Making development assistance more effective by using political economy analysis: what has been done and what have we learned?, Alex Duncan, Gareth Williams (2010)

Politics often explains where development assistance has been effective and where it has not. Yet, until the 2000s there has been little focus by development agencies on political issues. This has begun to change with political economy analysis now being more systematically used by development agencies to understand the real world. Much valuable work has been done in recent years in developing new analytical frameworks, generating fresh insights and applying these to problem-solving. Nigeria and Bangladesh are two positive examples where PEA has demonstrated its analytical and operational usefulness. Much remains to be done in these countries and more widely, to ensure stronger uptake of political economy analysis. On the supply side this includes getting the ‘product’ right, and better communicating the message. On the demand side, there is a need to take more account of the incentives facing development agencies and to gather more systematic evidence on the operational impact of political economy analysis to date.

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