News story

NSGI publishes political economy analysis beginner's guide

The Beginner’s Guide to Political Economy Analysis (PEA) provides a learning resource for those working on delivering development initiatives overseas.

National School of Government International

The latest National School of Government International (NSGI) guide is a result of the increasing trend of many large development organisations to run substantial online or taught courses on political-economy analysis, a field that can often appear daunting and complex.

This PEA guide is designed as a more informal and accessible introduction that will encourage development practitioners to use analysis as part of their own work (and not just those with formal PEA training). It reflects recent evidence on how politics and power can impact development and tries to help readers navigate these issues through some everyday analytical tools.

The guide affirms that there should never be an official orthodoxy for PEA and places the emphasis on questions, prompts and ideas to help thinking and practice. It does this by looking at the following questions, central to PEA:

  • Why we do political economy analysis, and what is it?
  • What kinds of issues and ingredients are often included in a PEA?
  • How do we make sense of the different varieties of PEA?
  • What tools are out there to help us conduct a PEA?
  • What is thinking and working politically?

The guide aims to be free from jargon (as far as possible) and can be used for an in-house introductory seminar without the need for external resource. The guide is complemented by a separate training pack to support a half day role-play exercise. For those who wish to develop their knowledge, it also includes links to many other resources on political economy analysis.

Further Information

The guide, with its training exercises, can be found in the NSGI section of the SU Stabilisation and Conflict Learning and Resource site.

Published 20 July 2017