Help shape your organisation’s use of evidence and engagement with policy

9th May 2019

With the global rise of inequality and conflict and the acute challenges facing the most socially and politically excluded, civil society organisations, charities and development agencies are increasingly concerned with how to effectively broker the knowledge of marginalised communities. Influencing decision makers and institutional practice with evidence requires an explicit focus on power and politics – seeking ways to promote positive change in highly complex policy environments.

The Institute of Development Studies has developed a short professional development course on Engaging Evidence and Policy for Social Change to explore what we mean by evidence, whose knowledge really counts and how we can more effectively engage policy communities with the lived experiences of those whose voices often go unheard. You’ll acquire conceptually rigorous tools for promoting evidence informed policy and practice and with peer support adapt these to your own organisational context.

In addition to your three days at IDS, the course includes an online learning exchange on 7 November 2019.

Course aims

To equip you with the concepts, skills and competencies required to operate effectively at the interface between policy and evidence. To enable you to design achievable plans to enhance your organisations’ or programmes’ capability to broker knowledge on behalf of marginalised communities and put these to the test.

Who should attend?

The programme is ideally suited to those leading policy and research in their organisations’ or programmes’ who are seeking to enhance their evidence literacy and policy engagement capacity to become more effective advocates for social change.

Whether your key interests relate to: Understanding policy processes in a particular context, delivering evidence-informed policy advocacy, or adapting to fast-changing demands for evidence, we will help you locate your work in relation to the latest trends in knowledge for development.

You’ll join an international cohort of policy and evidence innovators from development agencies, charities, social enterprises, research organisations and think tanks to share learning and gain new insights into improving policy processes through better use of evidence.

How you’ll learn

The programme combines seminars delivered by leading international experts, peer learning group work and presentations on key technical areas with plenty of time for critical reflection. Over the three days at IDS you’ll develop a framework for strengthening evidence informed policy and practice focused around specific aspects of evidence literacy and adaptive policy engagement. You’ll then have the opportunity to validate concepts and test approaches in your organisation or sector before re-joining the cohort in April for an online facilitated knowledge exchange event.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Re-evaluate your organisations or programme’s use of evidence and theories of change.
  • Adapt to fast-changing policy demands and deploy new tools for understanding how change happens in a particular context.
  • Systematically identify and appraise policy relevant evidence.
  • Frame research for policy and practice and develop coherent evidence informed policy offers

Course reviews

“The course strengthened by understanding of the link between evidence and the politics of influencing social change in a complex world. I particularly enjoyed the networking and interaction with people from different disciplines across the globe. It was a fun way of learning and improving my skills.” – Aileen Patricia O’Donovan, Deputy Head of Development, Irish Aid Ethiopia

“Joining this short course provided a great opportunity to learn from IDS methodologies and approaches, especially around framing evidence for policy change. Being able to spend three days at IDS with a really fascinating group of other students (consultants, government officials, and fellow NGO staff) allowed me to learn and consider how evidence can better inform my work, thereby making me a stronger and more effective advocate in global policy spaces.” – Kathryn Tobin, Advocacy Coordinator, WaterAid

How to apply

For more information on fees and how to apply, please visit the course webpage on the Institute of Development Studies website. The application deadline is the 10th June 2019.

Other IDS Short Courses

As well as this short course, IDS are also offering the following professional development opportunities this year:

Photo credit: STEPS Summer School '13 - Rivers of Life #4 STEPS Centre Flickr CC BY 2.0