The Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) funds several action-based research projects aimed at helping the development of policy and building a better understanding and capacity for climate change adaptation across Victoria.
VCCCAR wanted to maximise the impact of its collaborative partnerships between universities, government and the private and community sectors through knowledge sharing.
We were asked to explore ways to help projects achieve research-to-policy outcomes.
We examined and tested approaches to support knowledge sharing between researchers and policymakers in climate change adaptation.
We selected three VCCCAR research projects-in-progress to test a variety of research to policy interventions.
Interventions included facilitating workshops and seminars between project partners, producing policy briefings and face-to-face discussions.
All interventions contained a mix of strategies that could be used across any research to policy project.
We measured the effectiveness of these interventions in a range of ways and also gained feedback about the value of the additional interventions.
We wanted to understand how the research was undertaken could be used in practice and better ways that projects could share their research to promote its use.
We learnt that, if the translation of research into practice and policy is an important goal for a project, time allocated at the end of a project to disseminate and tailor research findings to the specific needs of government is an excellent use of resources.
There were four conditions that we identified as key in improving the effectiveness of the use of the research:
1: an authorising environment; empowering researchers and policymakers to work together
2: equality of power; ensuring that researchers and policymakers could work together on equal terms
3: time; to build support and understanding of the research with the people it is intended to help
4: tailoring the results to the needs of the users; making sure that the research results are presented in a way that policymakers can use in practice.
Our learning also provides researchers and policy-makers with a clearer understanding of what is required to maximise the impact of research and the costs and benefits of implementing different approaches to this.
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