Political Economy Analysis (PEA) is a field-research methodology used to explore not simply how things happen in an aid-recipient country, but why things happen. It results in a written assessment with recommendations for a mission's County Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), project or activity design, or course correction during implementation.
USAID's Applied PEA is a problem-focused method specially intended to be used by Mission staff to inform the design of aid interventions at any phase of the USAID program cycle and at any level of effort. This document provides an overview of the methodology. The Applied PEAmethod is taught by a PE specialist in a two-day orientation workshop, during which specially written course materials and a tailored PEA Framework are used as a guide in an effort to embed in USAID staff the skills to apply a political economy lens.