Kathryn Oliver

Co-Lead, Transforming Evidence. Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


I am a social scientist with interests in use of evidence in policymaking.

My interests relate especially to public health policy; the structure and function of networks in policy and practice; evaluation of social interventions and policies, particularly adverse effects; research impact and science policy. I am the lead for the Evidence Synthesis theme for the Centre for Evaluation at LSHTM and have an interest in how evidence synthesis methods have evolved over the last 30 years. I am co-founder, with Annette Boaz, of the Transforming Evidence collaboration.

Use of evidence in policymaking, especially public health policy

The Transforming Evidence collaboration is a group of colleagues with a shared interest in how to produce and use evidence more effectively to address societal challenges. There is a lot of expertise and research evidence about how evidence is made and used, but this often stays in disciplinary and sectoral silos. We want to help the community of scholars, funders and practitioners/policymakers share their knowledge and expertise more effectively. We want to improve debates about, and research into what evidence is, how it is used, and the different meanings attached to these processes and outcomes.

The structure and function of networks in policy and practice

In 2018, I co-authored ‘Networks and network analysis in evidence, policy and practice’ published in Evidence & Policy, Volume 14, Number 3, August 2018, pp. 369-379(11)

Research impact and science policy

Since February 2020, I have been an ARI Policy Engagement Fellow. The one year fellowship is a partnership between the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Government Office for Science. The ARIs are an opportunity to transform our understanding of how government can make better use of academic expertise and evidence. We are working to learn about, and test, the best mechanisms to support effective and ethical engagement between government and academia.

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