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

Originally from Mexico, Alina Rocha Menocal is a Principal Research Fellow in the Politics and Governance Programme at the Overseas Development Institute, a leading think tank on international development and global affairs based in the UK. Alina is co-Chair of the Thinking and Working Community of Practice and a Senior Research Fellow in the International Development Department of the University of Birmingham. She was also Senior Democracy Fellow on Applied Political Economy at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2016 to 2020. 

Alina is an accomplished expert with 15 years of experience working to bridge the gap between research and policy in thinking about governance from a political economy perspective, as well as to inform more effective engagement and ways of working among international development actors in developing country settings. 

Her areas of expertise include: governance and institutional transformation; state- and peacebuilding and (post-)conflict trajectories; conflict and fragility; political settlements and the politics of inclusion; corruption and anti-corruption efforts; democracy/democratization; political economy analysis; Thinking and Working Politically. 

She has published extensively on these issues. Alina holds a BA from Yale University in Political Science, an MIA on Economic and Political Development, and an 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)