Power, politics and evidence use

Removing freshly caught fish from nets. Arne Hoel, World Bank

How is knowledge used in policy-making? What difference do sector dynamics and types of knowledge make to how it is used?
Digital Societies (formerly RAPID) identifies and analyses key influences on the knowledge-policy interface. We use insights from complexity theory and innovation systems frameworks to highlight the need to understand the broader relationship between supply and demand for knowledge on development policy issues.

Understanding what stimulates the demand for knowledge is as important as knowing what improves its supply. The Digital Societies team is working to build capacity and improve processes so that the best available knowledge is applied effectively and efficiently by policymakers. This may mean improving procedures for linking knowledge to policy and practice; and understanding how power dynamics mediate relationships between politics, citizens and policy-makers.

Digital Societies has also developed practical tools and case studies for researchers and practitioners to get to grips with policy context and development strategies and techniques to maximise their engagement with policy-makers. The RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach is one tool to help create strategies for evidence-informed policy influencing.