Linking research policy and practice
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Closing the gender gap in Africa: Evaluating new policies and practices for women's economic empowerment - DFID/R4D

Research for Development Closing the gender gap in Africa: Evaluating new policies and practices for women's economic empowerment
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This DFID-funded research programme addresses current knowledge gaps with regard to how best to enhance women's empowerment in three areas; agricultural productivity, non-agricultural entrepreneurship and employment, and property rights.


Through the use of impact evaluations the project aims to contrbute to the capacity development of southern researchers and policymakers and ultimately influence policies and practices.

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Linking research policy and practice
Strengthening capacities to capacity to access, adapt and utilize evidence-based research and lessons from practice
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Call for Partners for New USAID-Funded Learning Network!

USAID’s Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) seeks partners to participate in a Learning Network and engage in a co-creation process to collaboratively advance its understanding of measuring and demonstrating the effects and potential impact of material investments i
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Applications invited until 30 April 2016
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Africa and Europe to strengthen links on Water and Climate: AfriAlliance | UNESCO-IHE

Africa and Europe to strengthen links on Water and Climate: AfriAlliance | UNESCO-IHE | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

Africa and Europe to strengthen links on Water and Climate in the AfriAlliance project: https://t.co/wGtUukDIwY

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

From the UNESCO-IHE announcement:

"Rather than creating new networks, the 16 EU and African partners in this project will consolidate existing ones, consisting of scientists, decision makers, practitioners, citizens and other key stakeholders, into an effective, problem-focused knowledge sharing mechanism. This will be coordinated by means of an innovation platform: the Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate."

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The 'dark side' of knowledge brokering

The 'dark side' of knowledge brokering | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

Winning poster: the dark side of knowledge brokering from this year's UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum #UKKMbF15 pic.twitter.com/coeEi27XaO

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

The forum took place from 14-15 April in Edinburg. More information can be found via the twitter hashtag: #UKKMbF15

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Systems thinking foundation course

Systems thinking foundation course | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Provide a level of understanding for students to demonstrate that they warrant certification as a systems thinker.
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

From the course description:

This course will present the absolute essential foundation necessary for developing a systemic perspective of a situation one is trying to deal with. This systemic perspective will provide a basis for dealing with the situation far more effectively. Essentially the intent is to solve problems so they stay solved and not create new ones in the process.

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TTI PEC Programme in Latin America and South Asia - Research to Action

TTI PEC Programme in Latin America and South Asia - Research to Action | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

The Think Tank Initiative's Policy Engagement and Communications programme is showcasing a series of deliverables produced by Latin American and South Asian think tanks and program facilitators during the program.

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

Among the resources developed by the capacity development programme that will be disseminated are:

  • ASIES: Guide on Communications Policies
  • ASIES: Publications Policy
  • ASIES: Institutional Identity Handbook
  • ASIES: Enhancing audio-visual communications
  • ASIES: Social Network Strategy
  • ASIES: Study on How think tanks communicate with diverse audiences
  • CEDA reaches a wider community through radio
  • FOSDEH develops their institutional “Theory of Change” through a new methodology for strategic planning
  • Fundación ARU: Strategic Planning Workshop: Design Tools
  • “The Tipping Point” improves FUSADES research impact
  • Grupo FARO: Virtual space facilitates internal communication
  • INESAD: A practical guide to fundraising
  • Instituto Desarrollo: The culture of communication and advocacy at ID
  • Audit Methodology and Organizational Image Positioning (Y Talavera)
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A New Politics of Knowledge? Exploring the contested boundaries between science, knowledge and policy.

A New Politics of Knowledge? Exploring the contested boundaries between science, knowledge and policy. | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Kat Smith and Richard Freeman argue it’s time to start bringing together the diverse and innovative thinking around the complex relationships between science, knowledge and policy. If we really wan...
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This blog introduces  a new Palgrave Macmillan book series that aims to explore "the new politics of knowledge" by bringing together people interested in questions of knowledge, policy, democracy and expertise.


For more information on how to participate, please see the contact information at the bottom of the blog here:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/05/27/politics-of-knowledge-book-series/

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'Research TO Policy?’ Reflections on a Persistently Intriguing Debate | on think tanks

'Research TO Policy?’ Reflections on a Persistently Intriguing Debate | on think tanks | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
In this post, Peter da Costa argues that there is something seriously wrong with many of the assumptions underpinning the 'research to policy' sector. He outlines a number of questions that emerged...
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This blog unpacks some common assumptions about the process of communicating research to practitioners by exploring relevant questions such as:

  • the extent to which research policies are based on evidence;
  • how to achieve a balance between research "supply and demand"; and
  • "Whose knowledge counts?"


