How To Accelerate Policy Production Processes?
19 April 2022
Facing the world’s problems, such as climate change, disaster occurrences, and COVID-19 pandemic would require competent policy and decision makers. These personnel, at least, have the abilities to investigate and analyze the root cause of a particular problem and to find the best solutions to solve the problem through their policy products.
However, producing policies for the public is often challenging even for the most experienced policy makers. This case happens because of the nature of policy itself, which is complex, time consuming, and inclusive.
Looking at this challenge and the requirement of a timely and good policy product, therefore arise a question on how to assist policy makers to accelerate policy production processes?
Problems in Producing a ‘Good’ Policy
As mentioned before, producing policy is a complex, time consuming, and inclusive process. Firstly, it is complex because policy is often being produced during and for solving a complicated problem. It means there is no single policy which can act as a panacea to solve all problems in the world. There must be a series of work that has to be done prior to the production of policy, such as understanding the policy network, acknowledge the cross cutting issues, find the evidence, and final assessment before the enactment of the policy.
Secondly, producing policy is a time-consuming process. From the previous paragraph, there is a series of works before the enactment of a policy. Those series of works consist of several stages before the publication of the policy and each stage needs a particular amount of time.
Thirdly, it should be inclusive to produce a good policy for the public. There are various groups of people in the public that might be affected by the policy. Therefore, different stakeholders with various responsibilities need to be engaged during the policy production. By doing so, different interests from the public and responsibilities of stakeholders can be acknowledged. This action, in turn, will increase the effectiveness of the implementation of the policy. However, this action is also time consuming.
In short, it is hard work and requires a lot of time to produce a good policy for the public. Then because of these challenges, policy that is being produced for the old issues through these exhausting processes might be insufficient for addressing the current and evolving problems.
Considering the problems in producing a good policy, there is a way for policy makers to accelerate the policy production.
Policy makers can utilize evidence-based policy. This is an attempt when policy decisions are based or informed by rigorous evidence. It means, the evidence is tested and assessed by various stakeholders. Such evidence can be found in scientific research where a board of reviewers would read, test, and assess the paper in terms of its theories, methodologies, and results.
By conducting evidence-based policy, then policy makers can skip several stages in the process for producing the policy, such as finding the regulation networks, cross-cutting issues, and evidence.
However, even though this action seems promising to accelerate the production of public policy, there are several notes for policy makers when they want to use this strategy.
Firstly, policy makers have to ensure that they use the right or related research with the problems, issues, and topics being discussed in the policy production process. For helping policy makers, they can use the right keywords to search the appropriate research.
Secondly, policy makers need to ensure that they use the latest publication regarding the issue being discussed in the policy. It is common that an interesting issue would be researched by different scientists at different times. Therefore, the latest publication would be beneficial as it is very close in time with problems being discussed in the policy production process.
Thirdly, policy makers have to double check the location in the research paper. They have to ensure that the location in the paper fits with the location in the policy that will be produced. When they fail to identify the proper location or the location is different from the policy, then the research findings might be different and therefore cannot be used in the policy.
Finding Proper Research for The Policy Making Process
In the previous section we have discussed that policy makers need to consider at least three factors when they want to use research to accelerate their policy production process. Those three factors are: keywords, time of publication, and the location of the research.
Using those factors, policy makers can go to Google Scholar to find the right paper by using the keywords. For example, they can type ‘disaster management in indonesia’. Then they will see a list of researches that contain these keywords. Moreover, they also can see the years of publication, related articles, cited by number of persons, and the format of the documents.
Although keywords, time of publication, and other information are available when policy makers use Google Scholar, other important information, namely location information needs to be further investigated. They can do it by clicking one by one on each research’s title on the list in Google Scholar and read every paper thoroughly. It would become a new activity and consume more time which in turn will prolong the policy production processes.
Realizing this challenge for policy makers, a group of researchers and software developers have developed a spatial based portal called CARI! (Cerdas Antisipasi Risiko Bencana). In this site, policy makers and users can find out recent and locally-relevant research papers and journal articles on topics related to disaster management activities in Indonesia.
Moreover, CARI! spatial based portal enabling access to risk and resilience analytics and insights based on scientifically proven and published research. Users, such as policy makers, can filter research papers and journal articles based on keywords, year, and disaster phase. More importantly, users also can filter their search based on province, cities, and hazards.
With its ability, CARI! can help policy makers, especially related to disaster management activities, in the policy creation processes. It accelerates the process for finding the right research papers and journal articles in a particular place.
In addition, CARI! also provides research density information which is very useful for researchers. This information helps them by showing the area in Indonesia where it has more or less researches which have been done in there. By knowing this information, then researchers can determine where they would conduct their research.
The contents of the article, both the chosen point of view and the ideas included are the full responsibility of the author. This article is not intended to convey the official views of CARI!