Author Archives: Clara Richards

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About Clara Richards

Clara is the Director of INASP’s VakaYiko programme, and leads INASP’s work on Evidence-Informed Policy Making. Clara’s role is to design and implement capacity building interventions to support research use and advocates for EIPM and to build strong relationship with EIPM’s partners..

Evidence reading: Innovation in organizational change
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Participants in INASP's Evidence-Informed Policy Making Team's VakaYiko project symposium 2016

Innovation in development has been the ‘buzz’ word of the last couple of years. We all talk about it but do we really know what conditions trigger innovative solutions to complex problems? As we begin our organizational diagnostic of knowledge use in Peruvian public administration, I have been revisiting material on organizational change, innovation and public reform. I came across a wonderful article – Creating Breakout Innovation by Joanna Levitt Cea & Jess Rimington from the Stanford Social Innovation Review. This article summarises five practices that make a difference for creating innovative outcomes: Sharing power, prioritise relationships, leverage heterogeneity, legitimise all ways of knowing, prototype early and often. While this list may sound familiar, how ready are we (individuals and organizations) to implement these practices? Sharing power When I think of sharing power I tend to imagine handing over decision-making or soliciting people’s opinions and views before making decisions. Consulting … Continue reading

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‘Reading organizations’: a new diagnostic tool to improve knowledge to policy systems
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Clara Richards, Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Team, INASP introduces a series of posts on new approaches for organizational change Over the four years in which INASP and Politics & Ideas have been improving knowledge to policy systems, we have heard a great deal about the complex context within which public agencies operate. Recognizing the need for new approaches to address this complexity, we developed the ‘Context Matters’ framework. The framework summarizes key organizational factors influencing how government agencies use –  or don’t use – knowledge. This year, we are ready to apply it as a new diagnostic tool to improve the use of knowledge in policy within a government agency. We will use the tool to: diagnose the current state of knowledge production and use in a government agency identify areas that have potential to catalyse change co-produce a feasible change plan that reflects the agency’s realities and … Continue reading

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Evidence Reading: How do governments get great?
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Botswana Parliament Building

House of the Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone. The paper discussed in this evidence reading cited Botswana as an example of a government that led an impressive transformation resulting in its ranking of Sub-Saharan Africa’s least corrupt nation in the global Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 by Transparency International. —————————————————————————————————– – Blog post by Clara Richards, Director of the VakaYiko Consortium and Senior Programme Manager at INASP’s Evidence-Informed Policy Making Team I started reading more about how governments can improve their work and drive positive change because I wanted to know how we at INASP can work with governments to improve their policies by putting research and evidence at the heart of their development agenda. I discovered an endless and exciting literature. However, it is mainly driven by the same authors who are part of the ‘Building State Capability Programme’ , and although they have great insight, it would be good … Continue reading

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Supporting the use of research and knowledge in policy making
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INASP is known for strengthening the research and knowledge systems. For almost 25 years, we have been working with different part of this system so it can function as a whole: librarians, publishers, researchers, academics, IT services and their institutions in many countries. More recently, since 2009, we have been incorporating a further key component of the research and knowledge system: the policymakers and other users who need access to knowledge to make better decisions. This group is an important part of INASP’s new five-year strategy, as Clara Richards explains. Continue reading

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EIPM Readings #2: Leading change in the public sector
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The private sector has an enormous amount of literature written on change management, but this paper argues that, although there are some lessons to learn from them, the public sector’s context operates under different rules, which affect deeply how things work and how change can be achieved. I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading

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EIPM Readings #1: Scaling up evaluation as a source of learning and improving programming in Mexico
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As part of the EIPM readings, Clara Richards summarizes the case of Mexico, a country that has developed a Monitoring and Evaluation system that has slowly changed the culture of using information from different types of evaluations to improve policy and programme.

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