What can you do when policymakers ignore your evidence? Tips from the ‘how to’ literature from the science community

Paul Cairney: Politics & Public Policy

Put down that huge blue pen. Step away from the flipchart.

There is now a large literature on the strategies that people might use to promote the use of evidence in policy, so you no longer have to start from first principles in your workshop.

Thanks to Dr Kathryn Oliver and colleagues, we now have systematic reviews of the peer reviewed academic evidence on the ‘barriers’ between evidence and policy (click here) and the ‘grey literature’, which includes newspaper editorials, blogs, and practitioner reports (click here later – this article is still in review).

The advice from the peer reviewed literature can be summed up as follows:

  1. Produce better quality evidence on policy problems and solutions.
  2. Improve dissemination strategies to increase policymaker access to research: write more concise and less jargon-filled reports, boost resources for dissemination, and remove paywall obstacles to accessing research.
  3. Develop relationships with policymakers, to…

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