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.
COP27 makes some progress but political alignment is inadequate
In this second blog, Sam Bickersteth, climate change expert at The Policy Practice, reflects on what has been achieved at the 27th UN conference on climate change, and the political economy barriers to saving our planet by reducing emissions.
Keeping our attention on climate change – listening to the COP27 Hubbub
The annual UN conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention has kicked off in Egypt and it is getting attention like never before. When the UN Secretary General tells us that we are close to irreversible tipping points and “climate hell” then we should be sitting up and listening.
But what can we hear through the hubbub of statements from Heads of State, multiple side events, news reports and pre COP blogs? What will hold our attention and that of our leaders preoccupied with recession, food and energy price hikes, the war in Ukraine and the impending northern hemisphere winter?
Read the first blog by TPP Principal, Sam Bickersteth.
Latest Political Economy Analysis in Action online training course launched
We are pleased to announce the launch of our next Political Economy Analysis in Action online training course, starting 5 September till 17 January 2023.
The course is designed to equip participants to identify the challenges arising from political economy features of the contexts in which they work, and to draw well-grounded conclusions for policy, strategy, or programme design and implementation.
Documentary and policy brief on solar energy development
The American University of Beirut, the Natural Resource Governance Institute and The Policy Practice have collaborated on a documentary and policy brief on the challenges facing solar power development in Lebanon, drawing lessons from Jordan and Yemen.
Link to the documentary here.
Thinking and Working Politically on Health Systems Resilience
A new paper by Gareth Williams, The Policy Practice Director, and the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice, reflects on the political economy and governance factors that have affected health systems resilience during COVID-19.
Alina Rocha Menocal joins The Policy Practice
We are delighted to welcome Alina Rocha Menocal to The Policy Practice family as our newest Principal. Originally from Mexico, Alina joins us after a long career at ODI, where she was Principal Research Fellow in the Politics and Governance Programme and where she remains affiliated as a Senior Research Associate. Alina is Director of the global Thinking and Working Community of Practice.
UK Approach to Democracy and Human Rights Review
Laure-Hélène Piron, The Policy Practice Director, is leading a review of the UK aid's approach to democracy and human rights since 2015 on behalf of the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact.
The review examines the relevance, coherence and effectiveness of UK approach and includes case studies of UK aid for democracy and human rights in Pakistan, Serbia and Tanzania; centrally-managed programmes; a policy review; a literature review; and consultations with citizens affected by UK aid.
"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.
TPP Director, Neil McCulloch, worked with Graham Teskey from Abt Associates to provide advice to the UK government on the potential political economy challenges associated with potential new investments in renewable energy in Pacific Island countries.
Anna Paterson is leading a Policy Practice team which will undertake a study for the World Wildlife Fund in Ukraine. They will analyse the governance obstacles and opportunities in sustainable reconstruction, and the implications for the conservation sector.
Alina Rocha Menocal and Laure-Hélène Piron are undertaking a learning review for USAID's Human Rights Support Mechanism. They have been commissioned by Pact, a US-based non profit organisation, to examine whether and to what extent applied political economy analysis contributes to programmatic results or outcomes.
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
Our next popular online Political Economy Analysis in Action training course will run from 20th February to 23rd June 2023. Apply by 16 December 2022 to benefit from our earlybird discount. Applications close on 31 January 2023.
Participants on our interactive 17-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 on the course, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.