Who we are:

The Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice (TWP CoP) is a global network of practitioners and researchers in development and global affairs committed to promoting more effective development policy and practice. The TWP CoP works to promote more politically aware approaches to development, encourage their adaptation, translate findings and implications emerging from political economy analysis into operationally relevant guidance, and provide evidence-based insights that can stimulate innovation, sharing and learning.

New Publication: Thinking and Working Politically on African Economic Integration

By Dr. Bruce Byiers, Head of African Economic Integration at ECDPM

Given the need for regional cooperation to achieve common goals like fostering green industrialisation and post-COVID economic recovery, the ambition to promote regional economic cooperation and integration in Africa is as pressing as ever.  But integrating markets and applying common rules comes with political costs and trade-offs for different groups, and regional organisations often have limited power to enforce implementation of regional agreements. As such, formal commitments to implement common regional trade rules and regulations are often not (fully) implemented, undermining the goals initially sought through cooperation. This note, which builds on an online event that ECDPM convened as part of the TWP Community of Practice Global Webinar Series in June 2022, argues that it is essential to go beyond formal regional strategies and blueprints and to ‘think and work politically’ (TWP) to promote regional cooperation and integration more effectively.

The TWP Community Podcast

In this podcast series Alina Rocha Menocal, Director of the TWP CoP, interviews experts on a variety of topics from a thinking and working politically perspective.


What is most exciting for you about the TWP agenda going forwards? Neil McCulloch on TWP entering new sectors beyond traditional governance

In this short video Neil McCulloch, Executive Director at The Policy Practice and TWP CoP Steering Committee member, tells us he is most excited to see the thinking and working politically agenda adopted beyond ‘big G’ governance sectors to wider sectors, for example in energy reform.

What is most exciting for you about the TWP agenda going forwards? Nicola Nixon on TWP and the localisation agenda

In this short video, Nicola Nixon, Director of Governance at The Asia Foundation, tells us she is most excited to see the TWP agenda engage with more localised and inclusive approaches to development, and to engage with a broader network of interested travellers in this space.

What is most exciting for you about the TWP agenda going forwards? Bruce Byiers on TWP and regional cooperation and integration.

In this short video, Bruce Byiers, Head of African Economic Integration at ECDPM, tells us that TWP needs to move beyond the traditional governance agenda to think and work politically about economic questions, including regional trade and cooperation, understanding the political dynamics around regional organisations, and trade and transport corridors. Interested in this? Watch our recent webinar which explored this topic in more depth.

Why is it important to think and work politically about the Women, Peace and Security Agenda?

In this short video featured in our May 2022 Newsletter, Pilar Domingo (Senior Research Fellow in Politics and Governance at ODI) explains the factors that are key to ensuring that international support to WPS efforts in conflict settings is politically effective and relevant. This includes supporting women’s organisations and movements related to political economy dynamics, providing sustained funding and operational support to these organisations, and engaging in these efforts over the long term.

Recent Event:

Political Economy Analysis and TWP: Learning from 10 years of USAID experience

Monday 5th December, 14:00-16:00pm GMT

Organised in collaboration with Adapt Consult and the TWP Washington DC Working Group


Colleagues at The Policy Practice have spent the summer updating their ‘Thinking and Working Politically and Adaptive Management’ online library, which brings together the most comprehensive list of open access sources on TWP including conceptual underpinnings, guidance and toolkits, and recent case studies. A great resource for anyone interested in TWP!

Previous Events:

The TWP CoP launched a new webinar series in 2022!

Thursday 23 June, 10:00-11:30am BST: Thinking and working politically about regional cooperation and integration

Organised in collaboration with EDCPM

Wednesday 30 March: Engaging with Politics: towards smarter international support to revitalise democracy

Organised in collaboration with ODI

Monday 21/ Tuesday 22 March: Localisation and locally led development: An opportunity for thinking and working politically to deliver?

Organised in collaboration with La Trobe University

Thursday 17 February: Thinking Politically about Health Systems Resilience in the context of COVID-19

Organised in collaboration with TPP and DAI Global Health