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Table 2 Effectiveness and lessons learned

From: Strategies for effective dissemination of research to United States policymakers: a systematic review

Strategy for engaging policymakers Recommendations for research-policy translation Barriers to research-policy translation
Start early • Engage policymakers when planning research [34, 41]
• Be strategic about research and audience [29, 40]
• Take initiative to contact policymakers [44]
 
Drum up support • Involve a broad pool of experts [35]
• Cultivate broad coalition of supporters [47]
• Policymakers may appear not to value research [28]
Use research evidence 'champions' or 'brokers' • Research use 'champions' engage with community stakeholders and policymakers [45]
• Intermediary organizations connect “research supply” to “research demand” [53]
• External brokers play a role both in connecting policymakers to research and in conceptualizing and developing policy [39, 43]
• Intermediary individuals or organizations may select or spin research to make their point [45, 52, 53]
• Policymakers may have a list of preferred evidence brokers [53]
• Basing policy on evidence requires identified 'best evidence', which may reflect bias and favoritism [29]
Context matters • Integrate research evidence into broader sociopolitical context [45]
• Research must be locally, contextually relevant [54, 55, 57]
• Specify which government office(s) are responsible [47]
• Federally imposed policies (e.g., education) often override local expertise around context and population [29]
• Ideology, whether personal or regional, may create a barrier between researchers and policymakers [27, 41, 44, 50, 54,55,56]
Make research products timely, relevant, and accessible • Tailor design of products to meet diverse end user needs [27, 34]
• Present research in commonly-used formats (e.g., briefs, talking points, videos) [48]
• Research must be timely and geared to policymakers' concerns [27, 38, 42, 44, 52]
• Use clear, careful language [27]
• Formalize the organizational / individual process of translating research to policy [32]
• Complexity of research [56]
• Disconnect between the goals and language of policymakers and researchers [41, 52, 56]
• Concerns about data/research evidence quality [29, 41, 42]
Know the players and the process • Familiarize yourself with policymaking process [27, 31]
• Show respect for policymakers' knowledge/experiences [27]
• Learn about / build relationships with the target policymaking audience [27, 30]
• Expand contact and working relationships with end users [34]
• Lack of familiarity with effective dissemination strategies [31]
• Lack of financial and institutional support for dissemination [31]
Miscellaneous • Approach policy work as an educator rather than as an advocate [27]