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  • Writer's pictureClara Richards

So, how do we start from context?

[Editor’s note: This post is part a series produced by Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt from Politics&Ideas to present the conceptual framework developed under the project “Going beyond ‘Context matters”, supported by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). For an overall synthesis of the whole project, visit our interactive product]

In our recently launched series about how context at the public institution level affects the generation and use of knowledge in policy, we are sharing a new conceptual framework developed by P&I and INASP that will enable us to go beyond proclaiming “context matters”. This framework is a lens that comprises six facets or ‘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.

The framework and the series aim at helping us think more profoundly about what aspects of context matter and how. This is an important step but not sufficient: how do we use the framework to make decisions and take action about concrete projects and initiatives that seek to enhance the interaction between research and policy?

At P&I we love practical questions. We strive to land concepts and ideas into real life practices. Thus, with the conceptual framework we have developed this practical paper: Starting from context: how to make strategic decisions to promote a better interaction between knowledge and policy.

Please do not read the paper. Use it instead, according to who you are and what your needs and interests are. There are two main types of content that might help you:

1)      Practical implications: concrete ideas on how to apply the framework to different uses for policymakers, researchers, capacity building experts and donors, with special emphasis on the first group

2)      Useful tools to deal with complexity and emergent practices (mostly from developing countries) that offer a body of experiences on how policymakers are currently making progress in setting up organizational contexts that allow a more fruitful interaction between knowledge and policy.

To help you navigate the paper and detect what is useful for you, go to page 6 where we share this roadmap, with links to potential answers to your questions/interests:

Practical paper
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