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Bridging Research

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Title: Bridging Research


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 Africa2

1 - 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 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.
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.

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 poorthrough policies that
    create sustainable livelihoods for poor people,
    promote human development and conserve the
    environment.

30
Sustainable livelihood means
  • the capabilities and assetsfor 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
  • Researchgtpolicy 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
Better Policy Practice
Achieving MDGs
Research
  • 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?

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
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 gt of evidence itself
  • Communication

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

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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