Project Case Study
Building the capacity of the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center in Egypt
Bridging the advocacy gap between research and on-the-ground policies
In 2011, in response to the Arab Spring and the strong social movement for a more responsive government, the Egyptian government realised it needed to adapt its decision making processes so that policies could respond more effectively to the realities on the ground.
While the Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center had, since 2005, been mandated to act as the Government’s think-tank, the challenge remained for the Government to transform the expertise into evidence-based applicable policy alternatives.
To help bridge the advocacy gap between research and on-the-ground policies, Adam Smith International, funded by the EU, provided the Center with technical support and capacity building. As a first step, we analysed its public policy deliverables, their role within policy making, their institutional strengths and weaknesses, and the options for responding to the demands of the new democratic government. This was followed by a training programme agreed with the Center, including a senior management workshop, a foundation policy advice programme, and an advanced policy advice programme. The project finished with ten Center members going to London on a five day study tour, to enhance their knowledge of how European think tanks work in order to effectively deliver on strategic government objectives.
The project culminated in the issuing of recommendations on standard formats for the submission of confidential policy advice to the government with different formats for policy advice, policy briefing, green papers, draft white papers, and policy analysis reports, training and future activities. We also presented a training needs survey, identifying the Center’s main skills gaps and priority needs. The conclusions were well received, and the training was assessed as excellent by 70% of the participants.
“We would like to thank Adam Smith International for your exerted efforts to ensure the success of our mutual cooperation.”
Amira Khalifa, Director General, International Cooperation Department, The Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Center