Policy enlightenment

Posted on November 11, 2008  /  0 Comments

Carol Weiss says one of the most useful things researchers can do is to give policy makers the tools to think about problems. She calls this policy enlightenment, as opposed to direct policy influence.

In Sri Lanka we now make policy in the Supreme Court. This is not optimal, but it’s the way it is. Therefore, I was pleased to see that Justice Tilakawardene had used one of the analogies I had pushed hard in relation to the recent punitive measures taken against mobile phones. Today’s Lankadeepa, reporting a decision on the Defense Ministry’s effort to cancel the mobile phone service (SIMs and value) dealership of an associate of a politician who crossed over from the government, quotes the Justice as saying that just because a crime is committed using a Honda motor cycle, we do not take action against the company selling Honda motor cycles and that in the same way, we should not be punishing phone companies and their dealers just because a SIM is used illegally. She had also mentioned the problem of unregistered SIMs and said that the solution was making sure all SIMs were registered, not other sweeping punitive measures.

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