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Sam is a Research Officer in the Politics and Governance programme. He specialises in adaptive and politically-smart development programming, and how adaptive approaches interact with bureaucratic politics and processes.

Sam's research focuses on understanding the politics of development challenges, and how public organisations can be better equipped to navigate these dynamics and work in more adaptive and politically smart ways.

His recent work explores how adaptive approaches intersect with bureaucratic politics and processes, both within aid donors and the public sector more broadly. He has experience of political economy analyses in various sectors, most recently on civil society engagement in tax reform and phasing out of plastic production.

His other research interests include the sources of development commitment amongst political elites, particularly within authoritarian regimes; and mixed-method approaches to understanding behaviour in post-conflict societies.

He holds an MA in Development, Governance and Public Policy from the Institute of Development Studies, where he previously worked as a research assistant.’ He has fieldwork experience in Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, and Nepal.

  1. Adapting to fragility: Lessons from practitioners

    Research reports

  2. Evidence-led adaptive programming: Lessons from MUVA

    Working papers

  3. Politically smart support to democracy: staying the course in the long road

  4. Independent Review of the IPC in South Sudan

    Research reports

  5. Politically smart and adaptive approaches to Rule of Law support in situations of conflict and fragility

    Briefing/policy papers

  6. Lessons Learned from PERL and Partners' Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

    Working papers

  7. A Political Economy Analysis Framework for EdTech Evidence Uptake

    Working papers

  8. Adaptive bureaucracies: an oxymoron? Four ways bureaucracies can break the mould

  9. Opportunities and challenges for DAC members in ‘adapting to context’

    Briefing/policy papers

  10. Adaptive bureaucracies? Enabling adaptation in public bureaucracies

    Working papers

  11. To promote open societies globally, the FCDO must be more realistic, politically savvy and self-aware

  12. Building bureaucracies that adapt to complexity


  13. Phasing out plastics

  14. Phasing out plastics: the packaging sector

    Research reports

  15. Phasing out plastics: the automotive sector

    Research reports

  16. Phasing out plastics: the construction sector

    Research reports

  17. Phasing out plastics: the electrical and electronic equipment sector

    Research reports

  18. Phasing out plastics

    Research reports

  19. The mental landscape of post-conflict life in northern Uganda

    Research reports

  20. Four expert views on the future of tax for development