The latest thinking on effective design and implementation of international development assistance stresses the need to align programs with country contexts by “thinking and working politically” (TWP). Universities, think tanks, and emerging communities of practice are collecting and discussing lessons, and developing TWP principles to guide innovation. A key challenge is translating these principles into practice. What does TWP mean practically? How can donors, their implementing partners, and country counterparts effectively engage in TWP? What challenges emerge at the intersection of TWP principles and practice?
This seminar was a special event offered by SID-Washington. Organized by members of a newly-created DC sub-group of the global TWP Community of Practice, it explored answers to the questions above. The event opened with a keynote overview of TWP, and a panel comprised of two senior officials from USAID and leaders from implementing organizations. This session was followed by an open-space dialogue at tables where cases of TWP will be presented and discussed. Report-outs and wrap-up took place during lunch.
8:00 AM: Registration
8:30 AM: Welcome, Overview, and Background: Chas Cadwell, Director, Center on International Development and Governance, Urban Institute, and Katherine Raphaelson, President, Society for International Development, Washington Chapter
8:45 AM: Perspectives on TWP: Viewpoints from Donors and Implementers
- Moderator: Ann Hudock, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Growth, Counterpart International
- Keynote Address: Verena Fritz, Senior Public Sector Specialist, World Bank
- Panel Discussion:
- Jodi Charles, Senior Health Systems Advisor USAID Bureau for Global Health, Office of Health Systems
- Neelima Grover, CEO and Founder, The QED Group
- Tim Meisburger, Director, Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG), DCHA, US Agency for International Development
- Paul Weisenfeld, Executive Vice President, International Development, RTI International
10:20 AM: Coffee Break
10:45 AM: World Café Table Discussions - TWP: Going from Ideas to Action
- Facilitator: Lisa McGregor, Senior Governance Specialist, RTI International
- Table 1: Aiming at the Right Problem – USAID Colombia Justice for a Sustainable Peace, Chemonics
- Table 2: Program Design and Project Startup – NED Political Voice, Space and Accountability with Roma in Slovakia, National Democratic Institute
- Table 3: Integrating TWP in CVE Situations - USAID Niwajibu Wetu in Kenya, Development Alternatives Incorporated
- Table 4: Tension Between Donor Reporting, the Learning Process and Real Time Metrics for TWP Approaches - Learning to Make All Voices Count, Global Integrity & USAID
- Table 5: TWP in the Health Sector - USAID Empowerment, Voice and Accountability for Better Health and Nutrition in Pakistan, Palladium
- Table 6: Internal Enablers and Obstacles to TWP at USAID and within Implementers - Adapt Consulting and USAID
- Table 7: Embedding TWP into Projects and Building TWP Leadership - USAID Civil Society Strengthening Project in Zimbabwe, Pact
12:00 PM: Pick-up Lunch
12:30 PM: Report Out and Discussion
- Facilitator: Sharon Van Pelt, Democracy and Governance Practice Director, Chemonics
1:15 PM: Wrap Up and Closing Remarks: Chas Cadwell, Urban Institute
1:30 PM: Adjourn
We would like to thank Palladium, RTI International, and The Urban Institute for sponsoring this event.
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