About the conference

How research brokers and intermediaries support evidence based pro poor policy and practice
International conference
1- 2 July 2008, Centurion Lake Hotel in Centurion, Pretoria South Africa

This conference aimed to shine a spotlight on the role of research brokers, knowledge and information intermediaries and info-mediaries, and the contribution they can make to supporting and enabling evidence based pro poor policy and practice.

This conference sought to: raise awareness about the ways and contexts in which this role is being played, share and generate knowledge about this role, initiate debate and catalyse future action around this role.

During the conference, the organisers shared five hypotheses about the contribution that research intermediaries can make to evidence based policy and practice.  As intended, these hypotheses stimulated lively discussion, helping to surfaces different perspectives and ideas. 

A report which will record discussions from the conference will be available on this site in due course.

About the organisers and funders
The conference was organised by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) and Institute of Development Studies (IDS) , more about these organisations and their motivations for organising this event below. The conference was funded by HSRC and the Strategic Learning Initiative at IDS as part of the DFID funded Mobilising Knowledge for Development programme.

About this website
This website is the virtual record of the conference, it aims to: act as a reference point for what happened at the event; enable connections between participants and their networks; and provide updates on outcomes and future action from the conference.
Details of each session including speakers and links to powerpoint presentations can be found from the “sessions” section or by using the search box. The site will be updated with audio visual materials, participant reflections and updates on outcomes.

The site is created and maintained by Strategic Learning Initiative at IDS and we will keep this updated for at least one year. Submissions are very welcome, please tag content power_inbetween or email the editors c.fisher@ids.ac.uk
Subscribe To recieve alerts of new content on the site by email.

Between Ourselves Workshop : I-K-Mediary Group
The conference was followed by a 2 day workshop called Between Ourselves. This smaller event generated great synergies among participants from around the world. The group agreed to take forward collaboration, and plan go beyond an informal network to create a programme that will enable greater understanding of this kind of intermediary work and strengthen practice. This will be called the I-K-Mediary group and further details will be available soon. Further details about the Between Ourselves workshop and I-K-Mediary group

More about the conference
The starting point for this conference is the recognition that policy is a key driver for action to address the many issues surrounding poverty and injustice. Policymakers, civil society organisations, development practitioners and researchers are well known actor groups supporting evidence-based pro-poor policy and practice. Less well known are the research brokers and intermediaries that act ‘in-between’ these groups of development actors to facilitate information and communication flows. The goal of the conference is to develop a better understanding of the hitherto overlooked ‘power of in-between’, where intermediaries make a significant contribution to supporting pro-poor evidence-based policy and practice in their own right.

More about the Organisers
The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) UK have come together in partnership to organise this innovative conference focusing on the role of research brokers and intermediaries; The organisers share a belief in the value of the brokering and intermediary role; a role which both organisations play as a core part of realising their respective missions as outlined in further detail below.

Human Sciences Research Council
The HSRC is a statutory body, established in 1968. It supports development nationally, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and in Africa. It primarily conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific projects for public-sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies, in partnership with researchers globally, but specifically in Africa.
As of August 2005, the HSRC entered a next phase of strategic realignment to support its role as ‘knowledge hub’, intended to help bridge the gap between research, policy and action; thus increasing the impact of research. This will be achieved through collaboration with key constituencies, including government, other research organisations, multinational agencies, universities, non-government organisations and donor organisations. Research programmes in the organisation have been consolidated and strengthened to achieve greater levels of synergy, efficiency, and collaboration.

Institute of Development Studies
The IDS is a leading global organisation for research, teaching and communications on international development.
IDS hosts five dynamic research teams, eight popular postgraduate courses, and a family of world-class knowledge services. These three spheres are integrated in a unique combination – as a development knowledge hub, IDS is connected into and is a convenor of networks throughout the world.
IDS is a pioneer in development communications. We host a range of innovative and highly regarded knowledge services – including Eldis, id21, BRIDGE, Livelihoods Connect and the British Library for Development Studies. These services seek to mobilise knowledge to support more informed decision-making by those in a position to influence change. This is based on our belief that decision-making is strengthened when it is underpinned by timely and relevant information that reflects a diversity of viewpoints.

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