TWP Community of Practice initial meeting, Delhi, November 2013

Summary of meeting Delhi Nov 2013


Thursday, 21 November 2013 

Time Topic
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome

Introduction: why are we here, what gave rise to this meeting and what do we hope to get out of it?

Jaime Faustino/Steve Hogg and Graham Teskey

9:30 – 11.00 Scene Setting: What are the elements of ‘Thinking and Working Politically’?

Chair: Graham Teskey

Round table: all participants have an opportunity to contribute. Short-sharp answers; no more than two or three minutes each, summarizing their personal ‘take’ on TWP

Possible questions for respondents to address:

·       When you say ‘TWP’ what are you thinking individually? What comes to your mind? What does it mean to you: what analytical methods, approaches, modalities and instruments do you imagine?

·       What does TWP look like at different points of the so-called project or program cycle? How does TWP differ across the cycle?

11:00 – 11:20 Break
11:20 – 12:45 What is the current state of play on TWP in our respective development organisations?

·       Doug Porter (WB)

·       Chrys Pycroft (DFID)

·       Diana Cammack (USAID)

·       Andrew Egan (DFAT, Australia)

·       Arndt Husar (UNDP)

·       Alan Whaites (OECD DAC)

Chair: Tom Parks

Speakers invited to summarise where they judge their respective organisations are on the TWP agenda. Seven – eight minute summaries only; no power points. Followed by discussion.

Possible issues or questions to consider (please be selective!):

·       What do you judge your organization understands by TWP?

·       What level of support is there within donor agencies and others to support T&WP approaches? Is it growing? Where is the support concentrated? Who are the detractors and what is their rationale?

·       How do you make the case for T&WP in your agency?

·       How do major policy imperatives for donor agencies (e.g. results & evidence, fragile states, value-for-money, country ownership, joined-up approaches etc.) work for or against thinking and working politically? In short what are the most promising points of entry for institutionalizing a TWP approach?

·       Will a stronger evidence base help to broaden support for T&WP?

·       What type of evidence is most effective / persuasive?

·       What space is there within your agency’s processes, incentives, and rules for broadening T&WP approaches? How to expand this space?

·       How do you negotiate the sensitivities of host governments?

·       What role is there for PEA? How do you move from formal PEA to politically agile programming?

·       What kind of people (skill sets, experience) are needed for T&WP approaches to work? What can be done to expand the pool of effective development practitioners?

12:5 – 1: 45 Lunch
1:45 – 3:00 The evidence base: views from outside looking in (commentators and researchers)

 ·       Duncan Green (Oxfam)

·       Jaime Faustino (TAF, Coalitions for Change)

·       Bill Cole (TAF)

·       Heather Marquette (DLP/GSDRC)

·       Alina Rocha Menocal (ODI)

·       Jan Vanheukelom (ECDPM)

Chair: Alan Whaites

Speakers invited to summarise how they see the TWP playing out. Seven – eight minute summaries only; no power points. Followed by discussion.

Possible issues or questions to consider:

 ·       What has your work taught you about TWP?

·       What kind of people (skill sets, experience) are needed for T&WP approaches to work? What can be done to expand the pool of effective development practitioners? Is this something that almost by definition public servants are bad at?

·       What does your research tell you about the possibility of institutionalizing TWP? What are the major lessons development organisations and practitioners need to learn?

·       What sorts of approaches / methods have / have not worked?

·       Do we need greater conceptual clarity, in a way that moves beyond semantics and makes a real difference in both research and practice? (e.g. power, leadership, local, etc.)

·       Are there ways in which academics can develop a greater understanding for the day-to-day challenges of donor staff? (e.g. staff exchange, increased donor openness etc.)

·       Where are the typical gaps, both in the literature and methodologically for research in T&WP?

·       Does a lack of useful research, a lack of political analysis/PEA, or a lack of training/expertise present a real barrier to T&WP? Or is the issue something else? (e.g. a lack of resources, time, support etc.)

3:00 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 5:00 Issues and challenges in implementation: what does TWP imply for approaches, modalities and instruments?

·       Alina Rocha Menocal (ODI)

·       Saku Akmeemama (WB)

·       Chris Pycroft(DFID)

·       Tom Parks (DFAT, Australia)

·       Matthew Arnold (TAF)

Chair: Diana Cammack

Possible issues or questions to consider:

·       What evidence do you (or your organization) have to test the assumption that T&WP is more effective for delivering results? What types of evidence could be obtained with additional investment and incentives?

·       What is the most effective way of structuring the donor-recipient (or donor-intermediary) relationship to allow for T&WP?

·       How do we reconcile the demand for specificity in outcome prescription with the need for flexibility?

·       So what do we need to change?

·       What have we learned about funding modalities, partnership models and program designs? What works (& does not) for T&WP?

·       How can large, mainstream programs work more politically?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Time Topic
9:00 – 10.00 Summary of previous day

Graham Teskey / Steve Hogg


·       What we understand by TWP

·       Where organisations are at

·       The evidence base

·       Implications for implementation

·       Other


Chair: Graham Teskey

10:00 – 10.30 Designing a TWP work stream

Ideas presented by Steve Hogg, Jaime Faustino and Tom Parks

Chair: Alina Rocha Menocal (ODI)

1030 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 12.15 Brainstorming on TWP work program

In (say) four groups; one facilitator and one rapporteur per group required


1.     Political analysis and knowledge

2.     Incorporating local political and social aspects into program design and implementation

3.     Program and Project Modalities for T&WP

4.     Workforce issues related to T&WP

5.     Realistic and VFM ‘results’ concerning TWP

6.     The political economy of donors and the implications of T&WP

7.     Working with Foreign Ministries

Contributions to CoP

1.     What can people commit to contribute to the T&WP CoP?

2.     What kinds of outputs and activities will help the international development and donor community more effectively incorporate T&WP into their everyday practice?

3.     What isn’t being done but should be done?

12: 15 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 pm Continuation of Brainstorming group work
3:30 – 3:45 Break
3:45 – 4:30 pm Plenary: presentations of ideas: draft work program based on brainstorming sessions

Chair: Heather Marquette

4:30 – 5:00 Summary and Proposed Next Steps

Graham Teskey and Steve Hogg