Andrew studied economics and politics at the University of Cambridge.
On graduation he was employed as a Fellow of the Overseas Development Institute, placed in the Ministry of Agriculture in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. From there he moved to teach project appraisal and development economics first at the University of Dar es Salaam and subsequently at the University of Bradford, England. His book Tanzania: A Political Economy (Oxford University Press 1982, second edition 2013) has become the standard study of Tanzania in the 1970s.
From 1982-4 he was a section leader in the newly-formed Employment Department of Sheffield City Council.
In 1984 he joined INLOGOV, the Institute of Local Government Studies, part of the University of Birmingham, England, to teach local economic development. He subsequently developed work on compulsory tendering and contracting in local government, and the relationships and trust which are necessary to make a success of a contract. He has written about the dynamics of partnership working, comparative local government (he edited two books on local government in central and eastern Europe), political leadership, partnership working, PFI, and the politics of British local government.
His current interests are focussed on "scrutiny" – broadly the equivalent in local government of select committees in the Westminster parliament. He runs day seminars and workshops, training for local councillors and council employees, and three-day courses at post-graduate level. He has written articles and edited a pioneering book on the subject.
He is Chair of Birmingham Fabian Society, a thinktank which promotes discussion and writing about the theory and practice of politics in the UK and Vice-Chair (Policy) of Birmingham Northfield Constituency Labour Party.