Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE)
The Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) program is a collaboration between Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard University and the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP), designed to encourage evidence-based decision making among policy actors in the fields of economic and social development. Through its multi-pronged approach, BCURE aims to promote a shared recognition of the value of evidence across policy networks, and to build the technical and institutional capacity to integrate data and research in policy formulation and implementation. Using findings from an ongoing comprehensive assessment of the factors which constrain the use of data and research evidence, BCURE works to systematically address these constraints through a suite of activities.
Assessment: BCURE’s ongoing assessment program maps the policy process to determine where data and evidence can make inroads. Policy vignette assessments shed light on how the traits of policy actors and the characteristics of information impact evidence use. Additionally, training needs are assessed by surveys of target cohorts complemented by interviews and focus groups, to elicit information on decision-making contexts, barriers to evidence use, and capacity constraints.
Training: BCURE training workshops are based on a blended learning model incorporating digital modules deployed online followed by i n-class lectures and discussion, implemented in collaboration with the National School of Public Policy. The BCURE curriculum comprises six units designed to equip policy decision-makers with practical skills and frameworks to effectively apply data and evidence. The units focus on functions of research data and analytical tools for its synthesis, highlighting issues of practical concern for policy actors.
Pilot Projects: BCURE pilot projects showcase the value of research evidence by leveraging data to fill identified gaps in policy design. These projects build data infrastructure and enable partners to increase capacity through hands-on experience and active learning, supporting an engaged, demand-driven approach to using evidence. High potential proof of concept projects are incubated by the CERP and EPoD teams through ongoing mentoring and technical support.
Policy Dialogues: BCURE policy dialogues are problem-focused forums for debate, bringing together key stakeholders from government, political parties, military, private sector, and civil society.The dialogues provide a platform for multi-directional dialogue, strategic coordination, interactive problem solving and negotiation in order to advance policy through a shared understanding of the evidence base. Policy dialogues also serve to identify evidence gaps to highlight priorities for future research.