Policymakers’ research capacities, engagement, and use of research in public health policymaking

Natasa Loncarevic*, Pernille Tanggaard Andersen, Anja Leppin, Maja Bertram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The use of research in public health policymaking is one of the prerequisites for success-fully implemented health policies which have better population health as an outcome. This policy process is influenced by the actors involved under the policy umbrella, with inter-related contextual factors and specific structural and institutional circumstances. Our study investigates how policy-makers’ research capacities influence the use of research in the health policy process and identify areas where capacity-building interventions give the most meaning and impact. Furthermore, we investigate policymakers’ research engagement and use this to inform public health policy in the public sector in Denmark. We collect and report data using Seeking, Engaging with, and Evaluation Research (SEER) methodology. Policymakers are reported to have research capacity, but it is questionable how those competences have actually been used in policymaking. Decision-makers were often not aware or did not know about the existing organizational tools and systems for research engagement and use and two third of respondents had not been part of any research activities or had any collaboration with researchers. Overall, research use in public health policymaking and evaluation was limited. As a conclusion, we propose that capacity-building interventions for increasing research use and collaboration in EIPM should be context-oriented, measurable, and sus-tainable in developing individual and organizational competences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11014
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 20. Oct 2021


  • Capacity-building
  • Denmark
  • Evidence-informed policy making
  • Public health policy
  • Research engagement action
  • Research use
  • SPIRIT Action Framework


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