Evidence and health policy discussions to date have largely focused on the relationship between those generating research evidence and policy decision-makers and how improving this relationship will increase research use in policy development. All too often policy makers are perceived as the problem, not understanding or seeing the importance of research evidence.
Policy makers do have a responsibility to source and use available evidence, as do researchers to the sharp and meaningful production and syntheses of policy relevant research evidence. This takes more than improved communication mechanisms between individual researcher and policy makers.
Evidence-informed policy making is a science in its own right requiring the development and application of methods that conceptualise, synthesise and exchange research evidence. Policy organisations need to develop as receptor sites for research and its application to day-to-day decision-making, this is a significant program of work if it is to be done well and affect the evidence culture of organisations.