Experience shows that policies tend to be more successful when they are based on research findings. But policymakers often disregard the research reports they are given or simply fail to read them.
In this article, Evelyn Kiapi Matsamura reports on efforts to find out what makes policymakers ignore some research reports and take others into account.
Among the problems are a lack of capacity for linking research and policy, and that policymakers do not always trust research findings. Presentation is a factor, as research reports can be large documents full of jargon and statistics that are difficult to understand.
Researchers and policymakers can also have quite different priorities. But policymakers' failure to take account of research can have serious consequences, as in the case of some countries' response to the AIDS pandemic.