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Barriers to using research in practice are well documented. This paper describes an innovative process developed by the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships to address these barriers. We supported people to define what they needed to know; how existing evidence could help; and how to use evidence in practice. An action-focused evidence review process was developed to synthesise and appraise varied relevant literatures, and communicate this in meaningful, timely, relevant and action-focused ways. Both making evidence accessible and facilitating processes for deliberating evidence were essential in supporting evidence users to understand the extent and usefulness of evidence and identify implications for policy, practice and services.

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Employing knowledge brokers is one way that universities and research centres have responded to the increasing emphasis on the wider usefulness and uptake of research beyond the academy. While there is an increase in the numbers of such professionals, there has been little focus on their roles, skills and development. In this paper, two knowledge exchange directors from Canada and the United Kingdom reflect on their combined experiences of being, developing and employing knowledge brokers in a range of roles.

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