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Working across the policy cycle

At Oxford Policy Management, we believe that working across the policy cycle, in partnership with governments and national decision makers, is crucial to achieving impactful public policy.

Having an understanding of, and practical experience in, every stage of the policy cycle is vital for all our projects. From researching the key drivers of a problem, to implementing the chosen policy, to monitoring and evaluating its progress, we provide integrated support for long-term change and sustained impact.

The Oxford Policy Management policy cycle


We recognise the importance of asking the right questions and ensuring all development work starts with rigorously researched evidence. Whether analysing a situation to give policy advice or considering ways of scaling up current policies, research and diagnostics play a fundamental part of any policy reform. Research helps to fill knowledge gaps in existing theories and provides context-specific information, which policymakers can use to implement impactful policies that benefit the maximum number of people.

Policy options

We realise that exploring and analysing different policy routes is central for ensuring sustainable policy reform. We give policymakers access to different policy choices in pursuing effective policy reform. Our analytical rigour helps us to develop tools and provide advice to inform policy decisions on complex issues.

Policy development

We understand that there is never a one-size-fits-all policy, and devote time and expertise to making sure all our recommendations are context-specific. Once policy options have been outlined, the process of policy development is a vital step in making sure that the most valuable development activities are chosen. Partnering with governments, we make sure that policies are developed with recognition of political, economic, and social context.

Organisational reform

We have extensive experience in supporting governments to work towards lasting change, shaping projects that will have maximum impact for people. Securing enduring change in government often requires organisational reform, in terms of both capabilities and attitudes. Whether strengthening how budgets are allocated, enhancing existing systems, or improving the ways in which policies are executed, working with governments on organisational and structural reform helps ministries make better use of existing resources for maximum impact.

Capacity building

We believe that by sharing knowledge and helping equip other development actors, on national and international scales, we can collaboratively move closer to achieving development goals. Strengthened capacity for research, design, delivery, and evaluation – both in policy and public service delivery – is critical for sustaining growth and poverty reduction in low- and middle-income countries. We support governments develop such capacity through partnerships, sharing knowledge and experience to empower national policy stakeholders.

Monitoring and evaluation

We know that international development should always be collaborative: it takes governments, civil society, funders, and practitioners to work together towards change. An integral part of strong collaboration is monitoring and evaluation of development programmes – not only does it work towards ensuring that implemented projects are focused on impact, it helps establish best practice for future development programming. We usually implement mixed methods evaluations, with the concrete data of quantitative evaluations complemented by amplifying voice and accountability through qualitative evaluations.