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Creating a Window of Opportunity for Policy Change By Nancy Yinger, The Population Reference Bureau AMDD Conference Kuala Lumpur, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating a Window of Opportunity for Policy Change By Nancy Yinger, The Population Reference Bureau AMDD Conference Kuala Lumpur, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating a Window of Opportunity for Policy Change By Nancy Yinger, The Population Reference Bureau AMDD Conference Kuala Lumpur, 2003

2 Workshop Objectives Goal: To provide overview of the role of information in policy process. Topics: The research-to-policy gap A model of the policy process Policy-relevant findings, implications, and recommendations The importance of evaluation

3 The Research-to-Policy Gap Large investments have been made in policy- relevant data collection and research. Yet, opportunities for increasing knowledge and putting data to use are often lost. Researchers and decision makers work in different spheres.

4 How is the gap manifested? Stereotypes Assumptions about how decisions are made

5 Researchers' Stereotypes of Policymakers Uninterested or too busy to read Reach hasty conclusions Actions unsubstantiated by data Distrust survey and research findings Limited perspective Should be responsible for drawing implications from the data

6 Policymakers Stereotypes of Researchers Avoid policy implications of findings Prone to professional "faddism" Excessive use of technical jargon Inconclusive generalities about broad theoretical matters Little appreciation of real problems and data needs

7 Assumptions about Decision-making Practice rational decision-making Prioritize goals and objectives Examine alternative solutions systematically Choose alternatives that maximize goals Researchers may assume that policymakers:

8 Policymaking is Not Linear PROBLEMS SOLUTIONS POLITICS

9 A Window of Opportunity for Policy Change Window of opportunity POLITICS PROBLEMS SOLUTIONS

10 Moving the Spheres Together PROBLEMSSOLUTIONS POLITICS Coalition Building Policy Learning Agenda Setting

11 The Goal of Agenda Setting Help issues gain and keep the attention of: The media The public Policymakers

12 Characteristics of Issues that Get on the Policy Agenda Clear, measurable indicators Policy champions Feasible policy or program alternatives Attention-focusing events

13 Agenda Setting Activities Press conferences and other kinds of support for journalists Public events, seminars and speeches One-on-one meetings with policymakers

14 Coalition Building Links together individuals from Government The academic community The media NGOs and advocacy groups Businesses

15 Coalition Building Activities Create and/or facilitate media or advocacy networks Provide information to existing networks

16 Policy Learning The ongoing stream of information to policymakers An understanding by all actors of complex power relations and changing institutional arrangements

17 Policy Learning Activities Policy analyses Publications Electronic communications (websites, CD-roms, e- newsletters) Seminars and briefings

18 Crafting the Policy Message Policy communication messages derive directly from the data help decision makers to understand policy implications and to make grounded policy recommendations.

19 Research Key Findings Recommendations Implications Research to Recommendations Policy Environment Other Research

20 Implications are: Broad statements that express a direction, new information, or a need implied by the findings. Analyses derived from two or more findings. Guides to help the audience begin to interpret the findings.

21 Making the Link to Recommendations Implications are a bridge from your key findings to policy recommendations.

22 Recommendations: Offer specific actions that you urge a policymaker or program planner to take. Should start with an action & be S.M.A.R.T.

23 A S.M.A.R.T. Recommendation Is: Specific Measurable Action-oriented Realistic Timebound

24 Skilled Attendance at Delivery, by Residence, India 1998-99 Source: OCR Macro, India National Family Health Survey, Demographic and Health Surveys. Percent of live births

25 Implications Rural women may be at significantly higher risk of maternal death than urban women because of the low level of skill attendance at birth. A higher percentage of the urban women who have skilled care rely on doctors, which may result in higher medical costs.

26 Recommendations Within one year, conduct a behavior change campaign in rural areas to increase awareness of the importance of skilled care, and in urban areas to build support for using nurse/midwives. Within two years, expand the number of trained nurse/midwives by 50%, and include a community service requirement to increase the pool of skilled providers in rural areas.

27 Place of Delivery, by Education, Peru 2000 Source: OCR Peru Demographic and Health Survey. Percent of live births

28 Implication Educational level is clearly related to whether women in Peru deliver their babies at home or in facilities, but only the most educated women rely on facilities. Since women with primary education are quite similar to those with no education, programs need to target both groups to address their needs for safe delivery.

29 Recommendations Within 6 months, conduct additional analysis on the constraints to facility-based delivery faced by the 2 lower-education groups. Within 1 year, start a community-based project to address those constraints, including materials for low-literate or illiterate populations about the danger signs of obstetric emergencies.

30 Evaluating Policy Communications Have policy communications activities : Helped your issues gain the attention of policy makers; Enhanced coalition efforts to increase the saliency of your issues; or Supported policy learning?

31 And Ultimately…The Window of Opportunity Is there evidence of change in Policies, Programs, Strategies, or Resource allocation ?

32 Need for Benchmarks Coalition building Policy Learning Agenda Setting best worst

33 Initial Assessment Coalition building Agenda Setting Policy Learning

34 Post-Intervention Assessment Coalition Building: No change Agenda Setting: Improved Policy Learning: Improved Window open

35 In Summary Policy change is a complex, dynamic process. Research can play a key role but the research-to-policy gap must be bridged. Agenda-setting, coalition building & policy learning are key elements in policy change. Effective policy communication depends on clear findings, implications & recommendations.

36 Saving Womens Lives Communicating your research findings to policymakers will help open the Window of Opportunity for improved maternal health policies. Thank you!

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