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Background:

Knowledge brokering is suggested as an instrument to improve productive use of research in policy organisations. Previous research asserted that research utilisation is dependent on dynamics of knowledge exchange in institutional settings, but these claims have not received substantial empirical attention (Saarela et al, 2015; Akerlof et al, 2019; MacKillop et al, 2020). Viewing knowledge brokering as the involved role, three specific challenges are identified: high legitimacy requirements for the brokered knowledge and the broker; the need to cater for a wide range of topics, audiences and uses; and the need to compete with other evidence suppliers.

Aims and objectives:

The research question of the article is: how do legislative knowledge brokers navigate context-specific knowledge transfer challenges presented by their institutional context?

Methods:

An in-depth interpretive case study of the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. The analysis includes interviews with parliamentary actors, shadowing and participant observation.

Findings:

The results substantiate the challenges of legislative knowledge brokering in the UK context and inductively identify a further challenge of demonstrating impact. Legislative knowledge brokers employ multiple strategies to navigate the challenges: co-shape and adhere to the norms of impartiality, mobilise external expertise, collaborate with in-house and external research support actors, employ anticipation techniques, build broker chains, seek understanding of own role and impact.

Discussion and conclusion:

The article contributes to the understanding of knowledge brokering as a context-dependent role. The conclusions discuss influence of knowledge brokers’ work remit and positionality in deploying strategies to overcome the legislative challenges.

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This article engages with transcript data from a larger longitudinal study of young carers’ experiences during COVID-19. We carefully engage with the transcripts of three young carers to think with the messiness of care in ways that extend beyond dyadic caregiver and care receiver categorization. Our work adopts Lonkila’s notion of ‘care-full’ research practices, which acknowledges multidirectional and complex care across the research apparatus. Pulling from multiple theoretical approaches, including feminist care ethics, critical disability studies and critical posthumanism, we follow the tendrils of care and think with the ways in which care may be affective, productive, confusing and oppressive.

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Resource-limited health systems in sub-Saharan Africa struggle to provide population-wide high-quality primary healthcare, with particular concerns relating to professional workforce issues and the role of family caregivers. This qualitative study design explores the perceptions of (n = 19) health and social care professionals of the challenges they face in caring for individuals living with non-communicable diseases in Uganda. Identified challenges resulted from staffing and resource limitations, with wider issues relating to poverty and the burden placed on carers. As non-communicable diseases continue to rise, these empirical findings can inform developments in policy and service delivery in low and middle-income country contexts.

Open access

Mainstream feminist perspectives on social reproduction often portray non-disabled women as active providers of a service (care) to those assumed to be its passive, agency-less recipients. In response, this article accounts for social reproduction as a key factor in the reproduction of disabling capitalist social relations and argues for an understanding of social reproduction that no longer obscures the contributions of those considered to be ‘cared for’. Alternatives to what is termed here ‘the service model of care’ can be established through mobilising and organising for In(ter)dependent Living through an anti-productivist politics whose social relations prefigure alternatives against and beyond disabling capitalism.

Open access

Collaborative networks are gaining momentum in research and practice as a tool to solve complex problems and create public value. While being characterised as self-regulating and relatively autonomous, collaborative networks have been widely recognised to need metagovernance to drive their collaborative process forward. However, limited attention has been paid to how metagovernors exercise power without undermining the capacity of collaborative networks to solve collective problems. To contribute to this knowledge gap, we develop a new theoretical framework based on a cumulative power perspective in the context of the metagovernance of collaborative networks. We outline three modalities of metagovernance (output, input and process) through which metagovernors can exercise power by structurally privileging either their own interests or those on whose behalf they metagovern. We apply the theoretical framework to a Danish case study of collaborative networks in sustainable housing. Through this case, we showcase the repressive and constructive features of power in the metagovernance of collaborative networks. A key research finding is that metagovernors can improve their awareness of how to balance constructively and repressively exercising and distributing power in collaborative networks by understanding the power dynamics entangled in the different modalities of metagovernance.

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Carers’ mental health is often the focus of policy and research in Global North contexts. Research exploring carers’ views often uses survey methods to collect information about their experiences and views of services and support. However, the experiences of adult carers of adults with learning disabilities have often been marginalised within these domains. Here, we report on how, working together with family carers, we disrupted survey methods and generated new insights into what matters to family carers when sharing their experiences of care, mental health, services and support, as well as the crucial role of co-production in this research.

Open access
Author:

This article examines the connections between solidarity and social esteem for unpaid care. Focusing on the moral emotions experienced by unpaid carers during the UK’s COVID-19 pandemic, the implications for the social value accorded to care are considered. Analysis focuses on 32 qualitative interviews with 25 family carers in Northern Ireland during 2020 and 2021. Conceiving of solidarity as a norm whose strength and reach can be gauged through emotional experience, the article argues that unpaid carers’ perceptions of general indifference to caregiving indicate the weakness of democratic solidarity in this neoliberal context, with significant consequences for access to social esteem.

Open access
Author:

In recent years a plethora of job roles has emerged across the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and public sector that explicitly request lived experience (LE) of mental health challenges. These roles are often situated in the ‘frontline’ workforce providing direct support to people accessing services. This article shares early learning about the experiences of people who have lived experience of mental health challenges employed as paid peer support workers (PSWs) within a mental health charity.

The findings are drawn from fieldwork conducted over a three-month period with five recently employed PSWs, conducted as a component of the author’s doctoral study. The data corpus included interviews, fieldwork observation notes from ‘walk the frontline’ (WTF) activities, and the collation of WhatsApp voice notes sent by the PSWs to the researcher.

The article presents nine key themes that emerged from the data and categorises these into three areas: Firm up – those that were broadly positive denoting good practice; Fine tune – those that require further refinement; and Focus – those which signal a need for concentrated attention and further exploration.

Taking these findings into account, a tentative schematic model is offered which suggests sequential ‘conditions’ to be considered when developing PSW programmes. This has relevance to voluntary sector organisations (VSOs) who are considering recruiting and deploying PSWs to support frontline service delivery.

Free access

This study expands our understanding of how existential loneliness and meaning-in-life might be connected in the lived experience of nursing home residents. A secondary analysis of interviews with nursing home residents (n = 8) was conducted. The analysis starts inductively using template analysis, and ends deductively, with a theoretical framework guiding the process. Existential loneliness and meaning-in-life are prominent in nursing home residents’ everyday lives and relate to relationships and vulnerable situations involving (1) being seen, (2) trust in life and (3) looking forward. To enhance existential well-being in nursing home residents, facilitating meaningful relationships and experiences is essential.

Open access

The multiple stream framework (MSF) helps explain why policy makers address some issues but not others. Although the framework was originally developed in the USA, scholars argue that it has universal explanatory power across political systems and have called for applications to authoritarian settings. In response, we conduct a systematic review of China-focused MSF research, including 22 English-language articles and 156 Chinese-language articles. We show an increase in publications and identify education and social policy as the two most studied areas. Based on the reviewed articles, we highlight four key themes pertaining to China’s policy process: the dominance of the political stream, the limited role of the national mood, managerial issues in the problem stream, and stream dependence. In addition to a need to conceptualise and test how these aspects shape policy outputs and outcomes, we argue that, if the framework is to contribute to a better understanding of China’s policy process, future MSF research should not only venture into unexplored policy areas but also ought to be more explicit and transparent in terms of operationalisation and focus more on analysing causal relationships. Other research priorities include comparative and critical analysis of MSF hypotheses in other non-democracies.

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