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Supporting policymakers to use evidence

Evidence is a key resource in helping policymakers make better decisions. The Department for International Development (DFID) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation both acknowledge this and are funding work in this area. Organisations they have selected to pursue change in this area will be tasked with: understanding the context which shapes the search for evidence; conducting a study of the ‘evidence context’; selecting policy issues to work on; setting up a ‘delivery’ team and establishing key relationships; and deciding what actions to take. Drawing on my involvement in Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) in South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as the Knowledge Sector Initiative in Indonesia, I’d like to reflect on lessons I've learnt from addressing these tasks.