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10 things to know about how to influence policy with research

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Helen Tilley, Louise Shaxson, Joanna Rea, Louise Ball, John Young

Briefing/policy paper

Around the world, we are facing enormous challenges. Poverty, conflict, migration, disease and natural disasters are just some of the reasons why many people don’t have access to quality basic services and opportunities.

Public policies that seek to address these challenges will only work if the choices made by decision-makers, technical or political, are informed by the best available evidence.

This is why research is essential. It can produce good evidence to inform local, national and international policy that, in turn, has the potential to transform lives for the better.

But influencing policy is neither easy nor automatic – you need to want to do it. To be successful, you need to be open to different ways of working.

Here are 10 things you need to know if you want to use research to influence policy.