Communicating health research (51) Q2. What are the different approaches? (9)

19 September, 2022

Joseph, thank you. You said: "from the comprehensive situation analysis conducted by the State Ministry of Health (SMOH)... only Cross River State bought into the National Health Insurance Scheme in 2006 to deal with the challenge of out of pocket payment for health care services driving families into poverty... passing the Legislation on mandatory wearing of car seat belts and helments for motor cyclists, which led to a dramatic fall in morbidity and mortality from Road Traffic Accidents... overcoming the population’s resistance to the ABC (abstinence,  Be faithful, Condom) message for HIV Control... involving non medical people and the wider population... aids evidence informed policy making and implementation"

In the context of our discussion on research communication, what I am understanding here is that evidence-informed policy leading to improved outcomes has less to do with the effectiveness of communication of individual researchers, and more to do with the mindset of policymakers. Policymakers in Cross River State, including yourself as High Commissioner, recognised the need for evidence-informed policymaking. The situation analysis looked at all the available evidence on a range of issues and developed policy on that basis.

Looking at the role of researchers, it is important that they work together to promote evidence-informed policymaking. The question then becomes: What is the role of researchers (and other stakeholders) in promoting evidence-informed policymaking and what is their role in countering policymaking that ignores the evidence? For the latter, I am reminded of the role of academics in countering the heads of state of the USA and Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Communicating health research

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health movement (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. HIFA brings stakeholders together to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK based non-profit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Twitter: @hifa_org