Communicating health research (18) Systematic review of communication strategies (2) Policy briefs

6 September, 2022

Neil, wrote, ‘The question then becomes: how can the findings of a paper be made more accessible, and more useful, to policymakers?’

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The answer lies in recognizing significant characteristics of a policy brief as one tool aimed to increase the possibility of transferring research to policy and then practice. By nature, policy briefs are different from academic reports. They are meant to be presented to usually, a non academic chief executive / policy maker to aid policy making that is based on evidence, informal, brief, clear and engaging in a positive tone. To be effective and persuasive, it should not be dominated by technical and specialist jargons. The chief executive should not have to browse google to search for meaning of terminologies in the brief.

Policy briefs are generally valued by policy-makers, so long as they meet the criteria listed above. In addition, the writer /author of the brief must bear the policy maker and his needs in mind. It should easy to read because decision-making is already a complex process, with other conflicting interests, ideas and values in the mix, to take account of. Furthermore, prior established credibility of the writer/author and the research source are equally important. In our experience, a policy brief should not be more than three pages which the often busy chief executive can spend between thirty minutes to one hour to read, leisurely, understand, and act on.

Joseph Ana.

Prof Joseph Ana

Lead Senior Fellow/ medical consultant.

Center for Clinical Governance Research &

Patient Safety (ACCGR&PS)

P: +234 (0) 8063600642


8 Amaku Street, State Housing & 20 Eta Agbor Road,

Calabar, Nigeria.

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria, established by HRI Global (former HRIWA). In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: info AT and jneana AT