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Action Research for Maximum Impact

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Presentation on theme: "Action Research for Maximum Impact"— Presentation transcript:

1 Action Research for Maximum Impact
John Young CFHSS Congress 2006 York University

2 The Series Effective Research for Development Policy: How researchers can maximize their influence on policy. Evidence and the Policy Making Process: How do policy makers access research, what constitutes evidence. Action Research for Maximum Impact: Some "good news" case studies, and practical research tools for practitioners.

3 This Workshop Can research influence policy? The RAPID CEL Framework
Good news stories – what works? Some practical tools Group work: trying out the tools Sources of further information.

4 Agriculture in Africa “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, London

5 Chronic Poverty in Uganda
Kate Bird et al, Fracture Points in Social Policies for Chronic Poverty Reduction, ODI WP242,

6 Health Policy in Tanzania
“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:

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

8 Case Studies Sustainable Livelihoods: The Evolution of DFID Policy
The PRSP Initiative: Research in Multilateral Policy Change The adoption of Ethical Principles in Humanitarian Aid post Rwanda Animal Health Care in Kenya: Evidence fails to influence Policy 50 GDN Case Studies: Examples where evidence has or hasn’t influenced policy

9 A Practical Framework External Influences political context evidence
Politics and Policymaking Campaigning, Lobbying Policy analysis, & research Media, Advocacy, Networking Scientific information exchange & validation Research, learning & thinking evidence links

10 What you need to know The external environment: Who are the key actors? What is their agenda? How do they influence the political context? The political context: Is there political interest in change? Is there room for manoeuvre? How do they perceive the problem? The evidence: Is it there? Is it relevant? Is it practically useful? Are the concepts familiar or new? Does it need re-packaging? Links: Who are the key individuals? Are there existing networks to use? How best to transfer the information? The media? Campaigns?

11 What researchers need to do
What researchers need to know What researchers need to do How to do it Political Context: Evidence Links Get to know the policymakers. Identify friends and foes. Prepare for policy opportunities. Look out for policy windows. Work with them – seek commissions Strategic opportunism – prepare for known events + resources for others Who are the policymakers? Is there demand for ideas? What is the policy process? Build a reputation Action-research Pilot projects to generate legitimacy Good communication Establish credibility Provide practical solutions Establish legitimacy. Present clear options Use familiar narratives. What is the current theory? What are the narratives? How divergent is it? Get to know the others Work through existing networks. Build coalitions. Build new policy networks. Build partnerships. Identify key networkers, mavens and salesmen. Use informal contacts Who are the stakeholders? What networks exist? Who are the connectors, mavens and salesmen?

12 Policy entrepreneurs Storytellers Networkers Engineers Fixers

13 Any good stories?

14 International Research
Paravets in Kenya 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Professionalisation of Public Services. Structural Adjustment → collapse of services. Paravet projects emerge. ITDG projects. Privatisation. ITDG Paravet network. Rapid spread in North. KVB letter (January 1998). Multistakeholder WSs → new policies. Still not approved / passed But well established throughout the country! Professionalisation of Public Services. Structural Adjustment Privatisation ITDG Paravet network and change of DVS. KVB letter (January 1998). Multistakeholder WSs → new policies. International Research ITDG projects – collaborative research. The Hubl Study Dr Kajume

15 Livestock Services Indonesia
5-year £5m DFID-funded project Long DFID involvement, successful pilot & senior government champion Field-level pilots, HRD and central policy components Very strong emphasis on engagement and communication 1998 “Krisis Monitaire” Field-tested practical solutions Critical mass of trained champions Good linkages with other programmes Luck For more information:

16 Health Policy in Tanzania
GoT strongly committed to improved services but hightly centralised and few resources TEHIP IDRC / CIDA / Government of Tanzania project since 1997: how can health services be more evidence-based? Local disease surveys informing local service planning + improved resources (global projects) Ongoing surveys now annual process ↓ child mortality of 40% by 2002, ↓ death rates yrs of 18% (cf no change elsewhere) TEHIP Project, Tanzania:

17 Critical factors Long involvement Understanding of the context
Local champions & ownership Researchers, policy makers and practitioners working together Practical (policy) solutions Engagement with all stakeholders (ie including bureaucrats and communities) Effective communications Flexibility Personalities Luck

18 Some practical tools

19 Practical Tools Overarching Tools Context Assessment 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

20 Introducing some tools
RAPID Framework Problem Situation Analysis (Tree Analysis) Stakeholder Analysis Policy Process Mapping Force field analysis Influence mapping SWOT analysis

21 RAPID CEL Framework

22 Problem Tree Analysis Discuss and agree the problem or issue to be analysed. Identify the causes of the focal problem (roots) and then the consequences (branches) NB: The discussion is the most important thing: as issues are debated factors are arranged and re-arranged, often forming sub-dividing roots and branches

23 Stakeholder Analysis Why: Steps:
To understand who gains or lose from a policy or project. To help Build Consensus. Steps: Identify Stakeholders Analysis Workshop Develop Strategies Keep Satisfied Engage Closely Monitor (minimum effort) Keep Informed High Power Low Interest

24 Policy Process Mapping
General domestic and international context. Specific Policy Issues (i.e. the policy cycle) Who are the Stakeholders? (Stakeholder analysis) Arena: government, parliament, civil society, judiciary, private sector. Level: local, national, international What is their Interest and Influence? Process matrix + political matrix Political and administrative feasibility assessment [Sources: M. Grindle / J. Court ]

25 Actors and processes Agenda setting Problem definition & analysis
Policy tools Selection Implementation Enforcement evaluation Public Scientists Industry CSOs Media Government Source: Yael Parag

26 Forcefield Analysis Identify what you want to achieve
Identify forces for and against change Identify which are the most important Develop strategies to reinforce those for and overcome those against

27 SWOT Analysis What type of policy influencing skills and capacities do we have? In what areas have our staff used them more effectively? Who are our strongest allies? When have they worked with us? Are there any windows of opportunity? What can affect our ability to influence policy? Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Skills and abilities Funding lines Commitment to positions Contacts and Partners Existing activities Other orgs relevant to the issue Resources: financial, technical, human Political and policy space Other groups or forces

28 SMEPOL Project Egypt An IDRC project to improve small and medium scale enterprise policy in Egypt Policy analysts & researchers Used a range of tools: Policy Process Mapping RAPID Framework Stakeholder Analysis Force-Field Analysis SWOT To develop action plans for more evidence-based policy development

29 Group Work: Stakeholder Analysis Policy Mapping Forcefield Analysis

30 Selected Bibliography
Tools for Policy Impact: A Toolkit for Progressive Policymakers: Successful Communication: The TEHIP Case Study and website: The DELIVERI Case Study and Website: The Paravets in Kenya Case Study

31 RAPID Stuff ODI Working Papers Bridging Research and Policy Book
Meeting series Monograph RAPID Briefing Paper Tools for Policy Impact Communication Tools Policymaker Tools RAPID CDROM

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