Our Approach

AGI works in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal at present, with new countries on the horizon. We work at two levels: At the political leadership level, Tony Blair draws on his ten years as Prime Minister to offer leaders the kind of advice on reform that only someone who has stood in a leader’s shoes can give.  At the same time our teams, based permanently in each country, work shoulder-to-shoulder with counterparts to put in place the ‘nuts and bolts’ needed to get things done. 

Our practical support helps leaders to bridge the gap between their vision for a better future and their government’s ability to achieve it. We do this by strengthening the government’s capacity to deliver programmes that will change ordinary people’s lives for the better, from public services and rural development to infrastructure and job creation.

To do this we focus on three fundamental delivery processes, the three P’s of: Prioritisation, Planning, and Performance management. In our experience these are the things that matter most for getting things done. Get these basics right, and many of the more complex challenges of delivery get a whole lot easier; get them wrong, and they become next to impossible. And, although the three P’s seems simple, making them work in practice is a big challenge.

 

Our Approach

At AGI, we want to complement the work going on across Africa to improve governance. Our focus is different from other development organizations, and AGI is distinct in how we operate. There are six points which, taken together, characterise our approach: 

Government Led

Government Led

We are genuinely government led ...because we believe Africa’s future lies in the hands of Africa’s leaders – in the choices they make and the capacity of government to realise them. We work in countries only at the request of their governments. And we support them to deliver their own priorities rather than telling them what those priorities should be. 

“They’re asking us what we need – not telling us what to do, as others have done in the past. This makes a huge difference.” | Dr. Samuel Kargbo, Director of Reproductive and Child Health Responsible for delivery of free healthcare in Sierra Leone

Leader to leader and shoulder to shoulder

Leader to leader and shoulder to shoulder

We work at the leadership level, through Tony Blair’s work with Presidents and our extensive international networks.  At the same time our embedded teams, based permanently in each country, work shoulder shoulder with their local counterparts in public service. 

Getting the Politics of Reform

Getting the politics of reform

AGI is an independent, politically neutral organisation and we never engage in ‘big P’ or party politics. But we do understand that all reform is political, and having the right technical answer is often not enough.  We recognise that if you miss the politics you miss the point.  Our people understand the politics of reform, and the motivations and constraints shaping a government’s decisions.

 “Many reform programs have not achieved their objectives because it was realized...that there was no political will to implement the reform...there was a misreading of the political context.” | World Bank Africa Strategy

The Strategic Centre

The Strategic Centre

We believe that an effective centre of government can play a vital role in the long term transformation of a country. Often, if the centre isn’t working the government isn’t working. So, our teams are embedded in institutions in the very heart of government. We help make Presidents’ offices work so they can lead effectively. And we support the leadership teams in priority ministries so that the centre and delivery ministries are pulling together.

Capacity FOR Results

Capacity for results

We care about developing the capacity of institutions to deliver for the long term. But, government capacity is a means to an end, and that end is reducing poverty. Capacity support should not be detached from reform –focusing on training courses or organisational design but without a strong link to the desired results. AGI’s approach to capacity building is to work alongside our partner governments, start with the specific development outcome the government is trying to achieve and work back to the kind of support needed.

For example, the Free Healthcare Initiative in Sierra Leone has cut the number of children in hospital dying from malaria by 80% - but helping the government implement this reform has also developed its capacity to deliver other big health programmes in future.

Bold and Flexible

Bold and Flexible

As a small, flexible organisation AGI is able to respond rapidly to new opportunities in a way that bigger more bureaucratic organizations sometimes cannot. We can move our resources where they are most needed and seize moments of opportunity where the conditions for reform - and potential for impact - are most promising.