Amongst the many non-governmental agencies that set about influencing government policy, perhaps the majority do so by publishing a study or a briefing paper and passing it to a government employee in the hope that they will act on the published recommendations. It is assumed, sometimes correctly, that these government staff members have the capacity to influence policy. It is also assumed that they will be receptive to the advice and that they can understand and make use of it. In reality, this approach to influencing policy can be haphazard and is often ineffective. For this approach to be successful, it is necessary to understand the role that government experts play in the policy process, including their strengths and their limitations, and to also understand how to build effective working relationships with them.