Wellesley Urban Health Community-Based Research Workshop Series by 2yrZJ3


									             CBR 301:
Using Community-Based Research
      to Affect Public Policy
Starting Points:
Research into Policy Action


you’ve done some good CBR
you’ve identified unmet needs, gaps or barriers in existing
   services, problems that need solving
at best, you’ve identified possible solutions to those
so you’ve shown that policy or programme action is
   needed – and you may be able to point the way to the
   kind of policy and programme response needed
now what?
Focus of This Workshop - How to translate
community-based research into policy change

 Upon completion of this workshop you will be able to:

    1. Submit research findings to those who need to know
       about them – and can act on them
    2. Identify the policy implications of the findings
    3. Develop concrete/workable policy alternatives in
       preparation for presenting to government
    4. Apply effective strategies and tactics for getting policy
       alternatives into action
Connections to Other Workshops

This is a basic overview in a series of workshops on
ensuring CBR has policy impact

    - CBR 308 looks at how the government policy
      process works and the creation of recommendations
      for policy decisions and implementation

    - CBR 310 is about how to effectively write up and
      present those alternatives in the language of the
      policy trade

How many people have been involved in CBR projects? -
   those who have been involved in an actual CBR project
    those who may not have been directly involved in the
     research itself, but know a lot about a particular
    those who haven't yet done or been involved in CBR

Briefly introduce yourself:
    what organization or sector you are from?
    why you need to know more about policy analysis and
       knowledge exchange – do you have a particular project
       in mind to roll out?
    what is the most important policy issue facing your
Recap: Community-Based Research


                process-                    community
                oriented                     relevance

    ethical review            CBR                   collaboration

                                            joint data
            sound methods

                            social action
 Defining Features of CBR

The ‘C’ of CBR means:

    communities identify problems and issues for research
    community people are involved in all stages of
     designing and actually undertaking the research
    community mobilization is one goal of the research
    another is sustainable capacity building
Defining Features of CBR Cont’d

to identify problems and opportunities for change

to yield knowledge that can be acted on –so ensuring your
   research has impact is always one goal

this includes in public policy – identifying areas where new
   or changed government policy is needed
Potential of CBR

Findings and implications of research …

   new needs or gaps in existing services identified
   community preferences or priorities determined
   barriers to getting services or support
   innovations or ‘best practices’
   pilot test works
   systemic inequities uncovered
Potential of CBR Cont’d

What can be done with this knowledge?

   service providers adapt or expand services, govts fund
   policy or resource allocations reflect community
   program or policy changes to reduce barriers
   other providers take them up
   adapt and generalize
   policy changes to address systemic basis
  Exercise 1:
  Identifying the Policy Potential of CBR

In a group discuss CBR projects that you know or have been involved in
   that showed:

      how existing policies or programs were contributing to the
       particular problem being researched?
      key gaps where new govt programmes were needed?
      where existing programmes were not working well or did not have
       enough resources?
      did some show where changes in existing policy were needed?

Pick one good example of research with real policy potential and fill out
   what this potential is

Have someone report your example – and its policy potential – to the
Turning Research into Policy Action

What needs to happen to get governments to act on the research &
  evidence you have found?

   1.   Policy makers need to know about the research and its
        implications – your knowledge exchange strategy

   2. They need to understand the basis of the problem – which
      sometimes means even acknowledging that there is a problem

   3. They need to have concrete policy solutions or alternatives that
      will address whatever the problem is – which means you need to
      know how public policy process works

   4.   They need the political will to act – which sometimes/often
        means they need to be forced to act
First Stage:
Identify Policy Implications of Research

What does the research show about:

    how existing policy/programmes are addressing the
    unmet or unrecognized needs
    policy or programme barriers to access or quality
    possible policy solutions to the problem
First Stage:
Identify Policy Implications of Research

You know what needs to be done → then the challenge
  becomes how to make sure the necessary policy change
  actually happens

In fact, you should be thinking about policy implications
  from the very start of designing the research process –
  since the point of CBR is to support change
What Is Public Policy?

Very hard to define – because public policy affects
almost all aspects of society and social life

A public policy is a deliberate decision made by
government(s) that addresses identified objectives and
concerns for the public good.

There can be considerable debate about what exactly is the
‘public good’ and how that is determined
 What Is Public Policy?

Often thought of as working to achieve goals considered to
be in the best interests of society

  • clean air, economic growth, a good health care system

  • there is, of course debate on every issue like this –
    economic growth at the cost of a poor environment or
    social inequality? sustainable growth or the best market
    performance this year?

  • does this mean everybody in society or does policy need
    to be targeted?
What is Public Policy II

Public policies operate at different levels:

    high-level vision and goals
    associated strategic objectives – or party/electoral
    operational workplans and activities
    resources and programmes to achieve objectives

Public policy sets out the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of something that
is to be done
What is Public Policy II

Policy works through a variety of instruments (e.g. laws,
regulations, internal Ministry procedures, programme
guidelines, expenditures, etc)

Often involves allocations of funds and resources

It involves three levels of govt and the complex
interconnections between them – it is crucial to understand
this jurisdictional and administrative complexity for every
policy issue you are working on
Think of Policy Development as Process

 A particular policy – or policy framework -- represents the
 result of decisions made on how best to address a
 particular objective or problem

  Sometimes this can be a deliberate decision not to decide
    – not to address a particular issue
Think of Policy Development as Process

Within the public service there is a generally careful
process of:

    identifying objectives
    assessing a range of possible actions to achieve the
    analyzing against number of factors – effectiveness,
     cost, political context, public and community support,
Think of Policy Development as Process

  before choice is made about the most appropriate and
   workable means to the desired end
  always trade-offs, compromise , different “publics”
  increasingly complex, interconnected, horizontal
And of a Policy Development Cycle
                               P U B L IC P O L IC Y D E V E L O P M E N T:

                                    K EY ELEME N TS

                                           Id e n t ify I ss u e (s )

                                                                                     C o n du c t
     M o n ito r a n d
                                                                                   R e s e a r ch &
       E va lu a te
                                                                                  C o n su lta ti o n

   Im p le m e n t (o r                                                       D e ve lo p O p t io n s
       In flu e n c e                                                                     &
  Im p le m e n t a t io n )                                                  R e c o m m e n d a t io n

                                             In flu e n c e th e
                                                D e cis io n
And of a Policy Environment
What drives political/public policy decisions?

Timeframe of government’s business/election cycle –make
  the tough decisions early
Short attention span of politics, short shelf life of policy – “In
  two years, it’s not my problem”
Government’s policy agenda/priorities – where does this
  issue ‘fit’ within govt priorities
Government’s communications agenda/priorities – at
  crudest, how will action or non-action make the govt look?
  is this consistent with how govt wants to present itself
And of a Policy Environment
What drives political/public policy decisions?

Current/prospective health of government finances – and
  costs and benefits of particular policy alternatives
Current/prospective economic cycle –view from Bay Street,
  global markets
Values, beliefs, ethics – find the social consensus
Stakeholders and interests – what competing interests and
  perspectives need to be taken into account?
Media attention/perspective, opinion polls – understand the
 public mood
Politicians, Public Servants and Public Policy
“How the System Really Works”

The Players:

   role of - and constraints on - legislators (Legislative
   Ministers and Cabinet make policy (Executive branch)
   political staff in Ministers and Premier’s offices – very
   complex hierarchy of civil servants – Deputy Ministers,
    ADMs, Directors etc.
   the courts
Politicians, Public Servants and Public Policy

 The Process in Government

     so many demands, so little time; intensely rivalrous
     daily fire-fighting; often chaotic, reactive decision-
      making process
     highly risk averse (all the more so with new emphasis
      on “accountability”)
     critical role of central agencies – Finance, Cabinet
     need to know who decides what, when
     Exercise 2

Identify one issue – either that you have done or are planning to do CBR
    in or that is especially important for your community sector
The scenario is that you are just starting the planning process for CBR on
   that issue
The task is to analyze the key features of the policy environment for the
   issue that you need to be aware of

The deliverable is a two minute report outlining that policy environment
   to your research planning committee – the goal is to give the
   committee enough of an understanding of the policy environment to
   be able to plan out the research to have the most policy impact

   Pick one person to make that report to the group
 Ensuring your Research has Impact:
 1. Knowledge Exchange
The first step in putting CBR into action = ensuring that policy makers
  and other key stakeholders know about your research and its

Need to have a knowledge exchange strategy:
     who could benefit from this knowledge – who need to
     not just policy sphere, but other community groups or
      service providers
     how to get the info and analysis to them?
     in ways they can understand and use

  The starting point is to know your audience – in fact, get them involved
  in initial research design
Ensuring your Research has Impact:
2. Customize

depending upon the purpose of your research and your
  findings, there can be several potential audiences
reporting back to community should always be one of the
    report back meetings to check and confirm
    have to think about translation and context
 Ensuring your Research has Impact:
 2. Customize
If research shows how to improve or expand services, then the audience
is service providers
    consider customized summary with programme
    present to conferences and other sectors forums
    specific e mail and other roll –out
    get into specific Listserves and other networks

The main focus in this workshop is on CBR with policy implications –
how to win policy change
Ensuring your Research has Impact:
3. Presentation
Write for specific audiences and environments

    - plain language always
    - always short summaries – at best, customized to audience
      and purpose
    - use Web publications & other IT if you can
    - use your findings as a hook – to get media attention, meet
      politicians, etc. Describe your methods – tell your
      audience exactly what it is that you did to come up with
      your results.
Be descriptive & analytical.
Use lots of quotes – with warning & permission
Use tables, charts, figures, models & diagrams
Contextualize – where does this data come from, who does it apply to
Speak with confidence about your findings when you present them
Exercise: Getting Your CBR Out

Develop a knowledge exchange strategy for research in which
   you were involved or know about
Using the kind of analysis we have been discussing –
    • identify audiences
    • messages for each
    • potential means of dissemination
    • how to build ongoing relationships with that
       audience, etc.
Appoint one person to make a two minute report outlining
  your Knowledge Exchange strategy
Getting CBR to policy makers

Good knowledge exchange to policy makers involve systematic
  outreach and follow up:

   1. Identify people who could be making the decisions –
      audience again

   2. Get findings & policy implications to them

   3. As part of long-term strategy to build relationships with
      key policy makers in your spheres customized reports for
      policy audience
Getting CBR to policy makers

Create customized policy implications summaries
    know the policy environment and way of thinking
    translate into terms they understand and with
       concrete recommendations they can act on

Invest time in some solid policy analysis

    We’ll see more on how to do this kind of analysis now
Policy analysis 101:
Start by Scanning the Landscape
1. Generally start your research planning by scanning the policy environment for
   your field (just like you do a literature review of previous research on the issue)

2. Know what the current policy situation/environment is for your issue

        to be able to develop realistic & workable alternatives

        to be able to couch your argument/demand – your ‘ask’ – in ways that are
         understandable to policy makers -- and winnable

        to analyze how/if your issue fits within existing policy framework and govt

        to avoid embarrassment if your options have been tried already and didn’t
         work or were rejected
 Look widely:
 Comparative Policy Scanning
Great benefits to researching what policy alternatives have been tried or
considered in other jurisdictions:

     Looking for how other jurisdictions have addressed
      similar policy problem
     Depending upon the issue – might mean other large
      cities, other prov, comparable countries
Can yield:

     General ideas or options
     Examples of effective policies/programs that could be
      adapted for your purposes
     Justification for your alternatives – e.g. if cost-benefit
      was demonstrated elsewhere
Then Develop Policy Options I

Think of a wide range of factors such as :

    How complex and big a policy change you are looking
    Impact (balancing criteria such as equity, efficiency,
    Cost – dig deeper here -- is it short-term, capital or
     operating, one-time or continuing, etc.?
    Versus benefits – especially if preventative or cost-
     saving in the long run
Then Develop Policy Options I Cont’d ….

How do your recommendations and options fit with:

    Government agenda and priorities

    Electoral cycle, budget cycle and other timeframes

    Your organization or movement’s values and
     communities’ interests
Developing Options II
What makes a policy option relevant?

It’s solidly grounded – your research evidence is clear and
It’s a simple concept – it’s easy to understand
It’s a great story – it’s easy to explain, has a human
    dimension, has clear key messages
It works – it solves the problem
It reflects current or emerging values – it’s grounded in
    social consensus, it seems like the “right thing to do”
Developing Options II Cont’d
What makes a policy option relevant?

It reflects “good government” – it shows political or
    community leadership to move towards social consensus
Its benefits outweigh its costs
Its investment can be justified – it’s cost-neutral or cost-
It’s a new way of doing things – it’s innovative
It “fits” – it delivers on the government’s policy,
    communications, and/or fiscal agenda
Developing Options III:
Analyzing How it Could be Implemented

Consider the language of policy makers = instrument – what
  is used to implement the policy
Evaluate in terms of continuum of factors just discussed
Show the best means to achieve the policy objective
    Developing Options III:
    Analyzing How it Could be Implemented

Least                                                              Most
                                               
Intrusive and                                                      Intrusive and
intensive                                                          difficult
•Informal best        •Formal information   • Tax, user fees,      •Legislation,
practices             dissemination         subsidy, other         • Regulation
(communities of       • Research and        financial incentives   • Restructuring
practice, networks)   stakeholder funding   • Standing and         (organizations,
• Self- regulation    • Administrative      advisory committees    government)
                      policy                • Program policy
                      • Arm’s length        • Contracts
                      relationships         (accountability,
                                            • Non-arm’s length
Analyzing Options
The Concept of “pros/cons,” “benefits/costs”

 For government, assessing cost-benefits of options is
   standard part of policy process and risk management

 For you, posing recommendations/demands in these
   terms increases your credibility and usability
  Analyzing Options
  The concept of “pros/cons,” “benefits/costs”

    the benefits -- e.g., delivers a government commitment,
     equity, accountability/governance, social consensus,
     good messages
    or what lessens risk
    the costs
    or what increases risk, e.g., lack of “fit,”
     inequity/disparate impact, inadequate resourcing
     (operating/capital costs, human), liabilities (financial,
     legal), complexity, lack of constitutional authority
  Developing Recommendations
  What Turns a Policy Option into a Decision?

It reflects consensus or compromise – it’s the best deal

It works – it solves the problem or at least makes it go away

It manages risk well – it’s relatively “safe”

It can lead to more change – it’s incremental

It gives your community and the government an opportunity to engage -
    it carries the power of partnership

It “fits” – it delivers on the government’s policy, communications,
    and/or fiscal agenda
Developing Recommendations II
How do You Describe the Key Elements of a Decision?
Reference the issue and how you’ve framed it – this solves the problem
  as we understand it

Translate the policy solution into a communication strategy – this is
   what it means

Explain the “why” - summarize and highlight the rationale, including the
  political benefit – this is why we’re recommending this

Analyze and acknowledge the risks – legal challenge, cost pressures,
  inequity/disparate impact, adverse public/media/community
  reaction, being off-message, stakeholder pressures (“floodgates”),
  timing, etc.
Exercise 3 – Develop a Policy Issue
Pick 1 issue per table in which CBR you were involved in or
   know about had clear and significant policy implications
Go through the kind of analysis we have been discussing –
   identify implications, understand the policy environment,
   analyze options, pick the most effective and winnable for
   your purposes
Work up concrete policy options that you can take to govt to
  put your alternative into action
Appoint 1 person to deliver 2 two minute report outlining
  your policy issue and why the option you have chosen
  should be adopted
 Case Study

Erika Khandor
Street Health
CBR that identified barriers to homeless people with
  disabilities getting access to Ontario Disability Support
  Programme and piloted a model to overcome the
  barriers and a strategy to get results and recommended
  policy and programme actions to decision makers
Developing an Advocacy Strategy

 Once you have developed concrete and workable
 policy options – how do you persuade decision
 makers in govt to act on them?
Developing an Advocacy Strategy:
For Effective Policy Advocacy you Need
 luck – “the right issue at the right time” -- but be ready to
  seize opportunities when they arise -- proactive
 broad understanding of the issue and the political and
  public policy context in which it exists – emphasized earlier
 relevance of your objective to the govt's needs, priorities,
  context, constraints
 a winning style and approach -- likeability, civility,
 ability to provide tangible, practical, useful assistance and
  recommendations that government can understand and use
  (“do-it- yourself public policy.”
 persistence
 Social Movements and Political Change

The most effective advocacy campaigns – with the best chances of success – are part
of wider coalitions and movements

Think of the really significant historical shifts in public policy and the role of govts –
where did they come from?

     employment equity would not have happened without strong women's and
      labour movements
     Medicare and public health system was the result of long campaigns
     treatment and funds for HIV/AIDS were won by grass-roots organizing

All of these campaigns had effective policy demands and advocacy, but they also had
collective strength and popular organizing behind them
Strategy Planning Checklist

Overall strategic approach & objectives – what are you asking
Positioning and framing – how do your demands relate to
  govt, to allied movements and campaigns, to the wider
  political environment?
Key messages – adopting this policy will solve …
Targets (officials, ministers, political staff, parties or
Strategy Planning Checklist

Implementing Tactics
   meetings, briefings, media, grassroots
   consultations, stakeholders

Timetable and staging (key decision-points etc.)

Feedback / evaluation / re-Positioning – be flexible

Management plan (who decides what)

 Take the ‘Long View’
Think long-term but also look for immediate winnable issues
    to build momentum and hope
    but be careful of co-optation & short-term reforms that
       deflect from long-term goals
Caledon’s “relentless incrementalism”
Have good peripheral vision as well -- situate your issue in relation
    other comparable issues → to build coalitions
    the overall govt policy agenda -- back to ‘fit’
It is movements that win real change – not just individual
     advocacy campaigns, however good they are
 Tactics I:
 Use Your Political Capital

   you may know more about your issue – what it is and
    how to solve it - than most government advisers
   you have done the research and have the specific data

Network and support
   how broad, diverse and connected your membership is
   your capacity to access, mobilize and activate
    communities of citizens, voters and taxpayers
Tactics I:
Use Your Political Capital
    your record of creating vision and building trust
    past accomplishments and successes

Credibility and reputation – your profile lends credibility to you
  (and the government)

Passion – your commitment and energy for the issue

Contacts and connections
    at political and official levels and among powerful
     community stakeholders
    who knows who in your organization or coalitions
Tactics I:
Use Your Political Capital

 It’s all about earning and widely spending your political
                          capital ……
Tactics II: Build Coalitions

a movement trumps an individual group

coalitions are effective but harder to manage

choose your allies wisely
Tactics II: Build Coalitions

“usual suspects” coalitions
         good way to share expense and burden and show relative
         can be useful way to cross-fertilize and enrich narrative and
         can also get bogged down in same-old, same-old

“strange bedfellows” coalitions
        much greater political and media impact
        focus on what unites not what divides
        much more labour intensive and likely to be false starts
Tactics III: Pubic Relations and Media
Understand the Media
             As business: news = circulation = advertisers
             Possible friend or foe
             Build relationships – understand reporters’ lives
tell a people story
a picture is worth 1,000 words
spin yes; misrepresentation no
they love you to do their work for them
the “exclusive”
Name your work or campaign
             populist, marketing spin
             if you don’t, others will
Have a good spokesperson
             one voice, consistent message
             always accessible
             trained & experienced

Pick one issue per table in which CBR you were involved in
   or know about had clear and significant policy
Using the advocacy planning checklist we have been
   discussing → develop a preliminary advocacy strategy for
   the issue
Appoint 1 person to deliver a 2 minute report outlining your
  policy issue and why the option you have chosen should
  be adopted
How will you know when you’ve won?
 Refer back to your strategic goals

 Build success indicators into your strategic planning:
          they might be very specific -- getting policy recommendation
           X adopted by Y
          or they could be starting points in a long strategy -- getting
           the issue discussed and at least shifting the public policy
           agenda or framework

 Be internally rigorous and honest:
          have we been achieving our objectives?
          what do we need to change about our policy demands or
           advocacy to become successful?
Tips & Techniques for Policy Scans

Define problem/question as clearly as possible

Define scope of review
         e.g. child care policy in all prov? Just larger? Other
         quality comparisons between commercial and non-
          profit provision
         how has child care been funded in other jurisdictions
          – to help evaluate current govt proposals
Define timeframe – how old is too old for info?
Start on the phone – with experts -- but prepare
         Tip: see phoning expert as an interview
         Have a sense of the nature of the issue before you
           Do some preliminary research
           Review press clippings on the issue – library / internet
 Appendix: Policy Scanning
To be able to take your findings effectively into the policy sphere,
you need to know what the current policy situation/environment
is for your particular issue:
     Plan your research project so that it will have the most
     Develop realistic & workable alternatives you can take to
       policy makers
     Understand how/if your issue fits within the existing policy
       framework and govt agenda
     Couch your argument/demand – your ‘ask’ – in ways that
       are understandable to policy makers -- and winnable
Policy Scanning Tips

Review policy framework for particular issue:

    Policy guidelines, directives, programme manuals, etc.
     for particular programs

    Ministry backgrounders for particular

    Task forces, commissions, federal-provincial and
     other reports can be useful background
Policy Scanning Tips

Understand legislative & regulatory framework for issue:

    Not usually in great detail – or get a lawyer when you
     need them

    Don't waste time reading legislation -- look for:
       compendiums and explanatory notes for Bills
       commercial and legal updating services

    Ask the experts in Ministry or community
  Policy Scanning Tips II

In the era of e-government:

    Published docs will be on-line

    Most Internet policy research will be quite
         start from established Ministry sites, links pages of
            major organizations, etc.
         Start from your own favourites
         Use internal search engines on govt and Ministry

    one site/source will lead to another
Policy Scanning Tips II

Remember: most of the really relevant info on policy
background and implementation is not published or is really
hard to find

    Use your contacts – who can advise who to call
    Call around the Ministry
        directories are on line -- find the person who knows
           the issue & background
    Ask them what key policy guidelines and reports are
     and where to find them
Policy Scanning Tips III
Conduct literature reviews:

    Early in the process to help define research or policy issue
    Cultivate your academic or professional friends

    general techniques of Internet searching -- Google, libraries
     & databases
    Political science, policy, public admin, academic &
     professional journals and books
    Professional & practitioner magazines/journals – e.g. social
    Resources & databases are not free → find & use a
     university or big library
Focus of This Workshop - How to translate
community-based research into policy change

 Having completed this workshop you are now able to:

    1. Submit research findings to those who need to know
       about them – and can act on them
    2. Identify the policy implications of the findings
    3. Develop concrete/workable policy alternatives in
       preparation for presenting to government
    4. Apply effective strategies and tactics for getting policy
       alternatives into action
Workshop Evaluation

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Please complete the workshop evaluation

Thank you

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