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  • Writer's pictureClara Richards

Context Matters: a framework to support knowledge into policy

In 2016, Politics & Ideas published the study “Going beyond ‘Context matters’”, a framework to help government organizations improve their use of knowledge for policy making by understanding context. This knowledge systematization effort was carried out with the crucial help of others: four mentors from Africa, Canada and Latin America, and more than 50 policy makers, practitioners and donors worldwide that have been interviewed by the research team. This effort resulted in 3 products: a conceptual framework composed by 6 main dimensions, a practical paper with concrete implications for diverse users and emerging practices to improve the link between knowledge and policy, and an interactive product that summarizes the main content and lessons of the study.

The framework comprises six ‘dimensions’ of context that any government institution aiming to improve the use of knowledge in public policy (as well as those working with these agencies) should consider carefully. These six dimensions fall into two categories: external and internal. The first two external dimensions are (1) macro-context; and (2) intra- and inter-relationships with state and non-state agents. The four internal dimensions are: (3) culture; (4) organizational capacity; (5) management and processes; and (6) core resources.

Context Matters Framework

The Context Matters Framework has been applied in several organisational change projects with government agencies and international organisations.

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