Research for this report was unable to identify specific literature relating to political awareness for subnational projects, although there is currently research being undertaken on this topic. Consequently, rather than outlining existing operational models, this rapid research report takes a broader focus and identifies approaches and examples that can provide insights into designing an operational model for politically aware projects in subnational government programming. Much of this material emphasises the need for locally-driven processes. Research for this report was unable to find literature on the cost-effectiveness of designing politically aware projects or on subnational politically aware projects in Indonesia.
The key literature relevant for ensuring projects are politically aware relates to the political economy analysis (PEA) approach. However, PEA literature focuses predominantly on analysis to inform national programmes and overall strategy rather than specific projects. These PEAs tend to be undertaken prior to project implementation rather than on an ongoing basis to ensure political awareness. Political awareness may already be an intrinsic part of most programming with practitioners implicitly recognising the need to understand political context even without explicit PEA procedures in programming. There may also be substantial PEA analysis and types of PEA-type processes in projects which are not publicised due to reasons such as political sensitivities.