Just because they can?!

Why do policy makers push for certain decisions? Together with a group of IFPRI researchers I work at better understanding how agricultural policy making processes in Malawi (and other African countries work) and how research results can play a bigger role in it. This question, how to bridge the gap between research and the rest of the world, has been bothering me for a while now. So instead of jumping into action, I actually sat down and brainstormed (in my own brain… what a storm) about the question what makes policy makers tick, what gets them to prefer a certain direction over another, what makes them push really hard for their solution. My very preliminary first list is this:

Why do actors push for specific directions?

* because of political negotiations, compromise
* because of voter pressure, public opinion
* because of media
* because of trusted advisor
* because of external shock: drought, market crash etc.
*because they can, because they personally benefit (abusive power)
* because of cultural norms
* because of past experience
* because of research findings
* because of general paradigm shift, “development fashion”
* because of donor priorities and funding.

(The order of the list signifies nothing) Any more ideas?

6 Responses

  1. I thing maybe there’s an element that isn’t considered. When the direction is somehting that in the past experiences it didn’t work out, and (exactly because of that) it isn’t much a paradigm shift, neither the other reasons you listed I would add because of their beliefs. I don’t knoe but maybe you’ve considered it in the ‘because they can’ item…

    I’ll keep thinking.🙂

    Greetings from Brazil.

    • Dear Roberta,
      Do I get that right, you say sometimes actors stick to a certain solution even though it didn’t work in the past, just because they have a strong belief that it should work or be the right?

      • Yes, Eva, that’s what I thought.

        I’ll take the oportunity to say that i’ll try to use NetMap in my final college project (that i’m workin on at the moment until december), and to facilitate my work and explain the tool to a friend who is working with me, and doesn’t speak english, I did the translation in portuguese of the Detailed Map. I could send it to you, for you to make it available for others who speak both languages to contribute (and make necessary corrections) and agree in a final version. What do you think? Is that okay?

      • Wow Roberta, that would be so cool. Not only that you are using it. But with your translation to Portuguese you are doing a great service to the Net-Map community of practice. It would be great of you to share the document with us for contributions from other Portuguese speakers and also to share your experience in learning and using it in your case. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further implementation questions.

  2. […] Just because they can?! « Net-Map Toolbox […]

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