There is a call for public health policies and interventions to be evidence-based. Also, using knowledge brokers to foster the use of research results is increasingly recommended. This article presents an exploratory synthesis of the current state of knowledge on this new strategy.
We conducted a scoping study by consulting the main databases. Nineteen articles were included in the analysis, which was designed with a grid developed iteratively.
The synthesis shows that knowledge brokering initiatives include i) planning activities (stakeholder identification, creation of networks and partnerships, context analysis, problem identification, needs identification), ii) support to the brokers (training, technical support, development of a practice guide), and iii) the brokerage activities themselves (information management, liaison between knowledge producers and users, training of users). Only four articles presented empirical data on the effects of brokers’ activities. Three were associated with increased knowledge in the target audience. No study showed any impact on clinical behaviours or on public policy content.
This synthesis highlights the challenges involved in knowledge brokering activities, as well as the characteristics and skills a broker should possess. While knowledge brokering appears promising, efforts must now be made to evaluate it more systematically to demonstrate its effectiveness.