NORRAG and the KIX EAP Hub convened a two-part panel “The rise of knowledge brokers: The translation of research evidence into policy and planning” on 21 February and 22 February 2023 at the 67th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in Washington, D.C. This panel gave the floor to experts from academia, international organizations, and foundations that in one way or another attempt to bridge research and policy.
Part 1, on 21 February, was chaired by Arushi Terway (NORRAG). Gita Steiner-Khamsi (Teachers College, Columbia University) presented first on “The fast advance of competing knowledge brokers in an era of surplus of knowledge: international trends and perspectives”. She provided an overview of research on knowledge brokerage and explained why this body of research has gained momentum. The second presentation from Chanwoong Baek (Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and NORRAG), was about “Understanding global knowledge brokers for national policy, planning, and implementation”. His presentation provided the current landscape of knowledge brokers that shape national policy, planning, and implementation drawing on two empirical studies. Michael Ward (OECD) followed with a presentation about “Horizontal policy learning – the OECD’s support for the use of evidence in education policy and planning”. His presentation highlighted the OECD’s experience of horizontal policy learning since 2016, in particular regarding support for the ability to analyse data, interpret results and the effective design and implementation of policies, programmes and plans at the national level in more than 20 countries in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The final presentation was from Donika Dimovska (Jacobs Foundation) about “Developing an enabling environment for the uptake of policy and practice – how to advance globally-informed, locally-led evidence”. She discussed the Jacobs Foundation’s efforts to advance globally-informed, locally-led evidence generation and uptake with the goal of creating a strong enabling environment for evidence use, strengthening the ties between knowledge brokers and the stakeholders they support, both globally and locally. The panel discussant was Rie Kijima (University of Toronto).
Part 2 of this panel, on 22 February, was chaired by Kerstin Martens (University of Bremen). The panel began with Moira V. Faul (NORRAG) and Bart Sebastian Gabriel (NORRAG) presenting “Comparing evidence production and use for global policy in education and public health”. They explored the lessons that the education sector might learn from public health research and governance regarding the use of evidence in policy. The second panel was given by Tricia Wind (IDRC) on “Lessons Learnt from Promoting Knowledge Production and Utilization in Low and Middle Income Countries”. She explained how the Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), a joint initiative between IDRC and GPE, is developing new insight into our learning about bridging research and policy – mobilizing research for scaling impact. The third panel “The Uptake of Research Evidence in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova Policy and Planning Decisions” was presented by Jose Luis Canelhas (KIX EAP), Julia Levin (KIX EAP and the University of Hamburg), and Zhanyl Bokonbaeva (ADB Project Implementation Unit at the Ministry of Education and Science, Kyrgyzstan and KIX EAP National Coordinator). This presentation critically examined the role of the KIX EAP Hub as a knowledge broker using the example of Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. Finally “Evidence Production, Promotion and Pollution: Private Interests and Knowledge Brokerage in US Education Policy” was presented by Christopher Lubienski (Indiana University). The panel discussant was Moses Oketch (UCL).