Policy processes are very rarely linear and logical. Simply presenting research results to policymakers and expecting them to put it into practice is very unlikely to work.
What do we mean by influencing? Advising – e.g. Think tanks, advisory councils Advocacy – e.g. Environmental campaigning Lobbying – e.g. Corporations, special interest groups Activism – e.g. GreenPeace
They were lessons for us 5 or 6 years ago. Now they are more or less accepted as reality.
Brief overview of the process we have developed. The process is based on the Outcome Mapping methodology, which covers the majority of the steps and provides the underlying principles that make this approach suitable for monitoring and learning – tomorrow RAPID has added additional steps at the beginning to make it more usable for influencing policy – today
How to get info? Done PEA.
The second step is to identify the key influential stakeholders. RAPID’s Alignment, Interest and Influence Matrix (AIIM) can be used to map actors along three dimensions: the degree of alignment with the proposed policy (on the y axis), their level of interest in the issue (on the x axis), and their ability to exert influence on the policy process (on the z axis – or by otherwise indicating their degree of influence on the 2-dimensional matrix). Actors who are highly interested and highly aligned should be natural allies and collaborators, actors who are highly interested but not aligned are potential obstacles, and need to be brought into alignment, or somehow prevented from creating obstacles. Stimulating enthusiasm among powerful actors who are highly aligned but not interested can increase the chance of success. Stimulating enthusiasm among actors who are not highly aligned risks creating more enemies unless they can also be brought into alignment. Their level of influence will help identify key target audiences. More relavent than stakeholder analysis Could use sna
Discursive changes: These refer to changes in the labels or narratives of policy actors. They reflect a new or improved understanding of a subject -- even if it does not imply an effective change of policy or practice. Procedural changes: These refer to changes in the way certain processes are undertaken. For example, the incorporation of consultations to otherwise closed processes, or small changes in the way that national policies are implemented in the field. Content changes: These refer to changes in the content of policies including strategy papers, legislation and budgets. These are formal changes in the policy framework. Attitudinal changes: These refer to changes in the way policy actors think about a given issue. This might be an important change to target in the event that key stakeholders have high influence but lack interest in a policy area or are not necessarily aligned with the policy objectives of the programme. Behavioural changes: These refer to more durable changes in the way that policy actors behave (act or relate to others) as a consequence of formal and informal changes in discourse, process and content.
Having identified the necessary behavior changes, the fourth step is to develop a strategy to achieve the milestone changes in the process. There are many strategic planning tools that can be used for this. Force Field Analysis is a flexible tool that can be used to identify the forces supporting and opposing the desired change and suggest concrete responses. The forces can be ranked first according to their degree of influence over the change, and then according to the degree of control it is possible for the project team to exert over them. Activities can then be identified to reduce the high negative forces and to increase low positive forces. Sometimes it is not possible to influence actors directly and it is necessary to target others who can influence them. This might mean rethinking the priority stakeholders. A Strategy Map can also be a useful way of visualising the emerging strategy to identify common lines of action and facilitate coordination.
The fifth step is to consider the competencies required to successfully operationalise the strategy. Complexity theory conceptualizes competence as an evolving set of systems, processes and skills to enable actors to make the right decisions and act, rather than a pre-determined set of capabilities. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis is another useful tool to identify whether a project has the necessary resources to achieve its objectives, which also recognizes the potential impact of external influences. Skills and abilities Funding lines Commitment to positions Contacts and Partners Existing activities Other orgs relevant to the issue Resources: financial, technical, human Political and policy space Other groups or forces
Outcome Mapping is a project planning, monitoring and evaluation tool that has been developed by IDRC. It includes a series of steps before during and after a project. More information about this can be found on the IDRC web site. M&L based on OM. Want the planning tools to become the M&L. E.g can use
Flexible framework to bring in other tools
RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach Simon Hearn, ODI 16 April 2010 Bern, Switzerland
ROMA steps Start by defining your policy objectives RAPID Outcome Mapping
An analytical framework The political context – political and economic structures and processes, culture, institutional pressures, incremental vs radical change etc. The evidence – credibility, the degree it challenges received wisdom, research approaches and methodology, simplicity of the message, how it is packaged etc External Influences Socio-economic and cultural influences, donor policies etc The links between policy and research communities – networks, relationships, power, competing discourses, trust, knowledge etc.
The AIIM tool Develop enthusiasm to address topic Learn in partnership Develop awareness and enthusiasm Challenge existing beliefs High General level of alignment Low Low High Interest in specific topic
Force Field Analysis 5* 3 ? ? Total = ? MEF Time ? ? Negative forces 4 1 2 ? Total = ? Funds CSOs Public demand ? Positive forces 2 1 ? ? Your influence on the force Plan: Minister of Trade puts forward pro-poor trade and complementary policy programme to the cabinet by April 2008 4 2 2 ? Your influence on the force