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Social Analysis in PSIA. Renate Kirsch Nairobi, December 2006. TIPS Sourcebook: A framework for Social Analysis. Social Analysis in PSIA. Institutional : the “rules of the game” that people develop to govern group behavior and interaction in political, economic and social spheres of life

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Social Analysis in PSIA

Renate Kirsch

Nairobi, December 2006

TIPS Sourcebook:A framework for Social Analysis

Social Analysis in PSIA

  • Institutional: the “rules of the game” that people develop to govern group behavior and interaction in political, economic and social spheres of life

  • Political: the structure of power relations and often-entrenched interests of different stakeholders

  • Social: the social relationships that govern interaction at different organizational levels, including households, communities and social groups.

     Important to signal that reforms

    • are manifested through institutional mechanisms

    • have important political economy dimensions

    • have differential impacts on different social groups

What is the value added of social analysis in PSIA?

  • Explains how social identity and social relations may affect reform outcomes and impacts (ethnic minorities in Laos)

  • Analysis of informal rules and behaviors helps to understand implementation issues and constraints (Tanzania Crop Board)

  • Focus on Analysis of interests and influence of different stakeholders helps to understand effects of political economy (Indonesia Imported Rice Tariff Pricing)

  • Helps to identify socio-political and institutional risks (Zambia land reform)

  • Emphasis on PSIA process and dialogue helps to identify bottlenecks and preconditions for ownership of reforms

What are institutions?

  • Organizations as well as “Rules of the Game”

    • may be formal ( legal systems, property rights, enforcement mechanisms); or

    • informal, (cultural practices and social norms)

    • Institutions operate and influence behavior in different domains of daily life:

      • the state domain (governing justice, political processes and service delivery),

      • the market domain (governing credit, labor and goods) and

      • the societal domain (governing community and family behavior).

TIPS Sourcebook:A framework for Social Analysis

  • Country Social

  • Analysis

  • Power Analysis

  • Drivers of Change

Country Context

Macro Level

Country & Reform context

Reform Context

Macro Level

  • StakeholderAnalysis Matrices

  • Political Mapping

  • Network Analysis

  • TransactionCost Analysis

  • The RAPID Framework

1. Macro level social analysis:Understanding country context

  • What is the significance of:

    • Historical context

    • Political-ideological climate

    • Political-institutional culture

    • Economic and social make-up

Country Social Analysis (CSA)

  • upstream, political economy analysis that seeks to inform policy dialogue and to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of development interventions

  • provide recommendations for the removal of barriers to equal opportunities for participating in development, accessing public institutions and holding them accountable,

  • The CSA framework analyzes the interaction between two dimensions:

    • Social diversity, assets, and livelihoods

      • What is the existing distribution of and access to assets and services across different social groups? What is the impact of that distribution in the livelihoods and coping strategies of the poor?

    • Power, institutions, and governance

      • What are the institutions that mediate access of the poor to assets and services? How do these institutions impact policy making and resource reallocation ?

Country Social Analysis Yemen

Three objectives:

  • Factors that contributed to inclusion/exclusion of specific socioeconomic groups,

  • The processes that enhanced or weakened cohesion within and among groups,

  • The means by which people could hold institutions accountable.

    Pursued through an Analysis of Livelihoods:

  • Change of livelihood pattern in secondary towns and how this affects access to assets and services of different social groups.

  • Livelihood strategies in rural areas. Most poverty is in rural areas with farming predominant livelihood, rural people’s access to assets, institutions

  • Analysis of the alignment of government policies and investments with people’s strategies..

Country Social Analysis: Yemen, Findings

  • Inequality is increasingly becoming an issue in Yemen. Youth, women and rural people are becoming marginalized from the economy as traditional livelihood systems decline but are not replaced with new opportunities

  • Insufficient integration of modern and customary norms is rapidly changing the rules for managing communal resources such as land and water. This is resulting in the concentration of productive land in the hands of a small number of powerful families, while the poor have diminishing access to either rural or urban land

  • Poverty, inequality and patronage also threaten social cohesion in Yemen. Current systems of social solidarity at the household and communal levels are stressed as a result of deepening poverty.

Country Social Analysis:Yemen, Findings II

  • There are also new opportunities for socioeconomic inclusion. Social mobility in Yemen used to be based on social status, now the cash economy and state education provide are means for social advancement of historically marginalized groups

  • Country Social

  • Analysis

  • Power Analysis

  • Drivers of Change

Country Context

Macro Level

Country & Reform context

Reform Context

Macro Level

  • StakeholderAnalysis Matrices

  • Political Mapping

  • Network Analysis

  • TransactionCost Analysis

  • The RAPID Framework

1. Macro Level Social Analysis:Understanding policy reform context

Policy reform is highly political and not a technical exercise. If political-economic and social context of the reform is not understood, danger that the designed is a ‘one-size-fits-all-solution’ ignoring country specific factors that can be crucial for the success or failure of reform.

