News & Events
The Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University hosted a workshop on 13-14 December 2010 entitled "The Elephant in the Room: Politics and the Development Problem".
A recent paper in Business and Politics explores the emergence, evolution and forms of 'growth alliances' in Egypt. Professors Abla Abdel-Latif, of the American University in Cairo, and Hubert Schmitz, of the Institute of Development Studies, show how largely informal and politically-negotiated relations helped to shape alliances between some business sectors and key policy-makers without apparently becoming abused for private gain.
The Developmental Leadership Program, in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF), ran the second in a series of workshops entitled 'Political Dimensions of Development Programming' in Manila, Philippines from 15-16 February 2011. The workshop brought together TAF Representatives working in the Philippines and the region, AusAID staff based in the Philippines, and selected non-government partners.
Does higher education have a role in promoting the emergence of developmental leaders and elites? Could higher education play a vital role in producing a pool of people with the capacity and vision to constitute progressive development leadership across sectors? And does higher education contribute to the formation of networks that facilitate the emergence of developmental coalitions? As the first step in a longer program of work to collect the evidence, this research paper surveys the literature on this question and offers a preliminary data analysis.
Do 'leadership development programmes' contribute to positive development outcomes or do they only enhance the careers of their participants? Could they do both and, if so, how? What criteria can donors use in deciding whether and how to support, fund, influence or design such programmes? This paper reviews the evidence about leadership development programmes as a tool for development policy. It argues that donor and recipient organisations need to be much more discriminating when choosing to support or design a programme, and that understanding the 'political' nature of leadership is the key to choosing or designing a good programme.
It is often argued (by the World Bank and other development organizations) that integrity and ethical leadership are critical components of good governance. But what is 'ethical leadership'? What is 'developmental integrity'? How is it achieved? And what are the conditions for sustaining it? This new study by Eduard Grebe and Minka Woermann - intended to help policy-makers think clearly about ethics and integrity in relation to developmental issues - develops a conceptual framework for thinking about integrity and leadership in developmental contexts, not only in terms of individual behaviour, but also in terms of institutions.
Donors increasingly recognise the political dimension of development cooperation and that they themselves are political actors. But how can this 'political' role be aligned with the interests and ideas of partner countries, and with the principle of ownership? How are partnerships and mutual trust created and maintained through the ups and downs of daily cooperation? How does policy making take place in partner countries, and how can donor and supply driven cooperation be avoided? This collection of essays, published by GIZ, offers important practical insights for policy-makers and practitioners alike.
Dr Sarah Phillips, from the Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University, presented her work on the crisis in Yemen to an audience of Australian officials from across government, and other interested parties, in AusAID on Wednesday, 8th June. Dr Phillips' presentation looked behind the scenes at the Yemeni regime's opaque internal politics and at the nature of the system entrenched by President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the past 32 years. It also discussed the implications of this for Western counter-terrorism policies in Yemen.
DLP Researcher Susy Ndaruhutse (CfBT) was a plenary speaker at this year's "USAID Global Workshop on Education and Development: From Evidence to Action" between the 22nd-25th August in Virginia, USA. The main purpose of the workshop was to demonstrate the strategic importance of education in achieving US government development goals, and to provide critical and cutting edge training and orientation to USAID education and capacity development sector staff and their present and potential partners. Susy Ndaruhutse's session was entitled 'Mobilizing Higher Education for Developmental Leadership'.
DLP Researcher Laura Brannelly (CfBT) will be presenting the findings of the first phase of DLP's research on Higher Education and Development at the 11th UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development in Oxford between the 13th-15th September. The theme for the conference is "Global Challenges for Education: Economics, Environment & Emergency". The main aim of the conference is to move education to the centre of the debate on global challenges in the 21st Century.
DLP's Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, presented at one of the panels at the Triennial World Congress of the Society for International Development (SID), in Washington DC between the 29th-31st July 2011. The panel was entitled "Looking Forward: Pathways toward Inclusion through Political Change" and his presentation was on 'Beyond and below Institutions: organizations, politics and leadership'. The theme of this year's congress was "Our Common Challenge: A World Moving toward a Sustainable Future" and the event brought together professionals from diverse sectors and constituencies to debate critical ideas, policies and practices and to shape future development thinking and policy.
The Asia Foundation, supported by USAID and AusAID, today launches an important new book, documenting the politics of some significant economic reforms in the Philippines. Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Policy Reform in the Philippines is a collection of analytical essays by leading development analysts and some of the participants in each of the reform processes. The book has a foreword by Adrian Leftwich, the Director of Research for the DLP. The theme of the book is the role played by 'developmental entrepreneurs' in the politics of reform and it illustrates through a number of cases how and why difficult battles were fought and, in some cases won, in pursuit of reform.
