Friday 29th September 2017
A new article co-authored by DLP researcher Niheer Dasandi explores the dilemmas of providing development aid to states that violate human rights.
Thursday 30th March 2017
Putting the concept of Thinking and Working Politically into practice was at the heart of a workshop on 15-16 March attended by more than 200 delegates from the field of international development. Delegates from the government, civil service and local organisations of the host country, Indonesia, were joined by academics, including DLP researchers, and staff from donor organisations and NGOs.
Tuesday 21st March 2017
Dr Duncan Green presents the ideas from his recent book, How Change Happens, in a series of appearances across Australia next month. Organised by the Research for Development Impact (RDI) Network, the events are co-presented by DLP in partnership with a range of development and research agencies.
Tuesday 21st February 2017
Seeing power and complex social systems clearly is the first step towards supporting positive developmental change, says Oxfam Strategic Director and DLP research partner Duncan Green. He discussed the themes of his latest book at a recent International Development Department guest seminar at the University of Birmingham.
Monday 9th January 2017
What works in achieving progressive change? How do power and systems shape change, and how can you influence them? Join Oxfam's Duncan Green on Thursday 19 January to discuss the themes of his new book 'How Change Happens'. The presentation will be followed by a drinks reception and book signing.
Friday 2nd December 2016
DLP research on how to effectively fight corruption has won funding from the British Academy's Sustainable Development Programme, part of the UK government's Global Challenges Research Fund.
Thursday 26th May 2016
Dr Heather Marquette was among the panellists on May 19 at the Challenges of Government Conference 2016, discussing whether democracy will survive the collapse of trust in government. The conference was hosted by the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government. Videos are available.
Wednesday 4th May 2016
Today's report by the UK Parliament's International Development Committee on the crisis in Yemen calls for an independent investigation into suspected breaches of international humanitarian law, including by the Saudi-led coalition forces. In her evidence submission, Dr Sarah Phillips drew on research supported by DLP to highlight the risks of an international response to Yemen that focuses on counterterrorism and is dominated by Saudi Arabia.
Monday 25th April 2016
DLP Research Fellow Dr Caryn Peiffer is co-author with Prof Richard Rose of a new open access article on bribery. It shows that integrating measures of political institutions and individual characteristics can provide a policy relevant understanding of who does and does not pay bribes for public services.
Friday 8th April 2016
Paper proposals are invited for a panel on political settlements and pathways out of fragility at this year's Development Studies Association conference. The panel convenors are Alina Rocha Menocal and Jan Pospisil. The conference will be held on 12-14 September in Oxford, UK.
Monday 4th April 2016
DLP Director Heather Marquette is convening a panel on 'Thinking and working politically about corruption and anti-corruption' at this year's Development Studies Association conference in September. The call for papers is open until 25 April.
Tuesday 26th January 2016
A new article by Alina Rocha Menocal discusses how the combination of an internationally-backed initiative against organised crime and a mass protest movement has played a crucial role in sowing the seeds for 'transformation against the odds' in Guatemala.
Monday 18th January 2016
Niheer Dasandi was among the speakers at a Global Governance Institute event, Power, Development and Messy Politics: Dilemmas of International Aid, on 18 January. He shared findings on how donors could think politically about difficult choices.
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.
Tuesday 24th November 2015
The Australian launch of this book, co-edited by DLP's Senior Research Partner Chris Roche, will be held at La Trobe University, Melbourne on 24 November, 5pm-6.30pm. Speakers: Dennis Altman, Duncan Green, Irene Gujit, Chris Roche.
Monday 26th October 2015
A new research project in collaboration with the Uongozi Institute for Leadership for Sustainable Development is exploring developmental leadership in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.
Tuesday 20th October 2015
Join us at La Trobe University, Melbourne on 8 February 2016 to discuss 'Power, Politics and Positive Deviance'.
Tuesday 6th October 2015
A new article in the journal Governance explores citizens' perceptions of corruption and their willingness to engage in anticorruption activism. It is co-authored by DLP Research Fellow Caryn Peiffer.
Monday 21st September 2015
DLP Director Heather Marquette and Research Fellow Caryn Peiffer have contributed a chapter to 'Ethics in Public Policy and Management'. They discuss 'Applying Principal-Agent and Collective Action Theories to the Problem of Corruption in Systemically Corrupt Countries'.
Thursday 27th August 2015
DLP Director Heather Marquette and Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal joined a DFID panel discussion today. This asked: 'How can we Analyse Political Settlements, Institutions & Citizens and get a Better Line of Sight to our Country and Sector Programming?'
Tuesday 7th July 2015
DLP team members David Hudson and Alina Rocha Menocal joined a wide range of speakers at this event in London on 29 June.
