Facilitated political economy analysis in the Horn of Africa
The Policy Practice facilitated a political economy analysis process for the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) in the Horn of Africa (HoA), focused particularly on Somalia, southern/south-eastern Ethiopia, the arid and semi-arid lowlands of north-eastern Kenya and Djibouti. Simon Brook, TPP Principal and team leader, managed a complex process involving SDC teams in Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as TPP regional, sector and political economy experts.
The process was designed to help SDC teams better understand political economy issues within four key sectors (governance, food security, health, migration and protection) in order to inform their future interventions and engagement under the new regional strategy for the Swiss Cooperation Programme 2022-2025. The analysis focused on Somalia, southern/south-eastern Ethiopia, the arid and semi-arid lowlands of north-eastern Kenya and Djibouti.
TPP provided initial training on political economy analysis and undertook a high-level overview of key structural and institutional political economy issues within the region. These included: global and regional factors affecting the HoA; broad demographic trends and migration; structure of states and territories, including borderlands; structure of the economy, including natural resource endowments and claims; and, social structures and institutions.
TPP experts then facilitated a participatory process, enabling SDC teams to undertake their own analysis and reflection for each sector. This included prioritising key issues or problems within each sector, analysing the political economy of each issue, and identifying and addressing gaps in their current understanding around these problems. The process then supported the teams to use their analysis to identify operational implications within each sector, to ‘think and work politically’ and to inform the new regional strategy.
Whilst TPP would usually undertake this process in person, within the context of Covid-19 related travel restrictions, the approach was adapted to focus on remote facilitation and support through a series of on-line conference calls and workshops with different teams and groups. Outside of these workshops, ad hoc support was also provided to support teams throughout the process. Analytical outputs were developed in formats that remained with the teams, enabling them to undertake and add to their analysis on an ongoing basis.