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Table 1 An analytical framework for factors shaping research impact on policy

From: What shapes research impact on policy? Understanding research uptake in sexual and reproductive health policy processes in resource poor contexts

What determines policy outcomes? Factors shaping research impact on policy
  ‘Pre-conditions’ affecting research impact on policy Actions and strategies to increase probability of research impact on policy
Policy ideas, narratives and discourse(s) Extent to which there is a consensus on the nature of the problem and appropriate responses Packaging of research or ‘knowledge translation’ for policy audience – e.g. explicit and clear policy recommendations; short summaries or briefs; using policy ‘language’ such as economic vocabulary, framing of research to resonate with prevailing policy discourses, or tailoring messages to specific policy environments.
  Extent of influence of international discourses on domestic policy Research methodologies that develop research user ‘ownership’ throughout the research process.
  Extent to which policy issue is novel Explicit, targeted communication and dissemination strategies.
Policy actors and networks Extent to which ruling party is ideologically driven Interpersonal relationships and networks - Building or connecting to policy networks; policy ‘champions’ and intermediaries and consultations with key policy actors on research during project.
  Extent of ‘special interests’ or range of actors - such as service users, the private sector, unions, or professional associations; or strength of civil society, or influence of donors in policy arena. Credibility or ‘brand’ of the originating institution, funder or researcher(s).
  Level of bureaucracy, professionalism and capacity to process evidence. Extent of ‘border-crossing’ between research and policy communities
  Importance placed on systematic and other evidence reviews by policy makers in power * Utilising knowledge brokers to specifically get research to policy makers
Context and institutions Extent of democratic openness; degree of academic and media freedom; norms on consultation and participation in policy processes. Planning research to align to specific timing of expected ‘policy windows’ – e.g. research aimed at important meetings of officials/politicians.
  Use of multi-year development plans and other planning instruments Planning research to align to ready existing or created ‘policy spaces’ – electoral spaces; consultative spaces; popular protest spaces, etc.
  Level of centralisation of political decision making Framing of research around unexpected events – e.g. the financial crisis; need for public expenditure efficiency, etc.
  Established institutional structures and policy advisory bodies which exist to link researchers and policy makers* Working creatively with these structures throughout the research cycle
  1. Source: Adapted from [16, 45, 48].
  2. * See [5, 49, 50].