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This month's WHO Bulletin features a discussion on improving evidence-based policymaking in health through better knowledge translation and other means. One article highlights an interesting idea called knowledge brokering (.pdf), a "promising strategy to close the 'know-do gap' and foster greater use of research findings and evidence in policy-making." It recommends that researchers synthesize evidence in ways that are more digestible for policymakers, and policymakers better communicate research priorities so that findings are more pertinent and usable. The article provides an example from the Netherlands, and describes an East African network that demonstrates potential for being a "knowledge broker" in the region.
It is a very good sign that researchers and policymakers are taking heed of the gap between them. However, without a sound evidence base in health and other areas of development, researchers will have a harder time convincing policymakers to use their evidence. We know a lot about the efficacy of discrete health interventions, but less about how to make them effective on a grand scale. Some of these questions about what works in global health can only be answered by conducting rigorous impact evaluations, and doing so will surely advance the evidence-based policymaking agenda.
For more on how the international community can promote more and better impact evaluations, see CGD's Evaluation Gap initiative.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.