About The Policy Practice

The forefront of political economy theory and practice for development

Our Expertise

The Policy Practice is a global leader in political economy analysis, a perspective we adopt in all our projects. We have particular expertise in governance, conflict and fragility, economic development and social development. We offer online and in-person training on political economy analysis and ‘thinking and working politically’.

We work across a wide range of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. Our experts can work in English, French, German, Spanish, Somali and Arabic.

Who we are

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.

How we work

We work with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations, development agencies, and their implementing partners to develop practical ways to integrate a political economy approach to their analysis and implementation with the aim of improving the impact of their programmes.

We are increasingly called to facilitate political economy analysis processes, rather than undertake analysis as a one-off exercise, for example with The Asia Foundation or the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. This ensures implications are owned by the commissioning organisation and staff develop the capacity to undertake and use analysis on an ongoing basis to inform adaptive management decisions.

We also offer bespoke assistance to programmes and organisations that wish to integrate a political economy perspective at all stages of their operations, in order to become more politically-informed, politically-smart and adaptive.

Types of projects

We offer a wide range of services

Our origin

The Policy Practice was set up in 2004 by a group of five development professionals (Andrew Barnett, Alex Duncan, Pierre Landell-Mills, Tim Sheehy and Gareth Williams), who were interested in developing analytical tools to understand how political economy processes shape development and applying these in practical ways to improve the effectiveness of development programmes. The group was soon joined by another key proponent of applied political economy analysis, Sue Unsworth, who sadly died in 2016.

Our network has grown in size and influence, and has become a thought leader in applied political economy analysis and a high-quality and trusted source of consultancy support for international actors looking to embed political economy perspectives in their work and improve the effectiveness of their programmes.

Our policies

The Policy Practice aspires to the highest ethical and professional standards. You can find our combined ethical policies here.

You can report any concerns about past or current projects by contacting one of the company Executive Directors or by using our whistle-blower email whistleblowing@thepolicypractice.com. Your information will be treated in confidence. You are able to remain anonymous if you prefer.

You can report all suspicions or allegations of corrupt practice in projects funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office by contacting the Internal Audit Investigations Section via reportingconcerns@fcdo.gov.uk or on +44(0)1355 843551.

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