Executive Summary - Thinking and Working Politically: From Theory Building to Building an Evidence Base

This paper discusses the steps required to build a robust evidence base for 'thinking and working politically' (TWP) in development. It argues that better understanding what works, when and why is an important step in moving TWP into mainstream development programming.

The paper reviews the existing evidence base on TWP, building on this and on other literature on public sector reform and 'pockets of effectiveness' to suggest research questions, case study selection criteria, and a four-level analytical framework: 1) political context; 2) sector; 3) organisation; and 4) individual. The framework aims to help build a 'rigorous enough' evidence base to show whether and how TWP happens and whether or not it influences the effectiveness of programme implementation and outcomes. The paper also calls for more focus on gender issues, and on different – and often more fragile – political contexts.

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

New article: A typology of interaction between politicians and bureaucrats

Tuesday 14th March 2017

DLP Research Fellow Niheer Dasandi has co-authored a new article on how bureaucrats and politicians interact, and how this affects reform efforts. It appears in 'Public Administration and Development'.

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Power and systems, and their role in developmental change: Guest seminar with Duncan Green

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.

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