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Capacity Building for Policy Influencing Networks and Capacity: Experience from the Civil Society Pa


'The whole life of policy is a chaos of purposes and accidents. ... Colloquial (Contextual) Anything that seems reasonable. Policy relevant. Timely. Clear Message ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Capacity Building for Policy Influencing Networks and Capacity: Experience from the Civil Society Pa

Capacity Building for Policy Influencing
Networks and Capacity Experience from the
Civil Society Partnership Programme
  • Naved Chowdhury

Overseas Development Institute
  • Development Think Tank
  • 8m, 60 researchers
  • Research / Advice / Public Debate
  • Rural / Humanitarian / Poverty Aid / Economics
    / Policy Processes
  • DFID, Parliament, WB, EC
  • Civil Society

For more information see
RAPID Programme
  • Research
  • Literature
  • GDN Case Studies
  • ODI Case Studies
  • Advisory work
  • Projects
  • Organisations
  • Workshops and Seminars
  • Think Tank Programme

for further information see
The linear logical model
  • Identify the problem
  • Commission research
  • Analyse the results
  • Choose the best option
  • Establish the policy
  • Implement the policy
  • Evaluation

in 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
  • Research is more often regarded as the opposite
    of action rather than a response to ignorance3

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 3 Surr (2003), DFID Research Review
Influencing PolicyDifferent Notions of Evidence
  • Colloquial (Contextual)
  • Anything that seems reasonable
  • Policy relevant
  • Timely
  • Clear Message
  • Scientific (Context free)
  • Proven empirically
  • Theoretically driven
  • As long as it takes
  • Caveats and qualifications

Source Phil Davies Impact to Insight Meeting,
ODI, 2005
A Practical Framework
political context
Politics and Policymaking
Media, Advocacy, Networking
Research, learning thinking
CSPP Log Frame
  • Not a major change but
  • Recognition of external and internal objectives
  • 4 external outputs
  • Facilitating the network
  • Capacity development
  • Collaborative action-research projects
  • Research
  • 3 internal outputs
  • ODI Communication Capacity
  • Capacity to work with CSOs
  • Orientation towards CSOs

Narrative Summary
  • Super-Goal
  • Poverty reduced in developing countries
  • Goal
  • Development policy is more pro-poor
  • Purpose
  • Southern CSOs make more use of research-based
    evidence to influence the establishment of
    pro-poor policy, and
  • ODI engages more effectively with southern CSOs
    and other stakeholders to make more use of ODIs
    research-based evidence to influence the
    establishment of pro-poor policy.

Narrative Summary
  • Network
  • Interactive community website
  • Information and knowledge exchange
  • General support
  • Capacity-building
  • staff exchange,
  • visiting fellows to ODI and Southern institutes,
  • Southern participants in global policy events
  • Training and ToT
  • Research (lessons disseminated)
  • Ongoing learning
  • How to do it guidelines
  • New research
  • Collaborative projects
  • Small-scale ARPs
  • Continued support to existing projects
  • One new global collaborative project each year

Global Consultation
  • Workshops were held in Africa (Southern, Eastern
    and West), Asia ( south and South East) and Latin
    America ( Argentina and Bolivia) and organized in
    partnership with local CSOs
  • Case studies on various issues Budget
    Monitoring( Zambia), Community Participation in
    Waste Management ( Ghana), Rice pricing (
    Bangladesh), Public participation ( Indonesia)
  • Research
  • Global Project (FFA)

Building Capacity for Policy Influencing Lessons
Learnt 1
  • Understanding Policy process means understanding
    the politics
  • Lack of trust between CSOs and government
  • Demand led vs Supply driven
  • Capacity to use and package research for policy
    influence is limited
  • Donor influence is huge
  • Gradual erosion of research capacity in the South
  • Proposals by CSOs should be feasible and

Lessons Learnt 2
  • Engagement with policymakers varies
  • Varied level of capacity in the south
  • Retention and recruitment of qualified staff
  • Role of research in development organization
  • Lack of training opportunities
  • More emphasis on policy advocacy
  • Limited fund for research
  • Strong Demand for support ( regional bias)
  • Capacity of government institutions also in

What the CSOs need to do to influence Policy?
  • Use (research-based) Credible evidence to
    influence policy
  • Timely, relevant and reliable information
  • Understanding the Politics
  • Conflict to Sustained Engagement
  • Long term
  • Demand Driven research
  • Strength in numbers
  • How best to build capacity?

What the CSOs need to do? 2
  • Effective communication develop different
    materials for different audience
  • Choosing roles and responsibilities
  • Financial and human resources
  • Using the media
  • Engaging donors
  • Inviting policymakers from the outset

An Action-Research Network
  • A network of northern and southern national,
    regional and global individuals and organisations
    learning about and helping others to use
    research-based evidence to promote pro-poor
  • Research
  • National action-research (how to do it)
  • Global action-research policy-advocacy
  • Capacity development
  • Information sharing
  • 20 Core members in Asia, Africa and Latin America

CSPP Network The progress so far
  • Research Working Papers, Briefing Papers, book
    chapters, articles
  • Lots of CD activities have taken place ( TOT,
    Website, Newsletter, Action Research Projects,
    Placement, CSPP LA network, participation in
    external events, etc)
  • Lots of enquiry about the network ( IDRC,
    Hewlett, AKF, NBD, ICCDA- Inter regional
    Co-ordinating Committee for Development
    Associations etc)
  • Substantial external demand for support involving
    partners ( CEF), Transparency International,
  • Partners sharing information and knowledge-
    Zambia DBS, FAO, Australia
  • Interactive Network website
  • Newsletter

Field trip to CEF partner project, Bangladesh
Presentation at regional workshop, Malawi
Discussing case studies, Sri Lanka workshop
Field trip to Naamacha Secondary School,
Mozambique, to test context analysis tools
6 Key Functions 11gt2
Community builders
  • Filters

How we can make it work?
  • Strategic thinking and dynamic leadership
  • Harnessing knowledge and fostering identity
  • Empowering members and putting in incentives to
  • Managing tensions
  • Mobilizing and managing human and financial
  • Undertaking collaborative tasks
  • Adaptive capacity
  • Facilitating participation
  • Technical Expertise

Impact and Governance
  • Too early to say whether having big impact on the
    work of the partners.
  • Still hugely ODI Led.
  • Interaction among partners have been limited.
  • Do we need to define levels of network
  • Should CD be only for Core partners?
  • How do we find the balance between investing in
    core partners and in broader network members?
  • Capacity is demanded not given!!

Network model of Capacity Development The
  • Function of the network- Contextual ( strong
    regional variation)
  • Face to face interaction?
  • Consistent communications?
  • Model of governance Equitable Partnership
  • Incentives for members CD Diverse but Flexible
  • How to build ownership?
  • Funding how to avoid being a donor?
  • Measuring Impact?
  • Maintaining momentum?

CD The Questions
  • Do we provide support for long term institutional
  • How to involve partners in One-off /
    Consultancy support on policy advocacy and
    engagement ( Ethiopia, Vietnam, Bangladesh,
  • Shallow and wide or deep and few?
  • How to systematically network with other similar
    orgs ( IIED, IDS etc)?
  • How to monitor capacity development for policy
    advocacy? What are the indicators?

How can we work together?
  • Research What are the issues youd like to know
  • Capacity Development What else could we do that
    would be useful?
  • Information What other information might be
  • Policy engagement What are the issues you are
    interested in?
  • What else could we do?

Further Information
  • ODI Working Papers
  • Bridging Research and Policy Book
  • Meeting series Monograph
  • Tools for Policy Impact
  • RAPID Briefing Paper
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