How can capacity development promote evidence-informed policy making?

An evaluation team from Itad has been examining how and why different approaches to capacity building for evidence-informed policy making (EIPM) work, for whom, and in which contexts.

The team’s findings are part of a three-year realist impact evaluation of the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) programme that aims to strengthen the global evidence base on whether capacity building approaches to support EIPM can be a cost effective way to reduce poverty, and if so how they can be implemented to achieve the greatest impact.

In a recently published Literature Review, they uncover three important lessons:

  • Interventions that aim to increase capacity for evidence use can catalyse change in a variety of ways, and the literature provides some practical insights into some of the factors that might help or hinder various types of interventions in different contexts
  • We need to think beyond a capacity ‘gap’ that can be ‘filled’ through training and other skills-building interventions
  • Uncovering the assumptions behind the idea of ‘evidence-informed policy-making’ is crucial to understanding the links between capacity building, evidence use, and better policies

The review is the first major piece of work from the team to be featured on the new BCURE evaluation platform on The review can be read in full or in bite size sections, while the accompanying Briefing Note provides a useful overview.

An essential part of the BCURE evaluation is the curation and wide-reaching dissemination of the knowledge and findings generated throughout the project, and this platform will be the principle source for all of evaluation reports, reviews, and other publications.

Contact the BCURE evaluation team for more information.