Policy briefs are often recommended as a key tool for communicating research findings to policy actors. However, there has been little systematic research in the development field about the communication needs of developing country policy-makers and how such research can be used to inform policy brief content and design. This background note presents recent research by the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Group at ODI and the Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net) on the research communication environment involving researchers, policy-makers and development practitioners from the North and South in science, technology and innovation. It begins with an overview of the theoretical literature on bridging research and policy, with a focus on insights from scholars interested in the science–policy interface. Drawing on an international survey and country case studies, we then highlight the barriers to, and opportunities for, strengthening communication between researchers, knowledge brokers and policy-makers working in international development, and the key requisites of policy briefs to meet the challenges of this landscape.
Nicola Jones and Cora Walsh