Capacity Development

P&I and contributors are interested in helping research organizations and researchers as well as policymakers and State agencies to develop their capacities to bring together research and policy, by identifying and reflecting on the more innovative mechanisms to make these work together but also acknowledging their different nature and pace.

 

How can we make our research to be policy relevant?

research_agenda-550x368

At Politics & Ideas we are convinced that doing high quality and policy relevant research is just as important as communicating or disseminating it effectively to ensure its impact on policy. That is why in 2015 we launched the online course Doing policy-relevant research, with support of the Think Tank...Read More »


Reminder: Free webinar series / #6 Intra and inter relationships / March 22

Are you a policymaker, a researcher, a capacity building expert or a donor interested in better understanding how context affects the interaction between knowledge and policy?

Join our free webinar series where we will explore in depth the six main dimensions of context (for a sneak peek navigate our...Read More »


Let´s embrace culture: listen about its importance in Webinar #3 of our series Going beyond ‘Context matters’

Courtesy of Olga Gayda under CC at flickr.com

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, expressed Peter Drucker a while ago. Anyone surprised? How many times, in our efforts to strengthen the use of knowledge in policy, have we seen excellent plans and activities guided by...Read More »


Opportunity for think tanks leaders: the On Think Tanks Fellowship Programme

Every year On Think Tanks will open its doors to young and promising think tank leaders to co-develop a new global leadership paradigm.

Join and innovate within a unique exchange space!

Why Integral Leaders for Global Challenges?

No one would deny the increasing complexity, urgency and interdependency of the...Read More »


Reminder: Free webinar series / #4 Management & processses / January 17

Are you a policymaker, a researcher, a capacity building expert or a donor interested in better understanding how context affects the interaction between knowledge and policy?

Join our free webinar series where we will explore in depth the six main dimensions of context (for a sneak peek navigate our...Read More »


Learning and reflecting on Evidence Informed Policy Making

[ This post was produced by Emily Hayter is Programme Manager for Evidence Informed Policy Making at INASP: ehayter@inasp.info]

Courtesy of Alan Levine, under CC at flickr.com

After three years, 11 countries, 1, 164 people trained and 26 public engagement events held, the VakaYiko...Read More »


Free webinar series: Going beyond context matters / #1 Macro – context

Are you a policymaker, a researcher, a capacity building expert or a donor interested in better understanding how context affects the interaction between knowledge and policy?

Join our free webinar series where we will explore in depth the six main dimensions of context (for a sneak peek navigate our...Read More »


Upcoming course on how to monitor, evaluate and learn on policy influence

[P&I has joined efforts with the On Think Tanks School and will offer its online course on Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning for Think Tanks within the school´s platform. The course starts on September 26th and lasts until November 11th. The fee...Read More »


Book Review: Improving Think Tank Management by Raymond Struyk

Book struyk[Editor’s note: This post was originally published at Onthinktanks.org on July 19th]

 

Anyone working or interested in working in the think tanks´ field should have “Improving think tank management” at hand. With an impressive strategy to...Read More »


How can we better serve you? Win a free spot in a course of On Think Tanks School

Early in 2016, Politics & Ideas decided to join the On Think Tank School as a strategic partner to further bring our knowledge and experience in working with think tanks worldwide to new audiences and become part of a rich network of experts.

Thus we are currently...Read More »


Join the ride: a short course on re thinking funding models within the Evolving Think Tanks Series

[Editor’s Note: As part of the Evolving Think Tanks Series of the On Think Tanks School, P&I team will deliver the short course “Re-thinking your...Read More »


The On Think Tanks School: Evolving Think Tanks Series

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published at On Think Tanks. It launches the On Think Tanks School: Evolving Think Tanks Series, of which P&I is proud to be a partner. We hope you are interested and able to join this promising...Read More »


Last reminder: Scholarships for online course on using knowledge in policy making in Africa

ToRs

There is an emerging trend to incorporate knowledge in policymaking and implementation. However, there are several challenges implied as well as ways to use research.  The complexity of policymaking, with many players intervening in the process with their interests and resources, implies that the interaction between the available knowledge and...Read More »


Reminder: Scholarships for online course on using knowledge in policy making in Africa

ToRs

There is an emerging trend to incorporate knowledge in policymaking and implementation. However, there are several challenges implied as well as ways to use research.  The complexity of policymaking, with many players intervening in the process with their interests and resources, implies that the interaction between the available knowledge and...Read More »


Scholarships for online course on using knowledge in policy making in Africa

There is an emerging trend to incorporate knowledge in policymaking and implementation. However, there are several challenges implied as well as ways to use research.  The complexity of policymaking, with many players intervening in the process with their interests and resources, implies that the interaction between the available knowledge and...Read More »


Free webinar: Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) of policy influence: are the results worth the effort?

