Research evidence on DRC presented to International Development Committee

DLP Research Fellow Suda Perera gave evidence to the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee today (Tuesday, 25 October).

The IDC is currently conducting an inquiry into fragility and development in the DRC. UK aid is estimated to account for about £306m of development assistance to DRC and DFID’s current operational plan for the country expires this year. Its priorities in recent years have included work to strengthen the rule of law, transform the state’s ability to resource and deliver services, encourage economic development, and empower women and girls.

Suda appeared before the committee with Jean-Roger Kaseki of London Metropolitan University and Tom O’Bryan of the Carr Centre, Harvard.  

Suda’s evidence was based on insights drawn from her research into armed groups and political inclusion in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She told the committee that donor efforts in DRC had, understandably, tended to focus on humanitarian issues and crisis containment. However, the short-term programming that such an approach encouraged, combined with a rapid turnover of donor and NGO staff, did little to address long-term developmental problems.

Communities driven off fertile land by conflict and left with no other means of making a sustainable, secure living were being forced into dependence on donor aid. Poor roads and other inadequate infrastructure made trade and commerce impossible. The resulting social and economic difficulties forced on the Congolese people were among the most potent drivers of recruitment to non-state armed groups, and the long-term focus of donors, said Suda, should be on measures that would improve DRC’s economic development.

She was asked whether it was really possible, as she had suggested in her written evidence to the committee, to engage with armed groups without being compromised. She pointed out that the international community had supported the DRC’s current political elite despite the fact that many, including President Joseph Kabila himself, had risen to power through armed struggle. Little was likely to change unless more effort was made to understand the willing support given by many Congolese to armed non-state groups.

She said that a lack of trust in MONUSCO, the UN stabilisation mission in the country, was being fuelled by unrealistically high expectations among Congolese people about what its personnel ought to be able to achieve. She added that all those connected with MONUSCO needed to be much more honest about what might feasibly be done to improve security in DRC.

The first of three papers that will present findings from Suda’s DRC armed groups research project will be published shortly.

Related items

2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture

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.

Read more

Research evidence on DRC 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.

Read more

Social contracts for peace: new research initiative

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.

Read more

Somaliland: When less was more

Friday 13th May 2016

How the domestic drivers of peace and development work in the absence of external intervention is examined in an open-access International Affairs article by Dr Sarah Phillips.

Read more

Is 'do no harm' peacekeeping possible in the DRC?

Monday 9th May 2016

DLP Research Fellow Suda Perera, speaking at the University of Manchester's Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, asked why approaches to peacekeeping in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo haven't changed in more than a decade. Meanwhile, the possibility of lasting peace in the region seems more remote than ever.

Read more

Yemen - looking beyond counterterrorism

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.

Read more

State fragility and formation: democracy in retreat workshop

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.

Read more

Political settlements and public service performance

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.

Read more

Call for papers for DSA conference panel on political settlements

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.

Read more

Discussion on Libya with Radio France International

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.

Read more

Registration open for 'Power, Politics and Positive Deviance': DLP's Annual Conference 2016

Tuesday 20th October 2015

Join us at La Trobe University, Melbourne on 8 February 2016 to discuss 'Power, Politics and Positive Deviance'.

Read more

Why peace processes fail

Wednesday 9th September 2015

Why are many post-civil war societies beset by widespread violence and political instability? A new book explores Why Peace Processes Fail.

Read more

Crowdsourcing as a research tool

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

Recent fieldwork by DLP research fellow Suda Perera is proving a rich source of insight into research methods.

Read more

Migrant identity and chaos theory: new book chapter

Tuesday 28th July 2015

Suda Perera's new book chapter explains how chaos theory can help us understand identity-formation in protracted refugee situations.

Read more

Women's empowerment and conflict in Colombia: new case study

Tuesday 21st July 2015

DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal has co-authored a new Development Progress case study from ODI.

Read more

Within and without the state: presentation at the European Conference on African Studies

Monday 13th July 2015

Suda Perera's ECAS conference paper, 'Within and without the state', shared findings on relations between the state and armed groups in the DRC's Kivu regions.

Read more

Thinking Beyond Sectors: new book

Wednesday 8th July 2015

DLP Deputy Director David Hudson is one of the contributors to the new open access book 'Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development'.

Read more

Sharing findings at INCAF discussions on peacebuilding and statebuilding

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.

Read more

Exploring the international political economy of development

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'.

Read more

Development journalism masterclass

Monday 16th March 2015

DLP Senior Research Partner Chris Roche was among a panel of development and media experts delivering the inaugural International Development Journalism Fellowship masterclass in Melbourne last week.

Read more

New evidence paper on corruption

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.

Read more

Training on fragility, statebuilding and peacebuilding

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.

Read more

New book chapter: contribution to 'The Politics of Inclusive Development'

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.

Read more

New concept brief: state legitimacy

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Seminars by Duncan Green at La Trobe University

Friday 21st November 2014

On Monday 24 November, Dr Duncan Green will give two public seminars at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

Read more

Presentation at the International Parliamentary Conference on Growth for Development

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.

Read more

Contribution to Guardian discussion on fragile states

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?'

Read more

Security and justice: the first in a new series of literature reviews

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.

Read more

Panel on primacy of politics in development at PSA 2014

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.

Read more

New article: When does service delivery improve the legitimacy of a fragile state?

Friday 28th March 2014

This open access article in the journal Governance, by DLP senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin, unpacks the theory and evidence on the relationship between service delivery and state legitimacy in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Read more

New GIZ Publication: Triangular Cooperation

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.

Read more

Governance, Politics and Development in the Pacific - A literature Survey

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.

Read more

Different Take on Africa - a joint statement

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.

Read more

Coalitions in the Politics of Development - A Workshop Report

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.

Read more

The Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre

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.

Read more

New Asia Foundation book on the politics of economic reform in the Philippines

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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'.

Read more

Society for International Development World Congress 2011

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.

Read more

Examining the Drivers of Change in Yemen

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.

Read more

New book on 'Ownership and Political Steering in Developing Countries'

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.

Read more

New Paper: Ethics and integrity in the politics of developmental leadership

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.

Read more

New Paper: Yemen: Developmental Dysfunction and Division in a Crisis State

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Workshop: Political dimensions of development programming

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.

Read more

New paper on 'Growth Alliances: Insights from Egypt'

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.

Read more

The Elephant in the Room: Politics and the Development Problem

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".

Read more

Political Dimensions of Development Programming

Thursday 2nd December 2010

A joint DLP-Asia Foundation workshop on the Political Dimensions of Development Programming was held in Canberra, Australia, on 2nd and 3rd December 2010 for staff of AusAID.

Read more

New papers on 'Political Settlements'

Tuesday 16th November 2010

We draw your attention to two recent papers, one by Dr Bill Cole and Tom Parks of the Asia Foundation (a partner organization of the DLP); and the other by Dr Edward Laws, a DLP Researcher.

Read more

GTZ Brown Bag Lunch

Monday 22nd March 2010

Adrian Leftwich gave a brown bag lunch at GTZ talking on: "Beyond Institutions: Leaders, Elites and Coalitions in the Politics of Development"

Read more

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

News

'How Change Happens': Birmingham seminar with Duncan Green

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.

Read more

Islands of integrity: funding award for DLP corruption research

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.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog