Leadership training for development

DLP is more than a research initiative. We are working with the Australia Awards Scholarship program to develop leadership training for scholarship recipients from fragile states. It will run alongside the program's educational scholarships, and the intention is to support students who want to develop leadership skills to help them become effective reformers in politically fragile arenas.

We have also looked closely at leadership development programs, trying to analyse and identify best practice. There is a profusion of such programs in the developing world, and given the ambiguity surrounding the concept of 'leadership', it is often difficult to differentiate between them. If they are being used as a tool for development policy, our research suggests donor and recipient organisations need to be much more discriminating when choosing or designing programs; understanding the 'political' nature of leadership is key to choosing or designing a good program.

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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

Creative expression and women's empowerment in the Pacific

Art and creative expression have become an activist tool and alternative form of advocacy for young women in Fiji.

Through photography, theatre, dance and song, young women are finding new avenues for public expression. These innovative avenues for making their voices heard have great power in a context where women’s mobility and visibility is often constrained by socio-cultural norms.

Opinion by Tait Brimacombe 19th March 2015

Developmental leadership: putting inclusiveness first

Policymakers have long struggled with how to address the myriad challenges that plague fragile states. Some argue that building institutions is key. Others argue that other things matter more, such as establishing more legitimate processes to choose leaders, or improving the quality of political settlements. Still others look to human rights as the solution.

Opinion by Seth D. Kaplan 24th September 2015

What is transformative leadership?

Guest post in University World News

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th April 2016

Education against the odds: the work of a women's coalition in Papua New Guinea

In October 2015 I met Anna, a softly spoken young woman who lives in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG). We talked during the recess break at school and Anna told me about some of the challenges she faces trying to complete year ten, the final year of compulsory education in PNG. These include that she is beaten by her aunt and grandmother, they refuse her the bus money to get to school and that her aunt recently set fire to her text books. 

Opinion by Ceridwen Spark 14th January 2016

What's so 'African' about African leadership?

I'm often guilty of describing myself as an 'Africanist' even though my research focuses only on Rwanda and the eastern DRC.

When I teach courses on African security, I focus on the 'important states' – Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and the 'significant conflicts' – Biafra, the Rwandan Genocide, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Congo Wars, the Sudans and Darfur.

Opinion by Suda Perera 1st April 2014

Indonesia and the political settlements trap

When your office is in Jakarta, you get a lot of time to day-dream in taxis while going from hotel to office and back again. I am just back from a couple of weeks working there and I marvelled at the traffic, the tech-savvy population and the profusion of swanky hotels. On one long journey I got to musing about the challenges facing Indonesia’s efforts to shift itself upwards in the World Bank’s country classification database.

Opinion by Graham Teskey 17th July 2015

The seeds and roots of change

Guest post on leadership networks for Governance for Development

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 1st December 2014

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

When most people hear the term leadership, they think of 'The Leader', of the powerful CEO or the strong President (also, most likely, a man). This may be in part because the body of research into leadership is overwhelmingly dominated by the fields of business or organisational psychology. Or because the processes of leadership are often conflated with the actions or vision of a single leader.

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 11th February 2014

Education, development, and the problem with consensus

Why rethink the international consensus on 'quality basic education for development'?

Opinion by Michele Schweisfurth 7th April 2014

Medellin - more than a miracle

Bad news sells. And for news editors looking for horror stories to recycle, Colombia's second largest city used to be a reliable source.

Opinion by Cheryl Stonehouse 4th March 2014

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

Beyond 'adaptability'? In this guest post, Nicole George highlights the work of women leaders who are challenging a narrow adaptation agenda.

Opinion by Nicole George 7th March 2014

Political settlements: people and the landscapes of power

The problem with politics is that it involves people, and people do strange things. When development actors engage with power they often prefer to iron out the unpredictability of real politics in favour of the much neater lines of trends and social groups. We revere drivers of change studies because we can cope with the long-term, identity-based analysis of `deep’ politics. 

Opinion by Alan Whaites 24th July 2015

How quality secondary and higher education can improve national leadership: lessons from Ghana

International leaders and experts have just gathered at the Global Education and Skills Forum to try to defuse the 'ticking time-bomb' of 57 million children not in primary school. But is this focus on the education crisis at primary level too narrow? Amir Jones reflects on new DLP research into education and developmental leadership in Ghana.

Opinion by Amir Jones 25th March 2014

Somaliland's route to peace

Sarah Phillips explores Somaliland's approach to peacebuilding and asks if donors have overlooked the importance of secondary education in development.

Opinion by Sarah Phillips 12th December 2013

Peace and security in Africa: from summitry to solutions

Stefan Wolff argues that, coinciding with the passing of Nelson Mandela, the Elysée Summit demonstrated above all the need for a new generation of African leaders with a similar vision for peace and reconciliation, and the skills and determination to turn it into a sustainable reality. (This guest post was written ahead of the Elysée Summit on 6-7 December 2013, and was first published in The Conversation.)

Opinion by Stefan Wolff 20th December 2013

Authoritarianism, democracy and development

What does the evidence say?

Opinion by Tim Kelsall 27th November 2014

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

DLP hosted a day-long high level introductory workshop on political settlements in June. This post is the first of a series inspired by the workshop and written by researchers, policymakers and practitioners. Here Alina Rocha Menocal discusses current research and thinking on the usefulness of a political settlements approach.

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 13th July 2015

Pacific power: new femininities and women's leadership in the Pacific

The educated, internationally connected women who are changing the way 'development' is done

Opinion by Ceridwen Spark 24th June 2014

Two remarkable transitions: lessons from Oman and Somaliland

We tend to look through the political settlements lens only at places experiencing either conflict or deep poverty – or both. Yet we would know much more about how useful the lens is if we examined more successes with it. Areas of stability and calm, especially in regions where near neighbours seem to be struggling to resolve strife, might teach us something about how historical experiences do or don’t chime with contemporary donor practices.

Opinion by Sarah Phillips 20th July 2015

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

new analysis of poverty in India from the World Bank challenges claims that India's reforms and striking economic growth have failed to help the poor and disadvantaged. But the deprivation and inequalities in India (highlighted by Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen in An Uncertain Glory) are stark.

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 11th December 2013
Opinion by Susy Ndaruhutse 11th September 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

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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