Workshop 4. Knowledge Brokers Game-Based Workshop


Trainers: Dominika Wojtowicz, Tomasz Kupiec
Level: Beginning/intermediate
Language: English

Workshop description:

The workshop addresses the problem of insufficient use of evaluation findings in organizations, which deal with social and economic projects, programs or policies. It focuses on the observed gap between producing evaluations and using those evaluations for decision-making. This "know-do" gap is common to all policy areas and one of the most difficult gaps to bridge (Olejniczak, Raimondo, Kupiec, 2016).
The promising practice for tackling the challenge of evidence use is knowledge brokering. Knowledge broker is a public professional (or a unit) who perform the role of intermediary, steering the flow of knowledge between knowledge producers, or the experts, and knowledge users, who are the decision-makers. Thanks to their activities decision-makers are better equipped to create evidence-based policies that are better designed and should more successfully serve the citizens.

Serious games allow us to learn through simulated experiences in a safe, and fun, environment. The training method consists of three integrated elements. The Game allows participants to experience the real challenges of a knowledge broker and to test their own brokering skills in a safe and engaging environment. “Knowledge Brokers” is designed as a high-quality board game, with beautiful graphics and carefully crafted playing pieces. It mirrors reality, combining cooperation with competition. It is a unique esthetic, emotional and intellectual experience.

DEBRIEFINGS transfer the game experience back into the real world. Carefully animated sessions, supported by real-time feedback from game results, allow players to reflect on their strategies within the game. On that basis, they transfer key learning into the practice of their organizations.
The workshop has been designed for: employees of analytical and evaluation units, employees of units managing public interventions (formulating, implementing), and senior civil servants supervising both mentioned types of units. Others are involved in any way with producing, brokering, disseminating, and using evaluative knowledge. It may be useful both for beginners and advanced as it provides new different perspective on an evaluation process.

Learning outcomes:

For employees of analytical and evaluation units, the workshop:

  • Broadens their spectrum of research designs or introduce this perspective for those who so far use the less advanced category of research methods;
  • Teaches an integrated approach to applied research - from need assessment, through the design of the study, to communication and dissemination of results;
  • Provides a holistic understanding of the place and role of expertise and analyses in the decision-making process;
  • Increases their understanding of colleagues from management units - their needs, the conditions in which they operate, and the dynamics of cooperation with them.

For employees of units managing public interventions (formulation implementation) and senior civil servants, the workshop:

  • Provides quick and effective learning relating to "the nuts and bolts" of applied research;
  • Raises their awareness of the importance of credible knowledge in the decision-making process;
  • Strengthens cooperation with colleagues from analytical and evaluation units by enhancing mutual understanding.