Encouraging the use of research in ways that benefit youth is a central aim of research-practice partnerships. When research is used to improve services, policies, or practices, the partnership is more likely to reach its ultimate goal of improving outcomes.
But using research is rarely a simple process whereby knowledge from research—even when produced by the partnership—get used in policy and practice. Research use requires intention. It also involves establishing the necessary supports to make sense of findings and determine how to apply them. From the outset of the joint agenda, partners must be explicit about who will use the research and for what purpose. They must consider what routines, training, and resources might be needed to bring about the desired changes.