From dissemination to engagement: learning over time from a national research intermediary centre (Four Fs)

Journal article


Lamont, T. and Maxwell, E. (2021). From dissemination to engagement: learning over time from a national research intermediary centre (Four Fs). Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426421x16323393555059
AuthorsLamont, T. and Maxwell, E.
AbstractBackground: There has been little applied learning from organisations engaged in making evidence useful for decision makers. More focus has been given either to the work of individuals as knowledge brokers or to theoretical frameworks on embedding evidence. More intelligence is needed on the practice of knowledge intermediation.Aims and objectives: This paper describes the evolution of approaches by one UK Centre to promote and embed evidence in health and care services. This is not a formal evaluation, given the lack of critical distance by authors who led work at the Centre, but a reflective analysis which may be helpful for other evidence intermediary bodies.Conclusions: We analyse the founding conditions and theoretical context at the start of our activity and describe four activities we developed over time. These were filter (screening research for relevance and quality); forge (engaging stakeholders in interpreting evidence); fuse (knowledge brokering with hybrid teams); and fulfil (sustained interaction with implementation partners). We reflect on the tensions between rigour and relevance in the evidence we shared and the way in which our approaches evolved from a programme of evidence outputs to greater focus on sustained engagement and deliberative activities to make sense of evidence and reach wider audiences. Over the lifetime of the Centre, we moved from linear and relational modes towards systems type approaches to embed and mobilise evidence.<br />Key messages<br /><ul><li>There is little shared learning on the practice of evidence use by knowledge intermediaries.</li><br /><li>Our account of a national evidence centre for health decision makers shows the shift towards more engaged and embedded approaches.</li><br /><li>We identify four central activities – filter, forge, fuse and fulfil – and how they evolved over time.</li><br /><li>We note the value of sustained engagement with stakeholders in shaping new evidence narratives relevant to practice.</li></ul>
KeywordsSocial Sciences (miscellaneous)
Year2021
JournalEvidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice
PublisherBristol University Press
ISSN1744-2648
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1332/174426421x16323393555059
Publication dates
Online18 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Sep 2021
Deposited14 Feb 2022
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Open
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