Read the full blog at: http://onthinktanks.org/2014/02/26/research-to-policy-reflections-on-a-persistently-intriguing-debate/

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How to communicate in an interdisciplinary team - SciDev.Net

How to communicate in an interdisciplinary team - SciDev.Net | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

I have spent the past few years working with an interdisciplinary study of climate change in Mongolia. Surprisingly, our differences in native languages (English and Mongolian) are less problematic than the differences in our specialised, disciplinary language.

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This blog post highlights some practical dilemmas that researchers encounter in their work, both during the research phase as well as when communicating tools. The author offers some tools that can help overcome communication challenges and enhance learning.

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52 weeks of BetterEvaluation: Week 47: using video to communicate evaluation findings | Better Evaluation

52 weeks of BetterEvaluation: Week 47: using video to communicate evaluation findings | Better Evaluation | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

Video is an excellent medium to communicate findings to a range of stakeholders - it conveys messages visually and in manner that facilitates understanding. It also requires evaluators to be concise and summarise their key findings.


Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This blog post discusses two examples of how video was used to communicate evaluation findings. Both videos are available for download. The author highlights some of the practical challenges and some practical ideas on how to work with video in a quick and cost-effective way. The blog also provides links to additional resources on communicating evaluation results.

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Institutionalising knowledge brokering: A sustainable knowledge solution in healthcare? « ingentaconnect

In healthcare, translating evidence into changed practice remains challenging. Novel interventions are being used to address these challenges, including the use of 'knowledge brokers'. But how sustainable these roles might be, and the consequences for the individual of enacting such roles, are unknown. We explore these questions by drawing on qualitative data from case studies of full-time roles in research-practice collaboration. We suggest that structural issues around professional boundaries, organisational norms and career pathways may make such roles difficult to sustain in the long term, but highlight interventions that might improve their feasibility.

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This article was published in Evidence&Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, Volume 9, No. 3, August 2013, p. 335-351(17). The full article can be purchased at http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426413X662734

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UNFCCC Toolkit: How To Use This Toolkit | Farming First

UNFCCC Toolkit: How To Use This Toolkit | Farming First | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This toolkit was designed for organizations seekign to influence the UN climate change process, but it contains useful insights that can be applied to many other policy processes.

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Stakeholder relations and dialogues - Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stakeholder relations and dialogues - Stockholm Resilience Centre | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

How to bridge gaps between scientists, governments, indigenous peoples and local community representatives, international organisations and NGOs.

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This report highlights discussions at the “Dialogue workshop on Knowledge for the 21st Century,” held in Guna Yala, Panama, in April 2012. The workshop aimed to facilitate better exchange and cross-fertilization among diverse knowledge systems in an equal, legitimate, and transparent way, for the benefit of sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems. 

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A Zambian think tank start-up: a possible model

This blog discusses two possible models for think tank "start-ups."

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

The author makes his case by exploring examples of "how to and not to do it." The former, mostly involves heavily (externally) funded institutions, while, the author argues, it is also possible to launch a less expensive think tank that uses effective communication strategies to cut the turnaround time from "ideas to publication."

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Policy to research to policy in difficult places

Policy to research to policy in difficult places | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Alex De Waal hypothesizes that the more a study reflects the prevailing bias, the more influential it might be said to be. He calls for more contextual basis for research around conflict.
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

From the thought-provoking blog piece:

"The process of “policy-based evidence making” consists, I suggest, of senior decision makers formulating policy based on their own intellectual capital (acquired years or decades earlier), their experience of decision-making under stress and uncertainty, and their reflections on the dilemmas faced by others in similar circumstances. Perhaps a newspaper or magazine article may also prompt their thinking about a broader issue such as global health or climate change. Their junior aides then dress these policies up with a semblance of rigor by seeking out the abstracts of academic papers that appear to support their approach.


The way out of this thicket, I suggest, begins with the challenge of making research accessible to those who are its subjects, and who are supposed to benefit. Research in difficult places must make sense in the vernacular of the people who live in those places. Research will be more rigorous and more valid, when it is driven by a sense of accountability to its subjects."

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What does 'adaptive programming' mean in the health sector?

