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Knowledge product

BCURE Literature Review – How can capacity development promote evidence-informed policy making?


This literature review examines how and why different approaches to capacity building for evidence-informed policy making work, for whom, and in which contexts – aiming to provide a practical resource summarising existing knowledge about evidence use in decision making and how to promote it. The review also plays a crucial role in the BCURE realist evaluation design, through identifying theories from the literature about ‘what works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why’ to build capacity for evidence-informed policy making.

The full review can be downloaded using the link on the right of this page.

The literature database, which contains the details of papers included in the review, is available here.

The review can also be downloaded in sections:

Section 1: What is ‘building capacity for evidence-informed policy making’? This section discusses the theories and assumptions underpinning the BCURE programme and the concept of ‘evidence informed policy making’, providing an overview of the diverse and rich theoretical literature on this topic.

Section 2: What factors promote and constrain evidence-informed policy making? This Section outlines the most significant and well-evidenced barriers to and enablers of evidence use by decision makers, and then goes on to examine some of the individual, interpersonal, organisational and institutional factors that promote or constrain evidence use in policy making.

Section 3: What is the evidence on how to build capacity for evidence-informed policy making? This section examines primary evidence from studies of interventions aiming to build capacity for EIPM, adopting a realist synthesis approach to examine what works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why.

Read the Literature Review Briefing Note for an overview of three of the main lessons.