Knowledge mobilisation is the focus of a new Sax Institute conference

The Sax Institute will host a new conference on knowledge mobilisation in Sydney in July on the best ways to increase the use and impact of evidence in policymaking – including the processes, resources and skills needed.

New approaches to knowledge mobilisation: co-production, impact, evaluation will feature a number of high profile international and Australian experts in knowledge mobilisation, including Professor Nicholas Mays from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Professor Andy Bindman from the University of California San Francisco.

Ms Sian Rudge, Head of the Knowledge Exchange Division at the Sax Institute, said knowledge mobilisation was still a relatively new field, but there was an emerging body of national and international evidence on what’s known to increase the use of research in policy, program and service delivery.

“Research is bringing to the fore new knowledge about how this is done. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for researchers and policy, program and service delivery agencies to hear about cutting-edge research and practical examples of the strategies that have been successful,” she said.

Understanding how knowledge mobilisation happens

Increasing the use and impact of evidence in health policymaking has long been an ambition of policymakers and researchers. Until recently, however, there has been a dearth of hard data about what works in the real world.

As researchers have begun to work together with policymakers and practitioners, there has been better analysis of the process of mobilising knowledge itself, leading to better understanding of what works. This practical element will be a key focus of the conference, Ms Rudge said.

“This conference focuses on how knowledge mobilisation happens – the tools, skills, resources, strategies, approaches that have been tested and that work,” she said.

“It will also speak to key challenges in knowledge mobilisation, with a focus on emerging evidence about the barriers to effective translation and strategies on how to overcome these.”

The conference will feature research and practical examples on a wide variety of topics, including building organisational and individual capacity to enable health decisions to be made with the best available evidence; approaches that have been effective in embedding research into decision making, including co-production and policy evaluation; and methods to support the adoption of research findings in service delivery.

Making evidence the bedrock of public policy

Ms Rudge said the conference would be of interest to the growing number of policymakers, researchers and practitioners who are passionate about knowledge mobilisation and concerned to ensure that knowledge and evidence are the bedrock of public policy.

“More effective knowledge mobilisation has the potential to better use health resources, enable the delivery of safer and more effective health care, improve health outcomes and patient experience – that’s why knowledge mobilisation is of increasing interest to policymakers right across government and service delivery agencies, as well as to researchers,” she said.

“This conference will provide an excellent opportunity to learn and to share, to network and strengthen collaborations with people working across the sector.”

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