An important new research centre, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, has recently completed its inception year and is about to commence its substantive research program. The Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID) is based at the University of Manchester in the UK, with research partners in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Malawi, Uganda and the US. ESID shares with DLP a commitment to understand better the politics of development. DLP welcomes the formation of ESID and we look forward to close cooperation in sharing ideas, findings and policy messages over the coming years.
'Coalitions' are part and parcel of everyday politics, everywhere, nationally and sub-nationally and in all sectors and issue areas. They are also central to the inner politics that shape political settlements and help solve collective action problems. Yet we know very little about what makes for successful coalitions, or what the international community can do to support the emergence of developmental coalitions. The workshop brought together practitioners, researchers and theorists from developed and developing societies and this report summarises the important continuities, generalizations and messages that we identified. It is the first in a series of papers that seek to clarify this pervasive feature of the politics of development.
The Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS), recently brought together five major research groups, including the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP), to discuss and share their findings on the politics of development with special reference to Africa. While each of the research groups approach this key developmental question from different angles, they all explore the diverse ways in which political and policy choices, elites, leaders, informal institutions, incentive structures, coalitions and democratization processes have shaped development trajectories in different contexts. Their findings overlapped on enough common ground to enable the groups to agree a Joint Statement which can now be downloaded from the DLP website.
The Australian Aid Program has a strong interest in development issues in the Pacific. Though traditionally it has taken a rather technical, administrative and managerial approach to such issues, its recent public literature (and that of other aid agencies) reflects the green shoots of important new thinking around the importance of political and governance processes that can decisively promote or restrain development - and hence a more effective use of aid resources. This DLP Background Paper provides a short survey of the literature in the field and an assessment of the extent to which such research and policy announcements have really helped to provide and institutionalise a more politically informed understanding of development.
DLP are pleased to present a new publication from GIZ entitled 'Triangular Cooperation: A guideline for working in practice', edited by Julia Langendorf, Nadine Piefer, Prof. Dr. Mich?le Knodt, Dr. Ulrich M?ller, and Lena L?zaro R?ther. Triangular cooperation is an interesting tool for development cooperation, linking North-South and South-South cooperation. However, there are still many open questions. In a joint approach of academia and practice, this publication attempts to give answers and presents illustrative cases to discuss the different aspects of triangular cooperation in practice.
On 15 April 2014, DLP will host a panel on 'The Primacy of Politics in Development' at the Political Studies Association conference in Manchester, UK.
Senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin is one of the contributors to 'The Politics of Inclusive Development', published this month by OUP. The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Adrian Leftwich, DLP's founding Director of Research.
Research Fellow Suda Perera was among the expert panellists for a Guardian Development Professionals Network Q&A on 6 November. She drew on her recent research in the DRC to discuss the issue, 'After aid, how can development work in unstable states?'
DLP's Deputy Director David Hudson will speak next week at the International Parliamentary Conference on Growth for Development in London.
On 4 December, Research Fellow Suda Perera will present DLP findings at an expert meeting to help inform Dutch development policy on security and justice.
What conditions make corruption possible? What are the real costs of corruption and how can it be fought effectively? A new evidence paper that addresses these questions has been written for DFID by a research team led by DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal and Nils Taxell of the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre.
DLP research fellow Dr Niheer Dasandi was among the speakers at the New Directions in International Political Economy conference in Warwick this week. He and DLP's Dr David Hudson will be editing Edward Elgar's forthcoming 'Handbook of the International Political Economy of Development'.
A conference hosted by the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, in partnership with DLP and the Centre for Public Impact, focused on the impact political settlements have on the efficiency of public services. Many of the presentations are now available online.
This DLP Background Paper provides a short survey of the literature on development issues in the Pacific, and an assessment of the extent to which such research and policy announcements have really helped to provide and institutionalise a more politically informed understanding of development.
This literature survey set out to discover the extent to which, if at all, the general literature on ‘leadership’ addressed the role of leadership in the promotion of economic growth and social development, with particular (but not exclusive) reference to developing countries.
The purpose of this paper is to explain this cross-district variation in reponse to the issue of user fees for basic educaiton and health services, and assess the policy implications for donors and other development actors interested in improving citizens’ access to basic education and health services.
Politics, Leadership and Coalitions in Development - Policy Implications of the DLP Research Evidence
This document has been prepared for the DLP Research Policy Workshop, held on 10-11 March, 2011 in Frankfurt. It consists of all the Executive Summaries from the first phase of research of the DLP, plus an introductory analysis by Adrian Leftwich.
This paper argues that existing political economy approaches lack the analytical tools needed to grasp the inner politics of development. Political economy has come to be seen narrowly as the economics of politics – the way incentives shape behaviour.
This Concept Brief offers a concise introduction to the core elements of 'state legitimacy'. It addresses four questions: How is the concept of legitimacy best understood? Why is it important? How do states accrue legitimacy? And what policy implications follow from this?