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Evidence-informed policymaking: does knowledge brokering work?

Policy Knowledge transfer Knowledge infrastructures Evidence-based policy United Kingdom

There’s widespread and sustained interest in the role of evidence in policymaking. But because policymaking is inherently messy and complex, there’s no catch-all way of making sure evidence gets used. In this context, “knowledge brokers” are increasingly being recognised as a potential way to improve evidence-informed policymaking.

Knowledge brokers are individuals or organisations that bridge the gap between academic research and policymaking. They work to make sure that useful evidence arrives with the right people, in an appropriate format, at an opportune moment. Successful knowledge brokerage is based on building trusting relationships. This requires an intimate knowledge of both academia and policymaking, including their respective values, norms, and incentives. There’s a limited evidence base about knowledge brokers, but preliminary findings suggest that they do have the potential to improve the uptake of evidence.

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