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Bridging Research and Policy An Overseas Development Institute Seminar 9th October 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Bridging Research and Policy An Overseas Development Institute Seminar 9th October 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bridging Research and Policy An Overseas Development Institute Seminar 9th October 2003

2 Seminar Outline Introduction by Simon Maxwell The project & framework The Case Studies Cross-cutting issues and lessons Discussion

3 The project Started in early 2002 Literature review and framework Case studies (+ GDN work) Analysis Publications Promotion

4 Existing theory – a short list Policy narratives, Roe Systems of Innovation Model, (NSI) Room for manoeuvre, Clay & Schaffer Street level bureaucrats, Lipsky Policy as social experiments, Rondene Policy streams and policy windows, Kingdon Disjointed Incrementalism, Lindquist Social Epidemics, Gladwell

5 Reality 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 1 Most policy research on African agriculture is irrelevant to agricultural and overall economic policy in Africa Clay & Schaffer (1984), Room for Manoeuvre; An Exploration of Public Policy in Agricultural and Rural Development, Heineman Educational Books, London 2 – Omamo (2003), Policy Research on African Agriculture: Trends, Gaps, and Challenges, International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) Research Report No 21

6 The framework The links between policy and research communities – networks, relationships, power, competing discourses, trust, knowledge etc. 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

7 The methodology Collaborative development of questions. Historical narrative. Identify key actors and decision-points Analyse context, evidence and links at each point Peer review between case studies Cross-analysis (+ GDN studies)

8 The Case Studies The PRSP Initiative: Multilateral Policy Change and the Relative Role of Research - Karin Christiansen How the Sphere Project Came into Being: A Case Study of Policy-making in the Humanitarian Aid Sector and the Relative Influence of Research - Margie Buchanan-Smith Animal Health Care in Kenya: The Road to Community-Based Animal Health Service Delivery - John Young Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of the Evolution of DFID Policy - William Solesbury

9 The PRSP Story The role of research in a multilateral policy process: What was the policy event? The PRS story Why did it happen? –Context –Evidence –Links

10 What was the policy event? Sept 99 PRSPs adopted for low income lending streams of World Bank and IMF Fairly radical change of approach –acknowledgment of failures and weakness of aid process, –trying to establish different relationship between govt, donors and citizens

11 The PRS story Very complicated story of different interacting strands of contexts and events Similar or linked ideas emerging in a variety of places- many different inventors and high levels of ownership

12 Why did it happen? Contexts: Interaction of different contexts (global, inside IFIs, national govt) creating a policy window Contexts changed and were actively changed –Global: policy narrative re. failure of adjustment, end cold war, SSA growth rates, Asia crisis, –IFIs: needing solutions to internal problems (PFP, CDF, HIPC, EASF etc) –National: NGO debt movement generating huge pressure, UK and US politics

13 Why did it happen? Evidence Critiques of history percolate to present (aid effectiveness, poverty, participation) and by respected economist Applied research with solutions, commissioned by IFIs (ESAF review) Changing use of evidence by NGOs- quality and language Uganda case study

14 Why did it happen? Links Interwoven formal and informal networks, plus champions in many orgs with a convergence around common language –World Bank-IMF policy department linkages –Political support- Utstein group –Policy-research links through SPA, ESAF review –Jubilee 2000 –US debt round table, hill and senate –(IFI) NGO-media links –Uganda mafia

15 Conclusions for researchers Understand your policy makers, their agendas and constraints Research needs to be regarded as rigours Impact is often indrect- through nextworks Evidence can change the policy context

16 The Case Studies The PRSP Initiative: Multilateral Policy Change and the Relative Role of Research - Karin Christiansen How the Sphere Project Came into Being: A Case Study of Policy-making in the Humanitarian Aid Sector and the Relative Influence of Research - Margie Buchanan-Smith Animal Health Care in Kenya: The Road to Community-Based Animal Health Service Delivery - John Young Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of the Evolution of DFID Policy - William Solesbury

17 How the Sphere Project Came Into Being Key policy shift, since mid 90s: strengthening the accountability of humanitarian agencies, in order to improve performance Key policy initiative: launch of the Sphere project in 1996 Humanitarian Charter Minimum Standards for Disaster Response in 5 sectors

18 This case study tells 2 stories... Of how Sphere was born, and the relative influence of the Joint Evauation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda (Study 3) Of how ownership and buy-in were achieved (or not) during the first year of Sphere

19 Policy context was critical Unquestioning acceptance of good work of humanitarian agencies over Scale and intensity of Rwanda crisis in 1994, & very visible fault lines in the humanitarian system created momentum for change NGO community: we have to get our act together Donor community: if you dont do it, we will

20 Role of research Rolls Royce of an evaluation High credibility: categoric, clear and well- documented Structure for managing the evaluation safeguarded its independence

21 Links between researchers & policy- makers critical Links institutionalised in structure for Rwanda evaluation Synergy of interest between evaluators and key policy entrepreneurs Inclusive experience of Rwanda evaluation influenced Sphere process

22 What does this tell us about policy- making in the humanitarian sector? Do there have to be strong push factors for change to happen? How can closer links be established/ institutionalised between researchers and policy-makers/ practitioners?