Macro-level stakeholder analysis: Understanding the interests of political actors, economic or social influential groups and the incentives under which they operate

  • Questions: Who are the stakeholders? What is their position with respect to policy change? What motivates them? Who opposes? What is the danger of elite capture?

    Difficulty here: Interests change over time

    Macro-level institutional analysis

  • Questions: What are the institutional rules and relationships that influence policy reform? What is the capacity of the institutions to implement the reform?

Political Mapping

Political mapping: Import tariff on Rice

  • Two opposing arguments:

  • Higher Rice Tariff for imported rice: higher incomes for farmers and rural workers (protectionist producer focus)

  • Abolish/Reduce Rice Tariff: poor people are net rice consumers not producers and suffer economichardship with higher prices (poverty consumer focus)

Stakeholder Analysis Matrices

Stakeholder Analysis



Political Mapping




Meso Level

Policy Implementation

Static Mapping

Process Tracing

Process Mapping

Institutional Analysis

Meso Level

2. Meso Level Social Analysis: Understanding the policy implementation process

  • Analysis of the process of implementation allows us to explore how, why and under what conditions a policy intervention might work, or fail

  • Understand the rules and incentives that govern stakeholder behaviour and institutional relationships during the implementation of policy reform.

  • Puts us in a better position to predict or explain how policies can change and sometimes distort the expected impact of policy reform.

2. Meso Level Social AnalysisStakeholders and Institutions

  • Meso-level Stakeholder Analysis

    • Objective: To test assumptions about the interests of social actors.

  • Meso-level Institutional analysis

    • Objective: To test assumptions about the social rules governing the implementation of policy

Stakeholder Analysis


Stakeholders Analysis: Ghana Electricity Tariffs

Organisational Mapping

Figure 4.1. Analytical Sequencing in Organizational Mapping

Static Mapping

Process Tracing

Process Mapping

Identify and place actors in a spatial map


Chad cotton

Trace cause-effect flows in key processes between actors


Chittagong port

Map out the dynamics and relations between actors


Chad cotton

Institutional Analysis:Analytical sequencing in organizational mapping

Institutional Analysis: Static and Process MappingCotton Chad: Decrease inquality?

“White as snow” … but always downgraded!

Accord d’Ouverture


He “travels with the cotton” … and with bribes, in case cotton has been downgraded


CT resp. for quality of cotton after signing of Accord… in theory

Marche Autogere





Commission de Classement

Biased balance of power

Technical Transformation and Production


97% first class cotton




Secondary Research Methods

Contextual Methods

Non-contextual Methods

Participatory Methods

Mixed Methods


Micro Level

Impact of Policy Reform

Data collection


Micro Level

  • Vulnerability Assessment

  • Gender Analysis

  • Livelihoods Analysis

  • Empowerment Analysis

Analytical Frameworks


Impact Evaluation

Micro Level Social Analysis

  • Apply Analytical Frameworks for Impact Evaluation

    • Livelihoods Framework Analysis

    • Gender Analysis

    • Vulnerability Assessment

  • Use qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection

    • Key informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussion

    • Community Level Household Questionnaire

    • Household Economy Approach

    • Consultative Impact Monitoring

    • Consumer Assessment

    • PPA, RRA,

Consumer Assessment

What determines the choice of analytical focus and methods?

  • Nature of impacts (direct and indirect)

  • Channel through which impacts are transmitted

  • Data, resources, client capacity and time

  • Remember: You can not skip a level !!!!!

  • However, the emphasis to each levels varies considerably according to case context

  • Most information will be obtained via literature review and existing analyses

Mixed method approach

  • Combining Social and Economic Analysis

    • Bringing a social, economic and sectoral lens to the research questions

  • Combining quantitative and qualitative methods

    • Assess research questions with different methods and tools

Analytical focus vs type of data and analysis

Qualitative analysis

Quantitative analysis



Combining tools from different disciplines

  • Use qualitative methods to understand context, relationships, patterns – informs the design of a survey questionnaire

  • Use quantitative methods to assess extent to which phenomena occur (generalization, representation)

  • Use qualitative methods to unpack issues which are hard to explain from survey results

Three ways to combine methods




  • In parallel

  • In sequential

  • Iterative

Basis for







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