Catalyzing development. Towards enabling rules for advocacy


This study seeks to provide input for future policy development by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant CSOs on the institutional design of advocacy aid chains. Our study examines how the institutional design of aid chains enables and constrains CSOs in Kenya to perform political roles by scrutinizing the assumptions underlying the ToC of the Dialogue and Dissent framework. We conceptualize the institutional design of aid chains as consisting of interrelated ‘rules’ regulating, for example, who is in and out, roles and responsibilities, decision-making, and information-sharing. We employ a comparative analysis of the institutional rules of the Strategic Partnership (SP) and Accountability Fund (AF); two main lobby and advocacy instruments of the Dutch government. We scrutinize the similarities and differences of these rules, their underlying (policy) beliefs, their application and their impact on political roles. Our SP-case involves the Women@Work programme of Hivos in Kenya. Our AF-case still has to be determined in consultation with the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi. Besides studying the impact of the rules on CSOs' ability to perform political roles within the aid chain, we also examine relevant CSOs outside the aid chain.


Project number

W 08.311.103

Main applicant

Dr. W.J. Elbers

Affiliated with

Universiteit Leiden, African Studies Centre

Team members

Dr. W.J. Elbers, E.C. Frobisher, Dr. P. Kamau, Dr. E. Kumi, Dr. T. Saharan, Dr. L. Schulpen


15/12/2017 to 31/05/2018