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There has been an increasing interest and institutionalization of knowledge in public decision making over the last few years. However, the experiences of Southern-led think net Politics & Ideas (P&I) and its members in Latin America with regards to political leaders show that many mid-level policymakers need support, new tools and new ideas to foster effective changes within their agencies to promote a better use of research. With a grant awarded by INASP as part of the VakaYiko project, P&I recently ran an online course to help address this gap for Latin American policymakers. Here Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt of P&I describe the need for this type of training and what they have learnt as a result of the course.