Evidence on parliamentary strengthening
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.
Wednesday 23rd August 2017
A new 'Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development' (K4D) report draws on DLP research to explore what impact higher education has had on developmental leadership and good governance.
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.
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.
Monday 31st October 2016
After many significant contributions to DLP's research, events and impact, Alina Rocha Menocal is now moving on to take up a USAID Senior Democracy Fellowship. Alina will also continue her role as a Research Fellow in ODI's Politics and Governance Programme, on a part-time basis, and we are delighted that she will retain close links with DLP as a Research Associate.
Thursday 27th October 2016
The University of Manchester's annual lecture in memory of DLP's founding Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, will be given this year by Nic van de Walle, Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, on Wednesday, 16 November.
Thursday 15th September 2016
New research from DLP and the University of Glasgow explores the role of higher education in the emergence of leaders who promote development in the Philippines. See the policy brief, podcast and paper.
Friday 24th June 2016
A new research initiative at US university The New School focuses on the social contract as a means of revitalising thinking and practice about peacebuilding. DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal has joined the team of thematic and policy specialists who form the working group supporting the project and its researchers.
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.
Friday 29th April 2016
A collaborative workshop at La Trobe University, Melbourne, at which DLP Senior Partner Chris Roche and Dr Sarah Phillips were panellists, considered whether democracy is an appropriate framework for efforts to make sense of the struggles of fragile states.
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.
Friday 11th March 2016
Attempts by the UN to broker agreement on a Libyan government of national unity are discussed in a new RFI podcast featuring Alina Rocha Menocal.
Tuesday 9th February 2016
Alina Rocha Menocal discussed the relationship between democracy and development at The Australian National University on 9 February 2016. 'Emerging Democracies: Rising to the Challenge' was a Centre for Democratic Institutions seminar that considered how best to help promote development in countries which, formally at least, are democracies but seem to be 'stuck' in transition.
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.
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.
Thursday 8th October 2015
This new resource from the OECD-DAC Network on Governance, launched today, provides a collection of briefings for governance practitioners in development agencies. DLP's directors, Heather Marquette and David Hudson, are among the contributors.
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?'
Friday 10th July 2015
On 10 July DLP Research Fellow Gillian Fletcher brought together a panel of civil society actors from across Myanmar for the Australian Myanmar Institute conference. They discussed how to use a diversity and values framework to promote equality and social justice.
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.
Monday 29th June 2015
DLP's Senior Research Partner Chris Roche and Research Fellow Gillian Fletcher, with their La Trobe colleague Professor Dennis Altman, ran an interactive workshop with more than 275 new and departing Colombo Plan and Australia Awards scholars in Melbourne on 29 June 2015.
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.
Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Senior DLP Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal leads a day of training in Basel this week as part of swisspeace's Certificate of Advanced Studies in Fragility, Conflict and Statebuilding.
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.
Wednesday 12th November 2014
DLP's Deputy Director David Hudson will speak next week at the International Parliamentary Conference on Growth for Development in London.
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 6th October 2014
What exactly are 'political settlements'? This Concept Brief, the first of a new series, sets out key elements of this increasingly prominent idea. It suggests why it is important, and what policy implications follow from it.
Thursday 11th September 2014
DLP-commissioned research is being fed into the continuing debate on the post-2015 agenda to establish development priorities beyond the Millennium Development Goals.
Thursday 28th August 2014
Two exciting opportunities have arisen for an accomplished research fellow and senior research fellow to work with DLP at La Trobe University's Institute for Human Security and Social Change. VACANCIES NOW CLOSED.
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.
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 8th April 2014
DLP has begun a new phase of work led by the University of Birmingham, with funding in place until 2017. The new research grant marks a first step towards the consolidation of DLP as a global partnership.
Tuesday 25th March 2014
A new DLP Research Paper highlights the important role of quality secondary and higher education in forming developmental leadership in Ghana.
Tuesday 4th March 2014
'Room For Maneuver' explores the politics of social sector policy reform in the Philippines. The book, co-edited by the late Adrian Leftwich, highlights lessons for reform advocates.
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.
Wednesday 1st January 2014
Why did the civil wars in Somaliland end while Somalia's continued? This new DLP Research Paper asks why large-scale violence was resolved in the internationally unrecognised 'Republic of Somaliland' but not in the rest of Somalia.
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.
Tuesday 12th June 2012
Following the Joint Statement on the political economy of Africa, agreed by five research groups including DLP, we've been keeping the discussion going through the excellent 'Different take on Africa' blog. Today Adrian Leftwich posted a piece on the blog emphasising the importance of understanding the agential factors that have held back African development: the question of leadership. Specifically, what role leadership can play at "critical junctures in reconstructing coalitions, initiating new political settlements or sustaining old ones"? And the potential for developmental leaderships - in all sectors and levels of society - to mobilise people and resources to overcome the critical collective action problems that typically plague development in Africa.
Monday 27th February 2012
Support for the emergence of democratic processes has been a cardinal aim of the international community for at least two decades. But how do the poor and marginalized perceive the politics of democratic processes, especially in new or born-again democracies? And how do they perceive the performance and behaviour of democratically elected leaderships? This study, supported by GIZ (German International Cooperation), shows that, although they welcome democracy, a sample of urban and rural poor in three Latin American countries regard democratic politics as distant from their preoccupations and are cynical about their elected leaderships. Nonetheless, their daily lives are filled with a variety of community organizations and forms of participation but which they do not conceive of as 'politics', or as being 'political'.
