Questions / Using Research

What else can partners do to encourage the use of evidence?

  • Develop a theory of action for how the research will be used. Research and practice partners might articulate their vision for what they think it will take for their research to influence programs, policies, or practices and design their research activities with that understanding in mind. The best theories reflect a nuanced understanding of the local decision making context, including the processes and conditions that may be leveraged to maximize take up of the partnership’s research. See: The Next Big Leap for Research-Practice Partnerships: Building and Testing Theories to Improve Research Use.
  • Build trusting relationships. Research that is trusted or from a trusted source is more likely to be used. Further, research partners who are able to build trusting relationships are more likely to be called upon by their practice colleagues when they need help with a problem. Trust is established by demonstrating consistency, responsiveness, and an understanding of the challenging contexts in which their counterparts operate.
  • Create structures and routines that strengthen the culture of evidence use. This includes enabling open dialogue and collaborative interpretation of findings and being transparent about existing norms and work practices throughout an organization. Resources and time are also needed to support these structures.
  • Capitalize on formal and informal opportunities for partners to interact. Practice organizations can increase the frequency with which they engage with research ideas by consulting with researchers as advisors or and involving researchers in their strategic conversations to ensure that relevant research evidence is surfaced at key decision points.
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Using Research