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A theory of change for joined-up policymaking in low- and middle-income countries

Working papers

Written by Sarah Colenbrander, Andrew Shepherd, Adriana Quevedo, Judith Tyson, Vidya Diwakar

Hero image description: Gender and Climate Change Image credit:Dr Virginie Le Masson

This working paper offers a theory of change (ToC) to guide the project’s activities and capture its learnings as new concepts, evidence and networks emerge. The ToC will be a live document that will change as new insights emerge.

This working paper comprises four elements. First, it offers an assessment of the barriers to joined-up policymaking with special reference to low and lower middle-income countries. Second, it begins to articulate what joined-up inclusive, sustainable and productive futures might look like, providing a direction of travel for policymakers. Third, it offers a theory of change for overcoming the barriers to Nexus thinking and integrated policymaking. Finally, it explores some of the enabling conditions and propitious circumstances for Nexus thinking and policymaking.

We argue that joined up thinking is needed, even if implementation remains with separate areas of policy making or sectors. We identify three critical barriers to joined-up thinking: individual values and choices, often reinforced through disciplinary training; institutional arrangements, including incentive structures, financing arrangements, and the politics of inter-agency bargains; and inertia that deters change at either the individual or institutional level.

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