Successfully reported this slideshow.
1Policy BriefsbyDonatilla K. Kaino
2Outline Introduction Challenges for policymakers when trying to access and useresearch evidence for decision-making Th...
IntroductionPolicy has broadly been defined as broad statementswhich spell out the government’s priorities or purposiveact...
Challenges for policymakers when trying to accessand use research evidence for decision-makingThe answers to this question...
Research findings are not relevantResearch findings are not reliable – look at thesource of data and information usedForma...
Challenges of Policymakers….. Information explosion – Different researchinstitutions come up with different research find...
What researchers should do tomaximize their research uptake To have strong linkages with policy makers andestablish rapid...
What researchers should not do Use data and information from unreliable source To use the media to criticize government ...
Policy Spaces Invited policy spaces, Practical spaces, Conceptual and/or Discursive spaces9
Examples where research has successfullyengaged and influenced policy and developmentpractice Agricultural sector policy...
11Effective Police Briefs In constructing a policy brief that can effectivelyserve its intended purpose, the following fe...
12Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 2 Evidence-based – The policy brief is acommunication tool produced by pol...
13Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 3 Succinct – The type of audiences targeted commonly donot have the time o...
14Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 4 Accessible – the writer of the policy brief shouldfacilitate the ease of...
15Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 5 Practical and feasible – the policy brief is an action-orientedtool targ...
16Common Structural Components of thePolicy Brief 1Title of the Paper The title aims to catch the attention of the reader...
17Common Structural Components ofthe Policy Brief 2Context and Importance of the Problem A clear statement of the problem...
Common Structural Componentsof the Policy Brief 3Critique of Policy Option(s) The aim of this element is to detail shortc...
Common Structural Componentsof the Policy Brief 4Policy Recommendations The aim of the policy recommendations element is ...
Common Structural Componentsof the Policy Brief 5 Appendices Sources Consulted or Recommended20
Readers of Policy Briefs 1 Readers of Policy Briefs are from differentbackgrounds and ages They are policy makers, lawye...
Readers of Policy Briefs 2 Instant familiarization of your readers is key A Policy Brief must quickly identify problems ...
Conclusions 1 Policy Brief is a simple document in terms ofits size. However, it should be noted that, it is one ofthe m...
Conclusions 2 Despite its complication, policy brief is handyand manageable in terms of distribution andreading It is ea...
EndAsante sana for Listening25
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Policy Briefs

1,949 views

Published on

Presentation at the GDNet AERC Policy Briefs Workshop - June 2013

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Policy Briefs

  1. 1. 1Policy BriefsbyDonatilla K. Kaino
  2. 2. 2Outline Introduction Challenges for policymakers when trying to access and useresearch evidence for decision-making Three key things that researchers should do, and should notdo, to maximise research uptake Current policy opportunities for research to both inform andinfluence public policy Two examples where research has successfully engaged andinfluenced policy and development practice
  3. 3. IntroductionPolicy has broadly been defined as broad statementswhich spell out the government’s priorities or purposiveaction to deliver desired changes within a given timeframeViable and appropriate policies are necessary for theoptimal economic management as well as sustainablegrowth and poverty reductionPolicies are made by policy makersThese are the persons bestowed with the power, eitherby society or a group of people in a society, to make keydecisionsIn modern world policy makers are required to makeresearch/evidence based policies.3
  4. 4. Challenges for policymakers when trying to accessand use research evidence for decision-makingThe answers to this question are various Difficult to pursue political democracy and economicreforms at the same time. E.g. prioritization in projectimplementation – projects suggested are unpopularbut have big economic impact. Lack of capacity for evidence-informed policydevelopment Determining the credibility of a given researchorganisation & the real motive behind the research &findings (Profession? Association?);4
  5. 5. Research findings are not relevantResearch findings are not reliable – look at thesource of data and information usedFormats for research syntheses are not User-friendlyResearch findings are not accessibleResearch findings are not produced at the right timeSome relevant researches are not practical – e.g.requiring every village to have a technical college by2020 Some Researches are not of good quality5
  6. 6. Challenges of Policymakers….. Information explosion – Different researchinstitutions come up with different research findings,sometimes contradicting findings Researches lack robust evidence about interventionsand strategies that work and about those that maybe potentially useful. Policymakers do not understand how to fitresearched solutions into complex and under-resourced sector systems. Some recommendations are against policemaker’sinterests and interests of their voters6
  7. 7. What researchers should do tomaximize their research uptake To have strong linkages with policy makers andestablish rapid response mechanisms to meetpolicymakers’ needs for research evidence within shorttime frames (hours or days) User-friendly formats for research syntheses Provide evidence to clarify what services and programsto offer or cover, how to deliver those services,financial arrangements, governance arrangements,and how to implement and monitor the change Interpret research evidence in relationship to thespecific context7
  8. 8. What researchers should not do Use data and information from unreliable source To use the media to criticize government policieswithout offering plausible solutions Offer biased policy options based on opinions &sectoral views rather than properly supportedresearch evidence8
  9. 9. Policy Spaces Invited policy spaces, Practical spaces, Conceptual and/or Discursive spaces9
  10. 10. Examples where research has successfullyengaged and influenced policy and developmentpractice Agricultural sector policy Identification of Growth sectors and drivers Health sector policy in Kenya10
  11. 11. 11Effective Police Briefs In constructing a policy brief that can effectivelyserve its intended purpose, the following features areimportant to observe:– Focused – all aspects of the policy brief (from the messageto the layout) need to strategically focus on achieving theintended goal of convincing the target audience– Professional not academic –The common audience for apolicy brief is not interested in the research/analysisprocedures conducted to produce the evidence, but arevery interested to know the writer’s perspective on theproblem and potential solutions based on the new evidence
  12. 12. 12Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 2 Evidence-based – The policy brief is acommunication tool produced by policy analystsand therefore all potential audiences not onlyexpect a rational argument but will only beconvinced by argumentation supported byevidence that the problem exists and theconsequences of adopting particular alternatives Limited – The focus of the brief needs to belimited to a particular problem or area of aproblem
  13. 13. 13Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 3 Succinct – The type of audiences targeted commonly donot have the time or inclination to read an in-depth 20page argument on a policy problem. Therefore, it iscommon that policy briefs do not exceed 6 – 8 pages inlength (i.e. usually not longer than 3,000 words) Understandable – This not only refers to using clear andsimple language (i.e. not the jargon and concepts of anacademic discipline) but also to providing a well explainedand easy to follow argument targeting a wide butknowledgeable audience
  14. 14. 14Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 4 Accessible – the writer of the policy brief shouldfacilitate the ease of use of the document by thetarget audience and therefore, should subdivide thetext using clear descriptive titles to guide the reader Promotional – the policy brief should catch the eyeof the potential audience in order to create afavourable impression (e.g. professional, innovativeetc). In this way many brief writers, many of thefeatures of the promotional leaflet (use of colour, useof logos, photographs, slogans, illustrative quotesetc).
  15. 15. 15Pre-requisites for an effective Policy Brief 5 Practical and feasible – the policy brief is an action-orientedtool targeting policy practitioners. As such the brief mustprovide arguments based on what is actually happening inpractice with a particular policy and propose recommendationswhich seem realistic to the target audience
  16. 16. 16Common Structural Components of thePolicy Brief 1Title of the Paper The title aims to catch the attention of the reader andcompel him/her to read on and so needs to bedescriptive, punchy and relevantExecutive Summary A description of the problem addressed; A statement on why the current approach/policyoption needs to be changed (Context); Your recommendations for action– In-depth investigation– 1 to 2 paragraphs
  17. 17. 17Common Structural Components ofthe Policy Brief 2Context and Importance of the Problem A clear statement of the problem or issue in focus; A short overview of the root causes of the problem ; A clear statement of the policy implications of theproblem which clearly establishes the currentimportance and policy relevance of the issue– the length of the problem description may vary considerablyfrom brief to brief depending on the stage on the policyprocess in focus
  18. 18. Common Structural Componentsof the Policy Brief 3Critique of Policy Option(s) The aim of this element is to detail shortcomings ofthe current approach or options being implementedand therefore, illustrate both the need for changeand focus of where change needs to occur– A short overview of the policy option(s) in focus ;– An argument illustrating why and how the currentor proposed approach is failing18
  19. 19. Common Structural Componentsof the Policy Brief 4Policy Recommendations The aim of the policy recommendations element is toprovide a detailed and convincing proposal of howthe failings of the current policy approach need to bechanged. As such this is achieved by including– A breakdown of the specific practical steps ormeasures that need to be implemented;– Sometimes also includes a closing paragraph re-emphasizing the importance of action19
  20. 20. Common Structural Componentsof the Policy Brief 5 Appendices Sources Consulted or Recommended20
  21. 21. Readers of Policy Briefs 1 Readers of Policy Briefs are from differentbackgrounds and ages They are policy makers, lawyers, academics,legislators, engineers, liberal, conservativesetc Perhaps the biggest mistake many peoplemake involves not properly understandingthe disposition of their readers21
  22. 22. Readers of Policy Briefs 2 Instant familiarization of your readers is key A Policy Brief must quickly identify problems orconcerns faced by its readers and lead them downthe path to a solution provided by your product orservice Different readers look at problems differently(because they are from different origin) For example, an engineer might care about technicalissues, whereas a Business Bureaucrat is moreinterested in business benefits22
  23. 23. Conclusions 1 Policy Brief is a simple document in terms ofits size. However, it should be noted that, it is one ofthe most complicated and difficult publicationto construct or make. This is particularly true when the researchreport or study is voluminous with manyrelevant and pertinent issues in it.23
  24. 24. Conclusions 2 Despite its complication, policy brief is handyand manageable in terms of distribution andreading It is easy to read and appropriate documentfor bureaucrats, technocrats, top and seniorpolitical as well as government executives,who find it difficult to read big documents24
  25. 25. EndAsante sana for Listening25

×