Researchers often assume that the results of their work, after suitable publication, will find their way to influence policy. The Mexican biodiversity agency (CONABIO) is an example of the opposite process. Policy-makers in Mexico asked questions and demanded solutions to problems that were academically incipient or not even stated. These demands from actual users lead to the development of informatics tools, software, and eventually, theoretical developments. I will be describing a few instances of how this happened at CONABIO. The stories exemplify how questions of policy, databases, software, and theoretical developments were interlinked in the work of a government agency in a developing country.