Practice Papers in Brief

Practice Papers In Brief aim to share our experiences and learning around ideas we are exploring in the context of our work on knowledge brokers and information intermediaries.

The knowledge broker and information intermediary sector comprises those who seek to improve flows of knowledge between actors in decision making and change processes in order to generate better development outcomes. We have found that these intermediaries act in a range of ways: enabling access to information; helping people to make sense of it; facilitating connections that enable knowledge to be shared between stakeholders.

Our experiences contribute to the body of knowledge, and are not intended to be read as offering incontestable insights or providing perfect models. For this reason, the In Brief papers should not be read in isolation, and should be seen as complementary to other work conducted on related issues of capacity development, knowledge management, and policy influence.

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This is the front cover to IDS Practice Paper InBrief, 'Making the ‘Evolutionary Leap’: Using Open Knowledge Approaches to Improve Development Outcomes'.

Making the ‘Evolutionary Leap’: Using Open Knowledge Approaches to Improve Development Outcomes

IDS Practice Paper InBrief 25 (2016)

The starting point of the Open Knowledge Hub project was our belief that the adoption of so-called ‘Open Knowledge’ approaches had the potential to improve the impact of research evidence on development outcomes and address inequalities in the visibility, accessibility and uptake of diverse knowledge about development. More details


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Ebola and Lessons for Development

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 16 (2015)

As the Ebola crisis continues to unfold across West Africa and the international community belatedly responds, broader questions arise beyond the immediate challenges on the ground. More details


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Global Governance and the Limits of Health Security

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 17 (2015)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has exposed the limits of the current approach to the global governance of infectious diseases, which mixes public health and security interests. More details


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Strengthening Health Systems for Resilience

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 18 (2015)

In countries with high levels of poverty or instability and with poor health system management and governance, people are highly vulnerable to shocks associated with ill health, including major epidemics. More details


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Return of the Rebel: Legacies of War and Reconstruction in West Africa’s Ebola Epidemic

Practice Paper in Brief 19 (2015)

The spread of Ebola in West Africa centres on a region with a shared recent history of transnational civil war and internationally led post-conflict reconstruction efforts. This legacy of conflict and shortcomings in the reconstruction efforts are key to understanding how the virus has spread. More details


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Ebola, Politics and Ecology: Beyond the ‘Outbreak Narrative’

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 20 (2015)

The origin of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been traced to the likely confluence of a virus, a bat, a two-year-old child and an underequipped rural health centre. More details


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Ebola and Extractive Industry

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 21 (2015)

The economic effects of the Ebola health crisis are slowly unfolding as the virus continues to affect Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. More details


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Urbanisation, the Peri-urban Growth and Zoonotic Disease

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 22 (2015)

Ebola has had significant, negative effects in the rapidly expanding, unregulated areas of peri-urban and urban West Africa. The residents of these areas maintain vital connections with rural populations while intermingling with and living in close proximity to urban and elite populations. More details


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The Pathology of Inequality: Gender and Ebola in West Africa

IDS Practice Paper in Brief 23 (2015)

The international response to Ebola has been decried for being ‘too slow, too little, too late’. As well as racing to respond, we need to consider what has happened over the past decades to leave exposed fault lines that enabled Ebola to move so rapidly across boundaries of people’s bodies, villages, towns and countries. More details


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Local Engagement in Ebola Outbreaks and Beyond in Sierra Leone

Practice Paper in Brief 24 (2015)

Containment strategies for Ebola rupture fundamental features of social, political and religious life. Control efforts that involve local people and appreciate their perspectives, social structures and institutions are therefore vital. More details


This is the image for IDS Practice Paper InBrief 14, 'Learning about Theories of Change for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Research Uptake'.

Learning about Theories of Change for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Research Uptake

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 14 (2013)

This paper captures lessons from recent experiences on using ‘theories of change’ amongst organisations involved in the research–policy interface. More details


This is the image for IDS Practice Paper InBrief 15, 'Learning about Theories of Change and Embedding Reflection'.

Learning about Theories of Change and Embedding Reflection

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 15 (2013)

This paper is prompted by our own reflections on Theories of Change. More details


This is the image for IDS Practice Paper In Brief 13, 'Learning about Qualitative Document Analysis'.

Learning about Qualitative Document Analysis

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 13 (2013)

This paper outlines and reflects on the process of undertaking a Qualitative Document Analysis (QDA) on policy and ‘practice’ documents in the rural water sector. More details


This is the image for IDS in Focus Policy Briefing 11, 'Learning about Champions – Individuals Catalysing Social Change'.

Learning about Champions – Individuals Catalysing Social Change

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 11 (2013)

As part of the Transform Nutrition consortium, we are undertaking research to (a) identify individuals who have been or could be influential in contributing to policy changes that can effectively reduce undernutrition, and (b) explore the attributes and characteristics of these individuals. More details


This is the image for ILT Practice paper In Brief 12, 'Learning about Measuring Advocacy and Policy Change: Are Baselines always Feasible and Desirable?'.

Learning about Measuring Advocacy and Policy Change: Are Baselines always Feasible and Desirable?

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 12 (2013)

This paper captures some recent challenges that emerged from establishing a baseline for an empowerment and accountability fund. More details


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Learning about Reflecting on Knowledge: an Approach for Embedding Reflective Practice in an Action Research Team

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 9 (2013)

This paper shares the experiences of the Impact and Learning Team in juggling the pursuit of an action research agenda alongside its practitioner role. More details


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Learning about Patterns of Learning within the Mobilising Knowledge for Development Programme Phase 2 (MK4D2)

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 10 (2013)

This paper captures some of our ideas about the patterns of learning established within the DFID-funded programme Mobilising Knowledge for Development (Phase 2, MK4D2) and some of the processes we have in place for capturing learning. More details


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Learning about Mainstreaming Gender in Knowledge Intermediary Work

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 8 (2012)

This paper is prompted by our own gender review of Knowledge Services (KS) and the Mobilising Knowledge for Development (MK4D) programme at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). More details


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Learning about How to Communicate ‘Learning’ from and Within a Multi-sited Organisation

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 7 (2012)

This paper draws on a study conducted on capturing innovation and lessons from across a 'multi-sited' organisation. More details


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Learning about the Large Conference Re-Imagined and Re-visited

IDS Practice Paper In Brief 3 (2012)

This paper revisits a study commissioned by IDRC on large conferences. Vast amounts of funds, effort, time, and different types of resources and energies are invested in large conferences. More details


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