Everyday political analysis

This short note introduces a stripped-back political analysis framework designed to help frontline development practitioners make quick but politically-informed decisions. It aims to complement more in-depth political analysis by helping programming staff to develop the 'craft' of political thinking in a way that fits their everyday working practices.

Everyday Political Analysis involves two steps:

  1. Understanding interests: What makes people tick?
  2. Understanding change: What space and capacity do people have to effect change?

For each step five questions, accompanied by prompts, aim to help staff to conduct quick political analysis. The EPA framework can be used at any stage of the aid management cycle, and can help users to respond rapidly to unexpected change.

We are keen to hear back from people on their experience of using EPA to help us adapt the framework. Was it useful (or not)? Do people tend to use just one or both steps? Are there missing statements or prompts that would improve the analysis? Please email us at info [at] dlprog.org.

Researchers: David Hudson, Heather Marquette and Sam Waldock (DFID Rwanda)

This project builds on work by David Hudson and Adrian Leftwich: From political economy to political analysis

See also:

Related items

International donors - aiding or abetting?

The 'donor's dilemma' is discussed in a new DLP paper.

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 10th September 2015

Two remarkable transitions: lessons from Oman and Somaliland

Political settlements and international power structures

Opinion by Sarah Phillips 20th July 2015

Gender - the power relationship that Political Economy Analysis forgot?

Why more questions about gender relations could help

Opinion by Evie Browne 13th February 2014

Politics, risk and development: three takeaways

Reflections from two conferences

Opinion by Chris Roche 19th February 2016

Security and justice – the mismatch between policy and practice

What hinders more politically nuanced security and justice programming?

Opinion by Shivit Bakrania 21st July 2014

Medellin - more than a miracle

From the most murderous city on earth to 'a new global standard for urban policy': the politics of change in the wake of crisis

Opinion by Cheryl Stonehouse 4th March 2014

Overcoming premature evaluation

Guest post in From Poverty to Power

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th November 2016
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 24th November 2014

Innovation: transactional or transformative?

Given the fascination with 'innovation' in the field of development, it's time to discuss what the word might mean.

Opinion by Chris Roche 23rd March 2015

Cancer and the links between medicine and development

Guest post for From Poverty to Power

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th April 2015

Welcome to DLP's blog

Welcome to DLP's new blog on politics, power, policy and developmental leadership

Opinion by Heather Marquette 10th December 2013

Do donors have realistic expectations of their staff when it comes to 'thinking and working politically'?

Is learning to ‘think politically’ like learning a new language? 

Opinion by Heather Marquette 9th June 2014

Indonesia and the political settlements trap

The challenges of 'resettling the settlement'

Opinion by Graham Teskey 17th July 2015

Political analysis as the practical art of the possible

Bringing politics back into PEA - a new paper with Adrian Leftwich

Opinion by David Hudson 24th July 2014
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 26th April 2016

Inclusive political settlements: who and what gets included, and how?

First of six posts on political settlements by researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 13th July 2015

Politics shape services; and services shape politics

How governance and sector specialists can help each other understand the politics of service delivery

Opinion by Richard Batley 19th June 2014

Developmental leaders, 'dirty hands', and the dark side of collaboration

The ambiguities of supporting 'developmental leadership'

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 11th December 2013
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 29th March 2016

What's in a name? Leadership as more than the 'big men' and 'big women' of history

Looking beyond 'The Leader' for a deeper understanding of how change happens

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 11th February 2014

What do we do on Monday? Political settlements in theory and practice

The value of the political settlements framework

Opinion by Edward Laws 15th July 2015
Opinion by Dan Hymowitz 3rd February 2017

The politics of redistribution: we need you

Which are the key country cases? Help us shape new research.

Opinion by David Hudson 16th October 2014

Adding gender and power to the TWP agenda

Why bring gender into Thinking and Working Politically?

Opinion by Sally Moyle 6th August 2015

Parliamentary strengthening: the IDC report

Having presented evidence to the UK's International Development Committee, what of the final report?

Opinion by Tam O'Neil 9th February 2015

Taking the Results agenda to the next level?

On new book The Politics of Evidence and Results in International Development

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th July 2015

Identifying rebels with a cause (and effect)

'Power, politics and positive deviance' is the theme of DLP's 2016 annual conference.

Opinion by Chris Roche 1st December 2015
Opinion by Heather Marquette 10th November 2014

Gender analysis, and thinking and working politically – bridging the gap

Guest post on Devpolicy  introducing panels at this week's Australasian Aid Conference

Opinion by Chris Roche 14th February 2017

The road to transparency in resource-rich Myanmar

Myanmar's EITI process and its contribution to broader reform

Opinion by Taylor Brown 1st April 2016

Inequality – the politics behind the policies

Discussion starter for the #polinequality conference

Opinion by David Hudson 11th February 2015

Climate change and adaptation in the Pacific Islands: watering down women's security?

How women leaders are challenging a narrow adaptation agenda.

Opinion by Nicole George 7th March 2014

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

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'.

Read more

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.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog