Karin Backteman Policy Briefs

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Karin Backteman Policy Briefs

  1. 1. Policy briefs as a communication tool or Writing for non-researchers Karin Backteman Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  2. 2. Principles of communication 1. Keep your target audience in mind 2. Keep a dialogue 3. Distill your key messages ! Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  3. 3. 1. Have your target audience in mind Who? Policy context? Language? Research = solution of a problem? Message received? Tailor it! Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  4. 4. 2. Keep a dialogue (from the beginning) How to collaborate? How can I communicate the key points of my research? To whom is it relevant? Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  5. 5. 3. Distill your key messages … very complex research findings … 1–3 key points … into: clear concise messages ! Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  6. 6. Policy briefs … Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  7. 7. “ ... policy briefs are short documents that present the findings and the recommendations of a research project to a non-specialist readership …” Definition from Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  8. 8. <ul><li>Common elements of a policy brief </li></ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><li>Summary/Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Context and importance of the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of the evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>Sources consulted and recommended </li></ul>Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  9. 9. <ul><li>Policy briefs should … </li></ul><ul><li>Be brief ( maximum 6-8 pages/3 000 words) </li></ul><ul><li>Start with key points … </li></ul><ul><li>… and in the introduction: essence/purpose </li></ul>Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  10. 10. Checklist when writing a policy brief 1. START with what’s most IMPORTANT ! Key points? Essence? Purpose? Title … hook them, convince them! Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  11. 11. 2. Simplify – Find your core message! Set aside your academic texts The point? Why important? Peel off the unnecessary stuff, again and again Find your core message Tell your friend ! Pretend: press release or newspaper article Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  12. 12. 3. Language! Avoid researcher jargon! ( Price elasticity …) Straightforward, informal language Explain scientific concepts – in simplest way Spell out acronyms Active voice Translation? Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  13. 13. 4. Give the reader a break! Shorter paragraphs Subheadings Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  14. 14. 5. Illustrate! Figures, graphs, photos Captions Copyrights picture? make it visual … Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  15. 15. 6. Tailor to context! Realistic – Applicable Locally specific – Local language Where in the policy cycle? Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  16. 16. Done! and then … Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  17. 17. Bonus! once you have formulated your key points: Concise Message Ready for Any Outreach Purpose at Any Time to Anyone Karin Backteman EfD 2008
  18. 18. Karin Backteman EfD 2008

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