All DLP themes

Drawing on DLP’s strengths, and our assessment of key challenges and gaps in development research, we’ve established the following five core focus areas for the next three years:

  • politically informed programming
  • elites and politcal settlements
  • reform coalitions
  • leaderships
  • attitudes, values and ideas
As always, our aim is to deliver high quality research that is problem-driven and policy relevant. To find out more about each theme and our ongoing work, click on the tabs above.

All themes
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Is developmental patrimonialism a dead end?

The first of two posts introducing a new DLP paper on growth and democratic transition

Opinion by Tim Kelsall27th September 201627/09/2016

The challenge of realising Pacific democracies' development potential

How can Pacific democracies deliver for their citizens?

Opinion by Julien Barbara8th July 201608/07/2016
Opinion by Luke Arnold25th May 201625/05/2016
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal, Heather Marquette26th April 201626/04/2016
Opinion by Alex Frankel20th April 201620/04/2016

What is transformative leadership?

Guest post in University World News

Opinion by Chris Roche15th April 201615/04/2016

It's all about inclusion, but how?

Guest post for the World Bank

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal6th April 201606/04/2016

The road to transparency in resource-rich Myanmar

Myanmar's EITI process and its contribution to broader reform

Opinion by Taylor Brown1st April 201601/04/2016
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal29th March 201629/03/2016

Politics, risk and development: three takeaways

Reflections from two conferences

Opinion by Chris Roche, David Hudson19th February 201619/02/2016
Opinion by Heather Marquette4th February 201604/02/2016

Fiji's Roshika Deo - outlier, positive deviant or simply feisty feminist?

First in a series on 'Power, politics and positive deviance', theme of DLP's 2016 annual conference.

Opinion by Priya Chattier 1st February 201601/02/2016

Identifying rebels with a cause (and effect)

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

Opinion by Chris Roche1st December 201501/12/2015

The inclusiveness test: making change work

Guest post for openDemocracy

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal4th November 201504/11/2015
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal, Pilar Domingo15th October 201515/10/2015
Opinion by Heather Marquette13th October 201513/10/2015

Developmental leadership: putting inclusiveness first

Inclusiveness should be the first step towards building more robust states.

Opinion by Seth D. Kaplan24th September 201524/09/2015

Masculinity and sexual violence in India

Will the shocking Nirbaya case shift attitudes?

Opinion by Martin Rew16th September 201516/09/2015

International donors - aiding or abetting?

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

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi, Lior Erez10th September 201510/09/2015

Research methods and marshalling messy data: Dear Diary

The benefits of an old-fashioned research diary

Opinion by Suda Perera2nd September 201502/09/2015

Corruption: is the right message getting through?

The unintended consequences of raising awareness of corruption

Opinion by Caryn Peiffer12th August 201512/08/2015

Adding gender and power to the TWP agenda

Why bring gender into Thinking and Working Politically?

Opinion by Sally Moyle6th August 201506/08/2015
Opinion by Michele Schweisfurth28th July 201528/07/2015

Two remarkable transitions: lessons from Oman and Somaliland

Political settlements and international power structures

Opinion by Sarah Phillips20th July 201520/07/2015

Indonesia and the political settlements trap

The challenges of 'resettling the settlement'

Opinion by Graham Teskey17th July 201517/07/2015

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

The value of the political settlements framework

Opinion by Edward Laws15th July 201515/07/2015

Taking the Results agenda to the next level?

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

Opinion by Chris Roche15th July 201515/07/2015

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 Menocal13th July 201513/07/2015

Does talking about corruption make it seem worse?

Guest post for The Guardian's Global Development Professionals Network

Opinion by David Hudson and Jennifer van Heerde-Hudson22nd June 201522/06/2015

Is education a magic bullet for addressing corruption? Insights from Papua New Guinea

This post for Devpolicy unpacks the findings of a new Development Policy Centre / DLP paper 

Opinion by Grant Walton, Caryn Peiffer17th June 201517/06/2015
Opinion by Chris Roche7th May 201507/05/2015
Opinion by David Hudson17th April 201517/04/2015

Cancer and the links between medicine and development

Guest post for From Poverty to Power

Opinion by Chris Roche15th April 201515/04/2015
Opinion by Gillian Fletcher14th April 201514/04/2015

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 Roche23rd March 201523/03/2015

Citizens + engagement: moving beyond slogans

Guest post for Governance for Development

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal20th March 201520/03/2015
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal18th March 201518/03/2015
Opinion by Heather Marquette9th March 201509/03/2015

Inequality – the politics behind the policies

Discussion starter for the #polinequality conference

Opinion by David Hudson11th February 201511/02/2015

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, Alina Rocha Menocal9th February 201509/02/2015
Opinion by Caryn Peiffer5th February 201505/02/2015

Shuffling the decks: quick fixes versus long-term stability

Guest post for Development Progress on 'post-conflict' DRC

Opinion by Suda Perera22nd January 201522/01/2015

The seeds and roots of change

Guest post on leadership networks for Governance for Development

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver1st December 201401/12/2014

Authoritarianism, democracy and development

What does the evidence say?

