Our approach

We combine our analytical and academic thinking with practical experience, rooted in a deep understanding of the complete policy cycle. Bringing the latest thinking in development, we work in partnership with governments, funders, and partners to ensure our work delivers tangible impact.

We are both thinkers and doers 

We combine a rigorous evidence-based approach with our practical experience to support the design and shaping of policies which will enable change where it’s needed most. 

We reflect, we learn, we act; we consider these parts of our work to be inseparable. We aren’t interested in prescriptive solutions. We build the evidence to inform choices, properly backing up our research and combining it with practical know-how of how governments work, what influences change, and the people, systems, and structures that are needed for policy reform to really deliver impact. 

Our projects are underpinned by solid programme management that combines meticulous activity planning and controlled execution management with disciplined risk management. Our robust management systems allow us to tailor our approach to the specific requirements of the project design, remaining responsive and adaptive to the emerging needs of our government clients, funders, and other stakeholders. 

We work across the policy cycle 

We believe that working across the policy cycle, in partnership with governments and national decision makers, is crucial to achieving impactful public policy. 

Understanding, and having practical experience in, every stage of the policy cycle is vital for all our projects. From researching the key drivers of a problem, to implementing the chosen policy, to monitoring and evaluating its progress, we provide integrated support which is both practically and politically feasible – essential ingredients for long-term change. 

OPM Policy Cycle

We act in partnership 

Bridging the gap between evidence and practice is what makes us a uniquely valued partner

We work hand-in-hand with our clients and partners to shape projects in a way that maximises lasting, positive change and builds local capabilities over the long term. Making a difference is a collective endeavour and we couldn’t do it without our partners, and the experience and insights that they bring. 
We actively seek a diversity of partners to deliver the best outcomes as well as to learn from diverse perspectives and new experiences. We work closely with all our clients to shape projects that will have maximum success and impact for the communities and societies they support. We are engaged and curious, bringing energy to our work. We believe that honesty and responsiveness are the keys to success in our relationships.  

We are innovators 

Our approach, coupled with strong project management, allows us to innovate – and seek opportunities that push the boundaries.  

This means originating ideas for projects in partnership with governments and funders rather than simply being reactive. It means fostering opportunities for learning and exploring new thinking. It means engaging with the latest research and ideas to open up new areas of development and being courageous enough to suggest changes to project designs if we fear they will not deliver real impact. 

The more we are able to strengthen our thinking, build our own capacity, and deepen our expertise, the greater the impact we hope to have. We continue to apply the steering principles of academic rigour and partnership that have always been at the heart of our work, and we place impact at the centre of all we do.