Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
 


How can research-based development interventions be more effective at influencing policy and practice?
November 2005
Alex Duncan and Andrew Barnett
Asian Development Bank

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges The Policy Practice as a source of this document: www.thepolicypractice.com


Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to think about ways in which those who are involved in Making Markets Work (MMW) programs can be effective in influencing policy and practice, whether of governments, development agencies, private companies, or nongovernment organizations.

The paper draws lessons from two case studies in which initiatives with their origins in research have had some influences: sustainable livelihoods and Drivers of Change. It then considers three issues: how we can most usefully think about the linkages between researchers and policy makers; the need to understand the institutional incentives facing policy makers; and the risk of undervaluing communication.

The paper suggests adopting an innovation system approach that emphasizes the complexity and interconnectedness of the elements involved in linking research with policy and practice. Although there are no hard and fast rules, features of better practice emerge which may help increase the future influence of MMW.

Summary

Introduction and purpose of paper

The purpose of this paper is to think about ways in which those who are involved in Making Markets Work (MMW) initiatives can be effective in influencing development policy and practice. It starts by presenting two case studies of recent examples of research-based approaches that have had some influence. It then addresses in particular three issues:

  • How we can most usefully think about the linkages between researchers and policy makers
  • The need to understand the institutional incentives facing policy makers
  • The risk of undervaluing communication.

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