Embracing political economy to enhance policy influence: Lessons from PIM research

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A new PIM Synthesis Brief reviews key aspects of the political economy dynamics of the policy process, shares insights about successful and failed policy impact stories.

An overarching goal of the Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) program has been to influence policy outcomes in ways that lead to agricultural transformation and economic inclusion. Yet, policy change is rarely achieved through high-quality research alone. Multiple, other factors may shape policy uptake, including changing policy priorities during elections, ideological biases, and vested interests lobbying against data-driven or evidence-informed recommendations.

A political economy perspective allows for a more holistic and realistic understanding of how policies are determined by governments and which pathways are more viable for achieving development outcomes through policy change.

A new PIM Synthesis Brief by Danielle Resnick reviews key aspects of the political economy dynamics of the policy process that have emerged from PIM research and discusses the various ways in which PIM researchers have navigated these dynamics to enhance the influence of their findings. In addition to reviewing publications, the author conducted interviews with researchers to gain insights about both successful and failed policy impact stories across Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and the role that political economy factors played in these outcomes.

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