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Research, policy and practice: Making the case

Research, policy and practice: Making the case Nando Machado
23 Jun
In 2015, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) put in place a small policy team to enhance the Society’s activities in knowledge exchange, and to engage policy-makers, business leaders and other professionals with geographical research and practice

Since then, a series of panel discussions and evening networking meetings for expert audiences have been held under the banner of 21st Century Challenges, running alongside the programme’s public panel events on key topics. Now, a second strand to the Society’s knowledge exchange work is to be redeveloped and enhanced: a series of case studies highlighting the importance of geographical research and practice for the economy, society and environment of the UK.

This work builds upon and complements an initiative run by the Society between 2010 and 2013. Entitled Making the Case, a series of 16 short documents were produced, each focusing on the impact on public policy of the work of a leading geographer. Examples of the work highlighted include a new means to classify and differentiate deprived areas in terms of their different functional roles, allowing financial assistance for ‘regeneration’ to be targeted more effectively at the poorest areas of England; and the provision of new techniques for the restoration of urban rivers.

Geography, with its emphasis on space and place, across both the natural and social sciences, has a tremendous contribution to make to evidence-informed policy and decision-making

The Society will once again be working with the geographical community to collate, publish and disseminate case studies. We will also be extending this work to encompass geographical practice, drawing from the many geographers working professionally beyond academia. Each of the Research, Policy and Practice case studies will demonstrate where geographical research or practice is having a significant impact, with demonstrable outcomes, for policy and for governments’ work more generally, including local authorities and national governments. Geography, with its emphasis on space and place, on communities and the environment, and its holistic perspective, across both the natural and social sciences, has a tremendous contribution to make to evidence-informed policy and decision-making.

Likewise, the RGS-IBG, as a leading learned society and professional body for geography, has an important role to play in highlighting and sharing this contribution to colleagues in policy and beyond. The Research, Policy and Practice studies will showcase the breadth and depth of policy-relevant geographical research and practice and will help to build further the case for the importance of geography with a range of stakeholders. Geographers featured in the case studies will also have the opportunity to discuss their work in short video interviews which will appear on the Society’s website, and to collaborate on the development of resources for schools, if relevant to the curriculum.

The Society will consult with colleagues in the geography community to select the initial case studies and we welcome suggestions of research and practice to feature; final selection of the case studies will be informed by the Society’s Policy Advisory Group.

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