Policy Entrepreneur Workshops, 16th March and 14th April, 2004 at ODI

16 March 2004
Workshop
Description

This one-day workshop (held in March and April) was designed to provide an environment where UK-based people and organizations involved in work to improve policy and practice to promote pro-poor development, could learn how to improve the impact of their work.

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Better utilization of evidence in development policy and practice can help save lives, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life. For example, the results of household disease surveys in rural Tanzania informed a process of health service reforms which contributed to a 28% reduction in infant mortality in two years. On the other hand, the HIV/AIDS crisis has deepened due to the reluctance of some governments to implement well-researched and proven control programmes.

This one-day workshop (held in March and April) was designed to provide an environment where UK-based people and organizations involved in work to improve policy and practice to promote pro-poor development, could learn how to improve the impact of their work.

Fourteen people attended each workshop from NGOs, media organizations, consultancy groups and universities. They discussed and analysed their work using ODI's RAPID framework. The framework focuses on the political context within which they work, the evidence they have, and other actors, intermediaries and networks that could help them to link with policy processes. They felt that the framework helped to systematize and understand the complexity of their work.

The framework can also be used to identify what needs to be done to increase the impact of research-based and other forms of evidence. Researchers and development practitioners need a wide range of skills to be effective policy entrepreneurs. The results of a policy entrepreneur questionnaire indicated that most participants favoured "networking" and "engineering" (ie doing things practically) over "storytelling" and "fixing" (political lobbying).

A wide range of tools to improve organizational capacity, to ensure effective communication and for policy advocacy were presented and discussed.

Overall, participants thought that using the framework and some of the tools would help them to achieve greater policy impact.