This paper discusses the use of secondments as a tool to increase knowledge translation between academics and policy makers by developing individual capacity.
A case study is presented of a reciprocal secondment between a government department and a university.
Enablers of knowledge translation included flexibility and support, a prior relationship between the two organisations, and a government culture that values use of research in policy making.
Barriers included the lack of a planned approach with agreed outcomes, and a lack of evaluation at the end of the secondment.
Recommendations for future secondments include establishing ongoing secondments between organisations; trialling different types of secondments; and having a detailed plan at the beginning of a secondment, including how the success of the secondment will be measured, and a formal evaluation at the end.