This In Pracitice Paper explores the challenges that arise through the multidisciplinary nature of evidence informed policy making (EIPM).
The article summarises and compares four disciplinary approaches to EIPM with highly contrasting starting points: behavioural science, policy science, critical theory and intervention research. Key insights and theories are highlighted to provide a gateway into each, and to complement what is already known about the evidence needs of policy makers in terms of high-quality, timely and well-communicated research evidence.
It finds that the extension of the evidence based medicine approach to EIPM has created interest in the processes of use of evidence in health policy and planning.
Research in this field has spanned multiple disciplines; however, the disciplines use very different research methods and begin with different basic assumptions.
Thus, despite the multidisciplinary nature of EIPM, true interdisciplinary research and action remain a challenge. The authors conclude with a set of key questions that can be used as a gateway to interdisciplinary EIPM in the future.