Thinking and working politically through applied political economy analysis – USAID (2018)


USAID is working to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of its development efforts by adopting political economy analysis consistently through its programming and implementing USAID’s initiative on Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA). This USAID guide argues that political economy analysis can help to operationalise the process of thinking politically, whilst CLA supports the operationalisation of working politically. The guide is structured in five sections. The first section analyses why political economy analysis and thinking and working politically are important for development and discusses the relevance of institutions. The second section outlines the framework used by USAID for political economy analysis. The third section explains when political economy analysis should be conducted and at what level. The fourth section attempts to show how to conduct a baseline analysis, and finally, the fifth section explores the relation between CLA and adaptive management.