Making your research accessible

New report seeks to strengthen the research to policy and practice interface

By 17 June 2011

It is great to see DFID getting behind the issue of research uptake via a new report that provides insights on how researchers and communication specialists can engage with decision makers and ensure that research has the impact that it should. The report, made up of a series of open access articles in Health Policy Research and Systems states,

“There is no point doing research if the findings do not get into policy and practice. DFID strongly encourages all research programmes to consider research uptake activities as an integral part of the research.”

This special supplement draws on the work of the Sexual Health HIV Evidence into Practice (SHHEP) initiative. SHHEP is a collaboration across four DFID Research Programme Consortia (RPC) that undertake research and action on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health in resource poor contexts.

The essence of SHHEP is to share learning on research uptake and research engagement in Sexual and Reproductive Health, including HIV. The group has formulated a range of targeted mechanisms to communicate health research to different audiences and spearhead change, and were finalists for the British Medical Journal 2010 Getting Research into Practice (GRiP) prize.

The report is incredibly useful in that it highlights the range of different methodologies and approaches researchers and communication specialists have used in different contexts to try to ensure research has an impact. The report looks at examples from a number of  different contexts (for example South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana, Bangladesh) and on a diversity of topic areas (Gender based violence, sexualities, orphans and vulnerable children, HIV care and treatment including male circumcision, cotrimoxazole and links with nutrition), indicating the varied challenges for research uptake, and the means by which it is achieved.

The report states:

The work reported in this supplement provides examples of approaches that have been tried and from which other researchers can learn. They demonstrate that getting research into policy and practice is complex, dynamic and multi-faceted; and a wide range of context and issue specific conceptual and practical approaches have to be used. I hope that the innovative approaches and promising ways forward, presented in these papers, will inspire and motivate others.

The report is made up of 15 substantive sections, and R2A will be looking at a number of these in more detail over the coming weeks.

The full report is linked to below:

Strengthening the research to policy and practice interface: exploring strategies used by research organisations working on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS

 

Foreword

Foreword: Lesson learning about getting research into policy and practice
C Whitty, S Kinn
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S1 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Introduction
Strengthening the research to policy and practice interface: exploring strategies used by research organisations working on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS
Sally Theobald, Olivia Tulloch, Joanna Crichton, Kate Hawkins, Eliya Zulu, Philippe Mayaud, Justin Parkhurst, Alan Whiteside, Hilary Standing
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S2 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Review

What shapes research impact on policy? Understanding research uptake in sexual and reproductive health policy processes in resource poor contexts
Andy Sumner, Jo Crichton, Sally Theobald, Eliya Zulu, Justin Parkhurst
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S3 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Strategies and tensions in communicating research on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS: a qualitative study of the experiences of researchers and communications staff
Joanna Crichton, Sally Theobald
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S4 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Getting research into policy – Herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) treatment and HIV infection: international guidelines formulation and the case of Ghana
H Burris, J Parkhurst, Y Adu-Sarkodie, P Mayaud
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S5 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
National policy development for cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia: the relationship between Context, Evidence and Links
Eleanor Hutchinson, Justin Parkhurst, Sam Phiri, Di M Gibb, Nathaniel Chishinga, Benson Droti, Susan Hoskins
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S6 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Engaging media in communicating research on sexual and reproductive health and rights in sub-Saharan Africa: experiences and lessons learned
Rose Ndakala Oronje, Chi-Chi Undie, Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu, Joanna Crichton
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S7 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Investing in the future: lessons learnt from communicating the results of HSV/ HIV intervention trials in South Africa
Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Jonathan Stadler, Philippe Mayaud, Helen Rees
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S8 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
The impact of HIV and AIDS research: a case study from Swaziland
Alan Whiteside, Fiona E Henry
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S9 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Using research to influence sexual and reproductive health practice and implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa: a case-study analysis
Olivia Tulloch, Philippe Mayaud, Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, Baafuor Kofi Opoku, Nana Oye Lithur, Eugene Sickle, Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Mwita Wambura, John Changalucha, Sally Theobald
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S10 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Playing the role of a ‘boundary organisation’: getting smarter with networking
Scott Drimie, Tim Quinlan
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S11 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Creating a public space and dialogue on sexuality and rights: a case study from Bangladesh
Sabina Faiz Rashid, Hilary Standing, Mahrukh Mohiuddin, Farah Mahjabeen Ahmed
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S12 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Research
Strange bedfellows: bridging the worlds of academia, public health and the sex industry to improve sexual health outcomes
Wendy Knerr, Anne Philpott
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S13 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Commentary
Challenges in linking health research to policy: a commentary on developing a multi-stakeholder response to orphans and vulnerable children in Ghana
John Owusu Gyapong, Richmond Ato Selby, Kwadwo Antwi Anakwah
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S14 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]

Commentary
Designing and implementing a communications strategy: lessons learnt from HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Research Programme Consortia
Annabelle South
Health Research Policy and Systems 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S15 (16 June 2011)
[Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]