Political Economy Analysis Tools

2.1 Types of PEA

A recent paper by the Effective States and Inclusive Development team distinguishes between three fundamental types of PEA: (1) Agenda setting or contextual analysis (or learning the game), (2) problem solving analysis (winning the game) and (3) influencing analysis (changing the game) (ESID, 2015). Each of these types of PEA can be applied at different levels (global, regional, country, sectoral and sub-sectoral).

This paper provides users of PEA with a framework to ensure this analysis can be applied in a more pragmatic and flexible fashion.

2.2 Analytical frameworks

There is a bewildering variety of analytical frameworks for PEA which can be applied to these different types and levels of PEA. However, many of the frameworks exhibit common features and work through similar steps. The main analytical frameworks developed by different donor agencies are as follows:

  • World Bank – Problem-driven governance and political economy analysis. SeeFritz et al. (2009)Poole (2011)
  • UNDP – Institutional and Context Analysis (UNDP 2012)
  • European Commission concept paper on ‘Using Political Economy Analysis to Improve Development Effectiveness’ (Unsworth and Williams, 2011) and its annex on country level political economy analysis (EC 2011).
  • The Netherlands – Strategic Governance and Corruption Assessment (SGACA) (CRU 2008)
  • DFID’s Drivers of Change framework (DFID 2004)
  • SIDA Power Analysis (SIDA 2013)

This how-to note provides a summary of the World Bank’s approach to Problem-Driven Governance and Political Economy Analysis.

The Institutional and Context Analysis Guidance Note is UNDP’s methodology for undertaking political economy analysis to support development programmes.

This annex to the draft concept paper presents an analytical framework for undertaking political economy analysis at the country Level.

How can donors improve their knowledge to support effective change in developing countries?

2.3 Analytical tools

The following papers explain the use of particular analytical tools that are used at certain points in the analytical framework. These include:

How does the social and political context in which decision-makers find themselves in affect their ability to realize their reform goals?