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Free Content Pathways to policy impact: a new approach for planning and evidencing research impact

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Background

The use of research in policy settings is complex, unpredictable and influenced by a range of poorly understood social factors. This makes it difficult to plan for, facilitate and evaluate policy impacts arising from research.

Aims and objectives

1. Propose and test tools for planning for and facilitating research impact, based on a new logic model combined with a novel approach to public/stakeholder analysis.

2. Propose and test methods for establishing causal links between research and policy impacts.

3. Use case study findings to provide new empirical insights into the social processes that mediate the generation of impact from research.

Methods

Social Network Analysis, qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews, and analysis of secondary data were used in a case study of peatland climate change research in Scottish Government policy.

Findings

Boundary organisations and centrally-positioned, well-trusted individuals, were crucial to the development of a trusted body of research in which policymakers were sufficiently confident as the basis for policy.

Discussion and conclusions

The non-linear social dynamics that characterise science-policy networks can be understood and evaluated. By using the tools described in this paper, researchers and other stakeholders can better plan, facilitate and evaluate research impact.
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Keywords: IMPACT EVALUATION; KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE; RESEARCH IMPACT

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 August 2018

This article was made available online on 29 August 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Pathways to policy impact: a new approach for planning and evidencing research impact".

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