Friday, August 12, 2011

[EQ] Linkages between researchers and legislators in developing countries

Linkages between researchers and legislators in developing countries

A scoping study Working Paper 332 - July 2011

Ajoy Datta and Nicola Jones

Overseas Development Institute ODI

Available online PDF [27p.] at:

“…………….The need for legislative information and research, especially in developing and transition countries, is growing as policy-making processes become more complex, particularly in the context of globalisation, regional integration and decentralisation.


Since the executive branch of governments generally has access to a larger pool of knowledge and expertise than the national legislature, there is a need to address the imbalance in access to knowledge between the executive, legislature and judiciary in order to promote better quality policy-making.


Better access to information and research can help empower legislatures to formulate and pass effective legislation and perform effective scrutiny of government. Using the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) framework, this study maps the links between researchers and legislators in a number of transition and developing countries; explores the role of politics in influencing researcher–legislator linkages; and comments on the type of research produced as well as the credibility of the research/researchers…”

“…………In Argentina, Chile, Korea, Peru and Taiwan, legislators access research through party-affiliated think-tanks. In Korea, publicly funded political parties must spend 30% of their budget on research legislators in their work. Further, researchers are often asked to provide advisory services to party officials and to contribute to policy development or give seminars at party retreats and conferences. Knowledge producers have collaborated with one another in their interactions with the legislature. There are also examples where different types of actors (such as scholars and activists) have come together to put pressure on the legislature. Moreover, legislators and (civil society) researchers have worked together to put pressure on the executive.

In several contexts, especially those in Latin America and East Asia, legislative staff, i.e. those attached to legislators or committees/commissions, play a key intermediary role between research, researchers and legislators. Specialist organisations also exist to translate complex knowledge into accessible research products for legislators and to link them to key researchers. Finally, although formal links between researchers and legislators are growing, informal linkages between research staff and legislators………….”



Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Legislator–research links: a framework

3. Legislator–researcher linkages

3.1 Formal linkages

3.2 Informal mechanisms

4. Some political factors

4.1 The power of the executive

4.2 Legislative rules and structures

4.3 Political competition

4.4 External influences

4.5 Summary

5. The nature of evidence

5.1 Type and adequacy of evidence

5.2 Credibility of research

6. Summary and key lessons





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