Power In Between Conference Analysis


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Presentation by Catherine Fisher (IDS) on the themes emerging from the 2008 Power of In-between conference on the role of intermediaries in evidence-based pro-poor policy and practice.

Presented at the 3rd I-K-Mediary workshop at the Institute of Development Studies, November 2009.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Education
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Power In Between Conference Analysis

  1. 1. How research brokers and intermediaries support evidence-based pro-poor policy and practice An analysis of the Locating the Power of In-between Conference Catherine Fisher, Institute of Development Studies I-K-Mediary Workshop, Brighton 4 th November 09
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ information intermediaries are not just one off, short term projects. They are a central and critical part of the development puzzle.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. What we’ll cover <ul><li>Context of evidence based policy and practice </li></ul><ul><li>Where are the intermediaries in that picture? </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>What contribution can intermediaries make? </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations for intermediaries </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“… the champion for the issues and ideas emerging from the conference will be the I-K-Mediary Network…” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Context of evidence based policy and practice <ul><li>Evidence-based policy remains an aspiration if not a reality </li></ul><ul><li>Need to look beyond the research-policy connection </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion divided on whether plurality of evidence contributes to better decision making </li></ul>
  6. 6. 1. An emerging picture: the intermediary as enabler of information flows <ul><li>Range of actors specifically concerned with info flows and knowledge sharing between actors </li></ul><ul><li>Less interested in specific outcomes or decisions </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2. Established intermediaries have been joined by new kinds of hybrid intermediary actors <ul><li>Libraries, extension and media still important </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is an intermediary now! </li></ul><ul><li>But emergence of new, deliberate programmes that don’t fit into old categories </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>“ my understanding of intermediary roles has been blown up! There are horizontal roles, vertical roles, one-way, two-way, multi-way, 360 degrees” </li></ul>
  9. 9. 3. A range of intermediary roles – engaged and behind the scenes <ul><li>Just in case and just in time </li></ul><ul><li>Both roles needed to make a difference </li></ul>
  10. 10. 4. The origins of intermediary actors matter and shape how the role is played <ul><li>Librarians, extension workers, researchers interpret and play the role differently </li></ul><ul><li>Cross fertilisation of ideas is powerful! </li></ul>
  11. 11. 5. No universal acceptance that knowledge and information intermediaries are required <ul><li>Some thought direct connections were more important, no need for brokers </li></ul><ul><li>Others question value of multiple perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Just a new bunch of jobs? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Intermediaries contribution
  13. 13. 1. Making information edible <ul><li>Summarising, synthesising or translating </li></ul><ul><li>Switching communication channels </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to info needs </li></ul>
  14. 14. 2. Enabling access <ul><li>Digitising information </li></ul><ul><li>Preserving information </li></ul><ul><li>Organising information </li></ul>
  15. 15. 3. Creating demand for information <ul><li>Promoting value of research </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy/capabilities </li></ul>
  16. 16. 4. Creating alternative framings <ul><li>Bringing together non-mainstream material /voices </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighting different ways of seeing an issue </li></ul>
  17. 17. 5. Supporting marginalised voices to be heard <ul><li>Showcasing less prominent voices </li></ul><ul><li>Searching out less obvious material </li></ul><ul><li>Using leverage to create spaces for engagement </li></ul>
  18. 18. 6. Making connections between different spheres of action <ul><li>Between policy formulation, implementation and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Between different disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Between policy, community and academia </li></ul>
  19. 19. Intermediaries contribution
  20. 20. Discussion questions: <ul><li>What examples do you know of this different kind of contribution? </li></ul><ul><li>In which areas is your service active and how? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there types of contribution missing? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Recommendations for intermediaries <ul><li>Go beyond being a repository </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with political nature of the role </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate for info flows </li></ul><ul><li>Develop standards and professionalise the role </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Remember… </li></ul><ul><li>“… the champion for the issues and ideas emerging from the conference will be the I-K-Mediary Network…” </li></ul><ul><li>Lets discuss! </li></ul>