series event

Stakeholder engagement with decision-making and research

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Abstract: This lecture explores methods for engaging stakeholders in making decisions for international aid and social development in the presence and absence of relevant research. It draws on empirical evidence about engaging stakeholders in the generation and use of evidence, taking into account political analysis, social psychology and systems thinking. It finds that the suitability of methods for engagement depends largely on the confidence that can be placed in knowledge about the specific context, and knowledge from elsewhere that seems theoretically or statistically transferable. When decisions are about generating new knowledge, the suitability of methods for engagement depends largely on whether the purpose is to generate knowledge for a specific context or for more generalizable use and, at the outset, the confidence and consensus underpinning the key concepts of interest.


BioSandy is Professor of Public Policy at UCL Institute of Education. For thirty years her interests have focused on the interaction between researchers and people making decisions in their professional and personal lives, largely through the conduct of systematic reviews. She is a member of the Board of the Campbell Collaboration and Cochrane editor with their Consumers and Communication Review Group. Her recent contributions to research synthesis methods come from working with the UK Department for International Development and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at WHO to build capacity in systematic reviewing in developing countries.

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