Inderscience Publishers

Lost in translation: overcoming barriers to integrating evidence with practice

A considerable amount of research is produced regarding the critical problems that nations face, yet local, national and international decision makers are not always apt to use the research for evidence–based policy making. The barriers to translating research into practice come from many sources and are often addressed piecemeal in the decision support literature, with little systematic analysis of the connections among them. To build decision infrastructures that are resilient and work seamlessly through the many decision moments of managing complex problems, it is important to have a framework for organising the sequence of those problems. This study presents such a framework and offers real world examples of decision infrastructures that have supported evidence–based decision making throughout the sequence. It draws on a diverse set of barriers identified from policy analysis, organisational management, and technology studies. The purpose of this paper is to give a broad perspective of the common and discovered challenges in relation to each other and to explore how systems thinking, policy informatics, and mature decision infrastructures can help to overcome some of these barriers.

Keywords: translational research, evidence–based decision making, decision infrastructures, systems thinking, framing, anticipation, willingness, resilience, policy informatics, barriers, decision support

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