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Valuing Interdisciplinary Collaborative ResearchBeyond Impact$
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Keri Facer and Kate Pahl

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331605

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331605.001.0001

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Translation across borders: connecting the academic and policy communities

Translation across borders: connecting the academic and policy communities

(p.173) Eight Translation across borders: connecting the academic and policy communities
Valuing Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research

Steve Connelly

Dave Vanderhoven

Catherine Durose

Peter Matthews

Liz Richardson

Robert Rutherfoord

Policy Press

This chapter looks at the legacy of three projects which connected research and policy communities, through the development of ‘policy briefs’ for the UK Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). These were short and accessible reviews of research relevant to policy on localism. Starting from an understanding of policy-making as meaning-making, and of translation as situated and purposeful action, ethnographic and action research were used to explore how academics and government analysts translate research into ideas useful for policy makers. It concludes that the legacy of researching for policy can be understood both in terms of ‘things left behind’ and their direct impact on policy, and also more broadly in terms of participants’ purposes being met, and influences on academic and civil service norms and subsequent practice. Co-production is central to leaving such a legacy, in particular to break down mutual misunderstanding across the policy/academia border. In contrast interdisciplinarity seems less important, though broadening the disciplinary base of research used by government is certainly valuable. Underpinning everything else, the development of relationships of trust through collaboration and mutual learning is paramount.

Keywords:   translation, policy making, interpretive policy analysis, coproduction, impact

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