Strategic Policy Research
When conducting strategic policy research, one can use both qualitative and quantitative methods to answer a number of common research questions. The focus of the research question at this level is often on refining and clarifying issues related to implementation. For example, policy actions require funding before they can implemented, so a researcher may choose to compare and contrast the various mechanisms for funding and for funding sustainability. For example, one might compare the strengths and weaknesses of a solely public funding or solely private funding as compared to a public/private funding partnership.
Other research areas may be concerned with the structural details of policy implementation. Topics here often focus on the management and oversight of policy actions. For example, one might conduct a research assessment of the various governance models for the effective administration, management and change management of a policy action. Similarly, one might investigate and define essential performance indicators needed for measuring success and discuss their validity and the feasibility of collecting data to support continious performance evaluation.
Lastly, research projects at this level of policy may concern themselves with describing and articulating communication strategies to increase uptake among targeted beneficiaries. Focus group discussions that explore various message content and message channels are common and can be expanded into recommendations on how policy actions should be communicated throughout the various levels of an organisation or enterprise.
Learn more about Operational Policy Research in the following