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The Fight Against Hunger and MalnutritionThe Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies$
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David E. Sahn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.001.0001

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Independence or Influence

Independence or Influence

Trade-offs in Development Policy Research

Chapter:
(p.393) 17 Independence or Influence
Source:
The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition
Author(s):

Roger Slade

Mitch Renkow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.003.0018

Policy research to promote agricultural development seeks to increase its relevance by collaborating closely with a target audience—typically a government or its agents. However, close collaboration brings inherent risks, especially explicit or implicit trade-offs between independence in choosing and analyzing research questions on the one hand, and the likelihood of influencing policy adoption and implementation on the other. These trade-offs often reflect the extent to which policy research agendas are captured by host governments or special interests. They are also influenced by the openness of the policy environment. These problems are examined and illustrated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)'s experience conducting collaborative policy research in Ethiopia. In sum, IFPRI’s long program of research in Ethiopia, some conducted at distance and some in country, is judged to have been influential, but because of partial institutional capture, less relevant than it might have been.

Keywords:   collaborative policy research, institutional capture, IFPRI, Ethiopia, agricultural development

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