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Features of Researches that influence policy

Talking points for the CABE/C4D/GEP 3 workshop by Noel A, Ihebuzor

Some researches are better than others in influencing policy. Such researches have certain qualities. Such researches usually possess the following qualities

  • Replicable
  • Have good sampling base
  • Respond to social needs
  • Easily applicable
  • Easy to read
  • Not marred by complex statistics 
  • Address pressing problems
  • Propose plausible and credible solutions 
  • Solutions are drawn from the research 
  • Their findings have a broad appeal
  • Their findings appeal to agenda setters and social influencers
  • Their finding appeal to important constituencies and influencers
  • Their findings appeal to the press

The 7 curses that cause research to policy failures  

  • irrelevance 
  • defective methodology 
  • limited sample size
  • atypical sample
  • unwarranted conclusions and extrapolations 
  • outdated-ness of topic
  • limited adaptability 

Why policies fail

  • No sponsor
  • No champion
  • Limited policy appeal
  • Limited scope for policy adaption or adaptation
  • Attempting too much
  • Attempting too little
  • Tissue rejection
  • Cultural unsuitability
  • No evidence base or skimpy evidence
  • Hostile environment
  • No effort to prepare the ground


Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

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