Synthesis documents

How can research-based development interventions be more effective at influencing policy and practice? Duncan and Barnett, M4P, 2005

    This paper was prepared for a workshop in Hanoi organized by the Making Market Systems Work Better for the Poor (M4P) program, between 31 October and 4 November 2005. 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.