Greater policy impact: Stronger post-project engagement

23 November 2018

Raymond Struyk, author of Improving Think Tank Management, writes about  the importance of think tanks’ post-project engagement to measure their impact and influence.

To be effective a think tank needs to stay involved in the policy process after the final report is released, the roll out conference held, and the social media blitz mounted. If this is not done, then the impact of the Institute’s work may be underestimated because it is unaware of changes it helped cause. Beyond this there can be two other, probably more important, missed opportunities. First, if there is little continued tracking, then Center Directors/Team Leaders (hereafter Team Leaders) and Principal Investigators (PIs) may be unaware of distinct chances to provide additional or clarifying information important to advancing a reform—after all, they know more about the specifics of the data, the analysis, and what is behind the recommendations than anyone else. Second, the think tank is not building a corpus of experience on effective post-project actions that could be shared with other team leaders.

This article is about how a think tank identifies which of those policy areas that have been the subject of major projects deserve to be actively monitored in the future as targets for deeper policy involvement. Equally important is the question of organising the monitoring and learning from the results for future monitoring and intervention activities.

This document is a part of the new OTT Best Practice Series. If you would like to submit a piece on best practice for research and policy institutes, please get in touch.