March 2011

Working Politically (DLP Research and Policy Workshop, Frankfurt)

Adrian Leftwich

The purpose of this short note is:

To suggest ways we might usefully conceptualise what it means to think and work politically in a developmental context, where development is understood as the processes which shape and reform locally appropriate and legitimate institutions that promote sustainable economic growth, foster political stability, enhance progress on key issue areas (such as gender, service delivery or emissions reduction) and facilitate inclusive social development, at national and sub-national levels.

To outline some of the preliminary findings about the role of leadership, politics and coalitions in development as a platform for the central question of the workshop: how research evidence can be transformed into policy, programme and operational messages.

This note unpacks the idea of ‘thinking politically’ by summarising some of the working assumptions and building blocks of the DLP’s research and it suggests how we might think about ‘working politically’.

The paper closes by indicating some of the emerging findings about what makes for an effective politics of development and reform and hence leads to the central question for the workshop – what policy, programme and operational implications flow from this evidence.

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Working Politically (DLP Research and Policy Workshop, Frankfurt)

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