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The role of evidence in advancing policy to raise learning outcomes equitably for sustainable development

Tue, April 16, 3:15 to 4:45pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Pacific Concourse (Level -1), Pacific D

Group Submission Type: Formal Panel Session


Evidence is key to successful reforms for raising learning outcome equitably. However, evidence alone will not influence policy. The success of the influence of evidence on policy and practice is potentially dependent on a range of factors. Some of these are likely to be behind the control of researchers, such as political shifts. But there are potentially ways in which researchers can enhance the opportunities for the uptake of their evidence. This in part depends on the capacities and capabilities of researchers to understand and respond to the policy environment in which they operate, to leverage and build networks for engagement, and to make information available and accessible. Such strategies and planning are key to the ability of researchers to adapt and respond to rapidly changing contexts. Being able to achieve specific changes in policy and practice through new evidence is also dependent on the resources and abilities of policymakers and practitioners to utilise this knowledge, their alignment and interest with the desired outcomes of the research programme, and the broader social, economic and political context. Donors and research funders can play a critical role in improving the interface between research, evidence and policy and practice through targeted funding, the promotion of an engaged approach to research design and uptake, and encouraging a culture of learning and sharing.

This panel will draw on experience of researchers and policy actors associated with the Raising Learning Outcomes programme, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development, to explore the role of evidence in informing policy and practice. More specifically, the panel will demonstrate how an iterative and collaborative research approach involving a wide range of stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society and non-governmental organisations is possible and effective in influencing policy change. Consideration will also be given to the feasibility of evidence contributing to achieving inclusive and equitable education within the short time frame of a research project-cycle, the types of impact that can realistically be expected, and the support needed to ensure it can be sustained in the longer term.

The panel comprises three presentations of papers (10 minutes each), followed by comments by a discussant (5- 10 minutes), allowing sufficient time for discussion. The panel will involve a mix of policy-makers and researchers, and include examples of how they can work together to translate evidence into policy and practice. This session will give participants an awareness of the challenges facing both researchers and policy makers in promoting evidence-based policy and practice and provide them with clear examples of how to translate evidence into education policies in low-resource settings.

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