The Policy Practice undertakes policy work in developing countries, and advises and trains governments, development agencies, civil society organisations and companies.  We provide practical, innovative solutions based on realistic assessments of the challenges and opportunities facing developing countries.  Our multi- disciplinary approach uses the political economy perspective to understand the processes of socio-economic change and their effect on the implementation of development programmes. Learn more about us.

The Political Economy of Energy Access and Power Sector Reform

(11/04/2019)  A new policy brief by Andrew Barnett and Neil McCulloch Download here.

Changes to the Directors


Alex Duncan, one of the Policy Practice Directors who founded the Company 15 years ago, is today stepping down as a Director. He will continue to work actively through the Company to focus on his research, advisory and training activities. Alex has been instrumental in building The Policy Practice into one of the leading niche providers of political economy research and consultancy in the UK. We thank him for his enormous contribution and look forward to his continuing intellectual leadership of the Policy Practice.

We are pleased to announce that Neil McCulloch and Laure-Hélène Piron who have for some years been Principals have agreed to become Executive Directors and will join Andrew Barnett and Gareth Williams in managing the Company. Our objective is to remain at the cutting edge of applied political economy analysis, helping development practitioners think and work politically to achieve better outcomes.

Literature review of the Political Economy of Energy Access, Andrew Barnett, Neil McCulloch and Davida Wood. DRAFT FOR PEER REVIEW, June 2018, 55 pages


This is a review of literature to illustrate how issues of energy access and power sector reform have been addressed in the political economy literature and to identify lessons on how to reach energy access goals more effectively.

People who would like to review this draft should request a copy from the lead author,, giving their name, institution and email address.

Political Economy Analysis of the Business Environment

(12/05/2018)  Reforming the business environment needs to be understood not only as a technical challenge but, as importantly, as a challenge to the political economy. This Policy Brief, based on an analysis by The Policy Practice for the UK's cross-government Prosperity Fund, reviews experience in 11 middle income countries and identifies key issues, common themes and unanswered questions. Download here

Political economy analysis 10 years on

(22/05/2017)  Reflecting on the major shifts in the development context over the last decade, this latest policy brief discusses how the agenda has changed since The Policy Practice wrote its original briefs on the political economy of development. Download our latest policy brief here.