How can practitioners 'do governance differently'? DAC GovNet discussions
DLP's Deputy Director Dr David Hudson spoke about DLP’s contribution to A Governance Practioner’s Notebook: Alterative Ideas and Approaches at the 20th OECD DAC Network on Governance Plenary Meeting on 13 May.
The theme of the meeting, It’s time for implementation!, invited participants to share knowledge about how the ‘doing governance differently’ agenda can be translated into practice. The aim was to agree and approve priorities for collaboration on governance during the next two years.
On the second day of the meeting, David was one of three panelists who opened the day’s events, leading a discussion on ‘Walking the talk: Popularising ideas on new ways to do governance among practitioners’. The session was intended to be an introduction to the new GovNet guidance note which offers informal and accessible insights to practitioners from major governance thinkers.
His contribution covered the key points of the Notebook chapter he has co-authored with DLP Director Heather Marquette: ‘Mind the gaps: What’s missing in political economy analysis and why it matters’.
While the importance of politics is – for the most part – now accepted by practitioners, the practicalities of applying political economy analysis (PEA) and Thinking and Working Politically (TWP) remain a challenge.
David and Heather argue that this is because there are four gaps in current thinking:
- conceptual – when PEA is treated as a product rather than a process;
- operational – how to use the knowledge;
- evidential – what works about TWP, and where and when; and
- organisational – the political economy of the context practitioners are working in.
They conclude that more co-design of programmes is needed, along with a more formalised process of collective and critical political analysis. Practitioners need an evidence base about what does and doesn’t work for TWP, and they need to work politically within organisations as well as with counterparts.