The Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s MENA Policy Links programme aimed to contribute towards improved governance in seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
It sought to develop the capacity of staff from policy research institutes to provide timely and accessible evidence to decision makers, by providing training and developing a trans-national network of institutes to share contacts, learning and expertise. For policy-makers, the programme sought to support access to research and to increase awareness of the benefits of evidence-based and peer reviewed research, as well as creating links to think tanks and policy research institutes.
In 2013, INASP was contracted by WFD to co-facilitate a training workshop in Jordan on achieving policy impact with RAPID (ODI). The training workshop contributed to a key output for WFD’s MENA Policy Links programme: “Policy analysis that is evidence-based, accessible and focused on relevant issues common in the region.”
The objective of the workshop was for policy analysts from the eight target countries to develop new skills in communicating with policy makers, producing policy research that is evidence-based and accessible, and monitoring and evaluation for policy impact.
The policy analysts went on to produce policy analysis briefing papers which focused on one of three sectors: unemployment, education or social welfare, which were then presented to MPs in relevant committees.
In December 2014, INASP conducted a training of trainers for WFD Middle Eastern and North African partners in Lebanon and co-facilitated with the Civil Service College in the UK. The participants would later deliver a course on policy and evidence, and the objective of the workshop was to improve their skills as trainers using learner-centred approaches.
INASP was able to provide feedback to WFD on effectiveness of training approaches and course materials, including the need for follow up from the workshops, to ensure that skills and practices are further developed embedded in practice.