This list of key resources was compiled from research carried out by Exchange. We would welcome suggestions or additions to the list: please send these to email@example.com. There is also a 'Findings' paper based on this research, entitled Communicating health research: how does evidence affect policy and practice?.
Books, reports, etc
This call for action sets out a blueprint for strengthening the role of civil society organisations in research for health following the Bamako global ministerial forum on research for health
This four page paper outlines some of the challenges and lessons learned from a strategic evaluation of the policy influence of research supported by IDRC. It asked three fundamental questions: what does policy influence mean? In which cases has research supported by IDRC influenced policy? what factors contribute to, or inhibit, policy influence? It briefly outlines the methodology of the evaluation and presents a summary of the analysis and outputs, as well as factors worthy of further study
An extensive annotated bibliography of 100 documents relevant to 'bridging research and policy'. Mainstream literature is supplemented with alternative viewpoints. The bibliography has been divided into three key themes ('bridging research and policy: the political context', 'the actors: networks, organisations, individuals', 'the message and the media'), including 'new' subject areas that may be useful (eg social psychology, media studies, marketing and communication). The entries are listed alphabetically by author, and then cross-indexed by theme, and by academic discipline
This paper looks at why some research policy ideas are picked up and acted on while others are ignored and disappear. It examines the processes, findings and implications of 50 summary case studies on research policy linkages. Discussion centres around four interlinked spheres: context, evidence, links and external influences. Some case studies show a clear and direct link between research and policy, while most show a less direct impact with a necessity for strong advocacy efforts. The case studies represent an interesting range of evidence and experience about research-policy links from around the world. They include examples from a wide range of types of research carried out by a variety of organisations and illustrate different types of policy impact. This ranges from direct impact on policy, changes in policy implementation, and changes on the ground but little in policy
This short learning brief gives a clear overview of the process of how research impacts on policy and how policy draws upon research. It describes the legislative route, bureaucratic access, educational avenues, the climate of opinion, community participation and local knowledge and networks. It considers communication and dissemination strategies and notes some of the key lessons learned
This paper is a record of a consultation on 'Communities Matter' which reviewed case studies of successes and failures of community and civil society engagement, participation and action in health research. The group discussion focused on opportunities and obstacles for communities to engage in health research. It analysed strategies that can be applied to increase a community’s voice in health research, and looked at the concepts, definitions and frameworks that can be used for promoting, advocating and supporting community engagement in health research
This accessible briefing paper outlines a number of key issues and challenges for strengthening research communication and promoting evidence-based policy. It reviews a range of recent NGO initiatives and debates in this area and signposts a number of useful resources and case studies. Considers the need to bridge the gaps between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, the role of influential policy networks, the role of political context, components of effective research communicatIon, and some promising initiatives at the 'research-practice boundary'
Describes the process and lessons learned from the Tanzania Essential Health Intervention Project (TEHIP). This intervention used research to support the development of health care interventions aimed at the local burden of disease priorities. Local demographic surveillance helped to establish health intervention priorities in two districts, and then simple, computer-based 'burden of disease profiling tools' were used to help decide the allocation of budgets. The result was a large decrease in mortality rates, particularly among children and an increase in patient satisfaction and attendance at clinics
This issue focuses on the innovative approaches to communicating research experiences being used by researchers and communication experts around sexual and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS globally. It includes specific articles about Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa and Bangladesh
This volume reflects the current state of health research in ensuring equitable access. The topics covered range from access to health, innovation and research resources to decision-making and governance. To achieve better health, particularly among the poor and marginalised in low- and high-income countries alike, there is a need to improve health systems and services, to ensure equitable and affordable access to these and to good quality medicines, and to address social inequities that produce and exacerbate poor health. Beyond the treatment of ill-health, much more attention is needed to create the conditions that enable individuals, communities and countries to promote better health
Focuses on applied or operations or health services research and reviews how this is implemented. Considers utlisation, communication and evaluation of research, in the field of reproductive and sexual health in particular. Reviews a range of methods useful for evaluating the impact of research
