Resources on diagnosing the problem

The following sources provide models for understanding policy and institutional change, each grounded in various empirical studies and literature reviews. Taken as a whole, these not only provide various insights for those looking to influence policy but also show how the challenges facing those looking to influence policy are complex: capacities are distributed, interests and perspectives are divergent and change pathways are unpredictable.

ODI Background paper: Knowledge, policy and power in international development: a practical framework for improving policy – Jones, H., Jones, N., Shaxson, S., and Walker, D. (2013)

Development as a Collective Action Problem: Addressing the Real Challenges of African Governance’. London: Africa Power and Politics Programme. – Booth, D. (2012)

ODI Briefing paperTaking Responsibility for Complexity: How Implementation Can Achieve Results in the Face of Complex Problems – Jones, H. (2011)

ODI Working paper: The political economy of policy-making in Indonesia: opportunities for improving the demand for and use of knowledge – Datta, A., et al (2011)

These sources provide evidence and argument about the complexity of problems faced in development, why complexity matters and what can be done about it by governments, non-government organisations and aid agencies.

ODI Working paperA guide to managing projects and programmes in the face of complexity – Hummelbrunner, R., Jones, H. (2013)

ODI Background note: A guide for planning and strategy development in the face of complexity – Hummelbrunner, R., Jones, H. (2013)

The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development: Changing the Rules for Realistic Solutions - Andrews, M. (2013)

Beyond Planning: Markets and Networks for Better Aid - Barder, O. (2009)

Capacity, Change and Performance - Baser, H. and Morgan, P. (2008)

The Clash of the Counter-bureaucracy and Development - Natsios, A. (2010)

Resources on developing your engagement strategy

Some of the tools mentioned in this guide are outlined in more detail in the following resources:

ODI Methods and resources: Applied political economy analysis: a problem-driven framework – Harris, D. (2013)

ODI Toolkit: Tools for Policy Impact: A Handbook for Researchers – Start, D. and Hovland, I. (2004)

ODI Toolkit: RAPID Outcome Assessment (2012)

ODI Toolkit: The Alignment, Interest and Influence Matrix guidance note (2010)

ODI Toolkit: Outcome Mapping introductory note (2009)

RAPID has used the principles of ROMA in a variety of settings around the world:

Strengthening World Vision Policy Advocacy – A Guide to Developing Advocacy Strategies – Datta, A. (2011b)

Developing Capacities in Complex Environments – Experiences from Vietnam – Datta, A. (2013)

Some resources focusing on communications tools for engaging with and influencing policy:

Blog: Is it time to ban the term “dissemination”? – Cassidy, C. (2013)

Improving the Impact of Development Research through Better Research Communications and Uptake – Shaxson, L. (2010)

ODI Working paper: Communicating research: a beginner’s guide for researchers in Vietnam – Datta, A. and Pellini, A. (2011)

ODI Toolkit: How to write a communications strategy – Hovland, I. (2005)

Blog: Responding to the digital disruption of traditional communications: three planks to ODI’s digital strategy – Scott, N. (2011)

Podcast: Using social media: research communications and the development dialogue (2013)

Other approaches to understanding policy change:

How Change Happens: Inter-disciplinary Perspectives for Human Development – Krznaric, R. (2007)

Escaping Capability Traps through Problem-driven Iterative Adaptation – Andrews, M., Pritchett, L. and Woolcock, M. (2012)

Making Research Evidence Matter: A Guide to Policy Advocacy in Transition Countries – Young, E. and Quinn, L. (2012)

ODI Working paper: Lessons from Deliberative Public Engagement Work: A Scoping Study – Datta, A. (2011)

Resources on monitoring and learning

Useful websites:

BetterEvaluation policy influence and advocacy theme page – a portal for advice on designing evaluations and monitoring systems and choosing methods; includes an innovative and highly practical framework.

Research to Action M&E portal – A portal for researchers working in international development including regular features, news, blogs and publications on M&E of research use.

LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog – A popular blog among the UK social science research community but gaining international renown across sectors because of its thoughtful discussions about the cutting edge of research communication, policy engagement and managing for impact.

OnThinkTanks M&E of influence topic page – A blog with a range of opinions, tips and tools about M&E of influence, oriented to think tanks but widely applicable.

Guides to monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy:

ODI Working paper: Monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy – Tsui, J., Hearn, S. and Young, J. (2014)

ODI Toolkit: Making a Difference: M&E of Policy Research – Hovland, I. (2007)

ODI Background note: A Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Policy Influence – Jones, H. (2011)

Assessing Advocacy – Barkhorn, I., Huttner, N. & Blau, J. (2013)

Unique Methods in Advocacy Evaluation – Coffman, J. and Reid, E. (2007)

Advocacy Evaluation: Review and Opportunities – Whelan, J. (2008)

Monitoring and evaluating research uptake or impact and communications:

Learning about Theories of Change for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Research Uptake – Barnett, C., Gregorowski, R. (2013)

How to note: Evaluating influence – DFID (2013)

Discerning Policy Influence: Framework for a Strategic Evaluation of IDRC-Supported Research – Lindquist, E. (2001)

Research Uptake: A guide for DFID funded research programmes – DFID (2013)

Blog: A pragmatic guide to monitoring and evaluating research communications using digital tools – Scott, N. (2012)

The following is a list of ten selected examples of monitoring and evaluation of influence. It covers a broad range of contexts, purposes and approaches.  All of these examples demonstrate an approach aligned to that which is discussed in this chapter and which has either informed or applied the approach described. 

Examples of the design of M&E systems and processes:

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in NGO Advocacy. Findings from Comparative Policy Advocacy MEL Review Project – Coe, J., & Majot, J. (2013)

Supporting international climate negotiators: a monitoring and evaluation framework – Hamza-Goodacre, D., Jefford, S., & Simister, N. (2013) 

Monitoring Policy Dialogue: Lessons from a pilot study – Watson, S. and Pierce, J. (2008)

Examples of M&E of research impact:

What Difference does a Policy Brief Make? – Beynon, P. (2012)

Informal Traders Lock Horns with the Formal Milk Industry: The role of research in pro-poor dairy policy shift in Kenya – Leksmono, C., Young, J., Hooton, N., Muriuki, H., & Romney, D. (2006)

Example of M&E of NGO advocacy:

Monitoring and evaluating advocacy: lessons from Oxfam GB’s Climate Change campaign – Starling, S. (2010)

Example of M&E of ‘soft influencing’ by donors and implementing organisations:

DFID Influencing in the Health Sector – Clarke, J., Mendizabal, E., Leturque, H., Walford, V., & Pearson, M. (2009)