Presentation on theme: "Kent Buse, PhD John Young Oxford, November 2006"— Presentation transcript:
1Kent Buse, PhD John Young Oxford, November 2006 Tools to understand the political and policy context & engage with policy makersKent Buse, PhDJohn YoungOxford, November 2006
2Overview What is policy? What explains policy change? What is the relationship between researchers and policy makers?Tools to understand the political context of policy changeTools to influence the policy process
4Policy – some meanings Label for field of activity/space Expression of general intentSpecific proposalsDecisions of governmentFormal authority/legislationProgramOutput or outcomeModel or theoryHogwood & Gunn, 1984It would be interesting to know what you wrote down and in particular how you conceptualised what you mean by policy. I would guess that collectively you used the term policy in quite a variety of ways.Hogwood and Gunn found that the term ‘policy’ is used in a variety of ways.Broad area: foreign or economic policy – broad fields of governmental activityGeneral expression – lacking specificity – World Bank – a world free of poverty - sometimes even rhetorical – real intentions may differ from stated objectives (war in Afganistan and Iraq – threats to US part of a plan to secure access to vast oil reserves?Specific proposals – like reducing the incidence of a particular disease by a specific percentage over a given length of timeDecision of government - government of Botswana decision to introduce Hep B vaccine into routine immunisation programmeFormal legislation – act of Congress in the US – legitimising – but not necessarily meaning that action will follow – particularly effective actionProgramme – ‘programme on access to treatment and care’ might be part of a country’s HIV policy which could include formal legislation, organization, resourcesOutput or outcome – what government actually delivered or achieved – differs from intentModel or theory - e.g., government undertook x policy to produce y – implicit in this way of thinking about policy is the idea of cause and effect, government introduces out of pocket charges for utilisation of health services will increase the availability of funds for health servicesPolicy can be thought of as any of the above – but what is striking about the way that the word is used in general parlance is that it focuses on the content of policy.
5According to Peter John - ‘the interplay between institutions, interests and ideas.’John P (1998) Analysing Public Policy. London: Cassell.There are numerous definitions. This definition of policy reflects three of the main theories of how policies change or remain the same since it emphasises the contributions of:Institutions – meaning the formal structures of goverance and their related norms and ‘rules of the game’ – ‘how we do things round here’;Groups and networks – meaning the patterns of association and alliances between participants in the policy process (e.g. between interest groups);Ideas - referring to the role of argument, discourse and advocacy in the policy process, including the role of research and evidence. This is where academics are said to play a particularly important role.Traditional policy definitions tend to highlight explicit ‘problems’ and the ‘decisions’ taken in response to them. However, I find Peter John’s broader, more political definition, with its awareness of the fact that conflict is endemic to policy and policy making, and that policy can also relate to decisions not to do things, closer to my experience
6Two types of policy research Research ‘for’ policy – about policy content (what should be done) and outcomes (policy evaluation)Research ‘on’ policy – about the policy process (explanatory, usually not evaluative, focuses on ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions)The predominant form of policy research is focused on the ‘content’ of policy (the ‘what’) – i.e. research ‘for’ policy – research designed to help policy makers decide what to do faced with a particular problem. It includes very valuable evaluative work on which programmes ‘work’ best; i.e. research on policy outcomes. It is work which engages with questions such as: is integrating STD and MCH a good thing; is it effective and cost-effective compared with alternative ways of delivering these services? It does not seek primarily to explain how and why the policy came into existence, how the policy developed, how it was altered in light of the experience of implementation and how these processes affected its impact and eventual fate. This is research ‘on’ policy.
7Research ‘on’ policy‘Research on policy seeks to understand how the machinery of the state and political actors interact to produce public actions. ...The main tasks … are to explain how policy-making works and to explore the variety and complexity of the decision-making processes.’(John, 1998, p1)There has been a neglect of research on policy.When we do consider processes, we tend to do what is known as ‘process evaluation’ which is usually an attempt to evaluate how fully a particular policy or programme is being implemented ‘on the ground’ and what the participants think about the policy and the process. Process evaluation tends to treat the existence of the policy or programme as a ‘given’ or the starting point of the research. It rarely attempts to study how the particular policy or programme came to the fore in the first place.It is complex and very messy. A whole range of variables come into play to account for policy change. Gilson and Walt have produced a framework for organizing some of those variable
8Walt & Gilson’s framework ContextSituational factorsStructural factorsCultural factorsGlobal factorsActorsThe stateThe marketCivil societyContentProcessThey propose a simple analytical model in which ‘content’ is only one aspect of policy which has to be taken into account. The model is designed to help policy makers and researchers understand better the process of health policy reform retrospectively and to plan for more effective implementation prospectively.The policy ‘triangle’ is not a unifying theory of policy change – it is simply a very effective way to organise a wealth of information to help understand how policy decisions are made. The framework sensitises the analyst to the likelihood that policy change is the product of many factors.Objectives & aimsAssumptionsValuesDistributional impactWhy do issues reach the agenda?Who formulates policy?How is policy implemented?What makes policies change?
