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.
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.
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.
Friday 15th April 2016
A conference hosted by the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, in partnership with DLP and the Centre for Public Impact, focused on the impact political settlements have on the efficiency of public services. Many of the presentations are now available online.
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.
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.
‘If the herd of cows splits up, the tiger can eat them’: civil society and social justice in Myanmar
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.
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.
Friday 15th May 2015
DLP research fellow Dr Niheer Dasandi was among the speakers at the New Directions in International Political Economy conference in Warwick this week. He and DLP's Dr David Hudson will be editing Edward Elgar's forthcoming 'Handbook of the International Political Economy of Development'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?'
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.
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.
Thursday 27th March 2014
What role does the international system play in producing poverty around the world? In an article in 'New Political Economy', DLP research fellow Niheer Dasandi draws on network analysis to examine this surprisingly neglected question.
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. Mich?le Knodt, Dr. Ulrich M?ller, and Lena L?zaro R?ther. 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.
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.
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.
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 9th May 2012
'Reform' coalitions have been noted by many authors in a very diverse range of literatures. But what do we know about them? And should we not understand better their role in the politics of development? What are the circumstances of their provenance, and the political conditions and characteristics of successful ones? Can it be demonstrated that such coalitions have contributed directly to growth and poverty reduction? And, if so, can or should donors work politically to facilitate, encourage and promote their emergence and functioning? In this paper Caryn Peiffer identifies some of the common features of these coalitions and suggests some of the important questions that will be explored by further DLP research.
Thursday 3rd May 2012
The Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS), recently brought together five major research groups, including the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP), to discuss and share their findings on the politics of development with special reference to Africa. While each of the research groups approach this key developmental question from different angles, they all explore the diverse ways in which political and policy choices, elites, leaders, informal institutions, incentive structures, coalitions and democratization processes have shaped development trajectories in different contexts. Their findings overlapped on enough common ground to enable the groups to agree a Joint Statement which can now be downloaded from the DLP website.
Wednesday 18th April 2012
'Coalitions' are part and parcel of everyday politics, everywhere, nationally and sub-nationally and in all sectors and issue areas. They are also central to the inner politics that shape political settlements and help solve collective action problems. Yet we know very little about what makes for successful coalitions, or what the international community can do to support the emergence of developmental coalitions. The workshop brought together practitioners, researchers and theorists from developed and developing societies and this report summarises the important continuities, generalizations and messages that we identified. It is the first in a series of papers that seek to clarify this pervasive feature of the politics of development.
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'.
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.
Monday 30th January 2012
An important new research centre, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, has recently completed its inception year and is about to commence its substantive research program. The Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID) is based at the University of Manchester in the UK, with research partners in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Malawi, Uganda and the US. ESID shares with DLP a commitment to understand better the politics of development. DLP welcomes the formation of ESID and we look forward to close cooperation in sharing ideas, findings and policy messages over the coming years.
Monday 21st November 2011
The Asia Foundation, supported by USAID and AusAID, today launches an important new book, documenting the politics of some significant economic reforms in the Philippines. Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Policy Reform in the Philippines is a collection of analytical essays by leading development analysts and some of the participants in each of the reform processes. The book has a foreword by Adrian Leftwich, the Director of Research for the DLP. The theme of the book is the role played by 'developmental entrepreneurs' in the politics of reform and it illustrates through a number of cases how and why difficult battles were fought and, in some cases won, in pursuit of reform.
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.
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.
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'.
Friday 5th August 2011
This excellent paper by the Asia Foundation explores the politics of local coalitions working to expand coverage of health services for the poor in two municipalities in Central Java, Indonesia - Semarang and Pekalongan. The research, by Laurel MacLaren, Alam Surya Putra and Erman Rahman, shows that facilitating and supporting the emergence and activities of coalitions of leaders and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) can be a highly effective means of achieving pro-poor policy outcomes in some institutional contexts.
Friday 29th July 2011
DLP's Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, presented at one of the panels at the Triennial World Congress of the Society for International Development (SID), in Washington DC between the 29th-31st July 2011. The panel was entitled "Looking Forward: Pathways toward Inclusion through Political Change" and his presentation was on 'Beyond and below Institutions: organizations, politics and leadership'. The theme of this year's congress was "Our Common Challenge: A World Moving toward a Sustainable Future" and the event brought together professionals from diverse sectors and constituencies to debate critical ideas, policies and practices and to shape future development thinking and policy.
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.
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.
Wednesday 5th January 2011
A recent paper in Business and Politics explores the emergence, evolution and forms of 'growth alliances' in Egypt. Professors Abla Abdel-Latif, of the American University in Cairo, and Hubert Schmitz, of the Institute of Development Studies, show how largely informal and politically-negotiated relations helped to shape alliances between some business sectors and key policy-makers without apparently becoming abused for private gain.
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".