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ANZSOG’s The Bridge turns one: translating research for more than 15,000 subscribers

24 May 2021

News and media


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Good research is vital for creating quality public policy and programs, but this research is not always available to public sector leaders in the formats they need.

As part of ANZSOG’s mission to bring together academics and policy makers, in 2020, we created The Bridge – a fortnightly research translation resource to provide the latest research to time-poor public servants and bring the worlds of academia and policy practice closer together.

The project aims to improve the uptake of research by the public sector, strengthen engagement between researchers and academics, and allow research with a practical application to reach a wider audience.

The Bridge is curated by Maria Katsonis, a former senior Victorian public servant with more than 20 years’ experience who is now a Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Every fortnight, Maria produces research briefs which summarise academic articles of relevance to public sector practitioners.

One year on and more than 15,000 people now receive The Bridge, which features summaries of a wide range of material from across the world on topics related to the public service in addition to the original Research Brief. Recent Research Briefs have covered systemic design, public sector innovation, loss of capacity in public sector organisations and the rise in trust in government during COVID.

A recent survey of readers to mark The Bridge’s first year revealed the majority of readers worked in the public sector, with a smaller segment working in the university sector.

The Bridge’s content is designed to provoke debate and reflection. The survey showed that 91 per cent of respondents found the email content useful in their work, and that 77 per cent had shared articles with colleagues.

These comments from public servants explain how The Bridge helps them in their work:

“I share it with my team for their general professional development and to broaden their reading choices. I love its format and brevity. and the personal touch at the end of what Maria is reading – always interesting.”

“I have found articles or summaries of them helpful when considering how to approach an evaluation or project design task. I also like to read about developments and issues relevant to the public sector beyond my own work, this helps me to see things in context and keep an eye on where we are going.”

ANZSOG is continuing to find ways to make The Bridge even more relevant to our public sector and academic audiences.

Researchers and the public sector should be natural partners in the policy process, and we hope that The Bridge has helped bring them closer together and assisted in the development of better policy.

Not a Bridge subscriber? All The Bridge content, including the email archive and all Research Briefs are available here, as well as a sign-up form to get The Bridge delivered to your inbox.

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