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Networks and Policy Influence in International Development Julius Court and Enrique Mendizabal RAPID Programme, ODI

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Presentation on theme: "Networks and Policy Influence in International Development Julius Court and Enrique Mendizabal RAPID Programme, ODI"— Presentation transcript:

1 Networks and Policy Influence in International Development Julius Court and Enrique Mendizabal RAPID Programme, ODI and Research and Policy in Development Programme

2 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, Networks: More than the Latest Buzzword? Power does not reside in institutions, not even the state or large corporations. It is located in the networks that structure society. (Manuel Castells, 2004) We are some way from being able to structure public and organisational power in ways which really harness network potential… (McCarthy, Miller and Skidmore, 2004) Africas strength lies in social networks which are invisible to many outsiders. (Commission for Africa, 2005)

3 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, An Analytical Framework 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.

4 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, Why networks matter Networks can improve policy processes through better information use They can: –Marshal evidence and increase the influence of good quality evidence throughout the policy process; –Foster links between researchers, CSOs and policy- makers; –Bypass formal barriers to consensus; –Channel civil society resources and expertise into the policy process; and –Broaden and sustain the pro-poor impact of a policy.

5 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, How Networks Help: 6 Key Functions 1.Filters: 2.Amplifiers: 3.Convenors: 4. Facilitators: 5. Community builders: 6. Investor/providers

6 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, What do Networks Need to Do: Some Keys to Success 1.Clear governance agreements – to set objectives, identify functions, define membership structures, make decisions and resolve conflicts. 2.Strength in numbers – the larger the numbers involved the greater the political weight given to networks. 3.Representativeness – is one key source of legitimacy (and thereby influence). 4.Quality of evidence – affects both the credibility and legitimacy of arguments. 5.Packaging of evidence – is crucial to effective communication.

7 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, What do Networks Need to Do: some keys to success 6.Persistence – influence often requires sustained pressure over a long period of time. 7.Membership of key individuals – especially influential figures in the policy arena. 8.Making use of informal links – these can be critical to achieving many network objectives. 9.Complementing official structures – by their nature, networks add most value by complementing rather than duplicating official structures. 10.Good use of ICTs and other networking opportunities – ICTs are opening up great new potential for networking.

8 RAPID Programme EUFORIC, London, June, Development, Europe and 2005


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