How to influence policymakers - ESRC

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Why public affairs are important

An important part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) mission is to ensure that research findings have an impact on public policy.

We believe that evidence-based social science should be at the heart of policymaking and that social scientists should regard influencing public policy as a key part of their role. This process is often called public affairs.

An effective approach to public affairs should be an important part of your overall impact plan. This is likely to require a much higher degree of interaction with your target policymakers than you may need with other audiences.

Individual policymakers are highly influential. Maintaining good relationships and promoting research that helps them realise their policy objectives will have long-term benefits that outlast any one project you are working on.

The government depends on receiving a flow of information from the public and private sectors. Decisions about public policy can only be as good as the information they are based on.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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