Lowy Institute paper on Leadership

A recent study by the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, funded by the DLP, explores the influence which secondary and higher education and scholarships have had on leaderships in Samoa and Timor Leste. To find out more about the Lowy Institute's work and to read the full paper please visit the Lowy Institute's website.

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New findings on education and developmental leadership in the Philippines

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.

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Elites in fragile states: from predation to protection

Monday 1st December 2014

On 4 December, Research Fellow Suda Perera will present DLP findings at an expert meeting to help inform Dutch development policy on security and justice.

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DLP partner launches new online portal

Friday 21st November 2014

La Trobe University's Institute for Human Security and Social Change has launched a new website, practiceforchange.org.

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Welcome to DLP's new website

Tuesday 3rd June 2014

DLP's Director, Dr Heather Marquette, introduces the new dlprog.org - gateway to the findings of more than five years of research on leadership and the politics of development.

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DLP's core research themes

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.

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Presentations at UNDP/KPMG conference 'Leadership and the Challenge of Change'

Wednesday 30th April 2014

DLP was delighted to participate in this conference on 'Leadership and the Challenge of Change', which was organised by KPMG and the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence.

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How can education improve national leadership? Lessons from Ghana

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.

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Adrian Leftwich Memorial Conference

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.

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Political Settlements and State Formation - the case of Somaliland

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.

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Review: "Against the Odds: Politicians, institutions and the struggle against poverty" by Melo, Ng'ethe & Manor

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.

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New Journal Article: Local Energy Efficiency Policy Implementation in China

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.

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Different Take on Africa - the importance of leadership

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.

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Leadership and the 'emerging' African 'success' stories

Thursday 9th February 2012

In his well-received book 'Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way', Steve Radelet distinguished between 'Emerging', 'Threshold' and 'Non-Emerging' countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He pointed out that the 'Emerging' countries had performed particularly well in terms of growth and democratization. This new paper, drawing on the DLP African Heads of State database, explores the potential contribution that leadership may have made to these stories. The analysis indicates that the Heads of State in 'Emerging' countries have in general had higher levels of education, are more mature, have a different and more diverse career history and less military experience than both their counterparts in their own countries before the mid-1990s and the leaders of 'Non-emerging' countries.

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Education Matters - a new paper from DLP

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.

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Commonwealth Secretariat Senior Leaders Forum "Leadership at the Centre"

Tuesday 15th November 2011

DLP's Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, will be speaking at the Commonwealth Secretariat's Senior Leaders Forum on the 15th November. The event brings together public servants from around the Commonwealth to strengthen their roles in implementing policies and strategies for development in their country. The event also sees the launch of the "Commonwealth Governance Yearbook 2011/12", which is a collection of writings from public service practitioners and experts in public administration and management.

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Trends and transformations in African political leadership since 1960: Some evidence

Monday 7th November 2011

In a recent speech, the former Prime Minister of the UK, Mr Tony Blair, has suggested that improvement in rates of economic growth and the stabilization of a variety of political orders in parts of Africa can in part be attributed to the role of leadership. New research about African political leadership since 1960, commissioned by DLP, provides some interesting evidence in support of Mr Blair's claim. In this thought-provoking paper, Monique Theron provides statistical trends and patterns over the last 50 years with respect to the profiles of different types of ruler, their educational qualifications, their field of tertiary study, their career histories before becoming Heads of State, their political backgrounds, their length of incumbency and how they gained and lost power.

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11th UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development

Tuesday 13th September 2011

DLP Researcher Laura Brannelly (CfBT) will be presenting the findings of the first phase of DLP's research on Higher Education and Development at the 11th UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development in Oxford between the 13th-15th September. The theme for the conference is "Global Challenges for Education: Economics, Environment & Emergency". The main aim of the conference is to move education to the centre of the debate on global challenges in the 21st Century.

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USAID Global Workshop on Education and Development: From Evidence to Action

Monday 22nd August 2011

DLP Researcher Susy Ndaruhutse (CfBT) was a plenary speaker at this year's "USAID Global Workshop on Education and Development: From Evidence to Action" between the 22nd-25th August in Virginia, USA. The main purpose of the workshop was to demonstrate the strategic importance of education in achieving US government development goals, and to provide critical and cutting edge training and orientation to USAID education and capacity development sector staff and their present and potential partners. Susy Ndaruhutse's session was entitled 'Mobilizing Higher Education for Developmental Leadership'.

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Examining the Drivers of Change in Yemen - a presentation to Australian Government departments

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.

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DLP and Oxfam: Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Workshop

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.

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A Report on DLP's first Research and Policy Workshop in Frankfurt

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.

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A new publication: Higher education and the formation of developmental elites

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.

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A new publication: An analysis of leadership development programmes

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.

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New paper on 'The Anatomy of Political Predation in Zimbabwe'

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.

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Lowy Institute paper on Leadership

Thursday 28th October 2010

A recent study by the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, funded by the DLP, explores the influence which secondary and higher education and scholarships have had on leaderships in Samoa and Timor Leste.

Read more

First International Conference in Responsible Leadership

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.

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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


2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture

Thursday 27th October 2016

The 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 in Manchester.

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Research evidence presented to International Development Committee

Tuesday 25th October 2016

DLP Research Fellow Suda Perera has presented findings from her research into armed groups and political inclusion in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the UK Parliament's International Development Committee.

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Follow: @dlprog