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Maximising the impact of research: experience from ODI’s RAPID Programme John Young Overseas Development Institute

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Presentation on theme: "Maximising the impact of research: experience from ODI’s RAPID Programme John Young Overseas Development Institute"— Presentation transcript:

1 Maximising the impact of research: experience from ODI’s RAPID Programme John Young Overseas Development Institute

2 RAPID programme in ODI Promoting evidence-based development policy & practice Through –Research –Advice –Public Affairs –Capacity-building Working with: –researchers –policymakers –parliamentarians –southern think tanks for further information see:

3 Identify the problem Commission research Analyse the results Choose the best option Establish the policy Evaluation Implement the policy Policy processes are not...

4 Monitoring and Evaluation Agenda Setting Decision Making Policy Implementation Policy Formulation Policy processes are... Civil Society Donors Cabinet Parliament Ministries Private Sector

5 Policy is chaos “The whole life of policy is a chaos of purposes and accidents. It is not at all a matter of the rational implementation of the so- called decisions through selected strategies” Clay & Schaffer (1984), Room for Manoeuvre: An Exploration of Public Policy in Agricultural and Rural Development, Heineman Educational Books, London

6 Policy is complex Interconnected Feedback Emergence Nonlinearity Sensitivity Changing Edge of chaos Adaptive agents Self-organising Co-evolution

7 Research plays a minor role Kate Bird et al, Fracture Points in Social Policies for Chronic Poverty Reduction, ODI WP242, 2004 (http://www.odi.org.uk/publications/working_papers/wp242.pdf)

8 Policy makers are… Speed Superficiality Spin Secrecy Scientific Ignorance Vincent Cable – Lib. Democrat MP & Shadow Minister of Finance More at: …practically incapable of using research-based evidence because of the 5 Ss…

9 Evidence Experience & Expertise Judgement Resources Values and Policy Context Habits & Tradition Lobbyists & Pressure Groups Pragmatics & Contingencies There are many other factors Source: Phil Davies Impact to Insight Meeting, ODI, 2005

10 Different notions of evidence Colloquial (Contextual) Anything that seems reasonable Policy relevant Timely Clear Message Policy Makers’ Evidence Source: Phil Davies Impact to Insight Meeting, ODI, 2005 ‘Scientific’ (Context free) Proven empirically Theoretically driven As long as it takes Caveats and qualifications Researchers’ Evidence

11 Research can transform lives “The results of household disease surveys informed processes of health service reform which contributed to a 43 and 46 per cent reduction in infant mortality between 2000 and 2003 in two districts in rural Tanzania.” TEHIP Project, Tanzania:

12 The Cynefn Framework

13 An iterative flexible approach

14 Discursive: Client- focused services Attitudinal: Farmers have good ideas Procedural: Participatory approaches to service development Content: UU20, UU25. New guidelines Behavioural:: Approach adopted for other sectors Discursive: Client- focused services Attitudinal: Farmers have good ideas Procedural: Participatory approaches to service development Content: UU20, UU25. New guidelines Behavioural: Approach being applied in practice Different policy objectives

15 Political economy analysis The political context – political and economic structures and processes, culture, institutional pressures, incremental vs radical change etc. The evidence – credibility, the degree it challenges received wisdom, research approaches and methodology, simplicity of the message, how it is packaged etc External Influences Socio-economic and cultural influences, donor policies etc The links between policy and research communities – networks, relationships, power, competing discourses, trust, knowledge etc.

16 Identifying the key actors Use the Alignment Interest Influence Matrix (AIIM) to identify the critical stakeholders Develop enthusiasm to address topic Learn in partnership Develop awareness and enthusiasm Challenge existing beliefs High General level of alignment Low High Interest in specific topic 1.Map actors on the matrix 2.Identify which are the most influential 3.Who do you work with directly?

17 OUTCOME MAPPING: Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs Sarah Earl, Fred Carden, and Terry Smutylo Developing an Action Plan

18 Practical Tools Overarching Tools - The RAPID Framework - Using the Framework - The Entrepreneurship Questionnaire Context Assessment Tools - Stakeholder Analysis - Forcefield Analysis - Writeshops - Policy Mapping - Political Context Mapping Communication Tools - Communications Strategy - SWOT analysis - Message Design - Making use of the media Research Tools - Case Studies - Episode Studies - Surveys - Bibliometric Analysis - Focus Group Discussion Policy Influence Tools - Influence Mapping & Power Mapping - Lobbying and Advocacy - Campaigning: A Simple Guide - Competency self-assessment

19 Researcher Being a policy entrepreneur Storyteller Networker Fixer Engineer

20 Further information ODI – RAPID - Me:


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