Africa Research Communicating with Policymakers

Kenya: A Guide for the International Development Community

Policy and Information- Methodology:
This report presents the results of the project’s policy-focused qualitative research in Kenya. The chosen methodology was in-depth interviews with 15 senior-level members of the policy community, including representatives from parliament, government ministries, business associations, non-governmental organizations and multilateral donor institutions. They are all directly involved in development-related policy formulation and implementation. The interview subjects were assured anonymity in the report to ensure candid responses to the questions posed to them. 

The interviews, conducted in July and August 2009 in Kenya, lasted roughly one hour each and focused on three broad themes:

  • Most important and influential information sources—where policy actors typically go for news and information about key development issues; in what forms they prefer to get information; how they see news/information-gathering habits fitting into the policy cycle. 

  • Personal assessment of policy-relevant information sources—their level of satisfaction with the availability and quality of information; recommendations for improvements; assessment of media coverage of key issues; assessment of information exchanges with development stakeholders (local NGOs, business groups, foreign groups, etc.)
  • News and information sharing—how and why the interview subjects share information with various parties, particularly the general public; assessment of the public’s capacity to dialogue on key issues; assessment of the impact of new technologies on information sharing; feedback loops with the public.

    The interview transcripts were coded and analyzed in a “key subjects” matrix to identify common threads in the use, assessment, sharing and dissemination of policy information. The AudienceScapes analysis team then sought to highlight themes of particular interest to the development community. (The “Note on Research Methods and Next Steps” at the end of the report provides comments on the effectiveness of this methodology.

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Report Summary

Chapter 1: The Kenyan Context for Policy Information

Chapter 2: Analysis of the In-Depth Information-
Media sources; institutional and personal sources; dissemination and feedback; and structural challenges

Chapter 3: Recommendations for the International Development Community