When one wishes to share public health knowledge in the hope of influencing public policy development, are policy makers the most relevant actors to target? Despite being often overlooked, the advisors of policy makers play an important role in public policy development. Moreover, when scientific knowledge is used in that process, advisors are the ones who handle such knowledge.
This literature review analyzes 70 documents that focus on the observations of advisors themselves, or of actors who rub shoulders with them. It sketches the profile of these advisors: some of them are public servants in departments or in local governments, while others are political advisors in ministerial offices or in the legislative branch. Our paper then describes the work these advisors carry out, especially as it comes to using scientific knowledge. Last, it sets out to pinpoint the influence these advisors have in political circles.
Throughout the document, we draw on findings that emerge from the literature to suggest avenues for reflection to help readers to analyze their own contexts and determine the knowledge-sharing approach most suited to their needs.