Experiences of research-policy engagement in policy-making processes

Carmel Williams, Tahna Pettman, Ian Goodwin-Smith, Yonatal M. Tefera, Somayya Hanifie, Katherine L. Baldock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives and importance of study: For public policy to respond effectively to social, economic, and health challenges, there is an urgent need for research-policy collaboration to advance evidence-informed policy. Many organisations seek to promote these engagement activities, but little is known about how this is experienced by researchers and policy actors. This study aimed to understand how policy actors and researchers in Australia experience collaboration and the impediments and enablers they encounter. Study type and methods: An online survey was developed, and using convenience sampling, self-identified Australian policy actors and researchers were invited to participate. Results: In total, 170 responses were analysed, comprising 58% policy actors and 42% researchers. Respondents reported the primary purpose for collaboration was evidence-informed policy making. Policy actors reported that the most common barrier to collaboration with academics was 'budget constraints' while academics reported 'budget, 'political risk' and 'structural barriers'. Reported enablers were 'leadership' and 'connections'. Conclusions: Our findings build upon existing evidence that highlights the importance of collaboration for facilitating evidence-informed policy. Structural deficits in both policy agencies and research funding systems and environments continue to present challenges to policy-research partnerships. Future initiatives could use these findings to implement preferred collaboration methods, alongside rigorous evaluation, to explore 'what works' in promoting engagement for evidence-informed policy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Research and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 4 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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