Expanding and harnessing the evidence base for inclusive policy development in Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines

KOTA KINABALU, SABAH, MALAYSIA-January 23,2017: Talk of dental health care by nurse from the Ministry of health Malaysia.

Social policy is both directly and indirectly addressed by the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Seven out of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) directly concern aspects of social inclusion and exclusion, such as good health and well-being (Goal 3), quality education (Goal 4), and decent work and economic growth (Goal 8). Yet developing and implementing inclusive policies in no easy task: A closer connection between knowledge and action is needed to allow for evidence-based decision-making. To bridge this research-policy divide, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiated the ‘Inclusive Policy Lab’ as part of its wider programme "Management of Social Transformations" (MOST). The Lab supports member states in advancing their social policy agendas by making better use of scientific information and knowledge – a process that is referred to as “valorisation approach”

adelphi is supporting UNESCO’s “Inclusive Policy Lab” by launching the valorisation approach in three countries in Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines. So far, no comprehensive overview of the institutional landscape and priority areas of development policy exists in these three countries. To fill this gap, adelphi is carrying out a mapping of main actors involved in social policy design and implementation. adelphi then identifies the thematic areas of relevance for inclusive policies.

Bridging the research-policy divide also necessitates a deeper understanding of how knowledge is produced and used in policy-making processes. For all three countries, adelphi analyses the status quo with respect to the generation and application of knowledge and data relevant for social policy development. The aim is to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system and to identify the structural and systemic factors impacting evidence-based policy making. To support interaction and coordination among relevant actors at the national level, adelphi develops guidelines and operational protocols that will help to improve the use of the existing knowledge base on inclusive policies. Moreover, adelphi provides technical assistance and capacity building by developing training and learning materials to assist the application of the guidelines and operational protocols. The training and learning materials will be presented in three workshops, with one taking place in each country.