What is it?

Development interventions are more effective when they are informed by a solid understanding of context – whether international, regional, country-level, sectoral or local. To get real benefits from aid and minimise the risk of doing harm, development actors need to appreciate the political, economic and social ‘rules of the game’ in the places where they work, as well as the structure of incentives and the nature of the prevailing networks of interest and power. They must also be sensitive to the uncertainties involved in complex change processes and their implications for politically smart and adaptive programme design and delivery.

The Policy Practice has been running and continually updating our flagship ‘Political Economy Analysis in Action’ course since 2008, in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute. Our trainers are all leading practitioners with years of experience of undertaking political economy analysis across the globe.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our next Political Economy Analysis in Action training course starting 4th September. If you would like to apply for the course, please complete this form here and we will be in contact with you with further details. For further information, please see our course flyer. 

In addition to our flagship course, we offer a range of related services from shorter, bespoke training courses, to ongoing support to teams and organisations and mentoring for practitioners. We run our courses both online and face-to-face. We design courses for individual organisations, as well as running courses which are open for all to apply.

Who is it for?

Our courses are designed for a wide variety of development and diplomatic professionals including advisers, programmes designers, managers and implementers from:

  • foreign affairs ministries
  • bilateral and multilateral development organisations
  • development and conflict prevention non-governmental organisations
  • foundations
  • private sector implementing organisations
  • research institutes and think tanks
Learning objectives

Through our course, participants will:

  • Learn what political economy analysis is and why it matters
  • Explore political economy concepts and how to use them
  • Interact with leading experts on political economy analysis and thinking and working politically on a weekly basis
  • Work through real-life case studies applying political economy tools to development challenges
  • Participate in regular webinars with other course participants
  • Learn how to ‘think and work politically’ in their own work
  • Participants work both independently and in small groups to complete weekly tasks

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Political economy of climate action training course

The Policy Practice is delighted to announce a new online training course launched in June 2023: Political Economy Analysis for Action on Climate Change. This course draws on our flagship Applied Political Economy Analysis training course, but with material focussed on how PEA can maximise the effectiveness of action on climate change. The course tutors are Neil McCulloch, Sam Bickersteth and Niki Palmer. It is facilitated by Samantha Wade. 

This course will equip participants to identify and manage the political economy challenges of the contexts in which they work, and to draw wellgrounded conclusions for climate policy, strategy or programme design and implementation. 

The online training comprises seven interactive two-hour sessions spread over four weeks. In addition, we estimate that around two hours per week of additional individual study will be needed to complete the training course. You are given access to an online training platform. This provides you with online documents and links to recommended reading. You will be expected to work through session material each week (two sessions per week) and do essential reading. See the flyer here for further details.

Further information

If you would like further information on our training courses, please email training@thepolicypractice.com or see our course flyer.