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Research Brokers & Intermediaries

Research Brokers & Intermediaries



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

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

Preseantation by Geoff Barnard, Head of Information Department (IDS) at Locating the Power of the In-between conference July 08



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    Research Brokers & Intermediaries Research Brokers & Intermediaries Presentation Transcript

    • How research brokers and intermediaries contribute to evidence based pro-poor policy making Framing the debate Geoff Barnard Institute of Development Studies, Sussex www.ids.ac.uk
    • The changing context
      • Governments and other development actors more interested in ‘evidence based’ policy & practice
      • Research funders under pressure to demonstrate the poverty impact of the work they fund
      • More sophisticated communication thinking – the linear model is dead (nearly)
      • More crowded information marketplace, and a whole array of new communication channels
      • A new generation of brokers and intermediaries
    • The intermediary role is not new:
      • Journalists have long played this function
      • So too have:
        • Librarians
        • Extension workers
        • Trade associations
        • Networks
    • What has changed is:
      • Wider array of approaches and roles
      • Environment has become richer and more diverse
      • More deliberate, programmatic interventions to connect research, policy and practice
    • Some examples www.ids.ac.uk/info
    • How does research connect to policy and practice? Research Users Research suppliers
    • Intermediary roles
      • Facilitating dialogue and exchange
      • Summarising, synthesising, creating new products
      • Organising research knowledge
      • Signposting research/acting as a repository
      • Providing access to research
      Research Users Research suppliers
    • What’s special about research intermediaries
      • Presenting multiple perspectives
      • Specialist skills and capacities
      • Editorial independence
      • Trusted brand
      • Continuity
      • Critical mass
    • The background paper
      • Emerges from recent thinking at IDS, much influenced by the 2007 workshop
      • Sketches out the territory
      • Attempts some definitions
      • Sets down five hypotheses to get the discussion going
    • Hypothesis 1:
      • Evidence-based policy and practice is more likely to be pro-poor if it is understood as a practice that encourages the inclusion of a wide range of evidence and perspectives in defining and understanding issues and formulating policies
      Pro-poor policy requires multiple perspectives
    • Hypothesis 2:
      • Intermediaries represent a distinct, new communication structure that contributes to an enabling environment for the use of a broad range of evidence in policy and practice through multiple and hybrid communication and engagement channels.
      Intermediaries have important role(s) to play
    • Hypothesis 3:
      • Intermediaries’ unique contribution lies in their commitment to highlighting multiple perspectives that draw on a broad range of evidence sources and create a rich information environment to support evidence-based policymaking.
      Presenting multiple perspectives is central to that role
    • Hypothesis 4:
      • Even when research communication is happening effectively, intermediaries add value by creating ongoing platforms, spaces and places to promote the engagement of policy and practice actors with a plurality of sources and perspectives.
      Intermediaries add value in a variety of ways
    • Hypothesis 5:
      • Intermediaries’ contribution is strengthened when they become aware of how their ‘power of in-between’ affects the flow of perspectives and sources of evidence into the research-policy environment.
      Recognising the power dimension is important
    • Questions to address
      • These are just opening hypotheses to get the debate going – do we agree with them?
      • How do research brokers and intermediaries add value?
      • What can we learn from each other?
      • Do we know enough about these brokering roles?
      • How can we maximise their potential?
    • Format for the session
      • 20 minutes discussion at tables to consider
      • Which hypotheses do you agree with ?
      • Which ones do you disagree with ?
      • Which ones do you just not understand ?
      We will do some voting at the end to get an impression of how well these have survived Capture comments on the graffiti boards