4. Noteworthy Case Studies

There is an increasing number of political economy studies as they become a more common feature of development assistance, but most are not publicly available. Below is a selection of publicly available political economy studies for a variety of different sectors and topics in a range of countries.

4.1 Country/donor relationships

For country level political economy studies, many of DFID’s original Drivers of Change studies from the early 2000s can be found on the GSDRC website. They offer useful overviews, including of longer term, structural factors that shape power relations and how pro-poor reforms might be feasible.

Below are two more recent examples of political economy analysis for Tunisia and Tanzania. 

4.3 Energy

Two studies examine the politics of electricity reform in Lebanon and Ethiopia.

This study explores how it has been possible to establish EDZ’s functional, but problematic, service provision within the complex sectarian political context of Lebanon. We draw existing development and political economy literature to understand the rents and types of corruption in the sector and how the changes implemented by EDZ have been consistent with the nature of Lebanon’s political settlement.

4.4 Regional integration

ECDPM, which has issued guidance on regional political economy analysis, has prepared this case study of regional economic integration in East Africa.

This paper introduces a new political economy framework in the form of five lenses that aim to gain a deeper understanding of the political economy features of particular reforms and integration processes.

4.5 Health

The first briefing provides a summary of using a political economy approach in health and education programmes.

The other case studies cover maternal health, universal health coverage and health systems resilience in a large number of countries, as well as country-wide reform in Nigeria - examining how the World Bank adopted an adaptive approach in its Saving One Million Lives programme for result.  

This brief summarises how the Abt Associates Governance and Development Practice (GDP) has applied Political Economy Approaches (PEA) to education and health sector programming in 13 countries in Asia, the Pacific and Africa; and the key findings from these undertakings.

This note summarises the main points arising from a discussion in the TWP community on health systems resilience, particularly in Cameroon, Nepal, and South Africa, and highlights important policy issues and recommendations. 

This paper contrasts the ways in which an adaptive component of a major health care project was implemented in three program and three matched comparison states in Nigeria. It argues that adaptive programmes need to be grounded in a fit-for-purpose theory of change and evaluation strategy.

​​​​​​​4.5 Education

The first briefing provides a summary of using a political economy approach to health and education programmes.

The second case study covers education in Afghanistan.

This brief summarises how the Abt Associates Governance and Development Practice (GDP) has applied Political Economy Approaches (PEA) to education and health sector programming in 13 countries in Asia, the Pacific and Africa; and the key findings from these undertakings.

4.7 Climate change

This guide to assessing the political economy of domestic climate change offers concrete examples.

This guide offers an assessment methodology to understand how structural factors, rules and norms, stakeholders and interests, and ideas and narratives influence the political economy of climate action in a given country.

4.9 Democracy, human rights, voice and accountability

Two case studies of adaptive management of innovative inclusive and accountable governance programmes in Africa cover:

  • the Institutions for Inclusive Development in Tanzania, which was an issues-based programme operating under a constrained political context 
  • the State Accountability and Voice programme in Nigeria (see also the next section for related governance reform programmes in Nigeria).

 

This paper looks at adaptive management in DFID-funded Institutions for Inclusive Development (I4ID) project in Tanzania. It looks at the dynamic interaction between three elements: delivery, programming, and governance.  

This study identifies the core ingredients of adaptive programming by using a qualitative comparative analysis of the UK-Irish funded Institutions for Inclusive Development programme in Tanzania (2016-2021).

This paper looks at adaptive management in DFID-funded State Accountability and Voice (SAVI) programme in Nigeria. It discusses how to find a ‘good fit’ with country context, and employ a ‘politically smart’, problem-driven, adaptive, locally led approach.

4.10 Public-sector reform

There are more case studies of the politics of public sector reform.

Chapter 7 of the review of twenty years of UK governance programming in Nigeria illustrates how three generations of programmes aimed to think and working politically, including the State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capacity (SPARC) and the State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) which can be found under the previous section.

Additional case studies cover institutional reforms in Malawi and migration policy in Morocco.

This research identifies the contextual factors and causal mechanisms that explain how UK governance interventions contributed to improving governance, health and education outcomes by influencing the ‘service delivery chain’ that connects the Nigerian federal, state and local governments to frontline service providers (e.g. primary schools, local health facilities) and to users of health and education services.