Blog Series on Thinking and Working Politically and Inclusively

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Sarah Swift
Date Published:
November 1, 2018
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Political economy analysis (PEA) and related approaches to programming (known as Thinking and Working Politically or TWP) have at times been subject to the criticism that--through their intentional focus on working with local forces, and attempting to harness the interests of elites in favor of reform--they may inadvertently reinforce exclusionary norms and practices, particular with regard to gender.  Recent publications from other development thinkers have reflected on the extent to which gender awareness has been combined with PEA and TWP, and considered approaches to doing so more effectively.  First, case studies and a review of literature conducted by the Development Leadership Program at the University of Birmingham in the UK explore the lessons from programs that successfully combined political sensitivity and gender awareness. Additionally, the Gender and Development Network, also based in the UK, has produced guidance on “gendered PEA.” 

This page will ultimately link to four blogs that reflect upon these new resources in connection with USAID’s experiences with PEA and TWP.  Each will be added as they are posted online.  

First, Thinking and Working Politically...  and Inclusively. The first blog in this series addressed my personal epiphany regarding the potential for TWP to narrow our focus in a way that limits the space for critical considerations around gender and inclusion - and reflects on new resources to help us do this better.

The next will discuss the integral nature of gender and other inclusion analysis as a part of TWP.

After that, I’ll explore how gender analysis and political analysis can be merged to promote inclusion--including where, if at all, the two lenses conflict.

The final blog will reflect on recent experience within USAID, and consider the path forward, including tools to effectively merge considerations around gender and inclusion. 

Please note that while the principles discussed can be applied to all aspects of inclusion, the current resources are focused on gender, as a key dimension.  As further resources and learning become available, we’ll look to share more.