Resource Library

This resource library presents studies supported and/or funded by the original initiative’s partners. Resources are organized according to Politics & Ideas main areas of interest:


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Resources by Politics & Ideas

Vanesa Weyrauch, in collaboration with Leandro Echt and Shahenda Suliman

Paper – 2016 – Politics & Ideas/INASP

This paper presents a conceptual framework to help policymakers, researchers, practitioners and  donors better define windows of opportunity in different contexts to focus efforts on promoting better interaction between knowledge and policy. The framework comprises six facets or ‘dimensions’ of context that any government institution aiming to improve the use of knowledge in public policy (as well as those working with these agencies) should consider carefully: (1) macro-context; (2) intra- and inter-relationships with state and non-state agents; (3) culture; (4) organizational capacity; (5) management and processes; and (6) core resources.

Starting from context: how to make strategic decisions to promote a better interaction between knowledge and policy

Vanesa Weyrauch, in collaboration with Leandro Echt and Shahenda Suliman

Paper – 2016 – Politics & Ideas/INASP

This paper is a practical knowledge product that stems from a conceptual framework developed by P&I and INASP to understand how the context at the level of government institutions affects the use of knowledge in policy.

Online course promotes the use of knowledge and evidence in policy

Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt

Case study – 2015 – Politics & Ideas/INASP

There has been an increasing interest and institutionalization of knowledge in public decision making over the last few years. However, the experiences of Politics & Ideas (P&I) and its members in Latin America with regards to political leaders show that many mid-level policymakers need support, new tools and new ideas to foster effective changes within their agencies to promote a better use of research. With a grant awarded by INASP as part of the VakaYiko project, P&I recently ran an online course to help address this gap for Latin American policymakers. Here the authors describe the need for this type of training and what they have learnt as a result of the course.

Case study on the use of knowledge in the public sector in Latin America: The design of the General Directorate of Social Policy Analysis and Evaluation of the Honduran Secretariat of Social Development

Héctor Díaz Romero and Leandro Echt

Case study – 2015  – Politics & Ideas

This case focuses on an experience developed by the Honduran Secretariat of Social Development, which decided to consolidate its operation through the creation of an internal technical agency specialized in social policy design and the monitoring and assessment of progress made in the sector.

Case study on the use of knowledge in the public sector in Latin America: The creation of a monitoring system for the Abre Plan in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina

Cecilia Nieto and Vanesa Weyrauch

Case study – 2015  – Politics & Ideas

This case is focused on an experience developed by the Social Cabinet of the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, which decided to create a monitoring system for a comprehensive Plan (ABRE). Said system seeks to generate reliable information that allows, on the one hand, measuring results obtained (or not) and, on the other hand, making decisions as new policies make progress.

The challenge of communicating with different actors: is segmentation a good investment for think tanks? A summary of experiences and current reflections

Vanesa Weyrauch with Susan Koshy, Umar Sheraz and Anaité Vargas

Paper – 2014 – Politics & Ideas

Think tanks are increasingly asking themselves how they can fine tune their communications so as to interact more effectively with the several stakeholders that are part of their field of action: from politicians and bureaucrats, to similar organisations and donors. Moreover, as they re-think about their policy influence efforts they begin to develop a more nuanced and sophisticated approach to the development of their communications strategies.

The Municipality of San Isidro: Policy Influence in Local Education Governance

Anne Lan K. Candelaria. and Sonia R. Lorenzo with Jess R. Lorenzo

Case study – 2014 – Politics & Ideas

This case study discusses the engagement between Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED) and the Local Government of San Isidro in the Philippines between the period 2004 to 2007. It serves as an illustration of the case study protocol by Anne Lan Candelaria published as part of the same series.

Lessons Learned on promoting better links between research and policy in Latin America

Vanesa Weyrauch

Paper – 2013 – Politics & Ideas

How often do we stop to reflect on how we are doing what we are doing? Not frequently in today´s hectic and fast-pace development world. Fortunately, after six years of working in the link between research and policy through a very diverse set of activities, under the Spaces for Engagement programme, the time has come to more systematically reflect on what we have learned so as to improve our future work, as well as empower others who are walking or aspire to walk in the same path.

Writing a case study for policy

Anne Lan K. Candelaria

Paper – 2013 – Politics & Ideas

This document provides a series of theoretical and practical ideas about case study writing for policy. It provides a general definition of what a case study is and then highlights five key recommendations for policy-related case studies: adding contextual information, focusing on process over outcome, minding language use, considering co-writing with a policy maker, and ending with questions rather than answers.

