Thinking and Working Politically

Thinking and Working Politically to Support Developmental Leadership and Coalitions: The Pacific Leadership Program

This paper explores the experience of four reform coalitions supported by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and what this tells us about supporting developmental leadership and thinking and working politically in the Pacific.

It was commissioned by PLP with two aims. First, to capture PLP’s ways of working. Second, to contribute the experiences of a program in the Pacific to the growing international movement that recognises developmental change is fundamentally political, that understanding local politics is thus crucial and that donors are best placed to play a facilitative, rather than direct, role in bringing it about.

The PLP experience demonstrates that such ways of working are feasible and relevant in the Pacific context but are shaped by the wider donor environment.

About the authors (2016)

  • Lisa Denney is an independent researcher based in Melbourne and is a Research Associate with the Developmental Leadership Program and Overseas Development Institute.
  • Rebecca McLaren is an International Development Consultant and Masters student at La Trobe University.

Read Full Document (802KB PDF)