Image of the cover of FCDO guide on political economy analyis and thinking and working politically

New FCDO Political Economy Analysis Guidance published


Laure-Hélène Piron and Alina Rocha Menocal contributed to this Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) guide on applied political economy analysis (PEA) which updates the UK Department for International Development's 2009 original guidance.

This guide provides an overview of PEA and explains how analytical work should be planned and completed. Applied PEA is a set of concepts, questions and research techniques, developed over several decades. PEA provides a clearer picture of the country, region or sector in which development assistance is being provided. It does this by systematically exploring the underlying issues behind policy, and decisions, including those elements that are counter-intuitive. The PEA approach aims to identify a more realistic response which is politically feasible and technically sound.

This is a joint guide from the FCDO and the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice (TWP-CoP). The TWP-CoP is a global network of practitioners and researchers in development and global affairs committed to promoting more politically aware to approaches to how change happens and why. The TWP-CoP Secretariat has been hosted by the University of Birmingham with support from FCDO.

The guide also provides an introduction to techniques and concepts used by FCDO governance experts, when designing and implementing related UK aid programming. It aims to inform development professionals, and it summarises different approaches, from very light-touch to more in-depth.