How can capacity development promote evidence-informed policy making? – BCURE Evaluation Briefing No. 1

Itad is leading a three year impact evaluation of the £13 million UK Department for International Development (DFID) initiative ‘Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence Programme‘ (BCURE).

We are examining how and why different approaches to capacity building for evidence-informed policy making work, for whom, and in which contexts. The evaluation aims to strengthen the evidence base on how capacity building can promote evidence-informed policy, to inform decisions within and beyond DFID, about whether to fund and how to design this type of programme in future.

This briefing note presents three of the main lessons emerging from a literature review produced by the evaluation team, which asks ‘how can capacity development promote evidence-informed policy making?’ First, 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. Second, we need to think beyond a capacity ‘gap’ that can be ‘filled’ through training and other skills-building interventions. Finally, 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.

Find out more about our BCURE Evaluation Knowledge Products.