I’ve got a guest post at Research to Action about how policy-oriented researchers don’t have to build relationships with policymakers themselves, but can also work in partnership with organizations which already have these relationships, like think tanks and advocacy groups. It features the great work that J-PAL Southeast Asia is doing to connect their researchers to policymakers in Indonesia. Here’s the main takeaway:
Academic researchers and knowledge brokers can bring complementary skills to bear on the process of evidence-informed policymaking. Studies have shown that policymakers are most likely to listen to information which comes from credible sources, and which is delivered at a point in the policymaking cycle when it’s most useful to them. As experts in their fields, the researchers lend credibility to their policy recommendations. Meanwhile, knowledge brokers have a long-term presence in low-income countries, and are explicitly committed to influencing policy. This means that they have more time to learn about how the policy process works in their country, and to meet with policymakers.