23 The Case Studies The PRSP Initiative: Multilateral Policy Change and the Relative Role of Research - Karin Christiansen How the Sphere Project Came into Being: A Case Study of Policy-making in the Humanitarian Aid Sector and the Relative Influence of Research - Margie Buchanan-Smith Animal Health Care in Kenya: The Road to Community-Based Animal Health Service Delivery - John Young Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of the Evolution of DFID Policy - William Solesbury

24 Paravets in Kenya 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s ­Private vets & County Council vet scouts. ­Professionalisation of Public Services. ­Structural Adjustment collapse. ­Paravet projects emerge. ­ITDG projects. ­Privatisation. ­ITDG Paravet network. ­Rapid spread in North. ­KVB letter (January 1998). ­Multistakeholder WSs new policies.

25 The political context 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s ­Private vets & County Council vet scouts. ­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 policy framework. ­Professionalisation of Public Services. ­Structural Adjustment ­Privatisation and change of DVS. ­ITDG Paravet network and change of DVS. ­KVB letter (January 1998). ­Multistakeholder WSs and new policy champion.

26 The role of research 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s ­Private vets & County Council vet scouts. ­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 policy framework. ­Professionalisation of Public Services. ­Structural Adjustment ­Privatisation and change of DVS. ­ITDG Paravet network and change of DVS. ­KVB letter (January 1998). ­Multistakeholder WSs and new policy champion. ­ITDG projects – collaborative action research. International Research - The Hubl Study

27 Conclusions Framework helped. Political context the most important. Individuals matter Research didnt matter much, but Credibility and legitimacy were important How could it have happened faster?

28 The Case Studies The PRSP Initiative: Multilateral Policy Change and the Relative Role of Research - Karin Christiansen How the Sphere Project Came into Being: A Case Study of Policy-making in the Humanitarian Aid Sector and the Relative Influence of Research - Margie Buchanan-Smith Animal Health Care in Kenya: The Road to Community-Based Animal Health Service Delivery - John Young Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of the Evolution of DFID Policy - William Solesbury

29 Sustainable Livelihoods The 1997 DfID White Paper refocus our effort on the elimination of poverty and encouragement of economic growth which benefits the poor…through policies …that create sustainable livelihoods for poor people, promote human development and conserve the environment.

30 Sustainable livelihood means the capabilities and assets…for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base. DfID, 1999

31 A brief history of SL Brundtland Commission 1987 Chambers and Conway 1992 Donor projects Empirical research DfID SL research programme 1996-

32 Two clinchers 1996 International Development Targets 1997 new administration/new SoS

33 Four lessons Research>policy takes time Many roles involved Need for competitive advantage Chance plays its part

34 Cross-cutting lessons and issues 4 Sets of things we learned 2 Sets of Gaps Next Steps

35 The Challenge Development sector is distinct. Much anecdotal evidence, but few cases. Now – literature review (largely OECD) plus systematic cases (fascinating). So, What did we learn about bridging? Achieving MDGs Better Policy & Practice Research

36 1. Method is Useful Focus on Policy Change and Assess Research Role –Historical narrative –Timeline – documents, events, actors –Use the framework / questions Gives a more realistic view of the relative role of research.

37 2. Framework – robust The Political Context – political, social and economic structures, political processes, 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 Geopolitical, economic and cultural influences; donor policies, etc The Links between policy and research communities – networks, relationships, power, competing discourses, trust, knowledge etc.

38 2b. Framework – new options

39 3. Political Context: Key Areas Context is crucial, but you can maximize chances Policy uptake = demand – contestation (Respond to, or create, demand and reduce contestation). Decisive moments in the policy process (Policy processes, policy windows and crises) How policymakers think – Bounded rationality & Overload: (Simplicity and either engage narratives or major push for new ones) Different things change policy implementation and practice versus public policy (Operational tools, pilots, participatory approaches)

40 4. Evidence: Relevance and credibility Key factor – did it provide a solution? Relevance: –Topical relevance – What to do? –Operational usefulness – How to do it? : Credibility: –Research approach –Of researcher > of evidence itself Communication

41 Trust & legitimacy Networks: –Policy networks –Epistemic communities –Advocacy coalitions The role of individuals: connectors, mavens and salesmen Gap1 – 1 Communities & Networks

42 2. Need better theory. Existing theory is of limited use in DC context. Policy narratives Systems of Innovation Model (NSI) Room for manoeuvre Street level bureaucrats Policy as social experiments Policy streams and policy windows Disjointed incrementalism (muddling through) Social Epidemics ODI working paper 174, 2002, Hovland, de Vibe and Young Bridging Research and Policy: An Annotated Bibliography.

43 What next? GDN Phase II more systematic understanding about evidence use in different contexts HIV/AIDS cross-country study: Evidence-policy gap is devastating (WHO, UNAIDS). Taxonomy of contexts + strategic dimensions. Communications – e.g. FFSSA, FAO, WB, DFID. Training: policy research and think tanks (GDN). Training: Workshops with NGOs and policymakers (London, Budapest, Nairobi).


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