The importance of research knowledge in strengthening policy has been
increasingly recognized in the development sector and there is a growing
body of theory and practice that explores ways in which the goal of
evidence based policy can be realized. This paper takes a slightly
unusual look at the question of how to support greater use of research
evidence in policy making in the following ways.
Firstly it looks at the question from the demand-side exploring issues
around what motivates, incentivizes and enables policy makers to engage
with research. Although the barriers policy makers face in engaging with
the research is certainly covered in some debates about evidence based
policy, the emphasis is often on what this means for the supply-side of
this equation, in particular how researchers can communicate their work
Secondly it looks at evidence based policy in terms of the information
behaviours of those involved in policy formulation. These information
behaviours shape how policy actors engage with (or fail to engage with)
research in a range of policy processes rather than just one. The paper
looks at what shapes those information behaviours.
Thirdly, it considers the types of intervention that might change
attitudes of policy makers towards research evidence on an ongoing basis
rather than looking at how a policy maker may be convinced to engage
with a particular piece of research (which we understand to be research
communication) or engage with research in particular policy process.
Finally, the paper looks particularly at the contribution and potential
contribution of knowledge and information intermediary actors and
knowledge brokers in this context. It focuses on these actors because
they are trying to change the processes by which decisions are made so
that they incorporate evidence from multiple perspectives, thus they are
trying to change behaviours of actors within processes not the outcomes
of those processes. This aspect of their work is not well understood,
often even by those undertaking it and it is hoped that this paper will
help to shed some light on this area and provide inspiration to these
actors about future activities.
Pujar, S.; Fisher, C. Stimulating Demand for Research: Exploring Cultures of Information Use in South Asia. A desk based study prepared for EADI-DSA 2011 Conference, 19-22 September 2011, York, UK. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK (2011) 24 pp.
Stimulating Demand for Research: Exploring Cultures of Information Use in South Asia. A desk based study prepared for EADI-DSA 2011 Conference, 19-22 September 2011, York, UK.