Communicating health research (55) Q2. What are the different approaches? (13)

20 September, 2022

Dear Ama,

Thank you for your description of how you involved stakeholders in your research. You mentioned that "what made the impact was making the information less technical and more accessible to those who needed it the most - policymakers". Can you say a bit more about this? Was there anything in particular which seemed to have a great impact on policymakers? Was it perhaps the plain-English summaries, or perhaps the delivery of powerful speeches at face-to-face events?

It woul dbe wonderful to hear from you and others what made an impact. If I think back to previous conferences and meetings, sometimes a personal story was even more compelling than a stark statistic. I have heard policymakers speak movingly about how they witnessed a death or someone suffering, and I even remember one policymaker who said something like "I resolved there and then to make this my priority in office". My own experience of witnessing 35 years ago an unnecessary child death in Peru due to lack of basic knowledge on how to treat diarrhoea (the parents had believed they should withhold fluids, thereby unknowingly precipitating her death) was the seed for my lifelong commitment to improve the availability and use of reliable healthcare information.

Do you or others have examples of different approaches to research communication you can share?

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Communicating health research

Let's build a future where every person has access to reliable healthcare information and is protected from misinformation - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health movement (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. HIFA brings stakeholders together to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK based non-profit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Twitter: @hifa_org