What we do

The Policy Practice analyses and supports reforms to public policy and institutions in developing countries. We work with governments and national and international organisations promoting development and a more stable world.
We are committed to providing practical advice based on a realistic assessment of challenges and opportunities, and seek to contribute to a wider understanding of what works effectively for lasting development. Our work is based on a grasp of both theory and good practice, with the aim of pointing to innovative solutions.

How we work

The central purpose of the Policy Practice is therefore to link world-class policy analysis with a better understanding of the institutions, processes, networks and alliances which determine political, economic and social change.

Our approach calls for detailed knowledge of particular historical and political settings, and for an understanding of changing international contexts — such as growing concerns about failing states and the impact of conflict on developing countries, the emergence of large middle-income countries, and the complex impacts of globalisation. Our analysis frames in this wider context what is happening in different regions, and within individual developing countries.

Our work is multi-disciplinary, and uses the New Political Economy Perspective to examine how and why political, social, economic and institutional change comes about and endures, or is obstructed. A particular focus is on the incentives and motivations facing political leaders, civil servants and the private sector (whether domestic or international). These factors can often lead to patterns of behaviour that are narrow or short term, and contrary to what is needed for longer-term development.

We aim to be practical, working with clients to draw out the implications for development policies and programmes. We have worked in most countries of Africa and south and south-east Asia, in central Asia, in central America and the Caribbean, working both country-specifically and comparatively. We have links with many research and academic institutions across the globe, commonly working with partners in the countries concerned.

Types of work

We have undertaken several complementary types of work, both during the first years of the company’s existence, and throughout our individual careers:

  • Analysis of policies and institutions, taking a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the choices facing governments and development agencies, identifying options, and making recommendations.
  • Programme management supporting longer-term change, with the capacity to mount multi-disciplinary teams and to provide sustained support to the design and implementation of development and organisational reform programmes.
  • Organisational reviews and capacity-building. Our Principals have held senior management positions in governments, NGOs and regional and international organisations, and have used this experience to contribute to organisational reviews and capacity-building.
  • Assessments of impact and effectiveness of organisations, public policies and programmes.
  • Teaching and training. Our Principals include academics who have taught at leading universities and development institutions, and all have experience in training and staff development.