Political Knowledge Regimes. Developing a new concept from the study of three changes in public policy during the government of Tabaré Vazquez in Uruguay (2005-2009)

Adolfo Garcé

Paper – 2013 – Politics & Ideas

In the last few years, scholars have paid increasing attention to the study of contextual factors that shape the use of research in public policy in each country. The concept of Knowledge Regimes is one of the most significant recent contributions to this literature. This paper is a critique of this concept based on the study of three key policy change events during the Vázquez administration in Uruguay. Although this concept helps to characterize the supply of research, it does not take into account the characteristics of the demand from the political system. Based on this criticism, a new concept is developed.

Defining problems or providing solutions? The role of ideas in policy debates

Andrea Ordoñez

Paper – 2013 – Politics & Ideas

Ideas are a key concept to link research and policy, and theory and practice. Little research, however, is available on what ideas are and how they evolve. To explore the concept of ideas in policy debates, the paper builds on two laws that have recently been enacted in Ecuador. The first policy relates to the new law for universities that seeks, on the one hand, to align the universities’ activities with the National Development Plan, and on the other hand, to promote more and better research. The second refers to the law for popular economy that develops a new regulatory framework for small and medium scale financial institutions.

Research and policy. Global Development Network Topic Guide

Emma Broadbent, Leandro Echt, Andrea Moncada, Vanesa Weyrauch and Enrique Mendizabal.

Topic guide – 2013 – Politics & Ideas

This guide is concerned with the relationship between research and policy, and is predicated on the belief that policy should be based – or at least informed by – policy. It therefore presents some of theoretical basis upon which the evidence-based policy agenda is formed, as well as the relevant critiques of this approach. It considers, from the point of view of the researcher, how to influence policy using research, while offering guidance on how to approach the building of capacity in this field.

Research and Ideas

The benefits and challenges of using systematic reviews in international development research

Richard Mallett, Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Rachel Slater and Maren Duvendack

Journal Article – 2012

This article reflects upon the use of systematic reviews in international development research. It is concludes that although using systematic review principles can help researchers improve the rigour and breadth of literature reviews, conducting a full systematic review is a resource-intensive process which involves a number of practical challenges. Further, it raises a series of fundamental concerns for those working in international development, as well as the social sciences more broadly.

The virtues of virtuality: from think tank to think net

Enrique Mendizabal and Stephen Yeo

Article – 2010 ­

Changing realities are causing some think tanks to consider reshaping themselves as ‘think nets’, which may be cheaper to run and more conducive to open innovation. But do they have the same ability as think tanks to adapt and evolve?

Bringing research to bear on public policy in Latin America. Rethinking the roles and challenges for policy research institutes

Vanesa Weyrauch (compiler)

Book – 2009 – CIPPEC

This book is a contribution to the reflection and debate in Latin America on the challenges that policy research institutes face in order to bring the knowledge they generate to public policy makers. It includes case study analysis from the region.

Bridging Economic Research and Policy

John Young

Journal Article – 2007 – Overseas Development Institute

This article offers an introduction to the work of the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) team at the ODI. RAPID focuses explicitly on the interface between research and policy.

Bridging Research and Policy: Insights from 50 Case Studies

Julius Court and John Young

Journal Article    – 2006   – Overseas Development Institute

This article reports on the process, findings and implications of an initiative to collect and analyse 50 summary case studies on research-policy links from developing and transition countries.

Bridging Research and Policy on HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries

Julius Court

Paper – 2006 – Overseas Development Institute

This paper outlines a study that aimed to explains the very different ways and levels of priority policymakers have shown in responding to HIV/AIDS.


Knowledge, policy and power in international development: a practical framework for improving policy   

Harry Jones, Nicola Jones, Louise Shaxson and David Walker        

Paper – 2013 – Overseas Development Institute

This Project Briefing synthesises the findings of a DFID-funded study that examines the impacts of global shocks on youth – primarily in Ghana, Mozambique and Vietnam.

Understanding poverty and wellbeing: a note with implications for research and policy     

Sabina Alkire, Jo Boyden, John Hammock, David Hulme, Claire Melamed, Allister McGregor, Diana Mitlin, Andrew Norton, Andrew Shepherd, Frances Stewart, Andy Sumner, Gaston Yalonetzky       

Journal issue – 2012 – Overseas Development Institute                   

This note takes stock of poverty research to date, proposes a set of ‘building blocks’ or lessons learnt in terms of poverty policy analysis and research, and identifies challenges and future directions for research.

