Is DFID Getting Real About Politics? – Piron et al. (2016)


This paper explores how DFID’s application of political economy analysis into their practices has evolved to focus on politics and power and how, over time, these changes have influenced important policy decisions. Whilst DFID has always identified politics to be the most frequent barrier to poverty reduction and growth, politics has not always been given enough focus in DFID projects and programmes. This paper argues approaches to achieving peace and stability require a political focus rather than one that is purely financial or technical. Based on three case studies, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and Malawi, this paper analyses the fundamental question: is DFID getting real about politics? The paper assesses the extent to which DFID is taking power and politics into account in all its operations and evaluates how successful this has been. Piron et al. also explore the challenges that have arisen and provide illustrations of how DFID is evolving.