2013 Fall Research Conference Theme


The Conference Theme

Power of the Past - Force for the Future

As policies become more complex and their deliberations more fractured, the need for sound research and analysis becomes all the more critical. Despite this need, the struggle to ensure that policy makers have timely access to relevant research findings, to sound analytic studies, to innovative problem solving, and to the expertise behind these works, continues.

In keeping with the Association’s strategic plan, the 2013 Fall Research Conference program continued progression on two primary objectives: (1) to promote greater integration across disciplines, methods, topics, and perspectives, and (2) to increase the policy relevance of our work.

This year’s program aimed to build on the knowledge and experience of Association members and their colleagues by examining the current state of research and analysis across critical policy issues, as well as offer an environment to explore the place of research and analysis in future policy deliberations.

Our fall conference offered a venue in which to probe these questions and to share insights, experiences, and fresh ideas and approaches on how to use the expertise we have accumulated over the years to:

  • Ensure that our research reflects issues that are on the policy agendas of those who make and implement policies.
  • Successfully anticipate new and emerging research needs of the policy community both researchers and practitioners alike.
  • Demonstrate which research methodologies are most likely to prove useful to those seeking evidence on which to base their decisions.
  • Identify and analyze strengths and weaknesses of information, data, and research design, including identifying information/data gaps.
  • Offer new ways to define policy problems: questioning the assumptions undergirding our research, evaluating past practices of designing research, and validating such designs among researchers.
  • Determine the feasibility of policy options considering, for example, budgetary and political pressures.
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