This document provides guidance on the process for identifying, documenting and sharing knowledge on country experiences in the planning, implementation and monitoring of health programmes and services that can be considered as 'Best Practices' and that can contribute to the acceleration and expansion of health sector actions. It has been written for WHO staff, ministries of health and civil society organisations
This manual is a practical guide to the use of research methods for investigating medicines use by consumers, particularly those in developing countries, in order to identify problems, design interventions and measure changes. It will help health workers, policy-makers, administrators, researchers, educationalists, medical and pharmacy students, and many others to go beyond the individual and to the study the community as a focus. Topics covered include the reasons for studying medicine use by consumers, what influences consumer choice, and how to prioritise and analyse community medicines use problems. There are chapters on sampling and data analysis, and the manual concludes by looking at the important issue of monitoring and evaluating interventions
Knowledge Translation (KT) works to knit together research and action. "An intensely social process, KT depends upon relationships....[It has] three core principles: - Knowledge. KT efforts at any level depend upon a robust, accessible and contextualized knowledge base. - Dialogue. The relationships at the heart of KT can only be sustained through regular, two-way dialogue and exchange. - Capacity. Researchers, decision-makers and other research-users require a strengthened skill-base to create and respond to KT opportunities." The introduction is also available in French
This briefing paper considers the findings of research conducted by REACH, an independent research trust in Malawi, on poverty and access to health care services at community level. It looks at the processes used by REACH to communicate findings into policy and practice. These include developing relationships with policymakers to enhance ownership of the research process, advocating research findings at policy fora, presenting findings generated by a range of research methods, and strategically framing the research in different discourses (eg poverty, gender) depending on the audience
"This paper aims to advance understanding on how to monitor and evaluate policy research, i.e. research that is undertaken in order to inform and influence public policy. Policy is defined very broadly to encompass both policy decisions and processes, including implementation..."
This handbook presents key principles and steps in developing and evaluating health communication program for the public, patients, and health professionals. It expands upon and replaces two earlier publications titled Pretesting in Health Communications and Making PSA's Work. Referring primarily to the context of the United States, the guide discusses specific steps in program development and includes examples of their use. Sources of additional information on each subject are included at the end of the chapters
This is a synthesis which aims to provide a quick reference of suggested communication approaches for health researchers and monitoring and evaluation professionals in order to facilitate stakeholders’ use of health information for decision-making
This Report is the main output of a workshop that was held in October 2006 to ask the question How can funders encourage more effective research communication? The workshop brought together invited participants drawn from three groups: research funders (international agencies, foundations, and research councils involved in funding development research); research organisations and networks from around the world involved in carrying out research, and with an interest in effective research communication; and knowledge intermediaries involved in communicating research
Reviews the background and recommendations for the communication component of DFIDs new research strategy. Concludes that policy processes are complex and that research-based evidence is only one of the many competing influences on policy makers, development practitioners and end users. Outlines a number of gaps in flows of research information and how these may be addressed. Acknowledges the vital role of communication while also noting the importance of context and enabling environments in which the repackaging and circulation of information takes place and that intermediaries and networks are a vital part of this process. The political context and the complex relationships between people are key. Highlights a number of initiatives of European donors to strengthen southern research capacity and initiatives to facilitate knowledge and research sharing by a range of intermediary communication organisations
This guide provides a hands-on 12-step process to developing health communication campaigns. Each chapter is created according to the steps, with information on what the step is, why it is important and what is required to carry it out
This briefing highlights from health research issues discussed at the World Health Assembly and the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG). The IGWG process has important implications and considerations for health research and the role that developing countries can play
This review addresses a mismatch between what is known about how to respond to particular health problems in poor economies and what is actually done about them. It focuses on one cause of the problems that ensue from the mismatch -capacity constraints. Weak capacity at a number of levels in the institutions and interfaces between knowledge generation and use in policy-making has been identified by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) as a key strategic issue in addressing health care in low-income countries
