‘Context Matters’ framework for improving evidence use: what do policymakers and practitioners think about it?

This blog introduces the 'Context Matters' framework - a living tool that builds on and contributes to learning and thinking on evidence-informed policy making, by providing a lens through which to examine the context (internal and external) an organisation is working in.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Patricia Rogers.

Authors and their affiliation

Blog authored by Leandro Echt

'Context Matters' Framework developed by INASP and Politics & Ideas (P&I)

Key features

This blog post discusses the Context Matters Framework initially developed by INASP and Politics & Ideas (P&I) in 2016, and how it has been used since then by policymakers, researchers and other practitioners.

The framework provides:

“ a lens through which to examine the internal and external context in which an organization is working, identify the main factors affecting evidence use, and provide a way to systematically identify how they manifest in any given agency. It considers interrelated areas to help navigate complexity, so that one can better understand the organization, the blockages and opportunities for positive change towards evidence use.”

This blog discusses where the framework has added most value – including helping people to be more conscious about supporting evidence use, and making visible important influences such as organisational culture , and where it needs further development, including making power analysis more explicit.

The blog provides links to the framework.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I plan to use it to consider how evaluation and evidence can be better connected to policymaking, for planning monitoring and evaluation systems, individual evaluations, and evaluation capacity strengthening projects.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The framework has built on considerable research and practice experience from projects engaged in supporting the use of evidence in policymaking. It explicitly enacts principles from complexity science and systems thinking which should make it more useful than simple, linear knowledge uptake models. In addition its message about the importance of understanding and addressing context is one which is important for planning and evaluation more generally.


Echt, L. (2019). ‘Context Matters’ framework for improving evidence use: what do policymakers and practitioners think about it? [Blog]. INASP Website. Retrieved from http://blog.inasp.info/context-matters-what-do-policymakers-think/