Engaging with policymakers
Research can provide evidence and suggest a direction, but it’s only policymakers who can translate all findings into effective legislation. Therefore, to help drive policy change, identifying the relevant stakeholders, their interests, and how to communicate with them is essential.
Write a Policy Brief alongside your original article
To maximize the possibility of your work receiving attention from policymakers, you need to write up your research in a way that is digestible for people who are not as familiar with your subject as you are.
A Research Article often constitutes the most appropriate format for policymaking impact. Yet, you can consider using a different article type to make your research more accessible for policymaking audiences, such as a Case Study, Brief Report, or Policy Brief. Policy Briefs are short, clear, and concise articles suitable for non-specialist audiences. This article type can help bridge the gap between policymakers and researchers. Policy Briefs bring important research, evidence of policy-related issues, and proposed solutions to the attention of local authorities, policymakers, or governments.
Work on building and nurturing a relationship with policymakers
Once you have identified the most relevant policymakers in your field, make sure to reach out and communicate your work. Along with your research, you should always include the essentials, including your credentials, contact information, and executive summary. Plus, as change can be incremental, you should aim for smaller, actionable, and more achievable policy improvements. For example, the full implementation of policies that change eligibility criteria for services covered by existing policies will take less time to realize than those that will enact or require new programs.
Once you get to know a policymaker in your field of expertise, nurture this relationship by touching base on a regular basis. Always demonstrate that you are an expert commentator, can exchange knowledge, help build capacity, or design projects through co-production.