Translating Evidence to Policy: Who? Where? Why? And what does it mean for my research?
On October 26, from 9-10 AM EDT, Health Systems Global’s Translating Evidence to Action Working Group hosted a webinar introducing the Baseline Inventory of Global Initiatives for Knowledge Translation. The inventory, compiled in collaboration with the SHAPES TWG, covers 75 initiatives (aimed at everything from banning baby walkers to reducing hospital acquired infections) from 45 countries (from Burkina Faso to Mongolia) with a view to providing an overview of who is doing what and how, under the umbrella of knowledge translation.
The inventory identifies: what each evidence translation initiative is, why it was set up, what its focus is, what its scope is, if it was an initiative set up with a specific purpose, or rather institution that was set up to work on evidence translation, etc. Devaki Nambiar from the Public Health Foundation of India, who led the development of the inventory, discussed some of the findings she thought would be of particular interest expanding upon her thought provoking blog “Evidence-based policymaking in health systems is a myth.”
Avril Kaplan is currently a PhD student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research examines the implications of social capital in removing barriers to seeking health care. Prior to attending JHSPH, Avril worked at Abt Associates where she focused on health financing and the health workforce issues in Haiti, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Dr. Devaki Nambiar is a Senior Research Scientist at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) who employs social science theory and mixed methods to understand and address health inequalities and social exclusion in health systems of resource-poor settings. She concurrently supports post-graduate training and capacity building in health policy and systems research as an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Public Health – Delhi. She is also a Bernard Lown Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health.
There is a profusion of resources on knowledge translation, which for the most part are designed for consumption within networks and communities of practice. More could be done to make these initiatives accessible to those not yet involved with such efforts, or those seeking to initiate them, particularly researchers and decision-makers in LMIC settings.
A felt need in the view of multiple Thematic Working Groups of HSG was that we currently lack a user-friendly resource base that compiles and maps global knowledge translation efforts, their provenance, context and processes, as well as lessons those closely involved with these efforts have learned and would like to share. USAID’s Health Finance and Governance project supported the development of the inventory and worked with the Public Health Foundation of India to undertake this effort through the Evidence to Action and SHAPES TWGs of Health Systems Global.