Thinking and Working Politically to Support Developmental Leadership and Coalitions: The Pacific Leadership Program

This paper explores the experience of four reform coalitions supported by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and what this tells us about supporting developmental leadership and thinking and working politically in the Pacific.

It was commissioned by PLP with two aims. First, to capture PLP’s ways of working. Second, to contribute the experiences of a program in the Pacific to the growing international movement that recognises developmental change is fundamentally political, that understanding local politics is thus crucial and that donors are best placed to play a facilitative, rather than direct, role in bringing it about.

The PLP experience demonstrates that such ways of working are feasible and relevant in the Pacific context but are shaped by the wider donor environment.

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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