Background Paper 6 - An Overview of the Research in Progress: The Developmental Leadership Program

The key contention of the Developmental Leadership Program is that developmental leaderships and coalitions are critical in shaping the kind and quality of institutions and state-building processes, and hence are central to achieving the goals of economic growth, political stability, security and inclusive social development.  

The international community has, however, tended to focus largely on institutional and structural solutions to most developmental challenges. While there is no doubt that institutions and structural arrangements matter greatly for all aspects of development, it is also true that institutions are ‘empty boxes’ without the human agents who establish, maintain and implement them. What matters, therefore, for positive economic, political and social outcomes is the presence of developmental leadership.

Accordingly, the over-arching questions which drive the work of the DLP are these:

  • What factors facilitate or frustrate the emergence of developmental leaderships and coalitions, rather then predatory, collusive or rent-seeking ones?
  • What factors shape the relative success or failure of developmental leaderships and coalitions in achieving their aims?
  • What, if any, are the common empirical characteristics of developmental leaderships?
  • What policy and operational implications flow from the findings?
  • What, if anything, can or should external agents do to facilitate the emergence of developmental leadership and coalitions?

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.

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News

Doing Development Differently workshop - Jakarta 2017

Thursday 30th March 2017

Putting the concept of Thinking and Working Politically into practice was at the heart of a workshop on 15-16 March attended by more than 200 delegates from the field of international development. Delegates from the government, civil service and local organisations of the host country, Indonesia, were joined by academics, including DLP researchers, and staff from donor organisations and NGOs.

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DLP shares research at FCO Africa Study Day

Monday 27th March 2017

DLP findings on the Democratic Republic of Congo were among the topics discussed with with UK diplomats and civil servants at the FCO's Africa Study Day, held at Sandhurst on 21 March. This year's Foreign and Commonwealth Office event was organised by University of Birmingham's International Development Department, home to DLP.

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