This edited collection of peer-reviewed papers explores critical challenges faced by organisations and individuals involved in evidence-informed development through a diverse set of case studies and think-pieces. In this chapter we briefly set out the foundations of the trend in evidence-informed decision-making and reflect on a fast-changing development knowledge landscape.
The dominant themes emerging from the contributions provide the structure for this chapter, including: building networks and partnerships; contextualisation of knowledge and power dynamics; and modes of knowledge brokerage. An analysis of these themes, and the respective roles of researchers, non-governmental organisations, large programmes and policy actors, suggests that a common thread running throughout is the importance of social relationships. We find that the social and interactive realities of mobilising knowledge comprise several layers: (i) individual and collective capacities, (ii) individual relationships, (iii) networks and group dynamics, and (iv) cultural norms and politics, which are all key to understanding how to make evidence really matter.
Introduction: The social realities of knowledge for developmentJames Georgalakis, Nasreen Jessani, Rose Oronje and Ben Ramalingam
Translating health research to policy: Breaking through the impermeability barrierGita Sen, Altaf Virani, Aditi Iyer, Bhavya Reddy and S. Selvakumar
Engaging the middle: Using research to support progress on gender, education and poverty reduction initiatives in Kenya and South AfricaAmy North, Elaine Unterhalter and Herbert Makinda
How collaboration, early engagement and collective ownership increase research impact: Strengthening community-based child protection mechanisms in Sierra LeoneMichael Wessells, David Lamin, Marie Manyeh, Dora King, Lindsay Stark,Sarah Lilley and Kathleen Kostelny
Evidence and innovation: Lessons learned from the MSF Scientific DaysKim West, Kiran Jobanputra, Philipp du Cros, Robin Vincent-Smith,Sarah Venis
Complexities of knowledge translation Reflections from REACH-PI Uganda’s rapid response mechanismRhona Mijumbi-Deve, Marie-Gloriose Ingabire and Nelson K. Sewankambo
Using knowledge brokerage to strengthen African voices in global decision-making on HIV and AIDSDanielle Doughman, Kathy Kantengwa and Ida Hakizinka