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Capacity Building Seminars

Building the capacity of researchers is a core component of the MwAPATA mission. This page provides materials from seminars hosted by the Institute, given by experienced researchers covering a wide range of subjects. 

How to write a compelling Policy Brief

October 20, 2020




Professor Thom Jayne has over 30 years experience writing for and communicating with policy makers. In this seminar he discusses how to distill research in ways that are accessible and impactful. The presentation is followed by a Q&A with MwAPATA and LUANAR researchers. Click the red PDF icon to download his presentation.

Extra material


"Mountains of Maize, Persistent Poverty" was written in 2011, and is an example of a Policy Brief that garnered a fair amount of attention in policy circles. In hindsight, though, it could be improved. For example, it would be better to have "highlights" as opposed to a "summary".  Also, although the main paper is referenced, there are no hyperlinks to help the reader find it easily.


"Taking Stock of Africa’s Second-Generation Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs, 2000-2015" was written in 2017. It does have a section for "highlights" and is hyperlinked (at the end) to the main paper. But surely there's always room for improvement. What do you think you could do to make this Policy Brief more impactful? 

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In the presentation, Professor Jayne also talks about how blogs can be used to get research findings out to various audiences. For examples, see his posts titled "At Last, Evidence that African Agriculture is Powering Economic Transformation" (pictured left) and "Why the Influence of Agricultural Policy Research is Probably Greater Than We Think".

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