Policy research and analysis organizations: an account of recent experiences and some predicaments in Ethiopia
Drawing from interviews, archival documents and a range of other sources, this article takes stock of key public policy research and analysis organizations in Ethiopia. It sheds light on the significance of professionalization of policy analysis and its contributions to closing the gap between knowledge and policymaking, offers insights into improved policymaking, hints and lessons for better institutionalization of policy analysis and research. The paper also points to the inauspicious environment in which non-government and university based policy research organizations operate, and touches on the negligible influence that the latter have on policymaking. The central thesis of this article is, therefore, professionalization of policy analysis can achieve a measure of excellence: 1) when there is a permissive environment whereby a given policymaking system permits a constant flow of innovative policy ideas and gives access to policy relevant information; and 2) when the scholars in the policy research institutes maintain standards of objectivity, autonomy and freedom from political partisanship.
Keywords: policy research and analysis organizations, policy analysis, bridging the gap between knowledge and policy making, institutionalization of policy analysis, Ethiopia