What does 'adaptive programming' mean in the health sector? | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

How the health sector can learn from adaptive development programming. An exploration of quality improvement, systems thinking and political economy analysis in health.

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‘Gap maps’ show the holes in development evidence

‘Gap maps’ show the holes in development evidence | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Interactive tables show where robust evaluations of interventions related to issues such as sanitation are lacking.
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

Interesting project by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) to respond to the "information overload" created by multiple evaluations of development programmes. Through the 'gap maps'  - currently covering education, water and sanitation and hygiene - 3ie aims to focus make it easier to see "which interventions have been tested and what metrics were used to evaluate the result." This is meant to make it easier for those commissioning research to focus on where evidence is still needed and to contribute to informed policymaking. 


But initial responses have been cautious, with some practitioners pointing out that the maps exclude " all but the most robust evidence," especially local and traditional knowledge or internal research by development organizations on the ground.


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Top 20 things scientists need to know about policy-making

Top 20 things scientists need to know about policy-making | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Chris Tyler: There are some common misunderstanding among scientists about how governments make their policy decisions
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Week 21: Know your measures - picking outcomes to monitor policy change | Better Evaluation

Week 21: Know your measures - picking outcomes to monitor policy change | Better Evaluation | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This blog proposes a typology for deciding outcome measures that can be used in measuring policy change. It also offers links to practical resources that can help to tackle the next steps in measuring policy change: designing the data collection instruments and planning how to understand the causes of the outcomes.


Read the full blog as well as suggested reading here:

http://betterevaluation.org/blog/picking-outcomes-to-monitor-policy-change

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Communicating complex ideas: the book

Communicating complex ideas: the book | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
This post presents a new book on communicating complex ideas written by authors from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. They explore the various challenges that they face as communic...
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

From the author's introduction:

The cases present a new take on the ‘stories of change’ approach often used to show  or illustrate how research impact on policy. Instead they offer an opportunity to reflect on the manner in which different elements or components of any effort to influence change come together and how two key participants, researchers and communicators, can support each other.



The full book and individual chapters can be downloaded at the following link:

http://onthinktanks.org/2014/06/02/communicating-complex-ideas-the-book/

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Social learning in practice: A review of lessons, impacts and tools for climate change

Social learning in practice: A review of lessons, impacts and tools for climate change | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is catalyzing—with key partners—new thinking and action around participatory ‘social’ research and learning approaches to enhance food security in the context of climate change. 

Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

This publication is among learning resources available on the CCAFS website to explore how participatory learning approaches can improve the impact of research for development programs.


The full list of publications is available at: https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/32729

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Inequitable power dynamics of global knowledge production and exchange must be confronted head on

Inequitable power dynamics of global knowledge production and exchange must be confronted head on | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
The research environment in the global South faces many pressing challenges given resource inequality. Technical and financial issues aside, Laura Czerniewicz asserts it is the values and practices...
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Work with us: Community-driven research inspiring change

Work with us: Community-driven research inspiring change | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Susanne Schirmer ‘People are sick and tired of being subjects of research. We are doing action research so people are becoming subjects of transformation.’ For me this statement from Walter Arteaga...
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

A short video showcasing recent participatory research in 29 countries is available on the IDS website at http://participationpower.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/work-with-us-community-driven-research-inspiring-change/


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South-South Knowledge Exchange | World Bank Institute (WBI)

South-South Knowledge Exchange | World Bank Institute (WBI) | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

This online portal aims to connect knowledge across "the global South" by encouraging development practitioners to share their experiences and innovative solutions, especially in the realm of capacity devleopment.

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Lasagna and chips: The 21st century trainer: a paradigm shift?

Lasagna and chips: The 21st century trainer: a paradigm shift? | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it

Transferring face-to-face training to an online trajectory requires creativity, not only to 'translate' the training, but also improve it.


Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

Is the traditional trainer/facilitator role becoming obsolete in a world where information and advice are a mouseclick away?

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Adding value to development training programmes through local collaboration

Adding value to development training programmes through local collaboration | Linking research policy and practice | Scoop.it
Learning for Development (L4D)'s insight:

To date there are very few research collaborations in which community based organizations are involved as equal partners in setting the research agendas or co-producing the knowledge that results. This article argues that organizers of development studies programmes should make more concerted efforts to engage community-based organizations and social movements in their neighbourhoods as this will enhance local knowledge development and lead to more relevant and sustainable development policies.

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