Thursday 2nd July 2015
Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal was among the expert panellists for a Guardian Development Professionals Network Q&A on 2 July.
Thursday 4th June 2015
DLP director Dr Heather Marquette was among the speakers this week at European Development Days 2015. She shared findings at a panel discussing how development cooperation can effectively fight corruption and promote good governance.
Monday 18th May 2015
Dr Heather Marquette leads a team of DLP researchers who will present their work at the OECD this week. They will share findings with two INCAF Task Teams at discussions of the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals on legitimate politics and on revenues and services.
Wednesday 13th May 2015
Dr David Hudson spoke at an OECD DAC GovNet meeting on 13 May, on how the 'doing governance differently' agenda can be translated into practice.
Tuesday 10th March 2015
This public event in London on April 2 will explore how to support 'Doing development differently'. It is being organised by the University of Birmingham, ODI and RTI International. Prof Richard Batley (UoB), Dr David Booth (ODI) and DLP's Dr David Hudson will chair the workshop.
Thursday 5th March 2015
What conditions make corruption possible? What are the real costs of corruption and how can it be fought effectively? A new evidence paper that addresses these questions has been written for DFID by a research team led by DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal and Nils Taxell of the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre.
Friday 27th February 2015
This book, co-authored by DLP research fellow Caryn Peiffer, identifies significant differences in the payment of bribes between countries on every continent, and between services and between individuals within each country. It offers six principles to reduce the scale of bribery in public services.
Monday 26th January 2015
A new DLP research paper asks what makes the middle classes oppose or support initiatives intended to lift people out of poverty, and how the development community can secure their approval of such policies.
Tuesday 13th January 2015
The newly-published 'Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption' includes a contribution from DLP Director Heather Marquette in its section on new directions emerging in corruption research.
Monday 12th January 2015
Senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin is one of the contributors to 'The Politics of Inclusive Development', published this month by OUP. The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Adrian Leftwich, DLP's founding Director of Research.
Wednesday 3rd December 2014
The origins and durability of a state's legitimacy affect the feasibility of development processes and the effectiveness of external aid interventions. In this three-page Brief, senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin unpacks a slippery, yet important, concept.
Monday 24th November 2014
In a guest post today for the blog From Poverty to Power, Alina Rocha Menocal takes stock of the evidence on parliamentary strengthening.
Monday 10th November 2014
DLP's Director Heather Marquette has commented in 'The Guardian' on the UK aid watchdog's criticism of DFID's impact in tackling petty corruption. She calls the ICAI report 'a wasted opportunity to rethink how we deliver aid with integrity'. Today in 'The Conversation' she suggests ways forward.
Thursday 6th November 2014
Research Fellow Suda Perera was among the expert panellists for a Guardian Development Professionals Network Q&A on 6 November. She drew on her recent research in the DRC to discuss the issue, 'After aid, how can development work in unstable states?'
Monday 3rd November 2014
DLP's Directors, Heather Marquette and David Hudson, will present findings today on 'Communication in Anti-Corruption Work' at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Thursday 30th October 2014
Senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin has been sharing findings on the politics of service delivery this week with members of the Danish government's development cooperation staff. She spoke at a Danida seminar, which took place on 28-30 October.
Friday 24th October 2014
Heather Marquette and Caryn Peiffer are in Berlin this week to give a presentation at the second ANTICORRP Consortium meeting. They are presenting on research on integrity management in Bolivia and Rwanda.
Thursday 16th October 2014
How does politics foster or reduce inequalities? We welcome proposals for papers for the 2015 DLP conference.
Monday 21st July 2014
The first of the Developmental Leadership Program's 'State of the Art' papers is now available. Our SOTA series aims to lay the groundwork for future DLP research by setting out what existing research evidence and development practice tell us about the politics of development in key areas.
Friday 30th May 2014
Five core themes run through the heart of this new-look Developmental Leadership Program website. They are signposts to help visitors explore our research, and they are the building blocks of the new strategy that will guide our work over the next three years.
Public talk by DLP's Niheer Dasandi at UNDP, Singapore on successful policy reform and political-bureaucratic interaction
Monday 28th April 2014
On 28 April, DLP Research Fellow Dr Niheer Dasandi gave a talk at UNDP's Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Singapore. He addressed the question: how can the interaction between politicians and bureaucrats help to foster successful policy reform?
Thursday 17th April 2014
Has political economy analysis lost its way? Donors Doing Political Economy Analysis: From Process to Product (and Back Again?) is a new DLP research paper by Dr Jonathan Fisher and Dr Heather Marquette.
