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Table 4 Statements from interviews (int) and open text boxes in questionnaires (pre, post, 12 m) on use of research/stakeholder/target group knowledge, determinants for use of research/stakeholder/target group knowledge and political request for use of knowledge from Kolding (K) and Varde (V)

From: Contextually tailored interventions can increase evidence-informed policy-making on health-enhancing physical activity: the experiences of two Danish municipalities

Themes Statements
Use of research knowledge (1) On top of my head I would say that knowledge from research is prioritised. It is at least something I try to base my work on, when I start new projects (K, pre)
(2) It is not natural for the system to work with research-based knowledge (V, int)
(3) It is not like 20 years ago, where we just started – it was easier then. Sometimes we get too academic. It’s really a balance (K, int)
(4) In order for you to reach something in a society that is as built up as the Danish, you need to have that evidence-based research (K, int)
(5) We are constantly searching. However, it is not all we need that exists. I think that in a public official’s argumentation for how we should do things in a political context, we need to have the professionalism that is supported by the research that can be found (V, int)
Determinates for use of research knowledge (6) To find out what’s in the field, you need to be really proactive. You can of course search on Google and read the pole up and down. Time is a big barrier (K, int)
(7) There is a culture within the health area – because many employees and managers have a background in public health science, so it is normal to search for available knowledge from research in regard to various activities (K, pre)
(8) There is a great difference in the cultures of the individual departments (V, int)
(9) It is of course dependent on timeline and deadline (K, pre)
(10) It depends a great deal on the subject and how you relate to the content in the research based knowledge (K, pre)
(11) It is probably very much dependent on individuals whether knowledge from research is integrated more than procedures (V, pre)
(12) The intervention did absolutely help to increase the academic standard of the product outcome. More time was spent in examining research within the field. Experiences are transferred to other fields where there is work with policies (V, 12 m)
(13) The intervention has supported the importance of the research-based approach – methods, which we have applied in developing other strategies (V, 12 m)
(14) I have some good people around me. But, we may not be good enough for that, I will say, even though I subscribe to many journals (K, int)
(15) I think our accreditation process is a way to get the research-based knowledge under the skin (K, int)
(16) First of all, I’m hiring newly educated academics who are used to searching literature when they need to start something new (V, int)
Use of stakeholder knowledge (17) There are, for example, procedures for hearings (V, pre)
(18) There is often talk about establishing working groups with external as well as internal stakeholders in connection to developing a new policy or strategy (K, pre)
(19) We try to involve them by holding some meetings, theme meetings or the like, and it is a challenge to get people to participate
(20) If it is going to be fast, we will typically be based on practice. We will ask the employees how they experience it (K, int)
Determinates for use of stakeholder knowledge (21) If we do not use stakeholder knowledge and interest, then we have no authority (K, int)
Use of target group knowledge (22) If we are in a hurry, we will look at the statistics we already have and maybe make a call if we know that we can quickly find what we need there. But, then we do not have time to go out and make it big. Then, it is the statistics and our experience, we lean on (K, int)
(23) No, once we have made a new health policy, we have invited some different stakeholders. We have not made a whole lot of citizen involvement, and we do not think that it would contribute a lot (K, int)
Political request for use of knowledge (24) Often we start working partly with knowledge based on research, but then it gets ‘override/overruled’ by political preferences, which are then prioritised (K, pre)
(25) Our experience is that it highly depends on the politicians who set the agenda, and here attitudes are prominent, not research-based knowledge and evidence, which are most important (K, post)
(26) No, there is always political pressure and an appeal for user involvement, which ‘overrides’ the will to start a process based on research knowledge (K, 12 m)
(27) Often, our experience is that external stakeholder involvement is organisational and politically requested, but not always wanted to be used in the end (K, 12 m)
(28) Where we have used evidence, we will always write it into our case making, and I find that politicians listen more and more to the research-based evidence
(29) It is not the case that they themselves are saying that someone has researched something and ask if we can investigate it a bit closer (K, int)
(30) We are in a political system and sometimes I think if good knowledge will give better political decisions? You can sometimes question that (K, int)
(31) Politicians would like to feel and believe. And sometimes they get a little scared when we come and say that is a fact. It does not always fit into their political agenda to get the facts on the table. So it is double. On the other hand, they would like to appear as someone basing their policy on facts and therefore they are happy if we can deliver it (K, int)