Informing Policy with Science

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance is committed to supporting research that is both relevant and timely. By involving stakeholders in setting priorities for research, we increase the relevance of the results to the policymaker. In fact, involvement in priority setting can be seen as a way of informing policy itself.

Alliance research priorities are set through the OMAFRA Research Advisory Network (ORAN), an inclusive, multi-level decision making process that includes stakeholders, OMAFRA staff, researchers and industry representatives. 

To facilitate effective transfer of research findings to policymakers, our KTT staff help facilitate close communication between stakeholders, researchers and policymakers. We hold regular meetings and events and support a KTT Community of Practice group. This increases the likelihood that Agreement research evidence will be used to inform public policy. To learn more about our knowledge translation and transfer services, visit the Agri-Food and Rural Link program page. 


It can be challenging for researchers to find resources to help them develop a plan to influence policymaking and bring about industry change. The following information and resources may be useful in that endeavour.

Increasing the Use of Evidence in Policy- and Decision-Making

Here are some tips to help support effective sharing of research in a policymaking environment.

  1. Learn and use "public policy language" with policymakers.
  2. Focus on effective communications to various stakeholders and target audiences.
  3. Strategically align with organizations and agencies that can get the message out.
  4. Be creative and use a variety of tools available.
  5. Evaluate client needs.
  6. Involve policymakers from the beginning of the research process.
  7. Spend time assessing your present and ideal role in each stage of the policy cycle.

Bridging the Gap between Science and Policy in Agri-Food Public Health

This two-day workshop and training session was held in March 2013 in Guelph, ON. The workshop brought together diverse agri-food public health professionals working at the science and policy interface in Canada to increase awareness and capacity for evidence-informed policymaking in this sector.

A PDF version of the summary report, as well as PDF versions of the presentations from the training session, are available on the University of Guelph’s Atrium, a digital service that collects, preserves, and distributes digital resources created at the University of Guelph. 

Understanding and Applying Basic Public Policy Concepts

This brief paper provides a general guide to the concept of public policy.