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Bridging research and policy : context, evidence and links

CREWE, Emma
YOUNG, John
2002

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An exploration of the links between research and policy-making with the aim of finding some simple research tools to promote evidence-based policy that contributes to poverty reduction.
Recommends a historical, contextual and comparative methodology to consider the real-life links between institutional settings, a range of political and contextual influences, and power relations.
Identifies a range of bureaucratic pressures such as: the urge to simplify, due to resource shortages; ‘giantism’ - the bigger the budget, the greater the status; inflexible long-term project planning; fierce competition for funding - discouraging collaboration.
Also considers the role of different communication channels, their effectiveness and credibility, and the chains of accountability and legitimacy that link NGOs, researchers and policy makers.
Concludes that research is more likely to have an influence if it fits the political and institutional limits and pressures of policy makers; if researchers and policy-makers share networks in particular policy areas; outputs are based on local involvement and credible evidence and are communicated via the most appropriate communicators.
Finally advocates more research to track some historical examples of key policy decisions and the influences upon them

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