CPPR in collaboration with Atlas Leadership Academy has successfully conducted four editions of Policy School that have won the acclaim of participants from 32 countries. The programme has been instrumental in shaping the research skills of think tank professionals, and policy researchers alike. This is the fifth consecutive time that CPPR is successfully collaborating with the Atlas Leadership Academy.
A global call for applications was put up on the CPPR website, and the links were shared on different websites. Applications were received from the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Selection was based on the merit in application, professional experience in think tanks, policy research institutes and non-profits. After thorough scrutiny and discussions, eleven candidates were selected from the group of 60 applied. They were from 10 countries viz. Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Slovenia, Malawi, Nigeria, Nepal, Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and India. The Policy School 2016 had researchers with varied background, qualification, age and culture converging at Kochi, India.
Public Policy Research Methods School 2016 focused on a data centric approach with inclusion of detailed sessions on statistical and research methods tools in public policy making. The curriculum had specific themes chosen to give a larger dimension of a data-centric approach towards research. The themes included Consultant’s Perspective on Public Policy, Think tank level research, Market Policy and Judicial Policy, and Policy Communication. Furthermore they were backed by intensive research and comprehensive database developed by CPPR. This was aimed to give insights to the participants on how to use data for policy based action and reforms.
The course brought together academicians, experts, consultants and bureaucrats to help the participants in formulating and evaluating real time public policy. It also provided an opportunity to share and learn from the experience of think tanks like CPPR, Centre for Civil Society and its work pattern regarding policy making. This was also an occasion to engage with researchers across the globe and share their own experiences in policy making. The exercises done during Policy School are bound to help the participants to develop public policy in their own respective countries.
It also helped to identify various frameworks, theories and models of designing public policy. These activities enabled the aspiring policy researchers to have a clear vision as how to formulate and improve policy and decision making through the process of research and analysis. Through meticulous, purposeful research and the development of sophisticated analytic tools, Policy School 2016 sets the standard of quality in the field of policy analysis.
Researchers from varied disciplines and perceptions worked together to find solutions and analyse some of the complex issues affecting the people in India, especially Kerala. The students got into a direct interface with the public and the envisioned objective of enabling experience in primary research was fructified.
The perfect blend of theory and practical exposure helped the participants get hands on experience from the field – where they were involved in data collection & analysis, and policy formulation on the same. The parliamentary model (followed in India and other democratic countries) discussion towards the end of the workshop made participants face questions based on their policy presentation. Such a novel experience was a stepping stone towards comprehending the nuances in policy communication with the governance systems. This was well received by the participants and the whole team of Policy School 2016.