This paper examines the role of policy-relevant research in climate change policy development. It attempts to address a practically important question: does policy research actually make a difference in the processes of formulating and institutionalizing local climate change policy? Two case studies from Central Java Indonesia are presented. The analysis focuses on the policy development processes in the cities of Semarang and Pekalongan, both of which were based on an urban climate vulnerability assessment. We discuss and compare the policy-making processes in terms of three analytic dimensions: the type of policy measures, agent, and policy approach. We examine the relationship between assessment outcomes and the efforts to institutionalize climate change policy in the two cities. These case studies show that although policy actors in both cities have developed strategies and policy measures for addressing climate change, the quality of policy-relevant research was a marginal consideration in the policy formulation processes. An established agenda within a policy network had greater impacts on policy-making than research outputs, which were articulated and used in the context of this agenda. Advocacy coalitions re-defined and re-interpreted what research has shown. Understanding this ability is key to ascertain why or why not policy-relevant research matters.
SOURCE: Setiadi, Rukuh. “Does Policy Research Really Matter for Local Climate Change Policies?” Urban Policy and Research [Published online: 5 October 2017].
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