Research report: the political economy of policy-making in Indonesia      

Ajoy Datta, Harry Jones, Vita Febriany, Daniel Harris, Rika Kumala Dewi, Leni Wild and John Young              

Research Report – 2011 – Overseas Development Institute

This paper aims to inform the Australian International Agency for International Development (AusAID)’s current effort to develop a programme in support of Indonesia’s knowledge sector. The objectives of the study are to: 1) describe formal policy processes in Indonesia; 2) uncover the realities or informal practices of policy processes and 3) assess the factors that motivate policy-makers to invest in, demand and/or use knowledge in policy-making.           

The political economy of policy-making in Indonesia: opportunities for improving the demand for and use of knowledge           

Ajoy Datta, Harry Jones, Vita Febriany, Daniel Harris, Rika Kumala Dewi, Leni Wild and John Young

Paper – 2011 – Overseas Development Institute

This Working Paper describe rules that govern policy-making processes in Indonesia and assesses factors that determine the use of knowledge in policy-making processes.              

What Political and Institutional Context Issues Matter for Bridging Research and Policy? A literature review and discussion of data collection approaches       

Julius Court with Lin Cotterrell   

Paper – 2006 – Overseas Development Institute                 

This paper reviews the relevant literature on politics, policy processes and institutions in order to identify the key issues that may affect research-policy links. The aim is to generate understanding about the research-policy nexus in order to provide practical advice for developing and transition countries.

Policy Entrepreneurship for Poverty Reduction: Bridging Research and Policy in International Development    

Julius Court and Simon Maxwell 

Book – 2006 – Overseas Development Institute    

International development is characterized by a concern for praxis, the union of theory and practice. But bridging research and policy is harder than it looks. This book features papers by leading policymakers and illustrates the value of existing frameworks and also adds new lessons.

Bridging Research and Policy in International Development: An analytical and practical framework

Julius Court and John Young       

Journal Issue – 2006 – Overseas Development Institute    

Bridging research and policy is harder than it looks. This special issue of the Journal of International Development presents the papers and conclusions from the blockbuster 2004 Development Studies Association conference on Bridging Research and Policy in International Development.    


Series How to communicate research for policy influence

Vanesa Weyrauch, Leandro Echt and Dolores Arrieta       

Toolkit – 2013 – CIPPEC

The series presents 5 toolkits addressing different aspects and tools on research communication for policy influence: the relationship with the media, the making of policy briefs, the online tools and data visualization.

Communicating research: A beginner’s guide for researchers in Vietnam  

Ajoy Datta and Arnaldo Pellini           

Paper – 2011 – Overseas Development Institute                 

The guide is a key output from a project by UNDP in Vietnam, which focused on building the capacity of Vietnamese researchers to communicate research more effectively to policy-makers. It discusses three tools, which communicate research through the communication channel of ‘print media’.


Policy influence

Series How to design a policy influence plan

Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt       

Toolkit – 2012 – CIPPEC

The series presents 10 toolkits addressing various components of a public policy influence plan: goals, allies, strategies and communication, among others.

Assessing the policy influence of research: a case study of governance research in Viet Nam

Arnaldo Pellini, James H. Anderson, Huong Thi Lan Tran and Renwick Irvine           

Paper – 2012 – Overseas Development Institute   

This Background Note describes a case study of one attempt to assess the impact of a knowledge product: The Vietnam Development Report 2010 (VDR 2010). It provides an overview of the various types of monitoring and evaluation tools to assess the policy influence of research outputs and describes which tools and processes were used in the assessment of the VDR 2010.     

Not everything that connects is a network           

Enrique Mendizabal and Simon Hearn

Background Note – 2011 – Overseas Development Institute

In the public policy context, networks have been predominant factors in policy formulation, innovation and global governance. While not a new phenomenon in the development landscape, networks are becoming increasingly prevalent. This Background Note argues for a more rigorous understanding of their nature, particularly their value (and costs), and presents a revised Network Functions Approach as a model for rationalised investment in networks.

The ALignment, Interest, and Influence Matrix (AIIM) guidance note         

Enrique Mendizabal        

Toolkit – 2010 – Overseas Development Institute

The RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA) draws from the Outcome Mapping methodology to support the planning, monitoring and evaluation of policy influencing interventions. It is used, in various forms, by ODI, DFID and a variety of other projects and organisations. The ROMA process can help develop strategies that involve a number of intervention types. The Alignment, Interest and Influence Matrix (AIIM) was designed to look for a tool that would not only help to identify the main stakeholders, but also suggest a possible course of action towards them.

Helping researchers become policy entrepreneurs            

John Young and Enrique Mendizabal       

Paper – 2009       – Overseas Development Institute

Donors spend billions of dollars on development research each year, but what is the impact on policy? This Briefing Paper summarises ODI’s work on understanding how policy processes operate in the real world, as part of its mandate to inspire and inform policy and practice that lead to the reduction of poverty. The paper presents six key lessons that are essential to any researcher or organisation wishing to generate evidence-based policy change, and an eight-step approach for policy entrepreneurs wishing to maximise the impact of research on policy. This is known as the RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA).    

A comparative study of Policy research institutes in developing countries

Miguel Braun, Mariana Chudnovsky, Nicolas Ducote and Vanesa Weyrauch           

Paper – 2007 – CIPPEC

Through a comparative analysis of 18 case studies on PRIs that have demonstrated a certain degree of influence in policymaking, authors have attempted to detect which factors prove more important in the difficult, chaotic and long process of bridging the gap between research and policy. The goal was to first identify successful institutes and then to study their organizational performance in detail in order to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses in achieving impact on policy through the use of evidence and research. Finally, the study sought to understand why some institutes are better able to influence policy in a wide range of policy sectors and in diverse regions, consequently identifying the key factors that aid PRIs to do so.            

Weaving global networks. Handbook for policy influence              

Vanesa Weyrauch and Ines Selvood        

Handbook – 2007 – CIPPEC          

The handbook is aimed at global and regional networks, civil society organisations, policymakers and donors that support networks. By drawing on practical and academic sources CIPPEC have produced a book that endeavours to improve knowledge about how these networks of potential policy influences operate.


Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Series How can we monitor and evaluate policy influence?

Vanesa Weyrauch           

Toolkit – 2012 – CIPPEC

This series presents 6 toolkits addressing different aspects related to the process of monitoring and evaluation of policy influence: the reasons why monitoring is important, the steps that must be followed, the cornerstones of any monitoring and evaluation strategy, how to measure results in the short, medium or long run, data collection methods and knowledge management to improve influence.

Study on monitoring and evaluation of the research impact in the public policy of Policy Research Institutes (PRIs) in the region   

Martín Lardone y Marcos Roggero

Paper – 2010 – CIPPEC

This paper aims to investigate one of the key dimensions in the relationship between science and policy, between research and decision-making, i.e. the existence of mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the influence that PRIs exert on public policy, and the use that PRIs make of, and the way in which they adapt, such instruments and mechanisms.

Learners, practitioners and teachers. Handbook on monitoring, evaluating and managing knowledge for policy influence        

Vanesa Weyrauch, Julia D’Agostino and Clara Richards    

Handbook – 2010 – CIPPEC

This handbook aims to support organizations and policy research institutes so that they can monitor and evaluate their interventions and to develop systematic strategies for knowledge management. It presents stories of experiences in these fields in Latin America, thoughts on the most common challenges and opportunities together with concrete working tools to develop a smart corporate strategy and strengthen the impact of its research in public policy. These contributions seek to pave the way for the impact of research on public policy in the region.

Strengthening learning from research and evaluation: going with the grain            

Harry Jones and Enrique Mendizabal       

Report – 2010 – Overseas Development Institute 

This study is an output of the following project: Lesson Learning at the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It aims to put forward actionable recommendations on learning lessons in DFID, particularly from evaluation studies and research findings.

Capacity development

Developing research communications capacity: lessons from recent experiences 

Enrique Mendizabal and Martine Zeuthen             

Paper – 2012 – Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the International Network for the

Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) designed and delivered a capacity development project to improve the communications capacity of several African research grantees of the International Development Research Center (IDRC). This document is an attempt to bring those reviews together and share the lessons learned with a wider audience.      

Developing capacities for better research uptake: the experience of ODI’s Research and Policy in Development programme           

Enrique Mendizabal, Ajoy Datta and John Young – Overseas Development Institute            

Paper – 2011      

Ahead of its tenth anniversary, this background notes revisits RAPID’s work on capacity development and summaries key lessons learned.