From June, 2013 to August 2014, the Institute of Development Studies and Practical Action Consulting (IDS-PAC) has worked with IDRC’s Think Tank Initiative (TTI) to design and deliver a bi-regional capacity development programme for 26 think tanks based in Latin America and South Asia.
This programme aimed to strengthen the policy engagement and communication (PEC) work of researchers and communication staff based in these think tanks, and brought together the collective knowledge and expertise of technical facilitators based in the think tank’s local context as well as professional staff at IDS in the UK.
Each think tank benefitted from the support of a facilitation coach who worked closely with the organisation to design an individualised capacity development work-plan. Implemented over a nine month period each work-plan enabled the think tanks to focus on building a unique portfolio of PEC-related capabilities to help: map to their institutional PEC goals; enrich their policy engagement activities; increase the impact of their research; and influence public-policy formulation and debates.
The PEC programme has been an insightful journey which has fostered peer to peer learning, regional knowledge exchanges and the production of several innovative strategic tools and approaches for PEC.