This policy brief reviews the evolution of knowledge-to-policy studies and the emergence of systems perspectives. We explore the less well understood issue of how to grow and reinforce knowledge systems in settings where they are weak and underdeveloped. We offer a knowledge systems model that encapsulates current thinking and present an example of an effort to strengthen a knowledge system, drawn from a project managed by RTI in Indonesia. We conclude with some recommendations for strengthening knowledge systems including promoting debate among a diversity of voices within the knowledge system, providing sustained stakeholder commitment to the systems approach, investing in the components of the knowledge system as well as the interaction between components, fostering a balance between government mechanisms and space for civil society perspectives, and exploring how knowledge systems can engage the private sector. We conclude with suggestions for applying the knowledge systems model in new country contexts including use of a political economy analysis as well as gauging readiness of government actors, research institutes, and media to engage.
By Jana C. Hertz, Derick W. Brinkerhoff, Robin Bush, Petrarca Karetji.
June 2020 Open Access Peer Reviewed
- Promote debate among a diversity of voices within the knowledge system
- Provide sustained stakeholder commitment to the systems approach
- Invest in the components of the knowledge system as well as the interaction between components
- Foster a balance between government mechanisms and space for civil society perspectives
- Explore how knowledge systems can engage the private sector
© 2021 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Hertz, J. C., Brinkerhoff, D. W., Bush, R., & Karetji, P. (2020). Knowledge systems: Evidence to policy concepts in practice. RTI Press. RTI Press Publication No. PB-0024-2006 https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2020.pb.0024.2006