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?