Getting research into policy and practice
Development actors are paying increasing attention to the question of how research, despite barriers, can fulfil its potential to improve policy and practice.
Researchers and communications experts are using innovative approaches to communicate their research but they do not often share their experiences and achievements. This issue of insights sets out to redress this, focusing on their experiences of working on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS globally. The articles are all based on case studies presented during a meeting at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, in the UK, in May 2009.
Politics influences how open decision-makers are to using evidence-based research in formulating policy or making decisions. For example, in the field of sexual and reproductive health, social or religious attitudes and interest groups play a powerful role in politics and can encourage decision-makers to ignore new research evidence. The role of research in policy processes can also be hampered by weak capacity to assess and use research evidence or a lack of appreciation of how research can identify health problems and unmet needs, develop effective interventions, and improve the accessibility and targeting of services.