The Public Policy Institute (PPI) is an independent not-for-profit public policy and organisational development thinktank based in Kampala, Uganda. Our goal is to improve the global public policy landscape facilitated by improved government-civil relations that uphold people centered public policies for democratic governance.
The mission of PPI is to develop thought leadership that enriches the social and economic wellbeing of citizens through rational and independent public policy research and engagements.
PPI’s ideology is underpinned by a locally contextualized ‘Doing Development Differently’ (3D) agenda which applies a locally led political economy analysis for quality evidence frameworks to aid development interventions.
We live in a fast-changing world with several innovations and disruptions to normalcy that are impacting our lives differently. Governments especially in the developing world are prioritizing revenue generation and economic transformation to meet the growing and diverse needs of citizens.
Government efforts are being complimented by development partners through resource commitments and technical support. Despite this, governments and development partners’ interventions are not generating the required pace of transformation – development programmes such as free education, skilling and venture capital are being implemented but with minor impact on employment at scale; huge infrastructure projects in the roads and energy sectors have mushroomed impacting on the overall growth figures but minimally on the lives of citizens. The slow progress comes down to the complex nature of the public policy process – According to the ‘Doing Development Differently’ manifesto – solutions to public problems are intertwined with a multitude of underlying intricacies which are usually overlooked during design and delivery. Doing Development Differently (3D) is PPI’s ideological foundation designed to inform PPI’s public policy and organisational development advisory services.
1. To undertake basic and applied public policy research and analysis on significant public issues;
2. To provide and coordinate a civil society policy platform that supports and stimulates civil society engagement in public policy processes;
3. To disseminate widely emerging public policy knowledge, statistics and trends impacting on governance and development.
4. To act as a bridge between government and the public in the understanding and deliberation of public policy issues.
5. To undertake organisational development advisory services
The underlying theory of change illustrates how the Institute will undertake its interventions to realize the long-term outcome. In simple terms, the theory of change illuminates what is going to be done, what is going to change, in what timelines, and by how much and at what stage? The Institute theory of change is designed at three levels; political economy analysis for learning; reflection for communication and engagement for accountability.
Political Economy Analysis (PEA) is undertaken to generate and shape local knowledge and expertise on the political, structural, social and cultural issues critical to Uganda’s development and governance aspirations. PPI undertakes PEA at two distinct but interrelated levels – first is at the allocative level using the budget policy to appreciate the political economy of public resource allocations and second is at policy implementation level to dissect the targets, associated cost and impacts of public policy implementation. With the PEA framework, PPI is positioned to develop as well as professionally advise on how development interventions can contextualize the realism of the powerful role of bureaucrats and the contestation of power among political elites in the wider public policy processes. As a learning organisation, PPI is leading a locally contextualized ‘Doing Development Differently’ agenda underpinned by a culture that the future is ‘uncertain’ and development programme design and delivery must be iterative to ensure continuous analysis, learning and adaptation.
Reflect is the second level in PPI’s theory of change under which the agency communicates policy implementation evidence and analysis of policy ideas to generate differing opinions and varying perspectives. Through its Civil Society Policy Platform, PPI provides a convergence platform for development professionals, policy actors and influencers to meet and collectively interrogate today’s public problems that are challenging human freedoms, development and survival. The motivation for PPI Reflect Agenda is that government response to contemporary problems has been skewed towards political solutions and an un-emphasized usage of policy expertise consequently enabling the emergence of non-evidenced and difficult to apply policy solutions. While development partners on the other hand have designed and delivered programmes that emphasize ‘Results Based Management (RBM), structured around results matrices and indicators which many local partners have deemed too rigid to impact development, PPI’s policy reflections are designed to strengthen the demand side of governance by placing the citizens and their interests at the nexus between politics and public policy.
The third and last level of PPI’s theory of change is to position civil society and citizens to engage government and other policy actors to create/ or reform public policies. In addition to citizens and CSOs, PPI through its in-house expertise, shall provide today’s and tomorrow’s leaders the knowledge and skills required to understand and engage with the complexities of the public policy process; the diagnosis of public problems’ the design of public solutions; and the capability to apply policy implementation quality evidence to public policy review and making.