We are a network of experienced development professionals who all take a political economy perspective to development. Our Directors, Principals and Associates have specialist knowledge of particular countries and sectors. They have strong connections to government, the private sector, civil society, media and research organisations. They bring to bear their own long working experience within official agencies, academia and the private sector.
The Policy Practice applies a political economy approach to supporting positive change in developing countries. We undertake strategic and policy work in developing countries, including political economy analysis, programme designs, reviews, and evaluations. We also run a flagship training course on political economy analysis and provide bespoke training for a wide variety of clients.
"An exploration of the association between fuel subsidies and fuel riots", World Development
In recent years, dozens of countries have been rocked by riots, often associated with popular demand for fuel. A paper, published today in World Development, by The Policy Practice Director Neil McCulloch (and co-authors Davide Natalini, Noami Hossain and Patricia Justino) uses a new international dataset on fuel riots to explore the effects of fuel prices and price regimes on fuel riots.
Analysis and Program Design: Inclusive Governance and Core State Functions in Somaliland
TPP is assisting the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) design a multi-donor governance programme in Somaliland on inclusive governance, and to consider the need for any complementary support to strengthening core state functions.
TPP Principal Alex Duncan, TPP Associate Mohamed Hersi, and researcher Sahra Hassan undertook fieldwork in Somaliland and Kenya in April 2022. They met key stakeholders in government and donor agencies in Hargeisa and Nairobi. The team will return to Kenya in May to present their initial findings to a core reference group of international donors.
"Freedom to Think: The Long Struggle to Liberate our Minds", by Susie Alegre, out on 7th April
TPP Associate, Susie Alegre’s book “Freedom to Think: The Long Struggle to Liberate our Minds” out 7th April with Atlantic Books (available to pre-order now) explores the history of the right to freedom of thought and the threats it faces in the digital age.
Power shift: politics and the energy transition in emerging markets. Webinar from TPP and Chemonics
On 2 December 2021, Chemonics, in partnership with The Policy Practice, organised a webinar entitled “Power shift: politics and the energy transition in emerging markets.”
This webinar brought together leading thinkers on the political economy of the energy transition to discuss the factors that slow down, but also those that might speed up the energy transition. Experts from South Africa, Sri Lanka and Lebanon shared their knowledge about how the political economy context affected the nature and speed of transition and the implications for the implementation of programs.
Tackling Lebanon's Electricity Crisis: Lessons from Yemen
TPP Director Neil McCulloch worked with the Lebanon Centre for Policy Studies to write a brief which outlines the Yemeni experience following the collapse of its electricity sector and to derive lessons to be learnt for Lebanon. The brief discusses the approaches taken by the authorities controlling different parts of the country to address a near breakdown in service, notably the Houthi administration in the North, who fully liberalized the market, and the Internationally Recognized Government in the South, who maintained a state monopoly on energy production and a highly subsidized tariff.
PFM Reforms in Nigeria: Lessons from 20 years of UK Support - blog from Sierd Hadley, Laure-Hélène Piron, Gareth Williams and Clare Cummings
This blog explore how the UK supported public financial management (PFM) reforms in Nigeria for 20 years, as part of an effort to translate oil revenues and debt relief into better infrastructure and public services. It identifies what made the reform happen, and draws lessons for other PFM programmes.
Getting into the Politics of why (some) Governance Programmes work - latest blog from Laure-Hélène Piron and Sam Waldock
Laure-Hélène Piron and Sam Waldock reflect on some of the unexpected lessons of 20 years of UK-funded (total £276.5m) governance programmes in Nigeria, in particular how programmes were able to understand their contexts and worked with both state and not state actors to achieving lasting changes in Northern Nigeria.
The team, led by Gareth Williams, will undertake a political economy analysis to help the Nigeria demographic diagnostic and roadmap to answer the question: What are the political, social and cultural barriers, levers and opportunities for the UK government in supporting a demographic transition in Nigeria?
Dr. Neil McCulloch (TPP Director) and Mashekwa Maboshe (ZIPAR) undertook this assignment with the primary objective of outlining a set of alternative price adjustment mechanisms and showing how they can be used to reduce subsidies in a way that minimises harm to citizens. It also summarised thinking about best practice approaches to subsidy reform, including examples from other countries and discussed their relevance to the Zambian context.
Laure-Hélène Piron, TPP Director, has drafted updated guidance on political economy analysis and adaptive management for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Policy Practice is a lead provider of training on applied political economy analysis for development practitioners.
Political economy analysis provides a deeper understanding of the contexts in which development happens – whether international, national, sectoral or local. It explores how structural factors, institutions and incentives of the key actors shape the possibilities for change in any given context – and how development partners can influence this.
Our course is designed to equip advisers and programme managers to identify the main political and institutional challenges and opportunities in the contexts in which they work, and to draw well-grounded conclusions for strategy, programme design and approaches to implementation.
We have run our flagship course for development professionals over 45 times since 2008, training over 2,000 professionals. We also offer tailored courses and bespoke advice to organisations that wish to deepen their capacity to undertake political economy analysis or manage their programmes more adaptively. Course participants come from bilateral and multilateral organisations, such as the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the US Agency for International Development, the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, Irish Aid, the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, or the United Nations Development Programme. Our clients also include research centres, non-governmental organisations and private companies, such as the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Save The Children, Saferworld, DAI, Palladium or Chemonics.
Political economy analysis in action online training course
We are pleased to announce that we are running our popular online Political Economy Analysis in Action training course from 5th September 2022 to 17th January 2023.
Participants on our interactive 19-week online course:
- Learn what political economy analysis is and why it matters
- Explore political economy concepts and how to use them
- Interact with leading experts on political economy analysis and thinking and working politically on a weekly basis
- Work through real-life case studies applying political economy tools to development challenges
- Participate in regular webinars with other course participants
- Learn how to ‘think and work politically’ in their own work
- Participants work both independently and in small groups to complete weekly tasks
See our course flyer for further information and to apply, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.