DISCONNECTIONSBETWEEN RESEARCH AND POLICY Presenter: Prof Teboho Moja Institution: New York University.
DEFINITIONS Basic research is understood to be a systematic process of generating new knowledge which can be used as a tool for providing information to policy formation (Walt, 1994). Policy research is a special type of research that can provide communities and decision makers with useful information and possible resolving fundamental problems, the focus is linking policy agenda with development of public policies (Majchrzak, 1984).
Interface Barriers Dissemination barriers (language, no access to policymakers, lack of dissemination skills outside academic circles, Funding agencies influences and conditions etc) Usage barriers (no culture of EBP, access to researchers and their products, report format that is not usable for policy makers, lack of skills in evaluating quality or interpreting findings, poor quality research))
Communication between policy-makers and researchers (Stephenson and Hennink 2002) MODEL 1 (natural sciences). MODEL 2.1. Research as linear series of 1. Enlightenment model. events 2. Less direct link between2. Logical process following a policy-makers and particular sequence. researchers.3. Provides end-stage results. 3. The results provide cumulative weight of4. Disseminate results to knowledge – gradual policy-makers. chance in thinking. 4. It provides a more realistic view of researcher-policy maker interface.
Bridging the gap How should policymakers choose research results that would inform their policies?
Conclusion There are challenges in the interface between research and policy Academia and Politics are two contextually different worlds. The big question is how to bridge the gap – e.g. policy briefs, inclusion of policy recommendations in reports, becoming policy entrepreneurs, writing for a policy audience, knowing specific policy areas that needs to be investigated.