By Danielle Campbell and Gabriel Moore
What is the best way to ensure that policies are informed by the most relevant research evidence?
Six promising strategies emerged from a rapid review of the literature (Campbell and Moore 2018). Although our focus was on health policies, the findings are likely to be more broadly applicable. An important caveat is that the number of studies to investigate these issues is small and most are descriptive rather than testing strategies.
The six strategies are:
- A system for commissioning rapid reviews responsive to policy maker needs: A mechanism to assess policy makers’ review requirements can help ensure they are targeted with relevant syntheses of research evidence, whether as brief summaries or detailed reports.
- Tailored approaches to presenting research findings to policy makers: Tailored targeted messages are important to alert policy makers to relevant research findings and to enable their access to them.
- The involvement of policy makers in research teams and networks: Collaboration of research producers and users can cut across all parts of the research process, from shaping research questions, to methodology, data collection, interpretation of and implementing the results.
- Interactive seminars for communicating evidence to policy makers: Traditional seminars can stimulate the thinking of policy makers and interactive round-tables can enhance the relevance and effectiveness of presentations and dialogue.
- Initiatives to build individual and organisational capacity to consume research evidence: Organisation-level interventions can boost receptivity to research evidence. Knowledge brokers and individual training in critical appraisal and research literacy can also be helpful.
- Funded institutional-level collaborations: Grant-funded, institutional level centres can effectively bring together policy makers, service providers and researchers.
What has your experience been as a policy maker or researcher? Do you have strategies or lessons to share?
To find out more see:
Campbell, D. M. and Moore, G. (2018). Increasing the use of research in population health policies and programs: A rapid review. Public Health Research and Practice, 28, 3: e2831816. Online (open access) (DOI): 10.17061/phrp2831816
Biography: Danielle Campbell is a senior policy analyst in the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, New South Wales Ministry of Health in Sydney, Australia. Her main area of interest is building the capacity and capability of policy agencies to generate and use evidence from research.
Biography: Gabriel Moore is a manager and principal analyst at the Sax Institute’s Knowledge Exchange Division in Sydney, Australia. Her main area of interest is in evidence generation, knowledge translation and building research capacity in public health systems and policy.