Communicating health research (53) Q2. What are the different approaches? (11)

20 September, 2022

Dear Joseph,

"it will be more difficult for a sole researcher to get his/her result put into policy"

Indeed, do we have any researchers on HIFA whose work has led to a change in policy. whether Policy (with a big P, as in national/subnational policy) or policy with a small p (eg project/programme implementation)?

What were the key ingredients to make this happen in terms of research communication? What was the role of your research team? What was the role of your institution?

The above questions apply especially where the research team is fully convinced they have robust findings and recommendations that they believe should be implemented.

Perhaps more often the research team recognises that their results are just part of a bigger picture and their objective is not to change policy but to help inform policy. The best approach available to paint this bigger picture is the systematic review. So one definition of 'effective research communication' is that the study is included in a subsequent systematic review.

In addition to contributing to a systematic review, local/national researchers have a unique role to study relevant factors in their country, so that policymakers and their advisers can synthesise global evidence (typically systematic review) with local evidence. Or perhaps there are occasions when the local evidence is so compelling that the global evidence becomes secondary? And there may be situations where decision making relies entirely on local evidence.

We look forward to learn from your experience. The outputs of this discussion will help inform future efforts in research communication.

Please send your thoughts to:

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