Background. To improve the use of research evidence, knowledge translation platforms (KTP) have been set up in several countries around the world. The aim of these KTP is to create an environment that supports both research use in policy making, and the consideration of policy needs in research design. KTPs focus on bringing researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders together, synthesising knowledge and building networks in knowledge translation. Through KTPs, several activities are initiated, such as priority setting exercises, developing policy briefs, and organising deliberative dialogues. KTPs are often set up by groups of local champions, supported by international organisations and foreign funders. Evaluations of KTPs tend to focus on their separate activities and practices. Little is known about how the functioning of KTPs evolves over time and how KTPs institutionalise. The aim of this study was to develop a participatory tool for mapping the functioning and institutionalisation of KTPs. Such a mapping tool is relevant for all those interested in further developing and sustaining KTPs and improving the use of research in a sustainable way. Methods. We developed the tool by combining insights from science and technology studies with data from observations and semi-structured interviews. The first insights were grounded in an analysis of ad-hoc KTP arrangements in Ghana and Guinea Bissau, which we enriched with data on the development and functioning of KTPs in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Jordan. Results. The mapping tool is designed to analyse the functioning and institutionalization of KTPs at three levels: 1) a sponsorship constellation that mobilises resources for the KTP and legitimises its role in society, 2) a set of institutions, infrastructures, and networks (e.g. researchers, policy makers, health workers, patient councils, universities), and 3) the actual translation practices. Especially the first level of sponsorship constellations appeared to be a crucial factor on which the sustainability of KTPs depends. Such constellations are local constructions that make sure that KTPs can function and last without external funding. The tool focusses on the work that is required to construct such constellations through five mechanisms: problematizing the existing situation, getting people interested in improving research use, enrolling key actors to support the KTP, mobilising the required resources, and entangling the established platform in local context. Discussion and conclusion. Mapping the functioning of a KTP at these three levels, and the mechanisms involved in developing a local sponsorship constellation provides insight into the kind of efforts that may be required to further develop these platforms, improve their functioning and facilitate their institutionalisation.

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Borst, R.A.J, Nsangou, M., Esu, E., AL-Metleq, A., Tromp, N., & Kok, M.O. (2018). How to assess the functioning and institutionalisation of Knowledge Translation Platforms? The development of a KT-platform scan.. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.31008.43520


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