On Wednesday May 17th, the Wellbeing Research Centre (WRC) held a well-attended seminar with the above theme. The presenters were drawn from a diverse group of practitioners, consultants and academics. They were Marcus Cox, Peter Grant, Simon Hearn, Chris Wylde and Gocke Baycal. Collectively their aim was to explain what is normally understood by state engagement and our ability to assess its impact and influence.

The 5 papers explored a variety of interlinked themes such as: why the traditional approach to capacity building has been discredited, and what has replaced it; examples of the application of PDIA in different developing countries by drawing on both experience and literature; the role of Outcome Mapping (OM), as developed by the International Development Research Centre, to help make sense of how policy may be influenced. The use of OM was seen within the context of the ODI’s Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme. Another paper attempted to make sense of the Cambiemos government in Argentina through the lens of the PDIA; the final paper focused on assessing the value of the PDIA approach in assessing the adoption of conditional cash transfers in Turkey.

The seminar was aimed at those interested in advocacy, evaluation and policy influence from a variety of perspectives as outlined above. Seminar room 106 at Briggs Hall had a lively audience made up of the 5 speakers, several faculty and a number of students from a variety of disciplines including economics, development studies, IR and business.

For more detailed information on the papers or the presenters please visit the WRC’s events blog here.