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Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. In this Conversations on Groong episode, we’ll be talking about the importance of policy research in shaping and implementing policies in a global context as well as in the context of Armenia. Our host for this discussion is:
Dr. Asbed Kotchikian, who is an associate professor of political science and international relations at the American University of Armenia, where he teaches courses on post-Soviet space and the Middle East.
This episode was recorded on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021.
Policy is a set of proposals developed and then implemented by governments to address an issue or a problem in the society. The spheres that policy has an impact on ranges from health and social policies (within the category of public policy) to foreign and even military policies. To develop relevant and useful public policies, policy research and analysis is a key component, and some would argue the foundations of any policy development.
As an academic field, public policy relies on disciplines such as economics, political science, sociology, behavioral science, health, management and others, resulting in an interdisciplinary field reflecting interconnected public issues.We will be discussing these issues today not just as an abstraction but also as it relates to public policy making in Armenia.
To talk about these issues, we are joined by:
Arevik Anapiosyan who is the Partnerships and Development Finance Advisor to the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia. Previously she served as the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia. Prior to joining the Government, she was the Executive Director and the co-founder of the Institute of Public Policy think tank, which has been one of the first education profiled institutions to study policy concerns and challenges in the field of education in Armenia. Arevik holds Master’s degrees in political science as well as in International Affairs, and she did her studies towards PhD in international law and conflict resolution. Currently she is studying at the General Management Program of the Harvard Business School. For the past 13 years Arevik has been actively involved in policy research and advocacy in Armenia and regionally, and she has been teaching at the Yerevan State University and the American University of Armenia.
Healthy and relevant public policies are those that rely on data collection, informed and expert opinion as well as open communication between policy analysts/experts and policy makers. An overview of the different methods of policy making (data driven, evidenced based, user centered, etc.)
In an interview in 2006, Noam Chomsky declared that “There's a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy”. Can this gap be narrowed by data driven policy research? What are some of the shortcomings of data collection and analysis?
As someone who was in the middle of policy making and implementing for over a year, what was your experience like?
Looking back on your time working as Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, could you discuss your experience in the government: Some of the main challenges you faced, as well as the key strengths of the Armenian government that supported your mission in policy planning and implementation?
What recommendations do you have for some systemic changes that would support a more agile, responsive policy planning and implementation environment in the Armenian government? And we don’t mean this specific government only, we’re talking about the self-governing republic of Armenia evolving since the fall of the Soviet Union.
That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. We hope it was helpful in your understanding of some of the issues involved. We look forward to your feedback, including your suggestions for Conversation topics in the future. Contact us on our website, at groong.org, or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
Arevik Anaposyan, policy research, Armenia, Yerevan State University American University of Armenia, Noam Chomsky,