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Legislative and institutional trajectories for interfacing the RPP nexus
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Legislative and institutional trajectories for interfacing the RPP nexus


The theme of the research augurs on challenges and opportunities in interfacing pathways for translating research evidence through policy to practice for sustainable African development. The key …

The theme of the research augurs on challenges and opportunities in interfacing pathways for translating research evidence through policy to practice for sustainable African development. The key research question augurs on what the research protocols and models of public management that can be deployed to reform the research, policy and practice interface?

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  • 1. Legislative and InstitutionalPathways interfacing the Research, Policy and Practice Nexus BT Costantinos, PhD Professor of Public Policy, School of Graduate Studies, Department of Public Administration and Management, AAU,, Strengthening Linkages between Policy Research and Policy making for African Development Sub-Theme One:Conceptualizing research, policy and practice for Sustainable African development African Technology Studies Network (ATSN) Annual Conference & Workshop
  • 2. Theme of the Research The research theme augurs on challengesand opportunities in interfacing pathwaysfor translating research evidence throughpolicy to practice for sustainable Africandevelopment. The key research question augurs onwhat the research protocols and models ofpublic management that can be deployed toreform the research, policy and practiceinterface?
  • 3. Research questions1. What are the research-policy-practice interface analytical limitations?2. What research protocols can be deployed to synergise the interface?3. What public management models can be proposed to advance the interface Hypothesis:Policy formulation pluralism and practice is most likely tohappen when initiatives emanate from society rather than thestate or international actors. The effectiveness of state and nonstate organisations at promoting policy pluralism depends on theirautonomy, capacity, complexity, and coherence.
  • 4. ObservationsAgency & ideology for RPP in Africa: • Participants : • governments: preside on the nexus, • political organisations not affiliated government, • opposition groups, intellectuals and the press; • local non-state entities that exert far-reaching external influence over political reform; • Certain international agencies that range their activities and influence extensively; • These are reinforced by uncertainty and complexity reducing activities of key participants. • This hierarchy of agency effectively places some participants in positions of subordination.
  • 5. Discussion Analytical perspectives of the RPP nexus1. a tendency to narrow RPP nexus to the terms of immediate not very well considered action, a naïve realism, as it were;2. inattention to problems of articulation RPP systems and processes within local realities rather than simply as formal or abstract possibilities;3. a nearly exclusive concern in certain institutional perspectives on RPP nexus with generic attributes of organisations and consequent neglect of analysis in terms of specific strategies and performances of organisations;4. ambiguity as to whether African think tanks are agents or objects of the nexus;5. inadequate treatment of the role of policy transfers from the BWI and of relations between global and indigenous aspects or dimensions of policy-practice nexus
  • 6. A determinate order of institutions, interestspowers and activities operates throughcomplexes of ideas and values, fillingout, specifying, anchoring and often short-cutting their formal content or meaning. Thisraises the questions • Are all ideas and values allowed to contend? Are there laws or unwritten codes which prevent or hinder intellectual and cultural freedom? • Do the views and perspectives of society have a significant and legitimate place in policy projects and processes? Is good faith criticism of a particular policy strategy construed
  • 7. Proliferation of aid, Policy Transfers Capacity building for policy pluralism is important, but it isalso important that institutions in civil society and the state inAfrica make the most effective use of whatever actual capacitythey have for igniting policy change; which begs the question:• What is the overall rationality or significance of the great traffic of international programmes and projects of capacity development in Africa, the proliferating activities that seem to show little regard for economy of co- ordination; not to mention new forms of participatory research into social engineering that seem to haunt the rural landscape indefinitely?• How far and in what ways do various international agencies’ programmes, mechanisms, forms of knowledge and technical assistance feed on one another in helping set the boundaries of policy reform in Africa?
  • 8. Number of researches undertaken 2000-2008 Fig. 1 - Policy research and relevance 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 IMF/WB 0 UN System CSOs Gender Education Health Economy Academia Democracy Gender Education Health Economy Democracy Research arenas and policy relevance
  • 9. RPP Emerging paradigms Capital formation and accumulation Human, spiritual & social capital Policy & institutional strategy Local adaptive strategies Legal empowerment of the poorRPP Interface Transformation Participatory planning Human security and development continuum Processual/ Strategic elements Sustainability Benchmarks• Rules: constitutional, legislative, • Resilience, administrative• Institutions: autonomy, • economic efficiency, capacity, complexity, cohesion • social equitability Levels of application: household, community, wereda, region and federal
  • 10. Mainstreaming a the nexus Participatory Situation analysis: Policy, strategy, processes and structures for Public Sector Management - Think tanks, Legislature, Executive Political economy strategic analysis Evaluation of institutions, stakeholders and rules collected and collated Managing strategic Information Develop political economy tools Sustained and institutional arrangements implementation of for implementation RPP and active feedback on Blend RPP to national Strategic accomplishments Governance Frameworks RPP DecentralisedManagement at District and Mainstreaming and integration Community levels RPP operational plans
  • 11. Guiding rules and toolsWith reference to policy pluralism and governance, the rules are1) policy contest (i.e. unrestricted expression of social interests);2) policy participation (i.e. channels for citizen involvement);3) administrative accountability, transparency, and predictability;The research should focus on four key generic characteristics1) Organisational Autonomy: independence of the organisation to set any pursue its own goals;2) Organisational Capacity: effectiveness of the organisation at achieving its stated objectives;3) Organisational Complexity: bureaucratisation of internal structure;4) Organisational Cohesion: sharing of common values, goals and organisational culture among leaders and members;
  • 12. Open inclusive policy making1. Careful planning: preparation and learning, transparency,2. Inclusion: Governments benefit from active citizens and dynamic civil society3. Shared vision , purpose, trust, impact, participatory culture, action and sustained engagement4. Leadership and strong commitment to information and consultation active participation in policy-making is needed.5. Public consultation and active participation should be undertaken as early in the policy process as possible; • Governments have an obligation to account for the use they make of citizens inputs received through feedback ; • Governments need the tools to evaluate performance in providing information, conducting consultation and engaging citizens in order to adapt to new requirements and changing conditions for policy-making.
  • 13. Thank You BT Costantinos, PhD Professor of Public Policy, School of Graduate Studies, Department of Public Administration and Management, AAU, costy@costantinos.net