This document looks at the methods of disseminating research findings. It looks at the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of dissemination pathways, including e-mail, working documents, research reports, academic journals, conferences / workshops / seminars, participatory techniques, mass media, and intermediaries
[Publisher's abstract] This book is a product of the second phase of a DFID-funded KaR project that is aimed at increasing the impact of research through improved dissemination of the research process and findings. It develops the ideas from phase one of the project 'Spreading the Word: Practical guidelines for research dissemination strategies' (Saywell and Cotton, 1999) (Source record number 35244). Based on in-depth consultation with Southern agencies about appropriate methods and formats by which to share information and knowledge relating to development research projects, this book provides dissemination checklists and guidelines. It also provides a useful overview of the issues and more specific advise for anyone engaged in development-related research, whether as contractors, practitioners or donors, at all stages of the project cycle
Looks at the relative influence of policy and systems research on health systems in practice. Case studies illustrate the application of health systems research to solving problems of policy and practice. Addresses a number of key areas such as: the setting of research priorities, getting research into policy and practice, and developing research capacity in developing countries
From the introduction: "This toolkit is for researchers and practitioners who wish to communicate to policymakers. The tools are therefore specifically geared towards the needs of researchers and practitioners in civil society organisations (CSOs), including development NGOs, research institutes, think tanks, universities and networks. The toolkit addresses the questions of how researchers and CSOs can best communicate evidence in order to inform or influence policy, to achieve their own stated development objectives, or simply to make their own knowledge accessible and understandable to a wider audience." After a brief but useful introduction, tools are presented in four sections: planning, packaging, targeting and monitoring
This third report knits together earlier work by accelerating a more realistic understanding of what works in strengthening health systems, for whom and under what circumstances. Its primary goal is to catalyse new conceptual thinking on health systems, system-level interventions, and health system strengthening
"This handbook presents work in progress on tools for policy impact, specifically geared towards the needs of researchers. "The handbook is particularly targeted at civil society organisations, or the parts of them, whose activities involve gathering evidence, doing research, learning lessons or advising on strategy for social, environmental and economic development in the North and South"
Looks at the uptake of health research into policy in four developing countries - Malawi, Tanzania, India and Pakistan. Identifies a range of barriers to effective dissemination and uptake of research results based on interviews with researchers, policy-makers and a range of stakeholders. Makes recommendations for donor support to developing country research capacity and greater involvement of practitioners and policy-makers in the south in research priorities and applications
This is a report on the meeting of the executive board about the 2008 Bamako call to action on health research - strengthening health, equity and research
"This guide has been designed to support strategic thinking on media engagement and to address researchers' need to act autonomously. "It offers step-by-step practical advice on working with different sections of the media, as well as considerations in developing a media strategy. The guide is predominantly aimed at UK staff but many of the points are relevant for researchers internationally"
This article discusses the results of a survey to examine the gaps that continue to exist between research based evidence and clinical practice. Health care providers in 10 low- and middle-income countries were surveyed about their use of research-based evidence and examined factors that may facilitate or impede such use. The conclusion is that locally conducted or published research plays an important role in changing the professional practice of health care providers surveyed in low- and middle-income countries and increased investments in local research, or at least in locally adapted publications of research-based evidence from other settings, are therefore needed. Although access to the Internet was viewed as a significant factor in whether research-based evidence led to concrete changes in practice, few respondents reported having easy access to the Internet. Therefore, efforts to improve Internet access in clinical settings need to be accelerate
This article describes the findings from a study which examined efforts to bridge the gaps between research, policy and practice in 10 low- and middle-income countries in which researchers conducting research in one of four clinical areas relevant to the Millennium Development Goals: prevention of malaria (Ghana, Laos, Senegal and Tanzania), care of women seeking contraception (China, Kazakhstan, Laos and Mexico), care of children with diarrhoea (Ghana, India, Pakistan and Senegal) and care of patients with tuberculosis (China, India, Iran and Mexico) were surveyed
Examines the challenges of getting medical and public health research into practice in resource-poor settings. Addresses practice at the policy, organisational and individual levels. Uses brief case studies from the field of reproductive health to illustrate points
