Connecting research to policy: Understanding macro and micro policy-makers and their processes
This article provides a real-time blueprint for connecting academic research and expertise to the policy-making process. While some academic research exists on how researchers in various social science fields can use their professional expertise to inform policy, it is not voluminous, and what does exist contains significant gaps. In reviewing the literature, much of the existing research excludes input from those engaged in the policy-making process. Further, the research often applies models retroactively to policy in general. Instead of describing the process of policy engagement, most research looks at policy broadly with hindsight and tries to apply a theoretical model to describe what has happened. This article combines academic research with an autoethnographic approach and addresses the difficulty of identifying the correct policy-maker, translating complex research findings into digestible policy recommendations, and then communicating those findings to policy-makers. The research applies to multiple disciplines and provides researchers with tools and a systematic process that can be employed in real-time to convert research and expertise into policy.
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