The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) focuses on the role of leadership in forming locally-legitimate institutions that can promote development outcomes – from making change happen to supporting sustainable outcomes to inclusive social development.
Our research explores ‘developmental leadership’ – the strategic, collective and political process of creating change that improves people’s lives. It involves a diverse group of motivated people coming to locally legitimate solutions that reshape society’s rules.
Understanding developmental leadership is instrumental to understanding how change happens – the process by which individuals form coalitions that create sustainable change. Yet traditional models of development may make it hard to effectively support developmental leadership, or fully understand how leadership is perceived. Our key themes aim to address this.
We partner with researchers and activists around the world. Since 2019, we have been working with partners across seven countries in the Indo-Pacific region to explore questions about perceptions of leadership, the spaces and pathways from which leaders emerge, how leaders work collectively to create change, and how these processes can be supported. Find out more about current research projects.
The concepts, literature and avenues of inquiry relevant to each of these questions are explored in detail in our foundational papers.
The late Dr Adrian Leftwich and Steve Hogg, then senior governance specialist in the Australian aid program, founded DLP in 2006 and it has been funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ever since. Our research has gathered significant evidence on leadership around the world and across different sectors, helping to shape thinking on politics and development and inform international development policy and programming.
DLP is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through a strategic partnership between the Development Policy Division, the University of Birmingham and La Trobe University. DLP is now in its third phase (2019-2023). As an international collaboration, we work in partnership with local researchers across the world.