Course Description

The international aid industry is going through a paradigm change. Donors are looking to Do Development Differently (DDD) to increase their return on investment through politically smart programming that increases local ownership. But what does that mean across complex political, social, and economic contexts? In this course on applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA), we will equip you with the tools, methodologies and mindset you need to Think and Work Politically (TWP) and engage in effective adaptive management.

Using a blended learning approach, the instructors will guide participants through the PEA baseline process via research on the political economy of USAID. Using the USAID TWP/PEA Analytical Framework, we will jointly learn how to conduct a PEA starting with research on questions like:

  • Why does USAID carry out development programming the way it does?
  • What are the barriers and opportunities for the agency to move towards more politically informed approaches to programming?

Course Topics and Featured Tech

In this course, we will develop research questions, conduct a literature review/desk study, develop key informant lists, and gain an understanding of the critical process of triangulation needed to analyze our findings. We will then develop a set of recommendations with related implications for USAID in consideration of full-scale adoption of this new aid paradigm, the Journey to Self-Reliance.

You will also will learn about the skills to design your own baseline PEA and appreciate the value of building a long-term, iterative TWP process within your program or organization. Following this course, you will have the skills and knowledge to make better strategic decisions for existing programs and important new business directions for your organization.

Course Objectives

This course will help you acquire highly transferable skills used by all political economy analysts. These skills are grounded in qualitative research methods and utilize all the traditional, new media, and meta-data resources at our disposal today. But what does that mean exactly? It means that upon completion of this 4-week course, you will be able to conduct a baseline applied political economy analysis.
At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what the Doing Development Differently/Thinking and Working Politically paradigm change means for the international development industry
  • Learn how develop a thorough applied PEA scope of work, core, and list of supporting research questions.
  • To become proficient in USAID’s TWP/PEA framework
  • To select, design, and use tested research methods using new sources for traditional data, new media and meta-data
  • To know how to apply the PEA methodology to design and win new programs and manage them more adaptively

Course Methodology

This course is delivered entirely online over a period of four weeks.

  • This course features several live interactive expert presentations each week with
    leading practitioners, educators, technologists, and more.
  • Every live event is recorded and archived for you to watch later.
  • TechChange recommends budgeting a minimum commitment of 5-7 hours per
    week and scheduling time for the course around your existing obligations.
  • Participants will have access to all course content for at least 4 months after
    course completion, so the material can be completed and revisited later.

Course Price

  • $395 if application and payment is submitted by April 4th, 2019
  • $445 if application and payment is submitted by May 4th, 2019
  • $495 if application and payment is submitted by course start date
  • Group discount rates available. For more details, please contact us at
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