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Developing an analytical framework for understanding the political economy of sectors and policy arenas

This analytical framework provides a practical tool to guide DFID country office teams in designing and conducting analyses of the political economy of specific sectors and policy arenas. The framework aims specifically:

  1. To facilitate deeper understanding of ‘local' sector/policy arenas and to provide ‘broad' political explanations for how and why sectors differ within one national context;
  2. To offer more focused explanations for variations across and within sectors, including (i) how organisations - and the people who comprise them - function within different institutional contexts and (ii) how these interactions affect policymaking, policy implementation and policy outcomes;
  3. To facilitate independent analysis (of specific sectors), comparative analyses (across sectors) and a basis for analysing relations between the national and sub-national levels within the sector.
  4. To provide ‘pointers' on how staff may use the analysis to reassess issues such as the appropriateness of certain interventions; policy content and timing; and whether there are new, even unconventional, spaces for engagement. 
  5. To encourage staff to reflect, critically, on their own roles in the policy process.
Cecilia Luttrell, Joy Moncrieffe