Evidence in Action

The Results for All Blog

Evidence-Informed Policymaking Reading List | July 2018 — July 3, 2018

Evidence-Informed Policymaking Reading List | July 2018

Our Network Mapping Report is Here!
 
Peer learning networks are powerful platforms for bringing countries together to exchange information, learn, and collaborate. Results for All conducted research to assess whether there is demand in government for a peer learning network that could help policymakers share experiences and amplify solutions to advance the use of evidence in policy, to achieve better outcomes for citizens. To inform a network strategy and avoid potential overlap with existing initiatives, we engaged in a comprehensive process of identifying, researching, and mapping active networks that have similar missions. The subsequent report identifies and classifies 50+ networks for peer learning and evidence use in government; describes 8 modes of engaging network members; and synthesizes research and key informant interviews into 13 lessons on network organization, engagement, and measurement. It then matches select networks against 5 criteria and concludes that a new network premised on these criteria could support evidence-informed policymaking and add value to current initiatives.

We hope this report will be useful for a variety of actors seeking to support evidence-informed policymaking, and identify opportunities to enhance collaboration and fill gaps in this important field.

Results for All Network Mapping Report


What to Read this Month

“An accurate, concise and unbiased synthesis of the available evidence is arguably one of the most valuable contributions a research community can offer decision-makers.”
The article identifies four principles that can help it make it easier for evidence producers and users to commission, appraise, share, and use evidence in policy. These four principles – inclusive, rigorous, transparent, and accessible – should apply to every evidence synthesis, which if done well becomes a global public good.

“The innovative contribution of the current study is the development and validation of a set of measurable indicators specifically devoted to assess and support EIPM in the field of public health, intended to be jointly used by governmental policy-makers and researchers, but also by other stakeholders involved in various stages of the policy-making cycle.”
The article describes a Delphi study that led to the development of indicators that can be used to assess the extent to which policies are informed by evidence. The indicators cover issues related to the skill and experience of staff working on policies, documentation of evidence in policy documents, communication and participation with key stakeholders, and procedures for monitoring and evaluating evidence use in policy. The indicators could also help to encourage establishment of routine processes for advancing evidence use in policy.

“There’s a limited evidence base about knowledge brokers, but preliminary findings suggest that they do have the potential to improve the uptake of evidence.”
Insights from the Wales Center for Public Policy on the role it plays as a knowledge broker in evidence-informed policymaking – helping to  build an understanding of evidence needs and questions, improve access to evidence, promote  interaction between evidence users and producers, and strengthen capacity to engage with research. The Center is refining its theory of change to better understand approaches that work, and to take a more systematic approach to facilitating evidence use in policymaking.

“Just as a journalist is trained to tell a compelling story so that an audience’s attention is captured and held so that facts of a story can be relayed to a reader or viewer, so too do scientists or policy experts need to capture attention and communicate both the importance and complexity of issues to their audiences.”
A useful article describing how storytelling influences the policy process and offering key steps to help policy actors build a better narrative.

“Guerrero, a Harvard-educated surgeon-turned-epidemiologist, understood violence as an epidemic transmitted from person to person. As with any epidemic, he tried to map the outbreak and understand its transmission. Data came first.”
A great story about data-driven policing and violence prevention in Colombian cities.

What We’re Working On

Later this month, we’re convening teams of government policymakers from nine countries to share experiences, challenges, and lessons on how to use different types of evidence to overcome roadblocks, create political buy-in, engage with stakeholders, and mobilize financial resources to support and improve policy implementation. “Using Evidence to Improve Policy Implementation: A Peer Learning Workshop for Government Policymakers” will take place from July 23-25in Nairobi, Kenya, in partnership with the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and IDinsight. We’ll share profiles of the participating teams and the policies they are working on in the coming weeks on Twitter (@resultsforall) so be sure to follow us there!
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Open Call for Applications: Peer Learning Workshop on Policy Implementation — April 24, 2018

Open Call for Applications: Peer Learning Workshop on Policy Implementation

Workshop Banner

Applications are due by May 14, 2018 via email to info@results4all.org.

Download the application here.

The Workshop:

Results for All and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) will host a two-and-a-half-day workshop for policymakers from around the world to:

  • Discuss the challenges governments face in effectively implementing policies; and
  • Share experiences and strategies for using evidence to improve policy implementation.

The workshop will:

  • Facilitate dialogue, exchange, and active engagement among participants, to more deeply understand policy implementation challenges and lessons learned in different contexts; and
  • Introduce tools and approaches for improving implementation using various types of evidence.

During the workshop, participants will seek to answer questions such as, what are the most common barriers to effective policy implementation in different government office contexts? What type of evidence is needed to unlock implementation? How and when should it be considered? What strategies and mechanisms are governments in different countries introducing to improve and integrate evidence use in policy design and implementation? How can we learn from their experiences?

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn from and interact with peers leading policy implementation activities from 7-8 national governments.
  • Participants will work in country teams to diagnose root causes of policy implementation challenges and create solution-based roadmaps.
  • Participants will provide feedback and shape future collaboration, including a potential global network for government leaders to advance the use of evidence in public policy.

Who Should Participate?

Results for All and AFIDEP invite public officials and policymakers to form a team of three or four individuals who are working together to implement a specific policy, in any sector, and who want to learn how and when to use evidence to overcome policy implementation challenges. A team must include members from at least two government ministries / departments / agencies, and be approved by senior leadership via the signature at the end of this application. Teams from seven to eight countries will be selected for participation in the workshop.

Teams are encouraged to include:

  • A program manager or director in a ministry / department / agency, who oversees the implementation of the policy in question.
  • A public official or practitioner at the national or subnational level, who has a role in operationalizing the policy, or collecting operational data and evidence.
  • An analyst, manager, or director from a national finance or planning ministry / department, who has a coordinating role in managing or evaluating policy.
  • A technical expert from a research or evaluation unit or statistical office, who has a role in producing or sourcing evidence to inform policy options or implementation strategies.

Teams will be expected to develop a power point presentation outlining a policy implementation challenge in advance of the workshop, and to engage in follow-up activities to put roadmaps into practice.

Teams from Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia are especially encouraged to apply.

Download the application and apply here.

Advancing evidence-informed policymaking: What’s culture got to do with it? — March 29, 2018

Advancing evidence-informed policymaking: What’s culture got to do with it?

Over the last few months my team at Results for All has been engaged in consultations to assess the demand for a new global evidence network that could bring government policymakers together to exchange innovative ideas and learn from each other to advance evidence use in policymaking.

We have spoken to policymakers in government, members of the research and academic community, as well as non-governmental partners and initiatives in countries including Colombia, Chile, Finland, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, among many others. In every conversation, we heard about the importance of building or shifting the culture of evidence use. While we expect and assume that organizational culture will be different in varied contexts, we observed an interesting tendency in the policymaking community to speak about culture and evidence use in a way that suggested some universality across policy areas and levels of government. We noted further that in the context of evidence use, culture was often spoken of in broad and vague terms, such as “the culture is not developed enough,” “there is no culture of producing data,” or “mid-level technocrats have a lot of influence, and the ability to shift government culture.”

We are curious about the notion of an evidence use culture in government, and believe it is essential to better understand this culture so we can identify strategies to help strengthen evidence use in government. 

What is culture?

The challenge in understanding what a culture of evidence use in government looks like begins with the definition of culture itself, a term with many meanings. The first of Merriam Webster’s six definitions for culture describes it as a set of attitudes, values, goals, and practices shared across an institution or organization. Matsumoto et al suggest that while attitudes, values, and goals can be shared by a group, they can also be differentiated at an individual level.

This practical guide on changing culture developed by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative offers a definition of culture that gets at norms: “culture is the difference between what you tolerate and don’t tolerate.” According to the guide, culture embodies interactions between the different elements of a system such as people, beliefs, values, and attitudes. It is both causal and dependent on an organization’s knowledge, processes, and systems. It is not a singular thing – an individual or organization can be defined by multiple cultures. And it is both learned and a legacy that can be shaped over time. These conflicting and dynamic elements are what make culture hard to define.

Levels of culture

To understand culture as it relates to evidence use in government, it is helpful to explore the different levels in which culture presents itself in an organization. This includes artifacts, values, and assumptions, captured in a helpful visual here.

The visible and tangible elements of an organization are its artifacts. They are what you see when you walk into an office – desks, chairs, computers, plants, and filing systems. Reports, briefs, databases, and knowledge management systems are also types of artifacts. Artifacts can give a sense of office culture – we might for example, assume that a brightly colored office with an open floor plan has a creative mission, and sense entrenched bureaucracy in a dark, traditionally furnished office. Or we might expect an office with the technology for collecting and storing data, to routinely use evidence to inform policy and programs.

Yet these visual cues about an office’s culture may be misleading if we do not understand the organization’s values and the underlying assumptions that drive the daily work of its leaders and employees. For example, a government office may have the relevant evidence artifacts such as a knowledge management system or evaluations, but lack shared values to guide and encourage evidence use in decision making. But even when there are tangible artifacts, and a government office publicly articulates the value of using evidence in policymaking, if the underlying assumption is that using evidence is too costly or time consuming, the office is unlikely to translate its artifacts and values to systematic use of evidence in policy decisions. The challenge is that it can be hard to uncover hidden assumptions – feelings, perceptions, thoughts, or beliefs – that shape an organization’s visible artifacts and values. Artifacts and values can also be disconnected and even contradictory, most noticeably in government when financial commitments needed to support desired policies or policymaker behavior do not line up with a government’s stated values.

In the context of evidence-informed policymaking, it is important to build artifacts – the systems and processes governments need to ensure evidence is appropriately sourced and used to inform strategic thinking, policy development, implementation of policy options, and monitoring and evaluation. It is also critical to build and instill a shared and publicly expressed value in using evidence. But to influence behavior change and shift attitudes about evidence use, it is imperative that we consider the basic assumptions that guide how work is done and decisions are made. When what we say (reflecting values) does not align with how we behave (building and using artifacts), it is a sign that we need to dig deeper to understand the assumptions that govern our behavior

What should governments do to strengthen underlying assumptions and shift the culture toward evidence use?

    1. Take time to know the office – For many government offices, a conversation to understand barriers and challenges that inhibit evidence use, and clarify performance expectations and intended outcomes of policies, is a good starting point for those who would like to see greater use of evidence in policymaking. Build the communications skills to hold these conversations. A needs assessment can help to diagnose the gaps in knowledge, awareness, and capacity that can influence assumptions around what it takes to find, understand, and use evidence.
    2. Invest in leaders and champions – Strong role models who demonstrate the importance of using evidence through their actions can inspire others and help to change behavior patterns. Highlighting respected leaders who support innovation, change, and learning can positively influence other public officials’ assumptions and attitudes toward evidence use.
    3. Build knowledge and awareness – Policymakers who are confident in their ability to find, appraise, and synthesize evidence, and who understand the complexities of the policymaking process, are more likely to use evidence in their decision making process. Training courses or events such as dedicated research weeks can raise awareness about the value of using evidence and change assumptions that using evidence is too intimidating or complex.
    4. Create a compelling narrative – Ruth Levine gets at a moral argument for evidence-informed policymaking here and here. Moving from a compliance and monitoring mindset to a compelling narrative that points to failed outcomes for citizens when we do not use evidence can be a way to shift attitudes and behavior toward evidence use. Make responsible allocation and spending of limited government resources about doing right by citizens – achieving healthier populations, delivering quality education for all, accelerating financial empowerment for women.
    5. Promote networks and relationships – Whether formal or informal, peer interactions can help policymakers strengthen technical skills and shift attitudes and assumptions by exposing them to new ideas. As an organization, this could mean giving staff the time and space to connect with each other to share information, lessons, and experiences.
    6. Recognize and reward desired behavior – Different strategies can be used to motivate policymakers to use evidence in decision making, ranging from financial performance incentives to less resource-intensive award and recognition programs. Governments can use these strategies to promote and reward desired behavior, nudging policymakers to shift their assumptions and actions to align with organizational values.

It takes time and intentional effort to build or change the evidence culture in government. And to truly do so, we will need to scratch beneath the surface to investigate the underlying assumptions that influence whether individuals and organizations actually use evidence in their work. These assumptions determine whether values become empty statements and artifacts gather dust or, ultimately, whether evidence use becomes a cultural norm.

Abeba Taddese is the Executive Director of Results for All, a global initiative of Results for America.

How do governments use evidence for policy? 100+ mechanisms and a short survey — October 18, 2017

How do governments use evidence for policy? 100+ mechanisms and a short survey

Results for All is currently assessing whether a global evidence network that facilitates collaboration and an exchange of experiences between policymakers could help to advance and institutionalize the use of evidence in government. We invite you to participate by taking our short survey, here.

The survey will take less than 10 minutes, and will close on October 31.

If you are not a government policymaker, you can still click on the link above and provide input in the space provided. Additionally, we encourage you to contact us at any time to learn more about our work.

We appreciate your support in forwarding the survey to other government policymakers who can help us to assess the demand for a global evidence network.

The Global Landscape Review is here! — July 25, 2017

The Global Landscape Review is here!

Results for All’s just-released “100+ Government Mechanisms to Advance the Use of Data and Evidence in Policymaking: A Landscape Review” and case studies on Ghana, Kenya and Canada can be downloaded here

By Abeba Taddese, Executive Director, Results for All

For the last 18 months, Results for America’s global Results for All initiative has been engaged in a landscape review to understand the different approaches governments are taking to create formal strategies and mechanisms – specifically, policies, programs, platforms, systems and operational practices – to advance and institutionalize the use of data and evidence in decision making.

We’ve had a fulfilling year of learning from government leaders, experts and citizens around the world, and we are eager to share some of our insights here:

  • The last 5 to 7 years have been a busy time for governments. Outside of the long-established evaluation systems in countries like Mexico, Colombia and Chile, we observe that many of the formal structures governments are putting in place to support evidence-informed policymaking (EIP) are quite recent. Separately, we note a growing body of literature on evidence-informed policymaking, notably exploring constraints or barriers to EIP, and factors that enable data- and evidence-driven decision making.                                                                                                                           
  • While institutional strategies and mechanisms are necessary and often a precondition for routine and consistent use of data and evidence in policy and programs, they aren’t enough on their own. There is widespread agreement among policymakers and evidence producers alike, that policymaking is complex, multi-dimensional, and influenced by many factors. It is far from a linear “evidence in, policy out” process. Contextual factors ranging from leadership, commitment and allocation of resources to political climate, values and belief systems are critical influences in any policy process.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Governments are taking different, context-specific approaches to creating formal strategies and mechanisms. And they are sharing information about their processes and learning from each other. The study tours to Mexico, Colombia and the United States that helped to inform South Africa’s monitoring and evaluation system, the data-driven community safety approach in Saskatchewan, Canada (Hub) adapted from Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit model, and the collaboration between the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda and Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) are a few examples that stand out.                                                                                                                                        
  • Ultimately, EIP isn’t about a specific approach or type of evidence, but rather finding context-appropriate ways to make better use of data and evidence in real-life policy and program decisions. This last point is worth underscoring, in the spirit of ensuring that we don’t end up with a jargon-laden theoretical field that distracts the EIP community – whether government actors, nongovernmental organization partners (NGOs) or the philanthropic community – from the end goal of achieving better outcomes for populations.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • There appears to be an emphasis in government on creating structures and systems to improve access to data and evidence, while NGOs are playing a more central role in facilitating partnerships between policymakers and evidence producers as well as building the individual capacity of policymakers. Our review is not exhaustive or definitive, so we can’t say for certain why this might be the case. But we surmise that there may be a “build and they will come” approach to the use of data and evidence in government policymaking, and that governments may prioritize spending of finite resources on tangible infrastructure. For NGOs, partnership building and training activities often offer less bureaucratic and politicized entry points for supporting government efforts to advance EIP.

The landscape review is accompanied by resource tables and a series of case studies on evidence-informed policymaking training in Ghana, demographic dividend policies in Kenya, and a community safety strategy in Canada. Our goal for this body of work that identifies more than 100 strategies and mechanisms for advancing the use of data and evidence in government policy and practice, is to promote a sharing of experiences and lessons learned among leaders in government, NGOs and other partners.

We’ll be building on this work in the months ahead, and close with a few questions we hope to explore further:

  • How effective are government strategies and mechanisms in promoting the use of data and evidence? Are there approaches that are more effective than others in improving the use of evidence, and that ultimately have the greatest impact in achieving development objectives?                                                                        
  • How can governments be best supported in their efforts to institutionalize the use of data and evidence? Could structured joint learning and networking approaches help to accelerate the adoption of strategies and mechanisms for advancing the use of data and evidence?

We are grateful to the experts interviewed for this review, who contributed their time and input (you can find many of them listed in Appendix 2 of the report), and to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for generously supporting this work.

We encourage you to continue visiting the Evidence in Action blog for updates. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact me at Abeba@results4all. And please share your feedback with us by tweeting at @resultsforall with the hashtag #GlobalLandscapeReview.

Thanks for reading!

 

Observations from the Outgoing Executive Director — July 5, 2017

Observations from the Outgoing Executive Director

By Karen Anderson

In January 2015, we launched Results for All with a deep curiosity about how governments around the world are using data and evidence to drive outcomes. What policies, programs and practices are being used, how are they being instituted, and who are the champions for evidence use? Do political appointees drive evidence-informed policymaking in the executive branch, the civil service, or is the push coming from the legislative branch?

Based on our experience in the United States, through our work with Results for America, we knew that the answers would be mixed. In our case, much of the innovative work to promote the use of data and evidence is happening at the local level, with mayors and county executives understanding the need to produce more for their constituents with fewer resources. At the federal level, the G.W. Bush and Obama presidential administrations both had deep commitments to evidence-informed policymaking, instituting programs and practices that laid the groundwork for more rigorous data collection, program evaluation and outcomes-focused budgeting.

We began exploring the global evidence landscape through our work by organizing Evidence Works 2016: A Global Forum for Government, an event we co-hosted with Nesta’s Alliance for Useful Evidence. Bringing 140 policymakers from 40 countries together – from Australia, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe – we learned about the very significant work underway in a variety of contexts – from challenges to solutions, lessons learned and best practices.

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Outgoing Results for All Executive Director Karen Anderson (center) talks to two participants at the 2016 Evidence Works Forum for Government in London.

The learnings from Evidence Works 2016 served as a foundation for additional outreach and research we conducted for the landscape review of government mechanisms to advance the use of data and evidence in policymaking. This review, which will be released later this month, is the culmination of 18 months of conversations, interviews and country visits to learn more about ways in which governments around the world are institutionalizing the use of data and evidence in decision-making. Coupled with an extensive literature review, we’re confident that we’ve captured a range of examples that showcase what governments are doing to promote evidence-informed policymaking. Our hope is that this will be a useful resource that can be improved with additional knowledge and input over time.

As we finalize the landscape review, what have we learned? The short answer is that we’ve learned more than we thought possible. But here are some of my personal observations:

  • The evidence movement is relatively young and truly global. In the last five to seven years, policymakers at all levels of government and in all parts of the world have been implementing policies, platforms and practices to incorporate data and evidence into decision making. The diversity of examples will be surprising to many readers.

  • There is no single or best type of evidence. Governments are different and need a diversity of approaches for tackling their challenges. From data analytics to behavioral insights to impact evaluation, there is a broad evidence spectrum and a need for tools and resources to promote uptake across that spectrum.

  • There is a general disconnect between evidence producers and evidence users that needs to be addressed. A number of organizations and academic institutions are working to address problems of knowledge translation, and to sensitize researchers to the need for timely, relevant evidence that meets the demands of decision-makers. At the same time, governments are building skills and capacity to use outside sources of evidence that they deem credible and trustworthy. While progress is being made to close the gap, more work needs to be done, and this is a barrier to evidence use that exists in the north and south, and at all levels of government.

  • Evidence-informed policymaking can only occur if there is a sustained demand for evidence. Producing evidence in a timely and accessible manner is a first step, but without demand from policymakers for evidence, there is little chance that it will be used. In some cases, internal champions can start a movement and even build networks of support within government for evidence-informed policymaking. In other cases, outside organizations have led the charge, with direct advocacy campaigns and through building public support for evidence. This is a key area where governments can continue to learn from each other about what works and share experiences that can help propel the evidence movement forward.

  • Having the right mechanisms in place to promote evidence-informed policymaking is critical. The landscape review focuses primarily on the infrastructure, policies and practices that strengthen government’s ability to use data and evidence. We highlight the four key conditions that enable the use of data and evidence at a government or institution level: (1) commitment, (2) allocation of resources, (3) incentives, and (4) a culture that supports learning and improving. In addition to technical support, information sharing and networking can help build and strengthen capacity and know-how; we shouldn’t underestimate the power and value of peer-to-peer learning in driving the evidence agenda forward.

It has been an immense pleasure to help launch Results for All and to explore the global evidence landscape. I’ll look forward to the reactions to the landscape review and to keeping in touch with Results for All during its next phase of work.

I’m delighted to announce that Abeba Taddese, who currently serves as the Program Director for Results for All, will take over as Executive Director on July 1. I have accepted a position with the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economic Research, once again focusing on evidence production — helping University of Chicago economists produce accessible and relevant research that can inform the public debate.

Thank you for welcoming us into the global evidence community and I hope that our paths cross again soon. You can continue to reach Abeba at Abeba@Results4All.org, and you should look for communications around the landscape review in the near future.

 

Improving the use of knowledge in policy – an opportunity for leading public agencies — June 21, 2017

Improving the use of knowledge in policy – an opportunity for leading public agencies

By Vanesa Weyrauch 
Co-founder of Politics & Ideas 
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Are you a leader in a government agency eager to improve the use of knowledge in policy?
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INASP and Politics & Ideas invite government agencies[1] to participate in an opportunity to improve the use of knowledge in policy through the application of a new diagnostic tool. This tool can help agencies clearly understand the current state of knowledge production and use to inform policy, identify windows of opportunity for change, prioritize areas for improvement and co-design feasible change plans.

This call is looking for committed change makers that are eager to initiate a process of change in their organizations or support a process that has already started. Applications are welcome from:

  1. Individual government agencies
  2. joint proposals from government agencies and local policy research institutions (think tank, university centre, policy research institute, etc.)

The selected government agencies will receive:

  • A comprehensive and systematic diagnosis of their production and use of knowledge to inform policy
  • A document with prioritized areas for change
  • A tailored change plan, with concrete activities and methods to address the prioritized areas of change

How to apply

Please read the full terms of reference before applying for this call:

The deadline for application is: 4pm (GMT+1), 9 July 2017.

For any questions please contact crichards@inasp.info


[1] Applications are invited from organizations based in low and middle income countries in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America (as classified by the World Bank).

This post originally appeared on Politics & Ideas on June 12, 2017 and can be found at: http://www.politicsandideas.org/?p=3737

VakaYiko learning exchange inspires exhibition of evidence products in the Parliament of Ghana — May 2, 2017

VakaYiko learning exchange inspires exhibition of evidence products in the Parliament of Ghana

Author, Kirchuffs Atengble, Programme Coordinator (VakaYiko), Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS)

“I encourage new entrants to prepare and present statements on any issue of interest. Apply the Question Time well. Your brilliant visibility will affect your re-election. I will meet with leadership on this and seek support of the leading Think Tanks in Ghana to help you deliver. A comprehensive mentoring process is vital for improved performance”. – Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye (Speaker, Parliament of Ghana)

The desire for developing adequate capacity for the uptake of research and other evidence has driven the Parliament of Ghana to enter into partnerships in this regard. And the above statement from the Speaker of the seventh Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, in his inauguration reaffirms the legislature’s need for evidence in its deliberative function as a major public policymaking institution in Ghana.

This blog post traces the inspiration for innovations within the information support system of Parliament (comprising the research, library, ICT, Hansard and Committees departments) and makes the case for collaboration among institutional support partners, including the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the VakaYiko consortium.

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A brief background

A review of the information support system of the Parliament of Ghana by VakaYiko consortium, under the leadership of INASP (a UK-based charity organisation), found that there was little coordination around the request for and supply of evidence within the legislature.

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What Works Media Project Shows the Power of Film to Tell Evidence Stories — April 27, 2017

What Works Media Project Shows the Power of Film to Tell Evidence Stories

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Last month at Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities Summit in New York City, Results for America’s What Works Media Project premiered its first film, showcasing the power of storytelling to highlight how data and evidence can improve policymaking.
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The 7-minute documentary film focuses on Seattle‘s efforts to address homelessness, building on their work with What Works Cities to build technical capacity, enhance open data systems, and improve the City’s performance management system.
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The full documentary film can be found here. The next films in the series will focus on efforts to use data and evidence to improve outcomes in areas such as workforce development and early childhood education.
An In-Depth Look at Open Data in Quito — March 24, 2017

An In-Depth Look at Open Data in Quito

Q&A with Carolina Pozo, Director and Co-Founder WONDER Social Innovation Lab, Former Director and Co-Founder LINQ Public Innovation LAB

We asked Carolina Pozo, the Former Director and Co-Founder LINQ Public Innovation LAB in Quito, Ecuador, about her work to promote open data systems in Ecuador.

1.  Please tell us about your work to promote open data platforms.

I launched the first open data platform in Ecuador, for the City of Quito in 2014. In the pursuit to build on an open government governance model, which promotes transparency, collaboration and citizen participation, having an open data platform is a key step in the process. The implementation of the technology was efficiently done in less than three months, however any open data platform has to be accompanied by a communication strategy. The internal and external buy-in of a new initiative, unknown by the majority, required great deal of lobbying within the city government officials and great investment in communicating citizens and other external stakeholders of the value and use of open data. Our approach started with 350 data sets and maps which included statistics and demographic data, open budget, open contracting and real time data. Open data is not only transparency, is should provide useful data for citizens- on a daily basis, such as traffic, air pollution, availability of parking spots. It should also have an API so that programmers can have access to key data in real time to create mobile applications that can improve public services.

2. What specific challenges were you trying to address?

Public service delivery in the city government lacked base line analysis and impact measurements, hence most public projects were inefficient and a waste of public resources. To improve the way we address public issues, innovation is necessary. At the lab we used a open innovation process which involves working with external stakeholders in co-creating solutions for public problems. This five step iteration process is based on an experimental approach, where the city government collaborated with citizens and organization to generate high impact solutions. An important aspect in on the use of data to have a baseline and measure the impact of these solutions.

Impact Cycle Graphic

Collective intelligence through collaboration and citizen participation provides more and better insights. These external stakeholders were mapped and addressed, based on their expertise and type of involvement they can have with the government, depending on the issue we want to address. We call it the innovation ecosystem and it consists on individuals and organization on different public and private fields, locally and internationally.

Link Ecosystem Graphic

 

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