Comment and share!

By Anne Adrian under CC at flickr.com

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Kristie Evenson, a research practitioner on development of policy research organizational capacities, based in Croatia and working in the Europe and Eurasia region. It emerges...Read More »


Starting from where you are to evaluate, monitor and learn from policy influence: is it that simple?

Many policy research organizations are grappling with how to assess their policy influence in a sustainable, viable and meaningful manner. Some of them have tried to develop monitoring and evaluation methods with the aid of experts and/or donors but many of them failed to really implement and use these systems...Read More »


Policy makers sharing online spaces: an opportunity to learn and foster a culture of use of knowledge in politics

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[Editor’s note: This post originally appeared at Practising Development, managed by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). It is part of a series produced...Read More »


Seeking for great researchers at think tanks

 [Editor’s note: This post was written by Andrea Ordóñez and Leandro Echt as part of a process of developing an online course targeted to think tankers on research for policy making, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

Researching (and researchers) is at the heart of what...Read More »


On collaboration among think tanks: moving from desire to reality

By Venessa Miemis at flickr.com under CC

At the recent TTIX 2015, besides facilitating a session on written communications as a way to engage with policymakers, P&I was involved as facilitator of a parallel session on...Read More »


Reminder/Recordatorio: Training opportunity in Latin America: online course "Leaders of change: developing Latin American policymakers´ capacity to promote the use of knowledge in policy"

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[Editor’s note: this post announces the call for applications for an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of knowledge in policy. Check the Terms of Reference. Nota del editor: este artículo anuncia la convocatoria a aplicaciones para un curso en línea...Read More »


Reminder/Recordatorio: Training opportunity in Latin America: online course "Leaders of change: developing Latin American policymakers´ capacity to promote the use of knowledge in policy"

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[Editor’s note: this post announces the call for applications for an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of knowledge in policy. Check the Terms of Reference. Nota del editor: este artículo anuncia la convocatoria a aplicaciones para un curso en línea...Read More »


The Think Tank Initiative´s Global Exchange: an opportunity to foster peer (and non-peer!) learning

By Nyctalimon with CC license

P&I has been invited to participate in the upcoming Think Tank Initiative´s Global Exchange that will bring together up to 200 think tanks, donors, and other research-to-policy stakeholders to...Read More »


Online Training: a perspective from India

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Dr. Annapoorna Ravichander, Head of Communication & Policy Engagement at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP)]

 

Introduction

The impact of global economy brought about a drastic change after e-learning came into...Read More »


Training opportunity in Latin America: online course "Leaders of change: developing Latin American policymakers´ capacity to promote the use of knowledge in policy"

[Editor’s note: this post announces the call for applications for an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of knowledge in policy. Check the Terms of Reference. Nota del editor: este artículo anuncia la convocatoria a aplicaciones para un curso en...Read More »


Planning 2015

This is the third post of a series focusing on how we can better incorporate the complexity paradigm as a key framework to tackle the challenges and questions shared by many of us interested in the interaction between research and policy.

So, welcome 2015! We usually start the New Year with...Read More »


Learning from and with others: an experience with the Think Tank Initiative

By Denise Krebs under CC license

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June 2014 the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) commissioned Politics&Ideas to undertake a ‘light touch review’ of capacity development (CD) within TTI Phase 1...Read More »


To more complexity, more dagu!

Courtesy of nero vivo under CC at flickr.com

This is the second post of a series focusing on how we can better incorporate the complexity paradigm as a key framework to tackle the challenges and questions shared by many of us interested in the...Read More »


Voices from the ground: policy makers’ challenges to the use of evidence

[Editor’s note: This post is the fourth of a series produced by Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt from Politics&Ideas to share what we learn through the development and conduction of an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of research in policy.]

 

Some weeks ago, we...Read More »


Working together: lessons from collaborative projects with think tanks around the world

[Editor’s note: this post summarizes an article previously published by Enrique Mendizabal at On Think tanks which put together some reflections emerging from the On Think Tanks Exchange, an initiative designed to support and...Read More »

What are we missing when trying to develop policy makers capacities to use evidence?

[Editor’s note: This post is the third of a series produced by Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt from Politics&Ideas to share what we learn through the development and conduction of an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of research in policy.]