9Political Situation Analysis Systematically gather political intelligence associated with any policy reform on:Content – the what of policyContext – the social, cultural, temporal environment in which decisions takenProcess – how decisions are made – the rules of the game – how we do businessActors – those who affect and are affected by decisions
10Bangladesh Case Study Unanticipated opposition to ‘no-brainer’ reform Learn lessons from poor performance to inform strategyProposed PolicyIntegration of two wings of ministry responsible for family planning & health servicesSubstantial body of research supported integration: cost-effectiveness, management, service deliveryAgreed by key health officials and subject of donor conditionalityContext:Political volatility and partisan confrontationLimited government ownership of health policySuperficial analysis identified two loosing groups but did not anticipate opposition – no plan toAlter costs by offering to change elements of policyModify perceptions of costsCompensate losersPartial implementation reversed after affected FP managers mobilized many groupsDonorsConfronted deep-rooted interests involved in distributing rentsStrategy relied on ‘sensitizing’ opponents of evidence-based virtues, failed to mobilize potential allies or shift dialogue to new forum, and took ‘non-negotiable’ stanceSuspended disbursements for a few months and then backed down(Minister, Prime Minister, Planning Commission, medical association)
11Health Policy Reform History ‘Conventional’ evidence ‘for’ policy necessary but insufficient for changePolicy failureLosses fall on organized & powerful groupsGains distributed among marginalizeAnalysis of political-economy dimensions of change important determinant of successRequires more systematic approaches to understanding political dimensions & influencing change
12Policy content Substance which details its constituent parts: Aims and strategies of the policyEmpirical basis of the policy (evidence)Underlying values and paradigmsTechnical content (evidence informed)Administrative feasibility of the policyAs noted, there is usually the most information available on this aspect of policyTake a look at the policy reform that you selected. What is the content associated with that policy in terms of what it aims to achieve and how it proposes to do so. Think about the underlying values and evidence. Make a note of these and discuss with your partner. If no partner and your neighbor also has none – please discuss.
13Policy Consequences Distribution of benefits and costs in terms of: StakeholdersScaleCharacteristicsIntensityTiming, etcAs noted, there is usually the most information available on this aspect of policyTake a look at the policy reform that you selected. What is the content associated with that policy in terms of what it aims to achieve and how it proposes to do so. Think about the underlying values and evidence. Make a note of these and discuss with your partner. If no partner and your neighbor also has none – please discuss.
14Actors/Stakeholders Individuals or groups with interest in the issue Some role in making or implementing decisionAffected by policy decisionSpecific to each policy reform and contextStakeholder analysisIdentify stakeholder groupsLooking for independent groups/individuals with some influence or potential influenceBreak down categories as far as feasibleIdentify 15 or so stakeholdersNeed to think about the implications/consequences of the policy – those affected, those who might take action, those who could be mobilized –Pay attention to those who can block policy adoption or implementationPay attention to individuals and organizations
15Bangladesh Integration Example: Ministry of FinancePlanning CommissionPrime MinisterMinister of HealthSecretary of Min of HealthDeputy Secretary Ministry of HealthHealth reformers in MinistryCadre of Family Planning OfficialsMedical AssociationDonorsPressAcademicsSelect service delivery NGOsIdentify 15 or so stakeholder groups pertinent to your chosen policy
16Assessing Stakeholder Power: Political Assets:TangibleVotesFinanceInfrastructureMembersIntangibleExpertiseCharismaLegitimacyAccess to media & decision makersOf the stakeholders you identified, select ten and make an inventory of the major assets and characterize each as having low, medium, high power
17Interests, Position & Commitment Interests – what would a stakeholder gain or lose from the proposed reform?Interests determine position: supportive, neutral, opposedCommitment – importance attached by stakeholder to issueDetermining interests can be complex – sometimes concealedChose five of the groups and list their interests – what they stand to gain or loseGiven interests – determine their positionConsider the commitment – a powerful actor may be relatively indifferent
18Position Map LEVEL OF INFLUENCE POSITION Opposed Neutral Supportive HighMediumLow
19Bangladesh Integration: Pre-2001 LEVEL OF INFLUENCEPOSITIONOpposedNeutralSupportiveHighDG FPMin of FinancePlanning CommissionPrime MinisterMinister of HealthSecretary of HealthBMASome DPs (WB, DFID, EC, USAID)MediumAdmin cadreFP cadreClass III/IV employeesPrint pressDGHHealth cadreReformers in MOHFW SecretariatLowAdditional SecretaryHealth NGOsFP NGOsAcademiaSome DPs (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, CIDA, SIDA, GTZ, Dutch Co-operation)