This is a set of 18 tools that can be used by those involved in finding and using research evidence to support evidence-informed health policy making. The series addresses four broad areas: supporting evidence-informed policymaking; identifying needs for research evidence; finding and assessing research evidence; and, going from research evidence to decisions
This manual is to help governments, civil society groups and others concerned about the prices of medicines to collect and analyse: medicine prices (patient prices and government procurement prices) across sectors and regions in a country; medicine availability; treatment affordability; and all price components in the supply chain from manufacturer to patient (taxes, mark-ups etc.). It is accompanied by a CD-ROM which contains a more extensive collection resources and tools, such as sample training materials, frequently asked questions, and a report template for use in developing national survey reports
The goal of RAPNet website is to help establish a community of scholars and practitioners working at the interface of research and policymaking around the globe. It provides a regularly updated news page and a quarterly electronic newsletter alerting subscribers and network members of relevant activities, resources and training opportunities; case-study material (original electronic documents whenever possible), including one-page abstracts and synthesis documents drawing out the key themes; e-discussions on evidence-based policy making in specific regions and sectors; links to related literature, research projects, contacts, and towards the end of the Bridging and Research Project, conclusions, recommendations, practical guides and training materials; and seminars to enhance the capacity of researchers based in low and middle-income countries to engage in knowledge transfer activities.
RAPNet was piloted during 2003 as a 'community of practice' for the Bridging Research and Policy Project which aims to improve understanding of the links between research and policy, and to bridge the gap between researchers, policymakers and intermediary organisations such as media and professional associations in order to promote evidence-based policymaking in low and middle income countries
A list of useful documents and key themes around the area of bridging research and policy are identified. Key themes include: the policy cycle - identifying 'spaces' for research to inform policy; policy making - comprehensive or chaotic? how and why research is used by policy makers; improving the take up of research knowledge - the role of knowledge brokers and enhancing the use of research knowledge. A select bibliography in the final section contains useful references
The Global Development Network (GDN) is a global network of research and policy institutes working together to address the problems of national and regional development. It supports multidisciplinary research in social sciences; promotes the generation of local knowledge in developing and transition countries; produces policy relevant knowledge on a global scale; builds research capacity to advance development and alleviate poverty; facilitates knowledge sharing among researchers and policymakers; and disseminates development knowledge to the public and policymakers
This website provides information on national health research systems in low and middle income countries. It would be useful for anyone involved in health research at a national or at international level, policy makers, research managers, researchers, health care practitioners, health system managers, civil society and development professionals. Individuals actively involved in health research in their country (either as researcher, policy maker, or user) are encouraged to become active contributors to the site
This website for ODI's Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme provides a range of information on the use of research and evidence in development policy and practice. The site includes lessons from the programme so far, current and past projects, bibliographies, and links to related work. The RAPID programme aims to improve the use of research in development policy and practice through improved knowledge about research-policy links; improved knowledge management and learning systems; improved communication; and improved awareness of the importance of research. It addresses the role of evidence in policy processes; improved communication and information systems for policy and practice; and approaches to institutional development for evidence-based policy
"A gateway to Internet resources on public engagement with science and technology and science communication. Produced by the Wellcome Library in collaboration with Intute, Psci-com consists of a growing searchable database of websites, a calendar of events, online bibliographies and links to an associated email discussion list. Websites included in the database include science communication courses, sources of funding for public engagement activities, key reports and documents, and primary source surveys and opinion polls"
This website offers policymakers, researchers, the media and civil society information and a platform to explore how science and technology can reduce poverty, improve health and raise standards of living around the world. SciDev.Net also builds developing countries’ capacity for communicating science and technology through regional networks of committed individuals and organisations, practical guidance and specialist workshops
This is the website for a project which gives indigenous people in Suriname's interior Greenstone Belt region with the materials and technical support they need to self-diagnose the effects of mercury pollution from gold-mining on their community's and their environment's health