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Mapping Political Context: A Toolkit for Civil Society Organisations ODI RAPID

By 20 May 2013

Here is a useful toolkit by ODI (Overseas Development Institute) RAPID (Research and policy in Development). Although not a new toolkit, it remains relevant because of the methods it proposes for Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to use in understanding and mapping political contexts in order to engage more effectively in policy processes.

Here is some text from the executive summary:

Policy is the result of interactions among different organizations about what course of action should be taken. The sum of these interactions constitutes the policy process. And the policy process – the interactions among organizations – is part of a wider environment, or context. 

Political context includes aspects such as the distribution of power, the range of organizations involved and their interests, and the formal and informal rules that govern the interactions among different players. Political context shapes the ways in which policy processes work. If CSOs can better understand the contexts for their actions, then they will be in a better position to devise more effective strategies, which may allow them to have more influence on policy.

The tools have been selected because they cover a wide variety of political dimensions. As such, they provide a menu of different approaches to mapping political context; CSOs and others can select from this menu and make use of the tools according to their own needs.”

Follow the link below for the full toolkit:

Title: Mapping Political Context: A Toolkit for Civil Society Organisations Author: Robert Nash, Alan Hudson and Cecilia Luttrell Year: 2006