PEA Update 3: PEA Case studies (grouped by level of analysis – global, regional, country, sector – and problem driven PEA within a sector)

This blog forms part of a series of internal Political Economy Analysis (PEA) updates compiled by Priya Chattier/Tara Davda, with general wisdom by Graham Teskey and Lavinia Tyrrel. Thanks to Leisa Gibson (and Priya) for GESI support. We will aim to publish these every fortnight or so. Watch this space. Political economy analysis (PEA) is …

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The paradoxes of the long-distance governance adviser

By Graham Teskey A Governance Advisor's notebook: Alternative ideas and Approaches In 2014, an idea was hatched in the Paris-based GovNet. Yes really. At that time, David Yang, now Vice President at the United States Institute for Peace, and I were GovNet’s two co-chairs. Alan Whaites, a senior governance adviser on secondment from DFID, was …

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We are always looking for exciting guest content. We publish commentary on official development assistance, foreign aid, governance, economics, corruption, foreign policy, and all things relating to developing countries. Perhaps you have some research that you’d like to share, or an opinion piece on the politics of development? Maybe you were inspired by a book …

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Theory of Change and Theory of Action: What’s the difference and why does it matter?

I have been fortunate enough to spend much of the last three months working on the designs of several health and governance programs across PNG, South Asia, and Africa. One thing that has struck me, regardless of which donor or country we work in, is the ongoing confusion in the aid industry regarding theories of …

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Boundary riding, dual worlds and critical friends: reflections from the field

Ayesha from Papua New Guinea and Lilis from Indonesia* I sat down with Ayesha and Lilis (two rising stars from Abt-managed Australian Government funded aid projects in Indonesia and PNG) and said “tell me something interesting”. I was not disappointed. I was stuck by Ayesha’s idea of 'boundary riding’. Ayehsa – herself an Australian-Papua New …

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Take-up and Doubt: where have we got to on Thinking and Working Politically?

By Duncan Green of Oxfam and the brains behind From Poverty to Power Spent yesterday at a Washington workshop on ‘From Thinking Politically to Working Politically’, organized by Abt Associates, whose Graham Teskey is one of the TWP gurus. What struck me most was the combination of the spreading acceptance of TWP approaches within the aid …

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Elbows on the table, traffic and institutions

I have always been interested in institutions[1], although I haven’t always been aware of it. As a child I remember wondering about the logic which underlay the admonition to keep one’s elbows off the dining table.  I never dared ask, as my father was somewhat authoritarian. I remember thinking to myself, well, who says so? …

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Getting Past the Rhetoric #2: Managing for ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ in Large Facilities

The first blog discussed what donors could be looking for at tender, to ensure bidders can actually ‘do TWP’ in practice. This blog looks at what it takes for donors to incentivise TWP once implementation has begun. Drawing on our experiences mobilizing and managing three big facilities in Indonesia, Timor Leste and PNG, here’s what I …

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Getting Past the Rhetoric #1 : Tendering for ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ in Large Facilities

It is commonplace to now find tenders littered with references to ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP). This leadership from donors is a good thing, but it also poses new challenges. Specifically: When the bids roll in, how might donors discern who has the operational and programmatic capabilities to actually ‘do TWP’ in practice? And; What …

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Reflecting on Front-line Service Delivery in Timor Leste

By Bobby Anderson This blog accompanies the launch of our fourth working paper: found here. A researcher who spends long enough in Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, will likely develop an impression of the countryside where most Timorese live, based on what many civil servants and development workers describe. Dire claims coalesce around a key set of …

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Playing in the sand-box or the tar-pit? Supporting politically-informed programming in large ‘Facilities’

As I exited my last position at The Asia Foundation, William Cole challenged me to: …report back in a year and tell me if its possible to think and work politically in high-value, multi-sector facility mechanisms So, after our involvement in three such 'Facilities' over the last 12-18 months[1], what is the verdict? Are we …

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