Ms Alina Rocha Menocal

Image of Alina Rocha Menocal

International Development Department
Director, Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice
Senior Research Fellow, International Development Department

Contact details

International Development Department
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Alina Rocha Menocal is a founding member and Director of the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice (TWP CoP), hosted at the University of Birmingham, and Principal at The Policy Practice. Until June 2022, she was a Principal Research Fellow in politics and governance at the global affairs think tank ODI, which she joined in 2005 and where she remains a Senior Research Associate. From 2016 to 2020, she served as Senior Democracy Fellow in Applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA) at USAID. 

Originally from Mexico, Alina is a well-regarded and internationally recognised expert on politics and governance with two decades of experience in conducting high quality and impactful policy-relevant research. Over the course of her career, Alina has worked to bridge the gap between research and policy in thinking about governance and the politics of change, as well as to inform more effective engagement and ways of working among international actors. Her areas of expertise include democracy/ democratisation and the challenges of multiple dimensions of institutional transformation; political settlements and inclusion; fragility, state- and peace-building and (post-)conflict trajectories; women’s empowerment; citizen voice and accountability; and corruption and anti-corruption efforts.  Alina has published extensively on all these issues and she holds a BA from Yale University in political science, and a MIA on Economic and Political Development and a MPhil in Political Science/Comparative Politics from Columbia University.


  • M.Phil in Political Science (Comparative Politics), Columbia University, New York (2001) 
  • MIA (Economic and Political development) Columbia University, New York (1998) 
  • BA in Political Science, Yale University, New Haven (Distinction) (1994) 


Research Interests

Politics, governance, development and implications for international development research and practice.

Current Projects

Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice.


Book Chapter: “Why inequality is democracy’s catch-22”, in G. Crawford (ed.) Handbook on Democracy and Development. London: Edward Elgar Publishing (forthcoming)

Book Chapter: “Democracy and Development: Moving beyond the Conundrum”, in G. Crawford (ed.) Handbook on Democracy and Development. London: Edward Elgar Publishing (forthcoming)

Research report: “Why does inclusion matter? Assessing the links between inclusive processes and inclusive outcomes”, Evidence Paper. Paris: OECD DAC (Network on Governance) (March 2020)

Policy Brief: “What does ‘inclusive governance’ mean? Clarifying policy and practice”. Policy Paper. Paris: OECD DAC (Network on Governance) (March 2020)

Journal Article: (with G Power and O Kaye) “Promoting Inclusive Governance More Effectively: Lessons From the Dialogue for Stability Programme”, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, vol. 14, no. 1 (2019)

Special Journal Issue: Co-editor, Special Issue of the Journal of International Development on “Political Settlements and Prospects for Institutional Transformation: Re-thinking State- and Peace-building in Situations of Fragility” (August 2017)

Journal Article: “Political Settlements and the politics of transformation: Where do ‘inclusive institutions’ come from?”, Journal of International Development (August 2017)

Policy report chapter: “Can democracy counter inequality?”, in International IDEA (ed.), Global State of Democracy 2017. Stockholm, International IDEA (2017)

(with Nils Taxell) “Why corruption matters: understanding causes, effects, and how to address them”, DFID Evidence Paper. London: DFID (February 2015)