20Positions Oct 2001-May 2003 LEVEL OF INFLUENCE POSITION Opposed NeutralSupportiveHighSecretaryDG FPFP cadreClass III/IV workersMinistry of FinancePrime MinisterPlanning CommissionMinister of HealthBMAMediumFP NGOsAdmin cadre? Press?DGHSome DPs (WB, DFID, EC, USAID)LowUNFPACIDASIDAGTZAcademiaHealth NGOsSome DPs (WHO, UNICEF, Dutch Co-operation)A sophisticated position map would model the shifts prospectively given specific changes, for example, the modification to the content of the policyStakeholder analysis limitationsOnly as good as the data and analyst (access, tenacity,Says nothing about policy content and process
21Policy processThe way policy is initiated, developed, negotiated, communicated, implementedAgenda setting – why some issues considered by policy makersFormulation – which policy alternatives and evidence is considered, why evidence ignoredAdoption – who is involved in deciding, formal or informal decision-makingImplementation – who will implement, how will implementers change policy to suit their aims, are implementers involved in decision-makingEvaluation – whether and why policies achieve their aimsAs indicated about ‘policy process mapping’Implementation phase - arguably most important and neglected area of policy – if policies are not implemented or are diverted or changed at implementation – then something is wrong and policies won’t have their desired outcomes
22Policy context Systemic factors which effect policy Situational: change of leadership, focusing events, new evidence, etc.Structural: resource allocation to intervention, organization of service delivery – public private mix, etc.Cultural: prevailing attitudes to situation of women, technology, equity, tradition, etc.International: place of intervention on international agenda, aid dependency, levels and modalities, migration of staff, ideas and paradigms, etc.A huge number of contextual variables may play a role in whether or not a policy changes or remains the same.These factors are complex and unique in time and setting.
23Political Context Analysis Systematically gather political intelligence associated with any policy reformContextual opportunities & constraintsFormal & informal processes through which decisions madeIdentify stakeholder groupsAssess political resources of groupsUnderstand interests, positions and commitments of groupsSystematically assess political palatability of specific policy alternatives
24Positions Power Players Perspectives Policy Engagement FrameworkPolitical situational analysisContentContextActorsProcessPositions Power Players PerspectivesStrategies to changeThe next few slides are on policy influencingContextSuccessful formulation & implementation of policy
25Research-practice gap model Either as a ‘gap’ between research and policy/practice which somehow has to be spanned, orA gap that needs to be spanned
26The two communities model … as two ‘cultures’ divided from one another.I came to the conclusion that it was only partly helpful to think of researchers and policy makers as ‘two communities’ or ‘two tribes’. In part, this came about through observing and taking part in debate within and between departments and agencies. Yes, it is true that policy makers and researchers do different types of work in different settings, but it was apparent to me that on particular issues there were also competing coalitions of academics, officials, politicians, journalists, pressure groups, etc. who largely agreed on the nature of the problem, its likely causes and of the feasible solutions.Researchers & policy makers: separate communities?
27Advocacy coalition model Thus the main divisions frequently cut across the ‘two communities’ on the really important issues. As a result, it is usually possible to find researchers who support what the government is proposing to do and those who oppose it; likewise, among officials.This picture is of two Palestinians at the barrier between Jerusalem and the West Bank.Another reason for rethinking the ideas of ‘two communities’ lies in the fact that researchers and officials are quite often, and increasingly, similarly educated, specialised and knowledgeable – Kelley Lee described the international health care financing network of the 80 and 90s as one involving individuals who rotated between World Bank, USAID, Harvard and Abt Associates – the east coast conspiracy – there is a revolving doorOr allied across apparent divides?
28Strategies for Policy Engagement Develop political strategies to changePosition: deals to make to change – alter policy, horse trading, promises, threatsPower: provide supporters with funds, personnel, access to media & officialsPlayers: change number of actors by mobilizing and demobilising, venue shiftingPerceptions: use data and arguments to question to alter perspectives of problem/solution, use associations, invoke symbols, emphasise doabilityPower: undermine legitimacy, expertise or motives, characterise them as self serving, refuse to share information, withhold power resourcesPlayers: Undermine by dividing (find stakeholder subgroup to convent), challenge legitimacy of oppositionPerception: power of ideas and perception of a problem and solution is critical for getting issues on agendas and rallying implementers and other stakeholders.
