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Improving the link between policy research and practice: using a scenario workshop as a qualitative research tool in the case of genetically modified crops

Oreszczyn, S   Carr, S

Qualitative Research   8 (4) 473-497

September 2008

This article reflects on the use of a scenario workshop as a way of improving the link between policy-related research and policy practice, in the light of current interest in evidence-based policy. It describes a scenario workshop that was used to engage senior policy actors in our research project on the precautionary principle in relation to genetically modified crops.

The workshop highlighted some of the difficulties faced by qualitative researchers in attempts to provide evidence for senior policy makers. Nevertheless, we conclude that engaging policy makers within the research process in this way allows researchers scope to explain more about the nature of the evidence being produced and how it may be useful. The dialogue encouraged by more active engagement of potential end-users increases the likelihood of producing grounded `evidence' that they will find relevant.