Tuesday 15th April 2014
On 15 April 2014, DLP will host a panel on 'The Primacy of Politics in Development' at the Political Studies Association conference in Manchester, UK.
Friday 24th January 2014
We were delighted that over 100 scholars and development practitioners joined us for the Adrian Leftwich Memorial Conference on 24 January. We commemorated DLP's founding Director of Research with a fascinating day of reflection and discussion.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Thursday 8th March 2012
Under what conditions does a reduction in practices of corruption occur? Can it be attributed to improved institutional arrangements and enforcement procedures? Does it turn as much, or more, on the role of key players and coalitions? Or is it both? And what can the international community do to support these processes? In collaboration with Transparency International (TI), DLP has commenced a program of work to try to answer these questions. This new paper by Caryn Peiffer, the first in a series of products from this joint project, explains how a long list of cases has been identified using statistical analysis of the data contained in TI's very rich data source: The Global Corruption Barometer.
Monday 18th July 2011
DLP Researcher, Dr Sarah Phillips from the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney, gave a thought-provoking and timely presentation on the 8 June 2011 in AusAID in Canberra, entitled "Examining the Drivers of Change in Yemen: Informal Institutions and Agency". Speaking to an audience of AusAID staff and representatives from various government departments including the Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs and Trade, and other guests, Dr Phillips provided a unique insight into the Yemeni regime's opaque internal politics, and the nature of the patronage system entrenched by President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the past 32 years.
Monday 27th June 2011
The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP), in collaboration with our partner, Oxfam Australia, recently held the first of three workshops exploring how we can incorporate an understanding of leadership and coalitions (agency) into effective monitoring and evaluation practices for development programs. The workshop brought together representatives from AusAID, The Asia Foundation, Leadership PNG, the Pacific Leadership Program and the Oxfam International Youth Partnerships program. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Linda Kelly, a development consultant and Chris Roche, Director of Development Effectiveness at Oxfam Australia.
Wednesday 11th May 2011
What explains the differences in quality and kind of service delivery in sub-national districts which are otherwise very similar? Exploring this question in the context of Indonesian decentralization, this paper found that the nature of district leadership was critical. Where district heads pursued strategies of 'political entrepreneurship', becoming dependent upon their electoral support to remain in power, district governments were more likely to promote free public services than where political leaders focused on consolidating patronage networks. These strategies in turn appear related to the political effects of the personal networks, alliances, informal coalitions and constituencies of local leaders.
Friday 18th March 2011
Donors increasingly recognise the political dimension of development cooperation and that they themselves are political actors. But how can this 'political' role be aligned with the interests and ideas of partner countries, and with the principle of ownership? How are partnerships and mutual trust created and maintained through the ups and downs of daily cooperation? How does policy making take place in partner countries, and how can donor and supply driven cooperation be avoided? This collection of essays, published by GIZ, offers important practical insights for policy-makers and practitioners alike.
Monday 28th February 2011
Yemen is one of the countries in the Middle East currently experiencing profound turbulence. But what opaque internal politics has kept the regime entrenched for the last three decades? Why have its leaders and elites - like those of many other countries - been so ineffective in addressing serious threats to the viability of the state and to the wellbeing of its citizens? This original and path-breaking research paper by Sarah Phillips offers a detailed political analysis of the inner workings of the Yemen state.
Wednesday 23rd February 2011
How do women's rights groups campaign for vital institutional reform of archaic laws on sexual violence in new democracies? How can they best 'work politically' to achieve positive outcomes? What lessons are there for donors and supporters? This research paper uses findings from a study of the National Working Group on Sexual Offences to demonstrate how civil society coalitions may draw on and expand their elite networks and exploit political and institutional arrangements to build developmental partnerships.
Tuesday 15th February 2011
The Developmental Leadership Program, in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF), ran the second in a series of workshops entitled 'Political Dimensions of Development Programming' in Manila, Philippines from 15-16 February 2011. The workshop brought together TAF Representatives working in the Philippines and the region, AusAID staff based in the Philippines, and selected non-government partners.
Tuesday 1st February 2011
Why, after liberation in 1980, did the ruling political elite in Zimbabwe resort more to predation than development and bring about the terrible economic and political decline in that country? And why, even in the face of the current political and economic crises, have rival elites failed to forge a common developmental coalition? In this research paper, commissioned for the DLP, Michael Bratton and Eldred Masunungure offer a fine-grained political analysis of this story.
Monday 13th December 2010
The Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University hosted a workshop on 13-14 December 2010 entitled "The Elephant in the Room: Politics and the Development Problem".
Tuesday 7th December 2010
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) hosted a round table on 7-8 December 2010 entitled "Policy into Practice: A dialogue on governance strategies and action in international development".