5. Key influencers
In this section, you should identify at least three policy influencers or champions who are actively engaged in the sector and have a say in shaping or influencing policy in area addressed by your evaluation and can play a role in disseminating the results of the evaluation. Who does your decision-maker listen to?
The research team should not limit its engagement to people involved in the intervention that is being evaluated. In case the findings of the evaluation were negative or showed limited impact, the recommendations would run the risk of not being acted upon if the team has limited its engagement with the implementing partners and funders of the programme.
This section should include some local champions that can help disseminate the findings and influence policy. Those could include: various groups that influence policy, such as policymakers, media, civil society organizations, professional associations and trade unions, religious groups and so on.
The questions to think about when identifying the key influencers are: Who can advance your work? Is he/she in position to help you? Can this happen within the timeframe of the project?
The teams may also consider identifying additional contacts with whom they will invest more time in building a relationship. For reporting purposes, grantees will be requested to report on the feedback provided by one of the key influencers or stakeholders listed in the plan as part of every progress report. The feedback will need to be documented in the form of minutes of meetings, letter of endorsement, partnership agreement, email from stakeholders, participants list or other form of documentation.
The team identifies some high-level policy makers at the World Bank, the Stop TB WHO partnership and within the Government TB clinic that will be instrumental to mobilize and leverage.
Name: Sandeep Ahuja
Position: Stop TB partnership coordinating board member, Chief Executive Officer, Operation ASHA
Name of organisation: Stop TB WHO Partnership, Operation ASHA
Type of organisation: International Organization, Civil Society Organisation
Relevance/Level of influence: Mr Sandeep Ahuja is a key influencer and policy maker in the discussions around TB control in India. He is a member of the International StopTB secretariat and also the CEO of our partner NGO organization, Operation ASHA. Operation ASHA is a prominent national NGO that has engaged in the fight against TB in the urban slums of India, for over 5 years. Mr Ahuja is also a member of the National TB partnership secretariat in India and is well known in the circle of key policy makers and decision makers. He is very well recognized in the Ministry of Health and the Central TB division and has excellent rapport with the State TB officers and health ministries of several states across India.
Name: Dr. Patrick Mullen
Position: Senior Health Specialist, South Asia Region
Name of organisation: World Bank
Type of organisation: International Organisation
Relevance/Level of influence: Dr. Patrick Mullen is the World Bank, South Asia representative and is a senior health specialist and heads the second national TB control project – Phase2. Since the Revised National TB control program in India is entirely funded by the World Bank(and DFID), he is a key influencer in informing policy discussions and drafting the Phase 3 proposals. His participation in this evaluation is important as he helped in initial study design of our evaluation and offered recommendations on expansion of the study to include MDR-TB and DOTS plus centers, under the Govt. national programme. His continued interest in our findings is an indicator of the possibility that our recommendations will be better received by the Central Govt. for the drafting of the Phase 3 Action Plan for RNTCP.
Name: Dr. R. K Nayak
Position: District TB officer
Name of organisation: Government of India, Govt. TB clinic
Type of organisation: Government agency
Relevance/Level of influence: Dr RK Nayak is the district medical officer for Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh. He is a qualified physician with years of influence and engagement in the field of TB control in India. As a part of our study sample, a number of our centers are in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Hence we have engaged in continuous dialogue and discussions with him to fine tune our evaluation plan to the local community context. Given his involvement and interest, and his position of influence in State and Central level planning for RNTCP, he will be in a good position to recommend our findings for scale up to the Govt. Ministry.
The contacts identified are high level and cut across central/national and regional level of influence.
Name: Sujata R. Karthikeyan
Position: Director, Social Welfare and Additional Secretary to Govt, Department of Women and Child Development, Orissa
Name of organisation: Govt. of Orissa
Type of organisation: Regional Government Agency
Relevance/Level of influence: In Orissa, the Women and Child Development department is the nodal department for formulating plans and programs for the development of children in the state. The midday meals program is one such program that is meant to encourage greater participation in school and to address the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the classroom. The Director, Social Welfare in the department of Women and Child Development has a key role to play since she is the operational head of this department and is therefore involved in all decision making related to the Midday Meals program.
Previous contact: Yes, Ms. Karthikeyan has been supportive of the project and has shown an interest in the implications of the study. The principal investigators and research staff will update her at least once every quarter on the progress of the project
Name: Mr. D.K. Sikri
Position: Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development
Name of organisation: Ministry of Women and Child Developmen
Type of organisation: Central Government Agency
Relevance/Level of influence: Mr. Sikri is one of the most senior bureaucrats in the country in a Ministry that has been mandated to lead the efforts to reduce malnutrition in the country. He is well informed and concerned about the present scenario of having a large number of programs which have made little progress in reducing malnutrition. This central body can help in disseminating policy recommendations to other parts of India and will therefore be a primary audience for the findings of this study.
Name: Citizens’ Alliance Against Malnutrition
Description: Advocacy Group consisting of young Members of Parliament and members of civil society committed to the cause of raising awareness about the issue of malnutrition in India
Contact: Jay Panda, Member of Parliament (BJD)
Type of organisation: Civil Society Organization
Relevance/Level of influence: Citizens‘ Alliance Against Malnutrition has been actively engaged in raising awareness about malnutrition in India. Being an advocacy group that consists largely of young Members of Parliament (MPs) across party lines and members of civil society, the Citizens Alliance has tremendous potential in being able to convey study findings to the most important policy makers in the country. Members of the Alliance generally visit one district in a state in India every quarter in order to understand the issues faced at the grassroots levels in dealing with the persistent problem of malnutrition and raise awareness among policy makers in that state on what could be done to tackle the problem. During one such visit, they will be encouraged to visit the district in Orissa where the study is being conducted, especially with reference to understanding the avenues for corruption and the impact that the study findings could have on the design of food-for-education programs.
Previous contact: Manoj Kumar, the CEO of Naandi Foundation has been an active member of the Alliance since its inception and has shown active interest in the objective of the study as well as generating awareness among other members of the Alliance.
Key influencers summary table: Use this table to record key information about your key influencers.