Our Programmes



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Service delivery

Public services are still underperforming in many countries, despite efforts to improve policies and increase resources. Political and governance constraints on policy-making, implementation and delivery are critical pieces of this puzzle. However, practical guidance on how to respond to them remains scarce.

We work with donors, NGOs and developing country governments to discover how power and institutions influence behaviour, how this affects the adoption and achievement of development goals, and how the principles of adaptive development can be applied.

Primarily, we focus on three sectors: education, health, and urban service delivery. Within these sectors, our expertise lies in Universal Health Coverage (UHC), community health, education in emergencies, non-state education and public–private partnerships, urban water and sanitation.

Key aims


  • Understand how education systems can go from promoting schooling to promoting learning.
  • Examine the benefits and drawbacks of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).


  • Focus on how a country can implement UHC within political and governance realities.
  • Study how to strengthen community health systems in weak states.
  • Promote a public health system that takes a holistic approach to water, sanitation, health and the urban environment.

Urban service delivery

  • Persuade large organisations working on urban road safety to consider political challenges.
  • Bring a greater awareness of the political challenges to achieving service reform in cities.