Kingdon’s multiple streams approach is popular because its metaphor and flexible concepts can be applied empirically in most contexts. However, this feature is also its weakness. Most scholars apply MSA superficially, without describing its metaphor’s meaning or connecting concepts to empirical results. This article solves this problem by producing one MSA narrative from a diverse collection of empirical studies. Our hero is the ‘policy entrepreneur’ who knows that the pursuit of ambitious aims such as ‘evidence-based policymaking’ requires framing a problem, having a solution ready, and exploiting the motive and opportunity of policymakers to select it.