Impact Evaluation Influencing Policy
Bringing evidence and informed advice to national policy debate is fundamental to effect development and change, but this is not a straightforward linear process, nor is it a question of mere technical expertise. The global playing field and national policy-making landscapes are not clean slates. These political and developmental processes are dense with ongoing negotiations over issues keenly debated and vigorously contested by multiple stakeholder groups. This dynamic web of interests comprises the political economy environment and is the decisive platform in which the interests and priorities of a nation are examined and debated. Multiple influences, opinions, and sources shape policy decisions, and evidence is just one contribution among many.
What makes Adaptive Management actually work in practice?
It is the flexibility of TWP-informed programming that usually attracts most attention. Many words are used interchangeably and uncritically: flexible, responsive, adaptive, agile, nimble etc. TWP emphasises responsiveness and adaptation. In the programs that I have worked on recently, it is adaptation that poses the major challenges to TWP: the ability to change course as implementation proceeds.
Supporting local learning and adaptation – Unpacking the effectiveness of adaptive processes
When it comes to improving the effectiveness of governance reform efforts, there is an emerging consensus on the importance of local ownership, as well as growing interest in the potential and applicability of adaptive programming. Despite this, many donors and multilaterals continue to employ linear, compliance-driven project and program management frameworks. As a result, implementers and local partners are often limited in the extent to which they can reflect, learn, and adapt as they navigate the complex political contexts in which they work.
Thinking and Working Politically
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a workshop hosted by the Australia-based Developmental Leadership Program with the fanciful title of Thinking and Working Politically. This was the second meeting of this ad hoc group of donors, think tankers and implementers. The workshop provided a useful forum for sharing perspectives among those advocating a more political orientation to donor development programming and for identifying the challenges that we face in making this effort a reality.
Thinking and working politically to eradicate extreme poverty
Thinking and working politically emphasizes the importance of understanding the political economy of the countries in which donors operate. However, to achieve the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, we must also analyze the political economy of the countries that constitute the developed world. Rhetoric aside, are they prepared to make the tough choices that increase prospects for those living in the developing world to escape poverty?