 

As part of the Read More »


Giving more voice to Southern policymakers to co-build a new capacity development agenda

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[Editor’s note: This post is the second of a series produced by Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt from Politics&Ideas to share what we learn through the development and conduction of an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of research in policy.]
As we have previously Read More »

Capacity development for policymakers: a new opportunity to learn and co-create relevant knowledge

[Editor’s note: This post is the first of a series produced by Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt from Politics&Ideas to share what we learn through the development and conduction of an online course targeted to policymakers in Latin America on the use of research in policy.]

 

Thanks to the support of...Read More »


Strengthening Grupo Faro’s Board of Directors

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Orazio Bellettini, Director of Grupo FARO in Ecuador. It is part of a series of posts emerging from a long term mentoring project that also includes ASIES, in Guatemala. It...Read More »


Learning from the experience (2): Case studies as a strategy to teach on public policy

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[Editor’s Note: This post is the second of a series of posts produced by Carlos Alza, ordinary lecturer and Public Policy and Public Management Coordinator of the School of Government Government (PUCP – Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú). The series focuses on how developing content to teach on public policy is a capacity...Read More »


Lesson #20: Use what you have learned to craft a new future

This reflection is part of the 20 lessons included in the paper Lessons learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

Lessons learned from the past can inspire us for...Read More »


Lesson #19: There is a clear interest in South-South collaboration in terms of systematizing knowledge and practice from similar organisations in developing countries

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This reflection is part of the 20 lessons included in the paper Lessons learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

The fact that the SFE programme was regionally executed...Read More »


Learning from the experience (1): Case studies as a strategy to teach on public policy

[Editor’s Note: This post is the first of a series of posts produced by Carlos Alza, ordinary lecturer and Public Policy and Public Management Coordinator of the School of Government Government (PUCP – Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú).  The series focuses on how developing content to teach on public policy is...Read More »

Lesson #18: We need to further reflect on what makes networks and communities become vibrant learning mechanisms

This reflection is part of the 20 lessons included in the paper Lessons learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

Our final set of lessons is related to...Read More »


Lesson # 17: M&E is very different if it´s embedded in a learning approach

Monitoring and evaluating capacity building (CB) is still a challenge to many similar endeavors. There is no single response to this challenge. There are also diverse aspects to be measured. According to LaFond and Brown (2003), “monitoring and evaluation can help answer a range of questions about:

Lesson #16: Bring others into monitoring, evaluation and learning of capacity building activities

At Spaces for Engagement, our M&E approach was linked to the way the programme was developed: since we presented yearly plans on activities to be conducted, we mainly annually measured success by evaluating impact of each planned CB activity. However, after reading Antonio Capillo´s reflection in his previous post...Read More »


Lesson 15: When defining content for capacity building, engage potential participants from early on

[Editor’s note: This post is part of the ‘Lessons learned’ series on capacity building, which reviews the Spaces for Engagement programme. See Vanesa Weyrauch’s full paper here.]

Identifying the skills to be developed...Read More »


Unraveling the politics of capacity building

Among the things I find most appealing in the work I do is finding people who are willing to learn together with both an inquisitive and critical look at the field and how we approach it. In fact, this has been one of the main drivers to produce and share...Read More »


Lesson #14: It is not easy to keep people engaged after a specific training activity: we need to re- think about its need and timing

At Spaces for Engagement, after organizing some face-to-face regional conferences to foster knowledge exchange and debates among leading think tanks in Latin America, we decided we wanted to look for innovative ways to keep them engaged in the issues and start building a longer capacity building process, with...Read More »


The politics of capacity building for greater research-policy linkages - a reflection on Lessons Learned by the SFE programme

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Catherine Fisher and it reflects on the paper ‘Lessons Learned’ by Vanesa Weyrauch. Catherine is an independent consultant on capacity development and learning processes in international development.]

The paper ‘

As we shared in Lesson #12 the programme Spaces for Engagement departed from a deep conviction about the value of creating opportunities for face-to-face interaction, especially in terms of building a regional community of practice to share knowledge on research and policy. Even if we learned that this type...Read More »


Lesson #12: Let's meet face to face but knowing what for!

Although at P&I we have already argued about the advantages of online training (see here and here), and have found some colleagues echoing our reflections, the need to continue holding face-to-face activities for capacity development is continuously expressed by individuals and organisations in this field.

