What do we learn from using Political Economy Analysis in 13 national health and education programmes?

September 29, 2020
If you’re interested in Thinking and Working Politically, or the use of Political Economy Analysis (PEA) in aid and development, then do please follow the Governance and Development Soapbox, run by the team at Abt. I’ve re-posted quite a few of its blogposts, by Graham Teskey, Lavinia Tyrrel and others, but it also has some excellent working papers and briefing

What is Political Economy Analysis (PEA) and why does it matter in development?

September 2, 2020
Another great piece/links round-up from Graham Teskey – an internal briefing at his workplace (Abt) that he’s happy for me to share  Political economy analysis (PEA) refers to a body of theory and practice that was first identified by the great economists of the 18th and 19th centuries. Indeed, economics was originally termed ‘political economy’. It was only when mathematics

Putting Gender into Political Economy Analysis: why it matters and how to do it

October 11, 2018
Guest post by Emily Brown of Oxfam GB), and Rebecca Haines and Tam O’Neil of CARE International UK. For many development professionals, political economy has become the gold standard of foundational analysis for programming. It helps us to understand how power and resources are distributed in a society or sector and is important for ensuring our programmes and campaigns avoid cookie-cutter

How can a gendered understanding of power and politics make development work more effective?

February 13, 2018
Helen Derbyshire, Sam Gibson, David Hudson and Chris Roche, all researchers from the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) introduce some new work on gender and politics (and win the prize for the most authors on a single FP2P post). There have long been concerns that the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ and ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement is a bit gender blind. Which

What are governance advisers missing with ‘Political Economy Analysis’? How can they do better?

October 8, 2015
From a restaurant in Jakarta, David Hudson & Heather Marquette with some new thinking on power, politics and governance What advice would you give to a novice governance advisor working for a bilateral donor going into the field for the first time? Want to know how some of the top governance experts, advisors, researchers and academics would say? Well, wonder

Why ‘political economy analysis’ has lost the plot, and we need to get back to power and politics

July 10, 2014
Adrian Leftwich (right), a much-loved guru of the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ (TWP) movement, died in April 2013. But in testament to his importance (and the slow grind of academic publishing), his last paper only came out last month, and it is an important one. Written with David Hudson of UCL (and universally referred to as the ‘Hudwich paper’), From Political

“Parlez-vous politics?” Or why working politically is like learning a language

April 8, 2014
Alina Rocha Menocal of the ODI introduces her new paper The world of development assistance has come a long way since James Ferguson published his searing critique of the aid establishment in The Anti-Politics Machine: ‘Development,’ Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho in 1994. The (gradual) evolution that different international development actors have undergone to better understand the politics of

Can a Political Economy Approach explain aid donors’ reluctance to think and work politically? Guest post from Neil McCulloch

March 27, 2014
The more enlightened (in my view) aid types have been wagging their fingers for decades, telling their colleagues to adopt more politically literate approaches to their work. Why isn’t everyone convinced? Neil McCulloch applies a bit of political economy analysis to the aid business. Over the last fifteen years or more, a new approach to development assistance has been gaining

Can aid donors really ‘think and work politically’? Plus the dangers of ‘big man’ thinking, and the horrors of political science-speak

January 30, 2014
Spent an enjoyable  couple of days last week with the ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) crew, first at a follow up to the Delhi meeting (nothing earth shattering to report, but a research agenda is on the way – I’ll keep you posted), and then at a very moving memorial conference for the late Adrian Leftwich (right), who is something of

Getting to the ‘so whats’: how can donors use political economy analysis to sort out bad governance?

October 30, 2013
Close but no cigar. Just been reading an ODI paper from a few months ago, Making sense of the politics of delivery: our findings so far, by Marta Foresti, Tam O’Neil and Leni Wild. It’s part of the ODI’s excellent stream of work on governance and accountability (see my review of David Booth and Diana Cammack’s book) and repays close study.