A Thinking Net…

Are we able to map the connection between research and policy in the South?

A new initiative launched ‘Politics & Ideas: a think net’ is a joint effort of researchers and practitioners to produce and share innovative knowledge linking ideas and politics in developing and emerging economies. The initiative aims to think critically about the relations between ideas, research, and politics to support a more constructive use of research based evidence in policy making.

It is a Southern led space that aims to encourage researchers and practitioners to speak about their own challenges and share their perspectives about policy making as they encounter them at the local, national and regional levels. Visit this link to learn about the team behind Politics & Ideas: a think net. Initially this is a small team but hopefully will grow with new members, collaborators and associates. This initiative is inspired and nuanced by Enrique Mendizabal , Vanesa Weyrauch, Sherine Ghoneim and myself . :)

Getting messy
It is no secret that the focus of this initiative is the South. Knowledge is useful regardless of its origin. But Politics &Ideas aims to encourage researchers working and living in developing countries to identify the knowledge that is most useful for them and their contexts rather than to continue to accept and work with whatever is given, and often forced upon them, by funders and northern-based international development institutes.

A research agenda has been developed in consultation with several parties to maximize relevant knowledge and advice to researchers and practitioners in developing countries about links between politics and ideas. This is not a one-way thinking process, but rather the agenda is an OPEN research agenda to allow for flexibility in emerging inquiries based on local gaps in research areas. Being flexible entails being messy! And thus maintaining focus is key (Andrea Ordoñez). This means that the team at Politics and ideas try to avoid having an implicit agenda, and instead make it explicit allowing others to comment on it, correct it and nurture it in the process. The research agenda covers many topics and research questions: politics, ideas, communications, capacity development and funding.

How can you and your benefit and colleagues participate?
Researchers and practitioners can contribute by submitting their own work, studies and ideas developed by others, and by participating in the different engagement spaces that the initiative offers. To know more about us, please visit www.politicsandideas.org. You can follow updates through Twitter (@politics_ideas) and Facebook (search for Politics & Ideas: a think net).

Enjoy thinking the links between Research, Ideas and policy !

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