Short course: Advocating to influence people, politics and policies
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Short course: Advocating to influence people, politics and policies

Most think tanks consciously seek to influence what powerful institutions do. A few years ago, a prominent American politician left Congress to lead a large think tank because, he explained, working for that think tank would give him greater power to influence US politics and policy. However, many other think tanks struggle to influence public debates and institutional actions for a very broad variety of reasons. In a context in which donors are demanding to see ‘impact’ and a growing number of competing groups (from lobbyists to campaigning charities) aggressively push their own policy prescriptions, think tanks need to learn to effectively advocate in order to survive.

Think tankers from a broad variety of backgrounds – research, communications, proposal development, grants management – can benefit from this course if they bring along a passion for using research to influence people, politics and policies.

This short course is for think tankers who want to use high-quality policy research to influence public debates and institutional actions. It is aimed at people who have experience in policy research environments, but who have not approached advocacy systematically before. (Note: Simply calling a press conference every time you publish a paper, and maybe tweeting it out a few times too, does not count as systematic advocacy.


The course helps those looking to:

  • Plan, budget and implement an effective research-based advocacy strategy.
  • Develop and clearly communicate actionable policy recommendations.
  • Ensure that their policy recommendations are noticed, debated and ultimately adopted.
  • Increase the public and political relevance of their think tank and its contribution to democracy.
  • Help their think tank to survive and grow in an increasingly competitive environment.
  • Change the world in a positive way.


This is a past course, but the resources and webinars can be accessed. To do so please register your information in this link (and subscribe to the OTT newsletter). After registration you will receive the password to access the course. Thank you!

October 10, 2017 - October 17, 2017


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