Traditional leaders and developmental coalitions in KwaZulu Natal

This study highlights lessons from post-Apartheid KwaZulu-Natal, where progressive coalitions accommodated customary forms of governance and promoted peaceful and inclusive development. It focuses on the newly democratised eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (the Metro) in Durban.

A key ingredient for success was the developmental commitment of influential political leaders with links to the chieftaincy and to the ANC. These leaders brokered broad coalitions that included traditional leaders, elected councillors, business people, social activists and the church.

The study notes the importance of giving space to a variety of institutions in a hybrid political arena, a place where leaders can clearly see the need to trade off ideal scenarios for the least worst option. In the process inclusive and developmental coalitions become possible.

Researcher: Jo Beall (LSE & University of Cape Town) and Mduduzi Ngonyama (University of KwaZulu)

 

Related items

'Sticky’ change: What international development can learn from adaptive management

Promoting and sustaining individual behavioural change is as important as building flexibility into development programming.

Opinion by Greg Power 2nd December 2016

Using aid to strengthen Parliaments: fix the car, or worry about the driver?

Parliaments have always been treated as the poor cousins of democracy assistance efforts. (Guest post for From Poverty to Power)

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 24th November 2014

Decentralisation and the potential for corruption in PNG

Guest post for Devpolicy on findings from a DLP-supported study on decentralisation and service provision.

Opinion by Grant Walton 30th June 2017

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

A more nuanced understanding of good developmental leadership demands a shift away from the conventional focus on 'big' individuals.

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 11th February 2014

The challenge of realising Pacific democracies' development potential

Bringing to the fore some of the unique problems faced by the Pacific region.

Opinion by Julien Barbara 8th July 2016

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 18th March 2015

Higher education in the post-2015 agenda: proof that it matters

Taking stock of recent research evidence that shows how higher education can feed into political stability and civil engagement.

Opinion by Susy Ndaruhutse 11th September 2014

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

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

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

Authoritarianism, democracy and development

What does the evidence say about whether giving aid to a high-achieving authoritarian regime makes good developmental sense? 

Opinion by Tim Kelsall 27th November 2014

DRCongo: where a decade of failed democracy has exposed the electoral fallacy

It takes more than a fairly-won election to guarantee that the elected will put their citizens first, rather than themselves. (Guest post for Africa at LSE)

Opinion by Suda Perera 19th December 2016

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

Should donors support developmental leaders who gain or keep power through questionable means? 

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 11th December 2013

#Feminism: Digital technologies and feminist activism in Fiji

Guest post on Devpolicy on DLP work with research partners at University of the South Pacific.

Opinion by Tait Brimacombe 14th March 2017

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

New DLP research poses the question of whether the focus of the international development community on primary education is too narrow.

Opinion by Amir Jones 25th March 2014

The inclusiveness test: making change work

Guest post for openDemocracy

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 4th November 2015

Gender and power: six links and one big opportunity

Donors have recently made great efforts to understand power in partner countries. Yet they have largely ignored one of the most pervasive power relations – gender.

Opinion by Diana Koester 21st May 2015

Peace and security in Africa: from summitry to solutions

Africa needs a new generation of leaders who share Nelson Mandela's vision of peace and reconciliation. (First published in The Conversation.)

Opinion by Stefan Wolff 20th December 2013

The curious case of Indian autocracy and what it tells us about 'thinking and working politically'

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of Indira Gandhi’s declaration of a national emergency in India, which led to an 18-month period of autocracy. Civil rights were suspended, political opponents and journalists were arrested without the right to trial, censorship was imposed, elections were cancelled, non-Congress state governments were dismissed, the constitution changed.

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 25th June 2015

What is transformative leadership?

Structural obstacles to progressive change can only be challenged by sustained pressure from coalitions and social movements. (Guest post in University World News)

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th April 2016

The Medellin model: don't forget the political processes

Since my DLP paper on Medellín was published, the city has become a ‘model’ for development – offering a palette of policies to combat urban violence that can provide a blueprint for cities with similar problems. 

Opinion by Kate Maclean 2nd November 2015

Coalitions for inclusion in Indonesia: communities and government tackling discrimination together

Following up to Luke Arnold on coalitions for disability inclusion in Indonesia, Angie Bexley introduces broader work on the inclusion of six marginalised groups.

Opinion by Angie Bexley 22nd August 2016

How can a high-growth autocracy become a democracy without derailing growth?

Understanding how to make democratic transitions as economically painless as possible.

 

Opinion by Tim Kelsall 28th September 2016

Breaking new ground in parliamentary strengthening

The importance of tailoring parliamentary support programmes to their context. (Guest post for openDemocracy)

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 29th March 2016

The practicalities of change: Positive deviance and land reform in Vanuatu

Anna Naupa's 2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture discussed where most transformation happens - in drafting the rules, or in putting them into action.

Opinion by Anna Naupa 13th April 2016

Where do inclusive institutions come from? Lessons from Asia

Societies with more inclusive institutions are more peaceful and more resilient, and tend to be better governed - but how do they get there?

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 27th February 2017

Parliamentary strengthening: the IDC report

The need for parliamentary strengthening has never been more urgent, since parliaments - and the political parties that populate them - are the institutions people trust least. (Guest post for ODI's Shaping Policy for Development blog)

 

Opinion by Tam O'Neil 9th February 2015

The seeds and roots of change

Leadership that drives genuine, lasting reform is rarely - if ever - about one individual. (Guest post in Governance for Development)

 

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 1st December 2014

The road to transparency in resource-rich Myanmar

Myanmar's resource management transparency process has joined government, business and civil society actors in collective action for the first time.  

Opinion by Taylor Brown 1st April 2016

Corruption: unpacking the black box of political will

New thinking on the reasons why individuals engage in corruption - including the pragmatic calculation that, right or wrong, corruption may be the only solution to pressing difficulties. 

Opinion by Heather Marquette 12th January 2015

Inequality – the politics behind the policies

Discussion starter for the #polinequality conference

Opinion by David Hudson 11th February 2015

Time for a grown-up conversation about corruption

To combat corruption, we need to understand the deeper political realities, power dynamics and social structures that perpetuate it.

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 9th December 2014

What's so 'African' about African leadership?

Does a focus on 'African' leadership obscure the rich and diverse nature of Africa's many states and get in the way of useful lessons from other parts of the world?

Opinion by Suda Perera 1st April 2014

It's all about inclusion, but how?

Shifting the focus of development intervention from form to the actual practice and distribution of power. (Guest post for the World Bank Governance for Development blog)

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 6th April 2016

Connections, contradictions and the political economy of attention

How can we encourage creativity, even in risk-averse organisations? How can we protect our attention resources?

I listened to two interesting LSE podcasts recently which got me thinking more about creativity following on from a recent blog I posted about the current interest in innovation. Some even suggest the ‘innovation imperative’ is a mega trend.

Opinion by Chris Roche 7th May 2015

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

International donors - aiding or abetting?

In September 2012, lawyers representing an Ethiopian farmer announced that they planned to sue the UK government for its role in human rights violations in Ethiopia. The farmer, named in court papers as “Mr O”, alleged that the Ethiopian government’s “villagisation” programme had involved the forced resettlement of thousands of families including his own.

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 10th September 2015

Shuffling the decks: quick fixes versus long-term stability

(First published as a guest post for the ODI's Development Progress blog)

Opinion by Suda Perera 22nd January 2015

From objects of care to controllers of lives: governance, development and disability inclusion

The next step on from a rights-based approach to disability inclusion is to hand over control to those who know best - people with disabilities.

Opinion by Luke Arnold 25th May 2016

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

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

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog