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Institutionalising evidence-based policy: international insights into knowledge brokerage


  • Ashley Thomas Lenihan


Numerous organisations act as 'evidence brokers', providing and translating research for use by decision-makers. The relationship between the supply and demand for evidence is far from linear, and whether these organisations are self-professed evidence brokers or government appointed bodies, they face similar challenges in their quest to impact policy. This paper analyses the strategies of two organisations considered 'exemplars' of institutional knowledge brokerage: the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. The author posits that three primary factors help these organisations connect evidence successfully to policy-makers: the institution's credibility, based on independence, neutrality, reputation, trust, transparency and the quality of its methods and evidence; the utility of its research, based on transferability, timing, stakeholder involvement and resonance with policy-makers; and the communication of that research, in terms of effectiveness, dissemination, presentation and translation for policy-makers. Findings, and the possibility of applying these insights internationally, are then discussed and contextualised.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashley Thomas Lenihan, 2015. "Institutionalising evidence-based policy: international insights into knowledge brokerage," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 114-125, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:10:y:2015:i:2:p:114-125
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2015.1055297

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