Title: Policy Consultations: Do Communities ‘Really’ Participate in Making the Decisions That Matter to Them? – Finding Evidence of the Evidence
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management & Administration
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Deepta Sunil Valliyil, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
We see today, more than ever, that the solutions to problems are not as much with those who provide them but with those who receive them. A vaccine is only as good as the number of its beneficiaries. Similarly, educational innovations and policy reforms are only as good as the extent to which they are applied and used. The role of communities in educational practice has been a well-researched academic domain. However, the more specific case of the community’s role in policymaking is sparsely studied, particularly in developing countries. Stakeholder consultation is regarded as an essential element of community-driven policymaking efforts (Kingdon, 1995; Viennet & Pont, 2017). Civil society has been persistently proven to be the link between research and policy (Court & Maxwell, 2005). However, studies also suggest that consultation has always been treated as a ‘superficial exercise’, owing to the pressures and politics in everyday policymaking processes (Court & Maxwell, 2005). Drawing on the unfailing quote, ‘The good news is that evidence can matter. The bad news is that it often does not’ (Sutcliffe & Court, 2005), I aim to investigate three questions in this study: Firstly, how much of ‘policy consultations’ actually happen in policymaking? Secondly, what are the evidences of these occurrences? Thirdly, what does it say about the success or failure of chosen policies? Within the limited scope of this research, I analyze educational policy documents released in India in the past decade using policy analysis and constant comparison, to arrive at constructive insights.
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