Why are priorities important?

Part of the evidence to action cycle is to assess which topics or questions should be considered. Studies into the use of research show that knowledge is most likely to contribute to action when: “a) it is aligned with local needs, b) embedded in a local infrastructure that facilitates its use, and b) led by local research who regularly interact with potential users and are keen, able, and available to help translate results into local action. ” (see: Hasnida et al. [2016]). A priority-setting workshop focusses especially on the first part and, combined with thorough stakeholder engagement, also aims at tapping into infrastructures that support research use.

Whose priorities?

Building on a previous round of stakeholder mapping, we aim to invite a group of stakeholders to the workshops that represent the different facets of the topic in an equitable way. This also means understanding and reflecting on the normativity and subjectivity of the priorities that will be identified.


The workshops generally take place during at least one full day. During several rounds in a World Café format we aim to arrive at a list of questions or topics that the stakeholders feel are important. It could be that the stakeholders feel that there is insufficient evidence on these topics available, that they do not know what evidence is available, or that these topics need to be addressed (more) in policy


The workshops will result in several outcomes, one of which is a brief report with the different priorities. The report will be circulated among the participants and should it be necessary a round of online prioritisation will follow. The next step is synthesis of appropriate evidence.