30Policy Process Mapping General Context issues – domestic and international.Specific Policy Issues (i.e. the policy cycle)Stakeholder analysisArena: government, parliament, civil society, judiciary, private sector.Level: local, national, internationalWhat is their Interest and Influence?Process matrix + political matrixPolitical and administrative feasibility assessment[Sources: M. Grindle / J. Court ]BACKGROUNDGood News – Evidence can matter (e.g. bednets vs malaria). Other cases around Room. DFID Research Policy Study.Bad News – But … often major gaps (e.g. HIV/AIDS). Resistance despite clear evidence.How to bridge the gap?Key Question: When does evidence matter? We still need a systematic understanding.ODI RAPID / GDN Bridging Research and Policy Project – 50 case studies.PAPER IN PRESS - Handout Exec Summary / Soon on webCHALLENGE – Massive amount of work into 15 minutes
31Policy Process Mapping FormulationImplementationPoliticiansCabinetGovernmentBureaucratsCivil SocietyInternationalIdentify key actors that influence SME policyCreate Matrix: Organizations and Key Steps of the Policy ProcessDescribe Organizations’ formal position in the policy processDescribe Organizations’ informal influence on the policy processGive a number rating (1=low; 5=high) for the influence each organization has on different parts of the policy process.Relative location of Research
32Other Policy Mapping Tools Policy Process MappingRAPID FrameworkStakeholder AnalysisForce-Field AnalysisOutcome MappingMore complex tools:Drivers of ChangePower AnalysisWorld Governance Assessment
34Stakeholder Analysis Why: Steps: To understand who gains or lose from a policy or project.To help Build Consensus.Steps:Identify StakeholdersAnalysis WorkshopDevelop StrategiesKeep SatisfiedEngage CloselyMonitor (minimum effort)Keep InformedHighPowerLowInterest
35Forcefield Analysis Identify what you want to achieve Identify forces for and against changeIdentify which are most importantDevelop strategies to reinforce those for and overcome those against
36Policy Process Workshops Looking at internal policy processes – what works in DFID.Small, informal workshop with 7 staff.Participatory pair-wise ranking of factors influencing the success of 8 policy processes.Worked quite well.In DFID - agendas and processes rather than documents are key
37Outcome MappingOUTCOME MAPPING: Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs Sarah Earl, Fred Carden, and Terry Smutylo
38More Complex Tools Civil Society Index (CIVICUS) Country Policy & Institutional Assessment (World Bank)Democracy and Governance Assessment (USAID)Drivers of Change (DFID)Governance Questionnaire (GTZ)Governance Matters (World Bank Institute)Power Analysis (Sida)World Governance AssessmentCivil Society Index (CIVICUS): Civil society's structure, impact, environment and valuesCountry Policy and Institutional Assessment (World Bank): Governance institutions, policies, economic managementDemocracy and Governance Assessment (USAID): Players, interests, resources, objectives, rules, institutional arenasDrivers of Change (DFID): Structure, agents, institutionsGovernance Questionnaire (GTZ): State-society relations, political system, political culture, politics and gender, economic policy and political framework of markets, international integrationGovernance Matters (World Bank Institute): Voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, control of corruptionPower Analysis (Sida): Power and its distributionWorld Governance Assessment: Participation, decency, fairness, accountability, transparency, efficiency
39Summary Evidence-informed policy challenging Policy about interests, institutions & ideasVariety of tools to understand these factors - range in sophistication/complexity and ease of useTools to use the understanding to engage in policy processes – less well developedExtent to which the tools are helpful depends on creativity, tenacity, inside knowledge – advocacy coalitions usefulYou can get more info at …
40Further Information Mapping Political Contexts: Tools for Policy Impact:Best Practice in Policy Making:Understanding Policy Process:Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘The Tipping Point’ describes how social epidemics spread.It is about the different types of people who are involved in the policy process: connectors, who know a lot of people; mavens, who hoover up and digest information; and salesmen who are very good at ‘selling’ ideas. He describes research into US news anchors in the run-up to the elections in the United States, which showed how very small differences in the way they behave on screen can give very strong messages to the public.He talks about how the context affects how people behave. In another experiment in the US, researchers sent student on errands all over the campus, and arranged for them to pass somebody in distress who clearly needed help and anaysed the factors which influenced whether the students stopped to help or not. The most important factor seemed to be whether the student was in a hurry or not.He describes how some ideas seem to be “sticky” - the factors that determine whether people remember specific bits of information.Gladwell describes how the conjunction of these factors create the “tipping points” when ideas suddenly spread and are adopted.