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Does knowledge brokering facilitate evidence-based policy? A review of existing knowledge and an agenda for future research

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The claim that evidence-based policy (EBP) produces better outcomes has gained increasing support over the last three decades. Knowledge brokering (KB) is seen as a way to achieve improved policymaking and governments worldwide are investing significant resources in KB initiatives. It is therefore important to understand the range of these activities and to investigate whether and how they facilitate EBP. This article critically reviews the extant literature on KB. It identifies six important limitations: the existence of multiple definitions of KB; a lack of theory-based empirical analysis; a neglect of knowledge brokering organisations; insufficient research on KB in social policy; limited analysis of impact and effectiveness; and a lack of attention to the role played by politics. The paper proposes an agenda for future research that bridges disciplinary boundaries in order to address these gaps and contribute new insights into the politics of evidence use.
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Keywords: EBP; EBPM; evidence-based policy; evidence-based policymaking; knowledge brokering; knowledge brokers; knowledge mobilisation; what works

Affiliations: Cardiff University, UK

Appeared or available online: December 13, 2019

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