There is widespread agreement on the vital role that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) can play in influencing policies and practices to make them pro-poor. More and more CSOs are recognising the need to understand policy processes better and use evidence to engage with them more effectively. Sometimes, however, it seems that CSOs, policymakers and researchers live in parallel universes. This DFID-Trocaire-ODI workshop focused on how CSOs can use evidence to promote pro-poor policies. Active participation was the cornerstone of the approach in the workshop, with emphasis placed on participants' own knowledge and experience.
These two workshops were designed for staff of DFID and Trocaire partners in Kenya who wanted to know more about how to influence policy. The workshops provided a forum for participants to:
- discuss the opportunities and challenges for CSOs to inform policy
- learn about the latest worldwide research and practice in this area
- share experiences about ongoing activities and what works
- identify gaps for future work
Participants at the workshops made a number of suggestions for further work by ODI to help them to promote pro-poor approaches to policymakers in Kenya, including practical training, information about policy options from other countries, and help to establish policy fora and networks in Kenya.