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Improving the enabling environment for evidence-informed policymaking: an example from Indonesia
journal contributionposted on 2021-12-14, 00:27 authored by Elisabeth JacksonElisabeth Jackson, Arnaldo Pellini, Budiati Prasetiamartati
Background:Indonesia’s growth and prosperity as a lower-middle-income country hinges on the ability of policymakers to develop effective public policies based on evidence. Yet Indonesia’s policy and regulatory environment does not support the production of high-quality evidence and its use in policymaking. Key points for discussion:This article examines an international donor programme which aims to build sustainable capacity for evidence-informed policymaking by improving this enabling environment. The article reflects on the programme’s experience in working with local stakeholders to reform public procurement regulations to make commissioning of research easier. This experience suggests that facilitating stakeholders to work together to define a problem and break it down into its component parts helps generate realistic entry points and feasible solutions. It also suggests that a focus on purposively expanding the space for reform is necessary throughout the reform process. Leadership by individuals with decision-making authority is critical, as is building consensus around problems and maintaining momentum for solving them. Most importantly, to work effectively, programme staff and facilitators need to engage with the political economy of the policy problem. Conclusion and implications:This experience provides lessons for those seeking to support the systems that underpin evidence-informed policymaking in other middle-income country contexts.