POLICY RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY

INTRODUCTION

Policy advocacy is defined as the delib­erate process of influencing policy decision makers through targeted actions. Policy advocacy is the essential link that ensures research results enter the policy domain. Policy engagement is concerned with how research can make an impact on and change existing policy. Successful engagement with policy makers relies on understanding the policy environment. This involves understanding the roles and responsibilities of decision making at local, national, regional and international levels; identifying the available mech­anisms for creating policy change at the different levels; comprehending the processes by which policy shapers inform and influence policy makers; and becoming familiar with current relevant policy debates and the opportunities for engagement. Working alongside policy shapers and makers during the lifetime of a research project provides the opportunity to establish effective relationships with decision makers and identify key moments for engagement in the policy process.

Role of research in advocacy

  • It increases amount  of research  in advocacy  issue  and make  progress  possible  as it  promote
  • It provide basis for all advocacy policies in the society of social justice and human right. it highlights areas  where social policies  are needed e.g. social
  • It helps in solving operational problems in monitoring and evaluating of issues. Operational research. This is the application of mathematical and analytical technique to the solution of the problem.
  • It provide the intellectual  satisfaction of knowing  for the sake  of knowledge  and  practical  utility  of knowing  to carry  out activities
  • It assist practitioners  to develop  a body of principles  that make it possible  to understand  and predict  issues  of human
  • It facilitates decision making through research and advocacy. Practitioners are able to choose strategies that are effective and efficient with clients.
  • Motivation research  enable  practitioners  to understand  the behaviour of human being  in society  thus helping  practitioners  to develop appropriate  tool that are compatible  with  people  culture, norms and values.
  • Research skills are integral or important requirement of advocacy practitioners.
  • Provide mechanism for the formulation of good policy i.e. all exclusive i.e. the one that incorporate the view of the affected.

 

CHALLENGES OF ADOPTING RESEARCH ON ADVOCACY

Policy makers face many challenges in trying to put into practice research in advocacy. This includes;

  1. Use of improper methodology

Research should be equipped with aspect of methodology in order to handle information collected. A good research using research methodology is out where the sampling frame is represented and all inclusive.

  1. Duplication of research finding

Researcher   undertaken  regular  tend to overlap  one  another  in their  guest  for research ( the out come tend to be  since due to  overlapping  therefore hindering their adoption.)

  1. Insufficient interaction

Insufficient interaction useful finding in academic research end up gathering dust on shelves due to the lack of utilization of the concerned ministry.

  1. Confidence on information

Most of government and private cooperation don’t have confidence on information supplied by researcher   to them.

  1. lack of equipment

Most researchers face problems of researching due to lack of equipment and support staff. This lead to some researcher not being completed.

  1. Most government department does not publish their information for public utility. This makes it difficult for interested researcher identifying their gaps.

What motivates people to undertake research?

  • Desire to get research degree, diploma, masters, and PhD.
  • Desire to face challenges of solving existing problem.
  • Desire to get intellectual satisfaction by doing creative work in society.
  • Desire for recognition and respect.
  • Government directive
  • Desire to verify facts.

Interests that motivate people to undertake research are:

  • People interest.
  • Mode of research findings
  • People state.

 

Rules followed in research findings

Factors affecting the adoption of research findings;

  • Purpose of research should be clearly defined and use common concept.
  • Research procedures should be sufficiently described.
  • The procedural design of the research should be carefully planed to yield good findings.
  • The researcher should report complete frankness flows in procedural design and method of analysis used should be sufficient.
  • The validity of reliability of the data should be checked carefully.
  • Conclusion should be confirmed  to those  justified  by the data and  limited  to those  for which  data provided  enough basis.
  • Greater confidence in research finding is given by the researcher credibility and experience integrity and competition.

Quality of a good researcher

  • A good research should be systematic. it should be structured  with  specific  steps  to be undertaken  in accordance  to well defined  set of rules .
  • Research should be logical.  It should be guided with rules of logical reasoning.
  • Research should be empirical. Research should   be related to one or two aspects of real situation.
  • Should be replicable (can be re-produced) research finding should be verified through the conduct o f similar study.

Mode of presenting data

Presentation of data is thus considered a basis component of policy research   because of the following:

  • Through presentation a researcher can understand the principle that operates behind the finding.
  • It leads to establishment of explanatory concept thus can serve as a guide for future research.
  • A researcher can appreciate his work through its presentation to other interested partier.
  • Prevention of the finding of explanatory research often results in formulation of new hypothesis that set the ground for new study.

Technique in presenting advocacy finding

Steps in presenting data;

  1. The researcher must give  reasonable  explanation  of the relation  which he has find  and must interpreter the like or relationship  interims  of underline  process  and try to find  out the  trend  of uniform  that use the need  to the various  finding for the research.
  2. Information collected during the study must be considered because they may prove to be the key factor in understanding the research problem.
  3. Consult someone with an insight about the study who is honest and frank to give out good opinion.

Precaution in presenting research finding

  1. One should know that even if data is properly collected and analyzed wrong presentation may lead to inaccurate A lot of patience  is needed.

To obtain this researcher must consider the following

  • Data due to be adequate and credible for conclusion.
  • Data reflect a good representation of the population.
  • Proper analysis and interpretation has been done.
  1. A researcher must remain alert about error that can arise in the process of interpreting the result.
  2. The tendency to firm that definite relationship  exist  on the basis  of confirmation  of particular  hypothesis  which  must be  presented  in accordance  with research  finding  to confirm  the validity  of results.
  3. The researcher must always give in views that the task of presenting and entertaining with analysis and cannot   be separated.
  4. The researcher must remember  that  in the course   of research  process  there  should  be a constant  interaction  between  initial  hypothesis , empirical  observation  and theoretical  consideration  guiding the study.

 

Impact of research on advocacy

Research has been a great tool / asset in advocacy process.

This can be best explained by the following

  1. Help came up with policies which are all inclusive i.e policies that put into consideration all the views of the people.
  2. It provide a good base  for addressing  societal  problems i.e. through  research  , pertinent  issue  affecting  society  are identified  and remedial  measures given out.
  3. Policy research provide  a holistic  approach to advocacy issue s in society  create  a basis  for doing  away with  bias  in government policies.
  4. Through policy research , continuous  assessment and evaluation  of policies  is done  and as a result enable  change , re-drafting  or  over whole of existing  policies  so as to be online  with existing
  5. Research creates cooperation and collaboration between various agencies e.g. The government and the private sector.

 

REVISION QUESTION

  1. Explain the meaning of policy research
  2. Discuss the role of research in advocacy
  3. Discuss the challenges in adapting research findings by policy markers
  4. Discuss the impact of research on advocacy
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