Leadership, Reform and Thinking and Working Politically

Kigali, Rwanda - August 27, 2013: Woman speaking to women sitting on the ground with her finger in the air.Since its inception, the politics of reform has been a key research area in IDD. 

From Richard Batley’s ground-breaking past research on the changing role of government and public sector delivery to today hosting the global Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice, IDD’s research is instrumental in shaping scholarly and policy debates on the politics of reform and the role of domestic and external actors in this. Our empirical research spans a number of African, Asian and Latin American countries, and our conceptual work feeds directly into outputs aimed at supporting policy makers and practitioners working on reform programmes.

We host a number of large research programmes with the politics of reform and TWP at their heart, including the Developmental Leadership Program among others. Thematically, our research covers a wide range of areas and sectors, such as anti-corruption, democracy support, tax and telecommunications. Our research is regularly cited by organisations such as DFID, the World Bank, the OECD, DFAT, Oxfam, the Asia Foundation and others, and our experts are in demand as advisors to the UK parliament and a number of government ministries as well as governments and organisations around the world.   

Postgraduate Researchers

Research Projects

Developmental Leadership ProgramDavid Hudson and Claire Mcloughlin, 2019


The political economy of democracy promotion; Nic Cheeseman and Susan Dodsworth, 2017

Institutional Analysis of Public Budgeting and Accounting in Brazil; Richard Batley and Andre Aquino, 2014

Islands of Integrity: Understanding the politics of corruption reduction;  Heather Marquette, Caryn Peiffer and Rosita Armytage

Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice; Heather Marquette and Brian Lucas


Aquino, A. and Batley, R. (2016) Accounting and Fiscal Reforms in Brazil In: Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration, Utrecht

Dasandi, N. and Erez, L. (2017) The Donor’s Dilemma: International Aid and Human Rights Violations, British Journal of Political Science

Dasandi, N. and Esteve, M. (2017) The Politics-Bureaucracy Interface in Developing Countries, Public Administration and Development, 37(4), 2017: 231/245

Dasandi, N. and Hudson, D. (2017) The Political Road to Digital Revolution: How Myanmar’s Telecoms Reform Happened, DLP Research Paper 43, Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Program.

Dasandi, N., Marquette, H. and Robinson, M. (2016) Thinking and Working Politically: From Theory Building to Building an Evidence Base DLP Research Paper 37, Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Program.

Fisher, J. and Marquette, H. (2016) “Empowered Patient” or “Doctor Knows Best”? Political Economy Analysis and Ownership, Development in Practice, 26 (1) 115-126.

Hudson, D., Mcloughlin, C., Roche, C., and Marquette, H., (2018) Inside the Black Box of Political Will: 10 Years of Findings from the Developmental Leadership Program . Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Program.

Hudson, D., Mcloughlin, C., and Roche, C. (2018). Developmental Leadership: What it is and how it can be supported. Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Program.

Hudson, D. Marquette, H. and Waldock, S. (2016) Everyday Political Analysis. DLP Paper. Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Program.

Lopez Lucia, E., Buckley, J., Marquette, H. and McCulloch, N. (2017) Thinking and Working Politically: Lessons from FOSTER in Nigeria DLP Research Paper 48, Birmingham: Developmental Leadership Program.

Marquette, H. and Peiffer, C. (2018) Grappling with the ‘Real Politics’ of Systemic Corruption: Theoretical Debates versus ‘Real-World’ Functions, Governance, 31:499-514.