Prepared for Adam T. | Delivered March 23, 2020
Policy maker influences
To understand what motivates policy makers such as legislators, congress members and so on, to support bills and programs, and to have information on how to successfully target or reach such people.
Communication Best Practices
When communicating with and appealing to policy makers, it is important to understand that the language used by those doing the communicating (scientists, social workers, etc) tends to be quite
to the language that policy makers use. Scientists, for example, think in terms of evidence, while policy makers may be focused on findings.
To understand what policy makers are focused on, it is essential to
their policy making process. That is, the steps involved from conception through to achieving concensus and winning over the public.
The policy making steps or
are, from inception to conclusion: agenda building, formulation, adoption, implementation, evaluation, and termination.
One research report
a three-pronged approach to communicating with policy makers. It recommends not bombarding policy makers with evidence, but instead synthesizing and framing the evidence. Secondly, timing is key - finding the right time to act. Third, this report also emphasises the importance of seeing policy making from the makers' perspectives.
It is important that those seeking to influence policy makers build up their own
, which then aids in building trust with those policy makers.
The Drivers or Motivators of Policy Making Decisions
Broadly speaking, policy decision makers are
by information perception (eg misinformation and distortion in the media), emotion (theirs, and the emotions of their public), values and identities, framing and narrative (rather than just facts, but how those facts are packaged), evidence, and trust and openness.
about how policy makers are influenced is the hierarchy of needs - where the most basic needs like food and shelter are at the top (and are the ones policy makers are more concerned with), while other needs like self esteem, respect, and attention are at the bottom.
It is also important to consider that policy makers have
and differing preferences and needs, that should be taken into account when targetting them.
Another theory, called the motivation
or the two factors theory, is about the relationships between satisfaction, motivation, and possibility of success. Policy makers are concerned about satisfaction and success, and these elements are conditioned by "hygiene" factors such as the type of administration and how outcomes are evaluated. The policy maker decision making process is impacted by the ability to achieve goals (ie how realistic the proposal is) and the consequences of doing so.
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