The second stage of our quest was practical. We set out to find a solution for the know-do gap experienced by evaluation units working across government.
We found out the following:
(1) Recent studies on research utilization in public policies points to "knowledge brokering" as a most promising strategy. Evidence comes from different policy sectors: health, education, the environment, business and innovation.
(2) Knowledge Brokers are units in government that steer the flow of knowledge between the worlds of science, politics and the public interest. They help decision makers in acquiring, translating into practice and using existing knowledge for better planning and implementation of public interventions.
(3) The better the quality of brokers' activities and the stronger the evidence-base they present, the higher are the chances of the positive influence and eventual success of public interventions.
(4) Effective brokers need to perform five groups of activities: (a) understand the knowledge needs of different policy actors; (b) acquire knowledge, (c) feed it to users, (d) build an evidence-based culture in government and (e) manage own resources.
(5) The quality of the services of a knowledge broker is best measured by: the timing of delivered knowledge within the policy cycle, its relevance for knowledge users, the methodological quality of the studies, and accessibility of their form.
Our findings were based on:
A rapid-fire review on evaluation utilization, knowledge transfer and evidence use in policies (115 articles from Web of Science, 20 books on evidence use in public policies, literature on evaluation use).
A comprehensive survey in Polish evaluation units (n=57 evaluation units, response rate = 80%) and interviews with leading evaluation units (n=6)
A systematic literature review (SCOPUS database) covering 931 articles on knowledge brokering from peer-reviewed journals across 10 disciplines, followed by in-depth full content analysis.
Interviews conducted with evaluation units in a variety of organizations, spanning a number of US federal agencies and international organizations (n=5).
Focus groups, discussions and commentaries with Polish public sector practitioners and with international experts (European Evaluation Society - Dublin 2014 Conference, and American Evaluation Association - Denver 2014 Conference).
The full results are available in English, in paper by Olejniczak, K., Raimondo, E. & Kupiec, T. (2014). [click here]
A summary presentation is available here: [here]