Module 2. Policy Relevant Research

Policy relevant research is one of the cornerstones of a think tanks’ work. This module presents a set of principles for policy-relevant research, discusses how to balance independence, relevant and funding issues, and offers an approach to understanding policy problems.

Session 1

Name: Bridging Research and Policy: Challenges for the Activist Think-Tank.

Trainer: Simon Maxwell

Date/Time: 27 Jan 12:30 GMT

Summary: Bridging research and policy, a commitment to action, is what distinguishes think-tanks from universities or research institutes. The mission comes with specific mandates and skills. Some think-tanks, however, go further: engaging with activists, and standing shoulder to shoulder with them in the struggle. This session will draw on participants’ and wider experience to explore the opportunities and challenges this approach presents. Is this the future of think-tanks? Is it a route to be taken only with the greatest care? Or is it both?
PDF Notes

Session 2

Name: Strategies to increase your reach, functions and impact.

Trainer: Emily Gustafsson-Wright

Date/Time:  01 Feb 12:30 GMT

Summary: In this session, Emily Gustafsson-Wright, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, will discuss the strategies she and her colleagues use to maximize reach, functions and impact of their work. Some of these strategies include partnering with organizations or individuals with presence on the ground, conducting consultative processes, and developing concrete tools to build capacity among stakeholders. These strategies bridge the learning and doing gap in an effort to more effectively inform policymaking around the world and improve the lives of all citizens.

PDF Notes

How-to video: policy-relevant research – designing a research agenda

How-to video: problem-solving through theory of change

How-to video: adapting to change – how to pivot your strategy


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