Bridging the Know-Do Gap

Book details

Bridging the ‘Know-Do’ Gap: Knowledge Brokering to Improve Child Wellbeing (2010), edited by Gabriele Bammer with Annette Michaux and Ann Sanson. ANU Press, Canberra, 163pp.

The book is available from the ANU Press as a free downloadable e-book or a moderately-priced hardcopy. A flyer (784KB PDF) is also available. 


Brief overview of the book

Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens. Good health and well-being in the early years are the foundations for well-adjusted and productive adult lives and a thriving society. But children are being let down in Australia and elsewhere by the lack of knowledge transfer between the worlds of research, policy and practice. Improving such transfer is the job of knowledge brokers – the various ways they can operate are explored in this book through case examples and the lessons learned from experienced proponents. The book concludes by posing three sets of ideas to shape the future of knowledge brokering.


Contents of Bridging the ‘Know–Do’ Gap: Knowledge Brokering to Improve Child Wellbeing:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface (J. Fraser Mustard)
  • Introduction (Gabriele Bammer, Annette Michaux and Ann Sanson)
  • Setting the Scene
    • Improving the wellbeing of Australian children and youth: the importance of bridging the know–do gap (Ann Sanson and Fiona Stanley)
  • Cases of successful knowledge brokering
    • Integrating knowledge in service delivery-land: a view from The Benevolent Society (Annette Michaux)
    • Building knowledge futures for cerebral palsy: examples from The Spastic Centre (Robyn Cummins)
    • Making research more relevant to policy: evidence and suggestions (Meredith Edwards)
    • KnowledgExchange: a knowledge-brokering initiative in the Victorian child and family welfare sector (Cathy Humphreys and Richard Vines)
    • The art and science of influence: reflections from the boundary (Sharon Goldfeld)
    • Creating and implementing large-scale parenting education programs: bridging research, decision making and practice (Linda Neuhauser)
  • Future considerations
    • From knowledge transfer to knowledge sharing? Towards better links between research, policy and practice (Brian Head)
    • Knowledge, power and politics (Michael Moore)
    • Expanding the deliberations about the research–policy gap: useful ideas from the literature (Gabriele Bammer, Lyndall Strazdins, David McDonald, Helen Berry, Alison Ritter, Peter Deane and Lorrae van Kerkhoff)
  • Contributors


About the editors of Bridging the ‘Know–Do’ Gap: Knowledge Brokering to Improve Child Wellbeing

Gabriele Bammer is a professor at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment at The Australian National University and a research fellow at the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her main interest is developing methodologies for enhancing research input into tackling complex real-world problems. Knowledge brokering to bridge the research–policy/practice gap is key, along with synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge and comprehensively understanding and managing unknowns. These three domains are the foundations of a new discipline: Integration and Implementation Sciences.

Annette Michaux is General Manager, Social Policy and Research, at The Benevolent Society, a large non-profit organisation with the purpose of creating caring and inclusive communities and a just society. Annette’s role at The Benevolent Society is to drive the organisation’s increasing focus on evidence-informed practice, research and advocacy. A social worker and adult educator by training, Annette has held a number of senior policy and operational positions in government and non-profit organisations.

Ann Sanson is a professor in paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and the Network Coordinator for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). She is a developmental psychologist with particular expertise in longitudinal research; she plays a leading role in the 25-year Australian Temperament Project and Growing Up in Australia (the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children). Her work with ARACY has a strong focus on facilitating knowledge exchange among researchers, policymakers and practitioners in order to promote the wellbeing of children and youth.


Reviews from the back cover of the book

“This is one of the most useful books on the ‘how to’ of complex interventions that I have ever read. It abounds with new insights, ideas and stimulating case studies about creative and effective approaches to linking researchers, policy people and practitioners. For anyone seeking to understand how to bring about strategic change to improve child wellbeing through such means as co-production of knowledge, collaborative networks, boundary scanning, social influence, or even old fashioned human interaction through face-to-face contact, this book is an invaluable resource.” Ross Homel, AO, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, and Director, Institute for Social and Behavioural Research, Griffith University, Australia

“This publication explores exciting new ground in how we can improve children’s wellbeing through rethinking the way we do our work. Using successful examples, it brings to life why we must, and how we can, better leverage research, policy and practice off each other. It invites us to transcend our knowledge silos in the interests of children and is essential reading for policy makers, researchers and practitioners.” Gillian Calvert AO, former and inaugural Commissioner for Children and Young People in New South Wales, Australia

“This book is an important and relevant contribution to helping professionals and organizations move knowledge into practice. It provides excellent ‘real world’ examples that are a catalyst for new ideas. The book provided me with excellent insights, references and material that can be directly integrated into my organisation’s program design. For anyone in the knowledge brokering field, this edited collection is a must-read!” Katharine Dill Ph.D., Executive Director, Practice and Research Together (PART), Ontario, Canada


Reviews and commentaries

  • Baur, L. A. (2011). Bridging the ‘know-do’ gap. Knowledge brokering to improve child well-being. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35, 6: 584-585.