In order to achieve EPRU’s key mandate producing high quality research and economic opinion on environmental policy issues to inform policy, EPRU engages extensively with policy makers, the private sector, international institutions, and the general public through various interaction platforms. EPRU aims to engage with policy makers both proactively and reactively in respect of agenda setting, policy design, formulation, and implementation.
High-impact policy interaction strategy
EPRU has developed a policy interaction strategy which focuses on activities that yield the greatest gains. These activities include:
- publication of scientific research outputs as discussion papers (posted online) and peer-reviewed scientific papers;
- preparation of research and policy briefs for dissemination to target audiences as well as being posted online;
- preparation of articles for popular magazines and the press;
- presentations of research in academic and policy fora, including departmental seminar series, government think tanks, local conferences, overseas conferences, as well as to policy and decision-makers such as national, provincial or local government bodies and parliamentary committees;
- one-on-one discussions with stakeholders in meetings and various networking situations; and
- dissemination of news items or briefs on the website.
Much of the dissemination of EPRU’s work occurs through one-to-one conversations with policy makers, while conducting research and in regular feedback sessions. Senior members interact on a regular basis with policy makers, bureaucrats, and the private sector.
Policy Interaction workshops
From time to time, EPRU organises a policy workshops with selection of key government policy makers (including from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and SANBI). These events are hosted by EPRU, with the purpose of showcasing and discussing research as well as to engage with government stakeholders on future research directions. If you would like to be informed of upcoming workshops, please check our Seminars & Events page, or contact us.
Drawing policy makers into research design processes
EPRU endeavours to relationships with policy and decision makers across the different tiers of government — national, provincial, and local — relating to the center’s priority research areas, and involves them during the conceptualization of research proposals and detailed research design, as well as reporting and discussing research results with them.
To some extent, the quality of the policy interaction has been determined by the involvement of policy makers during research conceptualisation and design. This has happened in two main ways. One way is that stakeholders and policy makers are asked to advise directly on the sorts of problems that they would like solved. This approach is typically productive, whether in an organised group meeting or during a casual one-on-one interaction. A second way is that a problem may be identified by a researcher, who takes the idea to the relevant policy makers before embarking on the research. In both cases, the policy makers who have been involved in giving input early on in the process are usually eager to see the results.