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IPF Policy training workshops

10 November 2007

Improving the quality of policy research and analysis in countries where the Soros foundations work

IPF aims to improve the quality of policy research and analysis in countries where the Soros foundations work by offering various training opportunities tailored to meet specific fellow needs.

IPF Traners Lisa Quinn and Eóin Young offer focused training on the policy process for actors both within and outside the OSI network. They work closely with IPF to design, develop, and deliver training modules focused on improving policy communication. Their current training modules include skills development in writing effective policy papers to influence decision-making, producing policy-relevant analysis and writing, and developing effective advocacy strategies for policy change. IPF Senior Associate Leslie A. Pal, Professor of Public Policy and Administration and the director of a policy research institute at the School of Policy and Administration at Carleton University in Canada, also works with IPF fellows to provide training in policy research methods and design.

Selected policy trainings include:

Policy research methods and design
The aim of this workshop is to build participants' policy research skills, with respect to the different approaches between basic and applied or policy research, key methodological issues, considerations in choosing specific research techniques, and the building blocks of a research design. As a result, participants come to better understand the core characteristics of applied policy research, and learn to identify the different types of policy research and their objectives. As part of the workshop, each fellow begins practical work on their research design template.

Producing policy-relevant analysis and writing to influence decision-making
The goal of this workshop is to equip participants with the knowledge and resources needed to improve their skills in generating policy-relevant arguments and writing effective policy papers to communicate their policy recommendations. Towards this end, the workshop engages fellows in practical exercises to prepare for writing two common types of policy papers: the policy study and policy brief. The training also reinforces the analytical skills needed to create effective policy argument.

Developing effective advocacy strategies and communication tools for policy action
This innovative and interactive training focuses on the planning and implementation of effective advocacy campaigns. Training activities emphasize that advocacy is rarely successful if conducted in an ad hoc manner; rather, achieving successful advocacy of any policy project requires strategic and persistent efforts, ensuring that a convincing and targeted policy message is effectively delivered to the intended target audience. The aim of the workshop is to build the strategic capacity of participants to design a targeted and policy-relevant advocacy campaign to disseminate their research findings.

IPF is committed to contributing to capacity building efforts through its engagement with the policy networks in OSI/IPF target regions. To further this aim, we intend to develop a website gathering information on a variety of potential capacity development opportunities available to policy researchers from the region. This website will compile a collection of important resources for researchers, administrators and trainers. In sum, it will aim to provide a bridge for those interested in all aspects of policy research and analysis to identify suitable learning resources to further develop their policy research and advocacy skills.

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