What Does the Evidence Tell Us about ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ in Development Assistance? – Dasandi, Laws, Marquette and Robinson (2019)


The aim of this article is to critically review the current evidence base that claims a relationship between thinking and working politically and aid effectiveness. The article analyses case studies in three key areas: political context, sector, and organisation and evaluates the extent to which thinking and working politically contributed to the success of aid. Dasandi et al. find that, whilst interesting case studies have emerged, they do not yet constitute a strong evidence base. The case studies fail to demonstrate that thinking and working politically can be clearly linked to more positive development outcomes. The article concludes by making suggestions for where research efforts should be focused to improve the evidence base for the thinking and working politically approach.