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  • Writer's pictureClara Richards

Using knowledge to better design and evaluate policies: the General Directorate of Social Policy Ana

Several and different efforts are being conducted around the globe to promote the use of research in policy. P&I is permanently thinking about ways to contribute to a more fruitful interaction between knowledge and ideas emanating from it and policy. Yet, are we learning enough from those who are hardly working for this on the ground?

At P&I we believe there is large and promising room to further systematize what policymakers are achieving (and challenges they are dealing with) on the field. In that sense we decided to co-produce two case studies with this profile of policymakers to share how they dealt with the use of knowledge and evidence within two different policy processes. The first one was shared some weeks ago:  The creation of a monitoring system for the Abre Plan in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina (only available in Spanish).

Today we share the second one, co-written by Héctor Díaz Romero and myself: The design of the General Directorate of Social Policy Analysis and Evaluation of the Honduran Secretariat of Social Development. It focuses on a very interesting experience developed by the Honduran Secretariat of Social Development, which decided to consolidate its operation through the creation of an internal technical agency specialized in social policy design and the monitoring and assessment of progress made in the sector.

This new Directorate faced a double challenge. On the one hand, it was necessary to have a better policy formulation and implementation process, resorting to technical bases and technical expertise that allowed social policy-related institution plan based on said policies. On the other hand, it was imperative to have quality, reliable information available that allowed them to know the social sector status after years of lack of public action articulation, so as to justify the design of new policies, as well as monitor and assess results. The case goes through the information that was gathered to set up the new agency (from comparative evidence in the region, to the advice of experts and internal information spread out in other State agencies), the stakeholders who were involved in the process, the main challenges faced when trying to proomte the use of new information and the lessonslearned.

By documenting this experience, we aim to share ideas, lessons and challenges with those who are interested in learning from the very concrete and on the ground efforts of those who daily try to contribute to a more fruitful dialogue between knowledge and policy.

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