How do research brokers and intermediaries contribute to evidence based policy making? Revisiting the hypotheses

July 22, 2008
Closing plenary session - Jane Ireri (AMREF), James Nguo (ALIN), Ananya Raihan (DNet)

Closing plenary session - Jane Ireri (AMREF), James Nguo (ALIN), Ananya Raihan (DNet)

I always enjoy the closing session of a conference. As I’m reflecting on what I’ll take away it’s good to find out if it’s the same – or the complete opposite – of the other people in the room. Here are some of the things that they were thinking.

  • being an information repository is not enough – intermediaries are part of the knowledge flow
  • intermediaries can’t be fully neutral – but this isn’t the end of the world
  • intermediaries can (should?) have influence at all levels – how are we connecting at the grassroots?
  • more work is needed on monitoring and evaluation – we’re putting all this work in but how do we judge our impact?
  • policy makers make decisions on the fly with a lot of information in their heads – how can we make sure that research is one of these things?
  • people were encouraged by the fact that funders had taken the time to come to the conference – it shows that there is a real interest in what we’re doing?
  • this was an invaluable networking opportunity

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“Thorny issues” and issues emerging for research brokers and intermediaries

July 22, 2008

This plenary session aimed to address some of the ‘thorny issues’ for intermediaries which have emerged over the course of the past two days. The chair, Catherine Fisher, invited suggestions from the floor on what some of these issues might be. The participants then formed groups to tackle each one separately and came up with key points and, in some cases, ideas for next steps:

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How research brokers and intermediaries contribute to evidence based pro-poor policy making: framing the debate

July 18, 2008
Framing the debate - Geoff Barnard (IDS)

Framing the debate - Geoff Barnard (IDS)

This presentation shared ideas about the ways in which research brokers and intermediaries contribute to other structures of communication, and presented hypotheses to consider over the conference.

Just an ‘in betweener’?
According to Geoff Barnard, Head of IDS’ Information Team the research broker and intermediary sector can be compared to the pond that he dug in his garden last year. At first he had an empty pond full of clean water. A couple of days later things life had begun to invade. After ten days it looked like a green soup but finally after two weeks it had started to become a proper ecosystem.

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