10:00 am
11:00 am

Improving research engagement to support policy and institutional change

Blake Ratner, Danielle Resnick, Philippa Cohen, Jonathan Mockshell
Published By:
Hosted by:
CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets
CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems
Collaborating for Resilience
Register for the webinar
About the webinar
This webinar will introduce a new rubric to assess opportunities for research partnerships to inform public policies or strengthen institutions for effective policy implementation in small-scale fisheries in Myanmar (national level) and Pacific Islands region and sub-Saharan Africa (regional level).

Too often, research aiming to inform public policies or strengthen institutions for effective policy implementation remains disconnected from the real political economy of policy and institutional reform. This webinar will introduce a new rubric to assess opportunities for research partnerships that navigate this complex terrain of power and leverage sometimes unexpected spaces of engagement.

The session will illustrate the rubric with application to three cases in small-scale fisheries—one at national level (Myanmar) and two at regional level (Pacific Islands region and sub-Saharan Africa). It will also discuss four principles for designing research to engage in policy and institutional change: (a) nurture multi-stakeholder coalitions for change at different points in the policy cycle, (b) engage alternative forms of power and spaces of engagement, (c) embed ongoing research communications to support dialogue, and (d) employ evaluation in a cycle of action and learning to strengthen research engagement.

While the cases are drawn from the fisheries sector, the intent is to spark a discussion on applicability of the rubric and principles across other sectors of agriculture, rural development, and natural resource governance.


  • Blake Ratner, Executive Director, Collaborating for Resilience


  • Danielle Resnick, Senior Research Fellow and Theme Leader, Governance, IFPRI
  • Philippa Cohen, Program Leader, Resilient Small-scale Fisheries, WorldFish
  • Jonathan Mockshell, Agricultural Economist, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Market / Trade
About the speakers

Blake Ratner

Executive Director, Collaborating for Resilience (CoRe)

Blake is founder and Executive Director of Collaborating for Resilience, and member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, where he provides guidance on the design of GEF strategy in the areas of international waters, environmental security and resilience. He is the immediate past Director General of WorldFish, which works to strengthen food and nutrition security for millions of small-scale producers, processors, traders and poor consumers in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. An environmental sociologist with a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Blake’s research addresses social equity, ethics, resource conflict and the role of multi-stakeholder dialogue in environmental governance. Early in his career he worked with social entrepreneurs in Guatemala and the Palestinian Occupied Territories, and subsequently held posts with the World Resources Institute and the World Bank. Blake was based for 13 years cumulatively in Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia, in addition to leading program implementation in China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia.

Read more

Danielle Resnick

Danielle Resnick is currently a Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Development Strategies and Governance Division (DSGD). She is a political scientist who focuses on the political economy of development. Key research areas include the impacts of public sector reforms on accountability and efficiency, drivers of agricultural policy volatility and reform, urban governance structures and their influence on service delivery, democratization and political participation, and foreign aid effectiveness.

She is the author of Urban poverty and party populism in African democracies (Cambridge University Press), co-editor of Democratic trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the impact of foreign aid (Oxford University Press), and co-editor of African youth and the persistence of marginalization: Employment, politics, and prospects for change (Routledge).

She has conducted fieldwork in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Nepal, Senegal, and Zambia. She currently co-leads IFPRI’s strategic research on Strengthening Institutions and Governance (SIG) and is IFPRI’s theme leader for Governance. Danielle received her Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 2010.

Read more

Philippa Cohen

Program Leader, Resilient Small-scale Fisheries

Pip Cohen is an acting program leader with WorldFish and an adjunct Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. Pip’s research is interdisciplinary and applied, concentrating on improving ecological and human well-being outcomes through good governance of fisheries and natural resources. Her work is focused on-the-ground in the least developed countries of the Pacific, in particular Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.

Read more

Jonathan Mockshell

Agricultural Economist, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT

Jonathan is an economist who works on on leveraging blended finance to scale up the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices for climate change adaptation. Broadly, his work intends to help countries achieve nationally determined commitments of greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement. He is currently an associate research fellow at the German Development Institute and a member of the sustainable food systems program of the United Nations 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.

Read more