo, Ng'ethe, & Manor 'Against the Odds: Politicians, institutions, and the struggle against poverty' is reviewed below.
Wednesday 21st November, 2012
It is now widely agreed that good state-business relations (SBRs) are an important factor in promoting economic growth. Good information flows between states and businesses, as well as transparency, reciprocity, credibility and trust are often said to be the critical elements of effective SBRs. SBRs are political relationships and the role of leadership in establishing and sustaining such relationships is crucial. There is now a strong comparative and case-study literature on the politics of state-business relations on a global basis, but there has been little focus on this topic in the Pacific. This new background paper by Caryn Peiffer provides a good literature review of the little that is known about Pacific SBRs and it outlines some key questions for further research.
Monday 5th November, 2012
How can programs that are focused on the politics of social change navigate the narrow and tricky path between the pressure to meet existing M&E requirements, on the one hand, and the desire to build a strong evidence-base to support the assertion that 'working politically' can produce stable and positive long-term development outcomes, on the other? And what can donors and other development organisations do to support this? This, the second paper in DLP's series on 'the politics of evaluation', draws on the experience of the organisations that participated in the DLP 'Politics Matters' workshops, to offer some answers to these and other questions and to suggest some areas for further exploration.
Monday 22nd October, 2012
Debate about the relationship between 'evidence' and 'policy' in the context of the Evidence Based Policy (EBP) discourse is now widespread within both research and policy communities. But does the EBP discourse and the assumptions it makes about the policy process really help to understand why evidence is taken up, how it is used or what part it plays in the wider political processes that drive policy formation and change? This excellent new paper by Professor Andries du Toit of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) makes a significant contribution to the debate, raising some very important questions about the EBP mantra and the relations between research and policy.
Wednesday 10th October, 2012
According to an IEA estimate, China recently overtook the United States as the world's largest energy consumer. This growth in energy consumption has implications, not just domestically but internationally. But China is beginning to rethink its "growth at any cost" model and is moving towards sustainable growth and energy security. A new paper by Genia Kostka and William Hobbs, based on original DLP research, addresses how Chinese leaders at a sub-national level are 'working politically' to bridge the requirements of the national energy efficiency targets against local interests ? all in the context of increasing international scrutiny of China's consumption levels and their effect on climate change.
Friday 17th August, 2012
Few people would want to argue against the 'results' and 'value for money' agenda that now dominates the current fashions in evaluation and monitoring. But are we clear about what is meant by 'value'? Value for whom? And, value over what period? Are all 'results' amenable to standard methods of evaluation? And how does one evaluate results that are intended or expected mature gradually or occur many years in the future? This new DLP paper by Chris Roche and Linda Kelly explores these issues, looking in particular at programmes and projects that are 'thinking and working politically' and argues that it is now vital for a 'mixed methods' approach to be adopted.
Wednesday 1st August, 2012
The concept of the 'political settlement' has become a familiar one in the thinking of the international community and amongst scholars with an interest in the politics of development. But it has been used in a variety of subtly, but significantly, different ways, sometimes interchangeably with notions such as 'elite pacts' or 'peace agreements'. For some, the term encompasses only 'horizontal' agreements between key elites; for others it has been used to refer to the 'vertical' relations between states and societies. Some conceptions point to political settlements as 'one off' events; others suggest that settlements describe the on-going institutional arrangements and political processes that both reflect and shape the (changing) distribution of power in a society.
Wednesday 11th July, 2012
Are you short on time, but feeling the pressure to keep up with the latest ideas in development theory? If so, you probably won't have had a chance to read fully the three recently published and important books on the politics of development: 'Violence and Social Orders' (by D.C North, J.J. Wallis and B.R. Weingast, 2009); 'The Origins of Political Order' (by Francis Fukuyama, 2011); and, 'Why Nations Fail' (by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, 2012). DLP may be able to help! This paper provides the core summaries of their main arguments and the supporting evidence, accompanied by a brief analysis of some common themes and questions.