Certainly, the Spaces...Read More »


Lesson #11: the longer we walk together, the deeper we will change

Longer CB processes provide with more opportunities to assess how capacities and skills are built; capacity developed through online courses could be strengthened by continuing to engage with trainees in some specific and practical way

As time goes by, I become increasingly convinced about allowing processes the time they need...Read More »


From managing research to mentoring: an effective mechanism for a generational transition

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Raquel Zelaya, Director of ASIES, in Guatemala. It is part of a series of posts emerging from a long term mentoring...Read More »


Lesson #10: the many advantages that online courses brought about

Online courses have enabled us to efficiently reach a wider and more diverse audience, ensure longer processes to share knowledge in a more horizontal and collaborative way, use debates and exercises as a strategy to continuously adapt and update training materials with examples from developing countries, and detect emerging trends...Read More »


Openness to continuous learning: one of the most important leadership skills

[Editor’s note: This post is part of a series that brings together reflections from a year-long leadership strengthening programme that Grupo Faro (Ecuador) and ASIES (Guatemala) jointly carried out with Enrique Mendizabal and Vanesa Weyrauch as mentors.]

I entered this project full of enthusiasm due to the openness of two leading...Read More »


Resources for executive directors: competences, structure and tools

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[Editor’s note: This post originally appeared at On Think Tanks. It is part of a series of posts reflecting on a mentoring project with ASIES from Guatemala and Grupo Faro from Ecuador.]

Too many resources for think tanks are focused on Read More »


How to improve your capacity to write proposals: Grupo FARO's Committee for Project Approval

[Editor’s note: This post has been written by Adriana Arellano, from Grupo FARO, who are participating of a mentoring project with ASIES in Guatemala. This series is an effort to share...Read More »


Lesson #8: Invest time in building an integrated approach for your capacity building efforts

It is worth investing time in designing an integrated approach to capacity building (CB) which reflects your main principles in terms of profile of teachers, methodologies, type and origins of training materials, and how to build a relationship with those who benefit from the CB

Our overall approach to CB...Read More »


Lesson #7: Try to assess how much potential participants of a capacity building activity are genuinely interested and committed to it

Our seventh lesson is that usually the success of a capacity building activity is very tightly linked to the degree of real interest demonstrated by participants as well as their willingness to invest some kind of resources into it (time, sharing of experiences, etc.).  We have found that our activities...Read More »


Lesson #9: Engaging others in co-producing knowledge strengthens capacity building

Opening up the field of work to a large and diverse universe of individuals and organisations enables the co-production of knowledge that is relevant and useful, fosters a deep understanding of the complexity of applying knowledge on the field and enlarges the scale and scope of your CB efforts.

At SFE...Read More »


Lesson #6: Understand context and participants to select the right incentives

While an effective selection of participants for a capacity building activity has been pointed out in the previous lesson and by others as a key factor towards its success; it is also important to be aware of the right mix of incentives that will attract good candidates as well...Read More »


Capacity building -from our Topic Guide

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[Editor’s note: This post is the last one of a series that introduced our Topic Guide. Please feel free to check the insight our Topic Guide offers on how research agendas are produced, on the politics of how research is used in policy, on communicating research, and on...Read More »


Challenges in Practice - Thoughts on 'Lessons Learned' (Part 2)

[Editor’s note: This is the second post by Alex Ademokun reflecting on the recent Politics & Ideas paper ‘Lessons learned promoting links between researchers and policy makers’. Alex manages the Evidence-Informed Policy Making programme at...Read More »


Lesson #5: Criteria for selecting participants: link them with the scope, nature, goals and guiding principles of your capacity building endeavor

This reflection is part of the 20 lessons included in the paper Lessons learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

The next set of lessons to be shared here...Read More »


Challenges in Practice - Thoughts on 'Lessons Learned' (Part 1)

[Editor’s Note: This post is the first of two by Alex Ademokun, who manages the Evidence-Informed Policy Making programme at INASP.]

INASP has recently started a programme of work in partnership with four other...Read More »


Mentoring researchers in evaluation & communication: Examples in the making

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Ricardo Ramirez and Dal Brodhead. The featured image was produced by R. Ramirez for a training activity.]

This post is about a mentoring approach to capacity development in the field of evaluation, more specifically using Utilization-focused Evaluation (UFE). What we detail here is noteworthy...Read More »


Imagine a 365 days shutdown of donor supported capacity building to think tanks

[Editor’s note: This is the second post by Goran Buildoski on the issue of Capacity Building, and part of a larger series of posts related to ‘Lessons Learned’[1]. Goran is Director of the

[Editor’s Note: Hans Gutbrod is a consultant and think tank researcher with a special interest in capacity building. Hans has worked with research organizations in a broad variety of contexts, is currently working with the anticorruption commission of East Timor, and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics....Read More »


The appeal and seduction of empathy and sympathy in capacity building

[Editor’s note: Goran Buildoski is Director of the Think Tank Fund at the Open Society Foundations].

