Linking evidence with user voice for pro-poor policy: lessons from East Africa

Many agricultural research and development projects seek to achieve pro-poor outcomes through policy change. However, policy processes are complex, and a strategic approach to enhancing impact at policy level is often not applied. This article describes two case studies of actual policy change – on dairy marketing in Kenya, and on urban agriculture in Kampala – with analysis of the policy-change processes. It draws lessons which could be applied to enhance policy-level outcomes from other projects, and highlights two key matters: the role of ‘user voice’, through links with civil society and user groups; and the value of strong links with ‘formal’ policy-process actors.