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What does the evidence tell us about ‘thinking and working politically’ in development assistance?


Written by Ed Laws


This article provides a critical review of the evidence on ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) in development.

The article discusses the factors identified in the TWP literature that are said to enable politically informed programmes to increase aid effectiveness. It then looks at the state of the evidence on TWP in three areas: political context, sector and organisation. The aim is to show where research efforts have been targeted so far and to provide guidance on where the field might focus next. In the final section, the article outlines some ways of testing the core assumptions of the TWP agenda more thoroughly, to provide a clearer sense of the contribution it can make to aid effectiveness.

This open access journal article was published in the journal Politics and Governance 7(2), June 2019. 

Niheer Dasandi, Ed Laws, Heather Marquette and Mark Robinson