Capacity building of think tanks is about advancing  knowledge, gaining skills, and...Read More »


Lesson #4: think about, agree and discuss widely to establish capacity building objectives

This reflection is part of the 20 lessons included in the paper Lessons learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

Throughout the six years of work within our programme Read More »


Results from our survey on Capacity Building

Together with Vanesa Weyrauch, we recently carried out a survey aimed at informing Politics & Ideas and its partners in the process of formulating a new long-term capacity development strategy. This strategy should enable us to focus our contribution to efforts by individuals and organisations to better link politics and...Read More »


Lesson #3: Continuously reformat your research findings- if you really want them to be used

Lesson #3: Traditional research formats and your own communications channels allow you to build and strengthen your reputation on the field but continuously reformat your research findings according to where you are and with whom- if you really want them to be used

If you are genuinely concerned about producing...Read More »


Lesson #2: Build your research agenda with potential users of knowledge

This reflection is part of the 20 lessons included in the paper Lessons learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

As our programme

[Editor’s note: This is the first of two posts by Antonio Capillo, who is M&E Officer, Evaluation, Learning and Communication at INASP. Antonio’s role includes designing and implementing rigorous mixed methodologies to monitor and evaluate INASP’s activities and overall strategy]

What is capacity and what are the key challenges for capacity...Read More »


What are your thoughts on Capacity Building?

Politics & Ideas welcomes  you to answer a short survey which aims to inform our future capacity building efforts and those of our partners. We would really appreciate your thoughts on this!

Based on the ‘Read More »


Lesson #1: Use diverse strategies to enable local knowledge production

 

Courtesy of Thanamat at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Spaces for engagement started with a deep conviction on the need to encourage local production of relevant knowledge on the link between research and policy. In fact, when the programme started most...Read More »


Lessons learned: harvesting the fruits of collaborative work and reflection

Here it is! Our announced paper, conducted jointly with CIPPEC and GDNet, is ready to be read (and hopefully and even better, used)!  In it, we share 20 lessons that emerged...Read More »


It takes time to learn (and even more time to share it!)

learn

How often do we stop to reflect on how we are doing what we are doing well we are doing what we do? Not frequently, certainly not in today´s hectic and fast-pace world. When it comes to policy research and development we usually jump from one project to...Read More »


When human resources are lacking: research capacity development in Tanzania

Governmental funding can be either a planned policy or it can be an occasional, unprogrammed affair. The latter can have serious effects on capacity building for research, not just among think tanks but also in governmental institutions.

There are two recurrent questions that are frequently posed when devising capacity development initiatives and activities:  1) “How should topics/skills to be developed be selected?” and 2) “Which are the most relevant and promising topics/skills for CB (capacity building hereon) in the upcoming years?”.

In fact, those two questions are tightly...Read More »


Online courses: a learning opportunity with a broader outreach

I have been working on the design and delivery of capacity building workshops targeted at southern researchers over the past three years. As much as I believe in the effectiveness of such trainings and their positive impact on the way research findings are being communicated to policymakers, I always had...Read More »


Online training is THE thing!

This post was written by Ravi Murugesan, INASP  Associate,  as a response to Vanesa Weyrauch’s post titled “Is online training THE thing?” in this website.

I work in the AuthorAID project at INASP,...Read More »


Defining capacity building goals: a still challenging task

Courtesy of cooldesign at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Establishing objectives for capacity building initatives can become as challenging as defining how to measure their success.

Let me throw out some out-of-the-box thinking first. Goals are very appealing because they are usually linked to desires, right? We...Read More »


Online courses as a learning opportunity

Under the “Spaces for engagement: using knowledge to improve public decisions” programme from GDNet and CIPPEC I recently co-facilitated an online course on Research Communications. The course lasted six weeks, with an additional week for...Read More »


What makes a capacity building activity more attractive?

Courtesy of artur84 at freedigitalphotos.net

Even though opportunities to develop new capacities to better link research and policy are very scarce when we do find one, the decision to invest time and energy in this type of activities is...Read More »


Building capacity to understand how policy is really crafted: an example from Manila University

Can you imagine the faces of your local policymakers if exposed to a Prezi presentation with images like the ones below representing the policymaking processes in which they usually take part?

They would at least grin, if they are very politically correct. Well, even...Read More »


Is online training THE thing?

For the past five years under the “Spaces for engagement: using knowledge to improve public decisions” programme from GDNet and CIPPEC we have carried out different capacity building (CB) activities using a wide range of mechanisms....Read More »