Support for the use of research evidence has been a major feature of
international development efforts in recent years. While much attention
has been paid to strengthening the supply of research information, there
is also a need to ensure that policy makers and other users are able to
demand and use research. This has led to many capacity building
programmes aimed at improving these skills. There is, however,
relatively little research examining actual capacity to access, evaluate
and use research evidence as a basis of deciding what skills need to be
This reflective paper explores some reasons for this and suggests that
such research is not being carried out simply because researchers are
not used to using more objective methodologies to assess capacity. It
then discusses some alternative methodologies that can be used to
objectively assess capacity gaps.
Further research to understand capacity needs will allow future capacity
building efforts to be tailored to actual needs.
Deans, F.; Ademokun, A. Investigating capacity to use evidence. Time for a more objective view? INASP, Oxford, UK (2013) 4 pp.