EDUCERI › Knowledge Options
Testing and assessment on national and international levels have led to an explosion in the kinds and types of evidence available to policy makers. Knowledge is also generated by professional experience and includes tacit knowledge transmitted informally within systems.
For the policy maker charged with developing a response to a particular issue, it is often not fully clear what kinds of evidence are needed in order to address key policy issues – and in fact there may be multiple paths to a particular evidence-based solution. Previous CERI work on innovation provides a conceptual model for using the knowledge base to push policy and reform (OECD, 2009), but there are still many unanswered questions regarding the implementation of such a process and the actual choices of decision-makers in a time-pressed environment.
Different topics and issues very likely require different strategies and combinations of these knowledge options, which of course also interact with the scope of proposed change, the contentiousness of the issue, and the strength of the knowledge base available.
In this context, brokerage agencies (that is, agencies whose role is to strengthen the link between research and policy making) can play a key role to provide timely evidence and help weigh the various options available.
How do decision-makers and professionals build their repertoire of actions and strategies given the knowledge options available? And how does this interact with other elements of complexity (governance, political and contextual climate)?