What works for research use
In 2016 we partnered with Wellcome Trust, the Alliance for Useful Evidence, and the EPPI-Centre at UCL to understand how research evidence can best be used in decision making and published Science of Using Science.
- identified six mechanisms that are used to help knowledge use
- rated the quality of the evidence supporting intervention under each mechanisms and combination of mechanisms
- identified behavioural insights useful to understanding the role of each mechanism using the Capability, Motivation and Opportunity model. Other models of behavioural insights are also applied such as EAST in the communications mechanism.
The Centre has used this as the basis of its Theory of Change and through the evaluations of our projects and the Centre aim to add to the knowledge of knowledge use.
The framework: six categories of evidence-use mechanisms
Briefly, six underlying mechanisms of enabling research use in decision-making were drawn from the literature, and used to group the interventions studied. These are summarised below:
- Awareness – Building awareness and positive attitudes towards evidence use
- Agree – Building mutual understanding and agreement on policy-relevant questions and the kind of evidence needed to answer them
- Access and communication – Providing communication of, and access to, evidence
- Interact – Facilitating interactions between decision-makers and researchers
- Skills – Supporting decision-makers to develop skills accessing and making sense of evidence
- Structure and process – Influencing decision-making structures and processes
The Evidence Quarter – joining up the UK’s What Works Centres
We are part of the Evidence Quarter.
Each evidence organisation exists for a reason – to tackle a particular problem, or to help a particular group – but we face common challenges; around methodology, building movements, and achieving an impact with the research that we do.
The EQ aims to bring together centres to share physical space, increase collaboration, and tackle joint challenges together.
Existing What Works Network collaborations