PRB Welcomes New Class of Policy Communication Fellows

(July 2015) PRB welcomes 10 Policy Communication Fellows from around the world to our Washington office for the summer workshop, kicking off the year-long program. This year’s Fellows come from 10 countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, and Tanzania. Following training by PRB staff and guests and visits to USAID and the World Bank, the workshop will close with each fellow delivering a policy presentation they have developed from their research.

PRB started the Policy Communication Fellows program to bridge the gap that often exists between the research and policy environments. Research often has profound implications for policy, but without proper communication between the research community and policy audiences, the significance of research findings may be lost. The responsibility to address this gap lies with both policymakers and researchers. The main objective of the program is to train future researchers (current Ph.D. students) from developing countries who are involved in health and population issues to:

  • Understand the process by which research informs the policy environment;
  • Identify and communicate the policy implications of their research; and
  • Learn various ways to communicate findings to policy audiences.

Participants begin the fellowship year with a two-week workshop, during which they learn the skills necessary to effectively communicate their research to policy audiences. During the course of the fellowship year, participants apply those skills through several written assignments. The program year concludes with a short workshop prior to the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, during which the Fellows make formal policy presentations on the results and recommendations of their research.

The Policy Communication Fellows program began in 1987. The program has changed over time, but a few core pieces remain the same: The program has always begun with a two-week program during the summer; a shorter one-day or two-day workshop in conjunction with the Population Association of America annual meeting in the spring; mentorship from PRB staff through the year; and a strong focus on writing for policy audiences.