Scoping study: Evidence translators’ role in evidence-informed policymaking

[This scoping study was launched on June 18 during the event “Evidence-informed policymaking: New evidence and promising practices.“]


This research study focused on evidence translators’ role in the evidence-informed policymaking ecosystem. We define evidence translators as individuals and organizations who identify, filter, interpret, adapt, contextualize and communicate evidence so that it informs policy. Translators can be evidence producers, policymakers themselves, or intermediaries. The study’s objective was to explore factors that enable and constrain translators’ ability to effectively support evidence-informed policymaking (EIP). We carried out our research in three main stages. We first developed a definitional and theoretical framework based on a review of the literature. In a second phase, we conducted primary research around two unfolding translation cases to test our framework in those cases. Finally, we performed a limited validation exercise of findings by reviewing five secondary case studies developed by Yale’s School of Management and the Transfer Project. Our research confirms that translation is an essential function and that translators can hold a range of formal roles and identifies key factors that enable translators to perform their role effectively.