Wednesday 15th February 2012
Despite a potentially huge range of empirical evidence and examples, our understanding of how coalitions are formed, managed and funded, and what makes for successful coalitions remains remarkably limited. The purpose of the workshop is therefore to deepen our understanding of these crucial developmental political processes, to help classify different forms of coalitions, to derive significant policy and programmatic messages, and to formulate guidelines for the international community about how to broker, facilitate and support progressive developmental coalitions across sectors and issue areas. The workshop will draw on the rich experience and thinking of its participants - a mix of distinguished researchers and practitioners from a variety of contexts.
Tuesday 29th November 2011
Has the international community devoted too little attention to the role of higher education in promoting developmental outcomes? Can higher education make a significant contribution to the emergence of developmental leadership in all sectors of society, both public and private? If so, how? And what is the evidence for this? An earlier DLP paper showed that despite evidence for a clear and positive correlation between higher education and good governance, this is an area that has been largely neglected by the international community in favour of an emphasis on basic or primary education. This new paper by Laura Brannelly, Laura Lewis and Susy Ndaruhutse surveys evidence from a wide literature regarding which aspects of higher education can promote the emergence of developmental leadership.
Thursday 6th October 2011
Policy-makers, researchers and practitioners can learn a great deal about the complexity of the politics of reform from the direct experiences of reform leaderships in developing countries. The Innovations for Successful Societies at Princeton University is building a series of case studies and recordings of interviews with developmental leaders from around the world. This rich source of information will be of great value to those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the role which developmental leaderships and coalitions can play in promoting locally appropriate institutional and policy innovation and reform in the diverse contexts of their own countries.
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 20th June 2011
There is now wide recognition that political processes - and especially the role of leaderships and coalitions - are fundamental in shaping and sustaining the institutional and policy environment that promotes or frustrates sustainable economic growth and inclusive social development. That being so, what is to be done? What does it mean for development policy and practice? In seeking to address some of these issues, the DLP held its first Research and Policy Workshop in Frankfurt in March, 2011. This paper provides a summary of the key findings, insights and initial guidance arising from the workshop and from recent phases of DLP research.
Wednesday 8th June 2011
Dr Sarah Phillips, from the Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University, presented her work on the crisis in Yemen to an audience of Australian officials from across government, and other interested parties, in AusAID on Wednesday, 8th June. Dr Phillips' presentation looked behind the scenes at the Yemeni regime's opaque internal politics and at the nature of the system entrenched by President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the past 32 years. It also discussed the implications of this for Western counter-terrorism policies in Yemen.
Monday 4th April 2011
The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) held its first Research and Policy Workshop in Frankfurt on 10th and 11th March, 2011, facilitated by the GIZ. The focus of the DLP is on the role of developmental leaderships and coalitions in the politics of sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development. The purpose of the workshop was to explore and elaborate the policy, programme and operational implications of the recently completed phase of DLP research and to map the way forward for future research, policy and communications activities.
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.
Wednesday 9th March 2011
It is often argued (by the World Bank and other development organizations) that integrity and ethical leadership are critical components of good governance. But what is 'ethical leadership'? What is 'developmental integrity'? How is it achieved? And what are the conditions for sustaining it? This new study by Eduard Grebe and Minka Woermann - intended to help policy-makers think clearly about ethics and integrity in relation to developmental issues - develops a conceptual framework for thinking about integrity and leadership in developmental contexts, not only in terms of individual behaviour, but also in terms of institutions.
Monday 21st February 2011
Does higher education have a role in promoting the emergence of developmental leaders and elites? Could higher education play a vital role in producing a pool of people with the capacity and vision to constitute progressive development leadership across sectors? And does higher education contribute to the formation of networks that facilitate the emergence of developmental coalitions? As the first step in a longer program of work to collect the evidence, this research paper surveys the literature on this question and offers a preliminary data analysis.
Monday 21st February 2011
Do 'leadership development programmes' contribute to positive development outcomes or do they only enhance the careers of their participants? Could they do both and, if so, how? What criteria can donors use in deciding whether and how to support, fund, influence or design such programmes? This paper reviews the evidence about leadership development programmes as a tool for development policy. It argues that donor and recipient organisations need to be much more discriminating when choosing to support or design a programme, and that understanding the 'political' nature of leadership is the key to choosing or designing a good programme.
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".
Wednesday 19th May 2010
Eduard Grebe and Minka Woermann will be presented a paper entitled "Institutions of integrity and integrity of institutions: integrity and ethics in the politics of developmental leadership" at the First International Conference in Responsible Leadership.
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.
Thursday 12th October 2017
In this article in the Journal of International Peacekeeping, DLP researcher Suda Perera critically evaluates crowdsourcing's uses and abuses, and warns against an over-reliance on remotely gathered conflict data.
Thursday 5th October 2017
Join us on 5 Oct 2017 at ODI (10-11:30am) to discuss the research featured in a special issue of The Journal of International Development co-edited by Alina Rocha Menocal (DLP and ODI) and Jan Pospisil (Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh).