International development is characterised by a concern for praxis, the union of theory and practice. But bridging research and policy is harder than it looks. What factors affect the influence research has on policy and practice in international development? How can we bridge research and policy more effectively for poverty reduction?
This special issue of the Journal of International Development presents the main papers and conclusions from the blockbuster 2004 Development Studies Association conference on Bridging Research and Policy in International Development.
Edited by Julius Court and Simon Maxwell, it features keynote papers by:
* Naresh Saxena (Former Secretary, Planning Commission, Government of India)
* Matthew Taylor (Head of Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's team in Downing Street and former Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR))
* Maureen O'Neil (President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC))
* Masood Ahmed (Director General of the UK Department for International Development (DFID))
The special issue also includes four research-policy case studies from experienced researchers - focusing on African Politics; Poverty Reduction; Primary Education; Aid and Finance. Together these papers add new perspectives and a host of lessons on the science and the art of bridging research and policy. In particular, they highlight four key lessons: the need for donors and research foundations to foster research capacity and to protect it from political interference; the need for researchers to use detailed case material within and across national boundaries in order to inform high-level policy debates; the importance of presenting research results in such a way that they cannot be over-simplified; and the value of creating alliances between researchers and civil society advocacy groups.