Opinion by Tim Kelsall27th November 201427/11/2014
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal24th November 201424/11/2014
Opinion by Heather Marquette10th November 201410/11/2014

Being 'there': Bermuda Triangulation

Fieldwork in fragile places part 2: data difficulties

Opinion by Suda Perera6th November 201406/11/2014

Being 'there': reflections on fieldwork in the DRC

Fieldwork in fragile places part 1: the security dilemma

Opinion by Suda Perera5th November 201405/11/2014

Corruption: do we target the servant or the paymaster?

Guest post for The Guardian on UK aid watchdog report

Opinion by Heather Marquette5th November 201405/11/2014

Politicians and administrators: conflict, collusion or collaboration?

How do relations between political and administrative leaders affect reform?

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi23rd October 201423/10/2014

The politics of redistribution: we need you

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

Opinion by David Hudson, Niheer Dasandi16th October 201416/10/2014
Opinion by Susy Ndaruhutse11th September 201411/09/2014

Forgotten South Sudan tangled in factionalism and failed politics

A toxic blend of complex historical identity politics and short-term elite politicking

Opinion by Jonathan Fisher4th September 201404/09/2014

‘Crows who come in search of dollars’: NGO legitimacy in conflict zones

Do political dynamics affect NGO legitimacy more than performance?

Opinion by Oliver Walton19th August 201419/08/2014

Political analysis as the practical art of the possible

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

Opinion by David Hudson24th July 201424/07/2014

Security and justice – the mismatch between policy and practice

What hinders more politically nuanced security and justice programming?

Opinion by Shivit Bakrania21st July 201421/07/2014

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 Spark24th June 201424/06/2014

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 Batley19th June 201419/06/2014

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 Marquette9th June 201409/06/2014

Education, development, and the problem with consensus

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

Opinion by Michele Schweisfurth7th April 201407/04/2014
Opinion by Suda Perera1st April 201401/04/2014

Politics - the problem and solution to poor services?

Why - and how - does politics trump everything else in service delivery?

Opinion by Claire Mcloughlin13th March 201413/03/2014

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 George7th March 201407/03/2014

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 Stonehouse4th March 201404/03/2014

Gender - the power relationship that Political Economy Analysis forgot?

Why more questions about gender relations could help

Opinion by Evie Browne13th February 201413/02/2014

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 Ver11th February 201411/02/2014

Peace and security in Africa: from summitry to solutions

Will today's African leaders build on Mandela's legacy?

Opinion by Stefan Wolff20th December 201320/12/2013

Somaliland's route to peace

What can we learn from Somaliland's approach to peacebuilding? 

Opinion by Sarah Phillips12th December 201312/12/2013

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

The ambiguities of supporting 'developmental leadership'

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi11th December 201311/12/2013

Welcome to DLP's blog

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

Opinion by Heather Marquette10th December 201310/12/2013
7th July 201607/07/2016
13th May 201613/05/2016
25th April 201625/04/2016
26th January 201626/01/2016
3rd December 201503/12/2015
1st December 201501/12/2015
3rd November 201503/11/2015
7th October 201507/10/2015
5th October 201505/10/2015
30th September 201530/09/2015
28th September 201528/09/2015
18th September 201518/09/2015
9th September 201509/09/2015
4th September 201504/09/2015
2nd September 201502/09/2015
8th July 201508/07/2015
29th June 201529/06/2015
4th June 201504/06/2015
10th April 201510/04/2015
17th March 201517/03/2015
16th March 201516/03/2015
12th March 201512/03/2015
5th March 201505/03/2015
19th January 201519/01/2015
3rd December 201403/12/2014
25th November 201425/11/2014
21st November 201421/11/2014
14th November 201414/11/2014
23rd October 201423/10/2014
3rd October 201403/10/2014
24th September 201424/09/2014
3rd June 201403/06/2014
30th May 201430/05/2014
11th March 201411/03/2014
4th March 201404/03/2014
24th January 201424/01/2014
12th December 201312/12/2013
6th December 201306/12/2013
27th February 201227/02/2012
15th February 201215/02/2012
29th November 201129/11/2011
16th November 201016/11/2010
28th October 201028/10/2010
12th April 201012/04/2010
22nd March 201022/03/2010
Caryn PeifferAugust 201527/08/2015
Diana KoesterMay 201518/05/2015
Suda PereraFebruary 201505/02/2015
Claire McloughlinDecember 201402/12/2014

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


New findings on education and developmental leadership in the Philippines

Thursday 15th September 2016

New research from DLP and the University of Glasgow explores the role of higher education in the emergence of leaders who promote development in the Philippines. See the policy brief, podcast and paper.

Read more

Political settlements in Africa

Thursday 7th July 2016

Political settlements in Africa, the politics of inclusion and the role of international actors were the focus of the most recent BISA Africa Working Group workshop, convened by DLP Research Fellow Suda Perera at the University of Birmingham.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog