Presentation on theme: "Using Community-Based Research to Affect Public Policy"— Presentation transcript:
1 Using Community-Based Research to Affect Public Policy CBR 301:Using Community-Based Researchto Affect Public Policy
2 Starting Points: Research into Policy Action Assumptions:you’ve done some good CBRyou’ve identified unmet needs, gaps or barriers in existing services, problems that need solvingat best, you’ve identified possible solutions to those problemsso you’ve shown that policy or programme action is needed – and you may be able to point the way to the kind of policy and programme response needednow what?
3 Focus of This Workshop - How to translate community-based research into policy change Upon completion of this workshop you will be able to:Submit research findings to those who need to know about them – and can act on themIdentify the policy implications of the findingsDevelop concrete/workable policy alternatives in preparation for presenting to governmentApply effective strategies and tactics for getting policy alternatives into actionan equally important goal could be translating the research findings into better service delivery in your sector;not what this workshop is about, but the principles of knowledge exchange we will be talking about will apply to programme and service implications as well
4 Connections to Other Workshops This is a basic overview in a series of workshops on ensuring CBR has policy impactCBR 308 looks at how the government policy process works and the creation of recommendations for policy decisions and implementationCBR 310 is about how to effectively write up and present those alternatives in the language of the policy trade
5 Warm-upHow many people have been involved in CBR projects? - those who have been involved in an actual CBR projectthose who may not have been directly involved in the research itself, but know a lot about a particular projectthose who haven't yet done or been involved in CBR directlyBriefly introduce yourself:what organization or sector you are from?why you need to know more about policy analysis and knowledge exchange – do you have a particular project in mind to roll out?what is the most important policy issue facing your organization or sector?1. we introduced Wellesley, now we want you to introduce yourselvesfirst of all, can’t assume all have been involved in CBR – let’s check2. an easy question and then two harder -- give example -- how many of you are involved in housing, recent danger of SCIPI $ being reduced would have had a huge effect
6 Recap: Community-Based Research quick re-cap -- to set this workshop in contextshould be about 10 by now, not much later
7 Defining Features of CBR The ‘C’ of CBR means:communities identify problems and issues for researchcommunity people are involved in all stages of designing and actually undertaking the researchcommunity mobilization is one goal of the researchanother is sustainable capacity building
8 Defining Features of CBR Cont’d to identify problems and opportunities for changeto yield knowledge that can be acted on –so ensuring your research has impact is always one goalthis includes in public policy – identifying areas where new or changed government policy is needed
9 Potential of CBR Findings and implications of research … new needs or gaps in existing services identifiedcommunity preferences or priorities determinedbarriers to getting services or supportinnovations or ‘best practices’pilot test workssystemic inequities uncoveredpoint of today is to learn how to get from left column to the opposite actions
10 Potential of CBR Cont’d What can be done with this knowledge?service providers adapt or expand services, govts fundpolicy or resource allocations reflect community prioritiesprogram or policy changes to reduce barriersother providers take them upadapt and generalizepolicy changes to address systemic basis
11 Exercise 1: Identifying the Policy Potential of CBR In a group discuss CBR projects that you know or have been involved in that showed:how existing policies or programs were contributing to the particular problem being researched?key gaps where new govt programmes were needed?where existing programmes were not working well or did not have enough resources?did some show where changes in existing policy were needed?Pick one good example of research with real policy potential and fill out what this potential isHave someone report your example – and its policy potential – to the groupshould be starting this by 10:15want this to be finished by 10:45take 5-10 minutes for exercisethen report back of only 2 minutes per table – as an exercise in effective presentationyou’ve all heard idea of ‘elevator speech”
12 Turning Research into Policy Action What needs to happen to get governments to act on the research & evidence you have found?Policy makers need to know about the research and its implications – your knowledge exchange strategyThey need to understand the basis of the problem – which sometimes means even acknowledging that there is a problemThey need to have concrete policy solutions or alternatives that will address whatever the problem is – which means you need to know how public policy process worksThey need the political will to act – which sometimes/often means they need to be forced to actshould be starting by 10:45summarize key points from group reports and discussions – to lead into thishopefully the reports back highlight that well-designed CBR can have real policy potential – getting the most of it is what we will focus on today
13 First Stage: Identify Policy Implications of Research What does the research show about:how existing policy/programmes are addressing the problemunmet or unrecognized needspolicy or programme barriers to access or quality deliverypossible policy solutions to the problem
14 First Stage: Identify Policy Implications of Research You know what needs to be done → then the challenge becomes how to make sure the necessary policy change actually happensIn fact, you should be thinking about policy implications from the very start of designing the research process – since the point of CBR is to support change
15 What Is Public Policy?Very hard to define – because public policy affects almost all aspects of society and social lifeA public policy is a deliberate decision made by government(s) that addresses identified objectives and concerns for the public good.There can be considerable debate about what exactly is the ‘public good’ and how that is determinedthink of good examples from sectors people are from – ask a few people what polices affect their situation and prospects
16 What Is Public Policy?Often thought of as working to achieve goals considered to be in the best interests of societyclean air, economic growth, a good health care systemthere is, of course debate on every issue like this – economic growth at the cost of a poor environment or social inequality? sustainable growth or the best market performance this year?does this mean everybody in society or does policy need to be targeted?
17 What is Public Policy II Public policies operate at different levels:high-level vision and goalsassociated strategic objectives – or party/electoral priorities/promisesoperational workplans and activitiesresources and programmes to achieve objectivesPublic policy sets out the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of something that is to be done
18 What is Public Policy II Policy works through a variety of instruments (e.g. laws, regulations, internal Ministry procedures, programme guidelines, expenditures, etc)Often involves allocations of funds and resourcesIt involves three levels of govt and the complex interconnections between them – it is crucial to understand this jurisdictional and administrative complexity for every policy issue you are working on
19 Think of Policy Development as Process A particular policy – or policy framework -- represents the result of decisions made on how best to address a particular objective or problemSometimes this can be a deliberate decision not to decide – not to address a particular issueI say generally because there can also be reactive ‘fire-fighting’ policy on the runas civil servants scramble to respond to changing govt policy or public pressures
20 Think of Policy Development as Process Within the public service there is a generally careful process of:identifying objectivesassessing a range of possible actions to achieve the resultanalyzing against number of factors – effectiveness, cost, political context, public and community support, etc.
21 Think of Policy Development as Process before choice is made about the most appropriate and workable means to the desired endalways trade-offs, compromise , different “publics” effectedincreasingly complex, interconnected, horizontal
22 And of a Policy Development Cycle we have a poster of this diagram to hang up
23 And of a Policy Environment What drives political/public policy decisions? Timeframe of government’s business/election cycle –make the tough decisions earlyShort attention span of politics, short shelf life of policy – “In two years, it’s not my problem”Government’s policy agenda/priorities – where does this issue ‘fit’ within govt prioritiesGovernment’s communications agenda/priorities – at crudest, how will action or non-action make the govt look? is this consistent with how govt wants to present itselfhow many are familiar with this kind of thing? filled out more in CBR 308
24 And of a Policy Environment What drives political/public policy decisions? Current/prospective health of government finances – and costs and benefits of particular policy alternativesCurrent/prospective economic cycle –view from Bay Street, global marketsValues, beliefs, ethics – find the social consensusStakeholders and interests – what competing interests and perspectives need to be taken into account?Media attention/perspective, opinion polls – understand the public mood
25 Politicians, Public Servants and Public Policy “How the System Really Works” The Players:role of - and constraints on - legislators (Legislative branch)Ministers and Cabinet make policy (Executive branch)political staff in Ministers and Premier’s offices – very importantcomplex hierarchy of civil servants – Deputy Ministers, ADMs, Directors etc.the courtsfinish this overview by 11:15
26 Politicians, Public Servants and Public Policy The Process in Governmentso many demands, so little time; intensely rivalrousdaily fire-fighting; often chaotic, reactive decision-making processhighly risk averse (all the more so with new emphasis on “accountability”)critical role of central agencies – Finance, Cabinet Officeneed to know who decides what, when
27 Exercise 2Identify one issue – either that you have done or are planning to do CBR in or that is especially important for your community sectorThe scenario is that you are just starting the planning process for CBR on that issueThe task is to analyze the key features of the policy environment for the issue that you need to be aware ofThe deliverable is a two minute report outlining that policy environment to your research planning committee – the goal is to give the committee enough of an understanding of the policy environment to be able to plan out the research to have the most policy impactPick one person to make that report to the groupgive them exercise and then take a 5 minute breakstart by 11:20to get discussion on the exercise finished by 11:45
28 Ensuring your Research has Impact: 1. Knowledge Exchange The first step in putting CBR into action = ensuring that policy makers and other key stakeholders know about your research and its implicationsNeed to have a knowledge exchange strategy:who could benefit from this knowledge – who need to know?not just policy sphere, but other community groups or service providershow to get the info and analysis to them?in ways they can understand and useThe starting point is to know your audience – in fact, get them involved in initial research designwho is familiar with term KE?
29 Ensuring your Research has Impact: 2. Customize depending upon the purpose of your research and your findings, there can be several potential audiencesreporting back to community should always be one of the audiencesreport back meetings to check and confirm findingshave to think about translation and context
30 Ensuring your Research has Impact: 2. Customize If research shows how to improve or expand services, then the audience is service providersconsider customized summary with programme implicationspresent to conferences and other sectors forumsspecific e mail and other roll –outget into specific Listserves and other networksThe main focus in this workshop is on CBR with policy implications – how to win policy change
31 Ensuring your Research has Impact: 3. Presentation Write for specific audiences and environmentsplain language alwaysalways short summaries – at best, customized to audience and purposeuse Web publications & other IT if you canuse your findings as a hook – to get media attention, meet politicians, etc. Describe your methods – tell your audience exactly what it is that you did to come up with your results.Be descriptive & analytical.Use lots of quotes – with warning & permissionUse tables, charts, figures, models & diagramsContextualize – where does this data come from, who does it apply toSpeak with confidence about your findings when you present them
32 Exercise: Getting Your CBR Out Develop a knowledge exchange strategy for research in which you were involved or know aboutUsing the kind of analysis we have been discussing –identify audiencesmessages for eachpotential means of disseminationhow to build ongoing relationships with that audience, etc.Appoint one person to make a two minute report outlining your Knowledge Exchange strategyhave finished intro points on KE by 12then reporting back to finish by 12:30then lunch, without an exercise
33 Getting CBR to policy makers Good knowledge exchange to policy makers involve systematic outreach and follow up:Identify people who could be making the decisions – audience againGet findings & policy implications to themAs part of long-term strategy to build relationships with key policy makers in your spheres customized reports for policy audiencethis as post-lunch segueto start at 1, not later than 1:15
34 Getting CBR to policy makers Create customized policy implications summariesknow the policy environment and way of thinkingtranslate into terms they understand and with concrete recommendations they can act onInvest time in some solid policy analysisWe’ll see more on how to do this kind of analysis now
35 Policy analysis 101: Start by Scanning the Landscape 1. Generally start your research planning by scanning the policy environment for your field (just like you do a literature review of previous research on the issue)2. Know what the current policy situation/environment is for your issueto be able to develop realistic & workable alternativesto be able to couch your argument/demand – your ‘ask’ – in ways that are understandable to policy makers -- and winnableto analyze how/if your issue fits within existing policy framework and govt agendato avoid embarrassment if your options have been tried already and didn’t work or were rejectedhow many have done this kind of scanning?more detail in appendix
36 Look widely: Comparative Policy Scanning Great benefits to researching what policy alternatives have been tried or considered in other jurisdictions:Looking for how other jurisdictions have addressed similar policy problemDepending upon the issue – might mean other large cities, other prov, comparable countriesCan yield:General ideas or optionsExamples of effective policies/programs that could be adapted for your purposesJustification for your alternatives – e.g. if cost-benefit was demonstrated elsewherecheck how many have ever done such policy/issue scanning?
37 Then Develop Policy Options I Think of a wide range of factors such as :How complex and big a policy change you are looking forImpact (balancing criteria such as equity, efficiency, stability)Cost – dig deeper here -- is it short-term, capital or operating, one-time or continuing, etc.?Versus benefits – especially if preventative or cost-saving in the long runisn’t this civil servant’s jobs?yes – but the more you can present well-formulated options – the more policy-ready the better – the more chance of success
38 Then Develop Policy Options I Cont’d …. How do your recommendations and options fit with:Government agenda and prioritiesElectoral cycle, budget cycle and other timeframesYour organization or movement’s values and communities’ interests
39 Developing Options II What makes a policy option relevant? It’s solidly grounded – your research evidence is clear and convincingIt’s a simple concept – it’s easy to understandIt’s a great story – it’s easy to explain, has a human dimension, has clear key messagesIt works – it solves the problemIt reflects current or emerging values – it’s grounded in social consensus, it seems like the “right thing to do”from 308mentioned fit and timing a number of timesthis doesn’t mean that community advocates and groups never take up issues that don’t fit govt agenda or timetables -- in fact, very often, community issues don’t fitit’s just that you need to know what the agenda is and try to ‘fit’ when it suits your values and interests – principled opportunismand where it doesn't fit or when the timing isn’t right – then you need to know that, to adjust your advocacy strategy
40 Developing Options II Cont’d What makes a policy option relevant? It reflects “good government” – it shows political or community leadership to move towards social consensusIts benefits outweigh its costsIts investment can be justified – it’s cost-neutral or cost-effectiveIt’s a new way of doing things – it’s innovativeIt “fits” – it delivers on the government’s policy, communications, and/or fiscal agenda
41 Developing Options III: Analyzing How it Could be Implemented Consider the language of policy makers = instrument – what is used to implement the policyEvaluate in terms of continuum of factors just discussedShow the best means to achieve the policy objectiveall of this is very complex and specializedyou have to understand enough to be able to develop your demands and not be embarrassedbut don’t try to learn legislative drafting – get some help
42 Developing Options III: Analyzing How it Could be Implemented LeastIntrusive and intensiveMostIntrusive and difficultInformal best practices (communities of practice, networks)Self- regulationFormal information disseminationResearch and stakeholder fundingAdministrative policyArm’s length relationshipsTax, user fees, subsidy, other financial incentivesStanding and advisory committeesProgram policyContracts (accountability, governance)Non-arm’s length relationshipsLegislation,RegulationRestructuring (organizations, government)
43 Analyzing Options The Concept of “pros/cons,” “benefits/costs” For government, assessing cost-benefits of options is standard part of policy process and risk management toolFor you, posing recommendations/demands in these terms increases your credibility and usability
44 Analyzing Options The concept of “pros/cons,” “benefits/costs” the benefits -- e.g., delivers a government commitment, equity, accountability/governance, social consensus, good messagesor what lessens riskConsthe costsor what increases risk, e.g., lack of “fit,” inequity/disparate impact, inadequate resourcing (operating/capital costs, human), liabilities (financial, legal), complexity, lack of constitutional authorityNever neutral or non-political process
45 Developing Recommendations What Turns a Policy Option into a Decision? It reflects consensus or compromise – it’s the best dealIt works – it solves the problem or at least makes it go awayIt manages risk well – it’s relatively “safe”It can lead to more change – it’s incrementalIt gives your community and the government an opportunity to engage - it carries the power of partnershipIt “fits” – it delivers on the government’s policy, communications, and/or fiscal agendayou will be balancing:what options has most chance of winningwhat is truest to community interests and perspectives
46 Developing Recommendations II How do You Describe the Key Elements of a Decision? Reference the issue and how you’ve framed it – this solves the problem as we understand itTranslate the policy solution into a communication strategy – this is what it meansExplain the “why” - summarize and highlight the rationale, including the political benefit – this is why we’re recommending thisAnalyze and acknowledge the risks – legal challenge, cost pressures, inequity/disparate impact, adverse public/media/community reaction, being off-message, stakeholder pressures (“floodgates”), timing, etc.
47 Exercise 3 – Develop a Policy Issue Pick 1 issue per table in which CBR you were involved in or know about had clear and significant policy implicationsGo through the kind of analysis we have been discussing – identify implications, understand the policy environment, analyze options, pick the most effective and winnable for your purposesWork up concrete policy options that you can take to govt to put your alternative into actionAppoint 1 person to deliver 2 two minute report outlining your policy issue and why the option you have chosen should be adoptedto start by 1:45remember this can be hypothetical if you don’t have real data to back up options – but be concreteto finish reporting back by 2:15
48 Case Study Erika Khandor Street Health CBR that identified barriers to homeless people with disabilities getting access to Ontario Disability Support Programme and piloted a model to overcome the barriers and a strategy to get results and recommended policy and programme actions to decision makersby 2:15to finish by 3:00-15
49 Developing an Advocacy Strategy Once you have developed concrete and workable policy options – how do you persuade decision makers in govt to act on them?start by 3:15see also CAP workshop
50 Developing an Advocacy Strategy: For Effective Policy Advocacy you Need luck – “the right issue at the right time” -- but be ready to seize opportunities when they arise -- proactive opportunismbroad understanding of the issue and the political and public policy context in which it exists – emphasized earlierrelevance of your objective to the govt's needs, priorities, context, constraintsa winning style and approach -- likeability, civility, reliabilityability to provide tangible, practical, useful assistance and recommendations that government can understand and use (“do-it- yourself public policy.”persistence
51 Social Movements and Political Change The most effective advocacy campaigns – with the best chances of success – are part of wider coalitions and movementsThink of the really significant historical shifts in public policy and the role of govts – where did they come from?employment equity would not have happened without strong women's and labour movementsMedicare and public health system was the result of long campaignstreatment and funds for HIV/AIDS were won by grass-roots organizingAll of these campaigns had effective policy demands and advocacy, but they also had collective strength and popular organizing behind them
52 Advocacy Strategy Planning Checklist Overall strategic approach & objectives – what are you asking for?Positioning and framing – how do your demands relate to govt, to allied movements and campaigns, to the wider political environment?Key messages – adopting this policy will solve …Targets (officials, ministers, political staff, parties or legislators)
53 Advocacy Strategy Planning Checklist Implementing Tacticsmeetings, briefings, media, grassrootsconsultations, stakeholdersTimetable and staging (key decision-points etc.)Feedback / evaluation / re-Positioning – be flexibleManagement plan (who decides what)Budget
54 Take the ‘Long View’Think long-term but also look for immediate winnable issuesto build momentum and hopebut be careful of co-optation & short-term reforms that deflect from long-term goalsCaledon’s “relentless incrementalism”Have good peripheral vision as well -- situate your issue in relation toother comparable issues → to build coalitionsthe overall govt policy agenda -- back to ‘fit’It is movements that win real change – not just individual advocacy campaigns, however good they are
55 Tactics I: Use Your Political Capital Expertiseyou may know more about your issue – what it is and how to solve it - than most government advisersyou have done the research and have the specific dataNetwork and supporthow broad, diverse and connected your membership isyour capacity to access, mobilize and activate communities of citizens, voters and taxpayersthis is about playing to your group’s and community’s strengths
56 Tactics I: Use Your Political Capital Leadershipyour record of creating vision and building trustpast accomplishments and successesCredibility and reputation – your profile lends credibility to you (and the government)Passion – your commitment and energy for the issueContacts and connectionsat political and official levels and among powerful community stakeholderswho knows who in your organization or coalitions
57 Tactics I: Use Your Political Capital It’s all about earning and widely spending your political capital ……
58 Tactics II: Build Coalitions a movement trumps an individual groupcoalitions are effective but harder to managechoose your allies wisely
59 Tactics II: Build Coalitions “usual suspects” coalitionsgood way to share expense and burden and show relative breadthcan be useful way to cross-fertilize and enrich narrative and objectivescan also get bogged down in same-old, same-old“strange bedfellows” coalitionsmuch greater political and media impactfocus on what unites not what dividesmuch more labour intensive and likely to be false starts
60 Tactics III: Pubic Relations and Media Understand the MediaAs business: news = circulation = advertisersPossible friend or foeBuild relationships – understand reporters’ livestell a people storya picture is worth 1,000 wordsspin yes; misrepresentation nothey love you to do their work for themthe “exclusive”Name your work or campaignpopulist, marketing spinif you don’t, others willHave a good spokespersonone voice, consistent messagealways accessibletrained & experienced
61 ExercisePick one issue per table in which CBR you were involved in or know about had clear and significant policy implicationsUsing the advocacy planning checklist we have been discussing → develop a preliminary advocacy strategy for the issueAppoint 1 person to deliver a 2 minute report outlining your policy issue and why the option you have chosen should be adoptedif by 3:30, then do thisif it is already 3:45, then do as group exercise
62 How will you know when you’ve won? Refer back to your strategic goalsBuild success indicators into your strategic planning:they might be very specific -- getting policy recommendation X adopted by Yor they could be starting points in a long strategy -- getting the issue discussed and at least shifting the public policy agenda or frameworkBe internally rigorous and honest:have we been achieving our objectives?what do we need to change about our policy demands or advocacy to become successful?
63 Tips & Techniques for Policy Scans Define problem/question as clearly as possibleDefine scope of reviewe.g. child care policy in all prov? Just larger? Other countries?quality comparisons between commercial and non-profit provisionhow has child care been funded in other jurisdictions – to help evaluate current govt proposalsDefine timeframe – how old is too old for info?Start on the phone – with experts -- but prepareTip: see phoning expert as an interviewHave a sense of the nature of the issue before you callDo some preliminary researchReview press clippings on the issue – library / internetThis isn’t just gathering info, but can also help you figure out where to look or help to clarify/refine your basic question
64 Appendix: Policy Scanning To be able to take your findings effectively into the policy sphere, you need to know what the current policy situation/environment is for your particular issue:Plan your research project so that it will have the most impactDevelop realistic & workable alternatives you can take to policy makersUnderstand how/if your issue fits within the existing policy framework and govt agendaCouch your argument/demand – your ‘ask’ – in ways that are understandable to policy makers -- and winnable
65 Policy Scanning Tips Review policy framework for particular issue: Policy guidelines, directives, programme manuals, etc. for particular programsMinistry backgrounders for particular alternatives/issuesTask forces, commissions, federal-provincial and other reports can be useful background
66 Policy Scanning TipsUnderstand legislative & regulatory framework for issue:Not usually in great detail – or get a lawyer when you need themDon't waste time reading legislation -- look for:compendiums and explanatory notes for Billscommercial and legal updating servicesAsk the experts in Ministry or community
67 Policy Scanning Tips II In the era of e-government:Published docs will be on-lineMost Internet policy research will be quite focused/directed:start from established Ministry sites, links pages of major organizations, etc.Start from your own favouritesUse internal search engines on govt and Ministry sitesone site/source will lead to another
68 Policy Scanning Tips II Remember: most of the really relevant info on policy background and implementation is not published or is really hard to findUse your contacts – who can advise who to callCall around the Ministrydirectories are on line -- find the person who knows the issue & backgroundAsk them what key policy guidelines and reports are and where to find them
69 Policy Scanning Tips III Conduct literature reviews:Early in the process to help define research or policy issueCultivate your academic or professional friendsSourcesgeneral techniques of Internet searching -- Google, libraries & databasesPolitical science, policy, public admin, academic & professional journals and booksProfessional & practitioner magazines/journals – e.g. social workResources & databases are not free → find & use a university or big libraryhow many have done lit reviews?
70 Focus of This Workshop - How to translate community-based research into policy change Having completed this workshop you are now able to:Submit research findings to those who need to know about them – and can act on themIdentify the policy implications of the findingsDevelop concrete/workable policy alternatives in preparation for presenting to governmentApply effective strategies and tactics for getting policy alternatives into actionan equally important goal could be translating the research findings into better service delivery in your sector;not what this workshop is about, but the principles of knowledge exchange we will be talking about will apply to programme and service implications as well
71 Workshop Evaluation Your feedback is extremely important Please complete the workshop evaluationThank you
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