Communicating health research (69) Responses to Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 and Q5 (3)

24 September, 2022

[*Note from NPW, moderator: Our thanks to Emily Vargas, Mexico, for this thoughtful contribution. The original message was in Spanish and can be read in two parts here:

and here:

The text below is a Google translation into English - I am currently relearning my Spanish but I think Google will do a better job and is a lot quicker!]

Dear Jackeline and Neil

I allow myself to refer, my first part of the contribution to the discussion. Next week, I will send some concrete examples, successful experiences and

not so successful.

Note: I keep sharing with colleagues and social networks to promote their participation,

[1] *What does “effective communication of research results to decision makers” mean to you?*

The moments of the political process, although not linear and not necessarily systematic as studied in theory; if they are a frame of reference to understand the spaces and strategies that can be used to communicate information from the evidence and that can favor the decision-making, in this context, effectively communicating research results means disseminating relevant information and useful for a moment in the political process that helps, supports or strengthens decision-making in health, in favor of a common good.

[2] *What strategies do you consider most effective for communicating research results to decision makers (government, managers, coordinators, health professionals)?*

The strategy, route or channel to share or disseminate scientific evidence will depend on the political moment (phase of the public policy process), as well as the closeness or influence (lobbying capacity) that the researcher or the organization to which he is linked has with the decision-maker. The identification and assessment of it requires an analysis of the environment, the key actors, their interests and the issues surrounding it.

To be concrete, the most effective strategy is identified in an analysis of the context at the moment a window of opportunity is identified.

[3] *Is it the duty of researchers to communicate the results of their research to decision makers? o It is an obligation of science communicators, editors, media, among others.*

Communicating science is a global duty, it is everyone's duty, however, emphasis is placed on researchers who, first-hand, have the results of their work, even so and by virtue of the new measurements of scientific work, it is not possible to spread something without having previously been published in a scientific article, much less if a patent or invention right is implied. This creates a barrier, but also an opportunity, because it implies that everything that is published by a researcher or research team is usable, that is, it is for the use of the general public.

In this sense, I would not limit the obligation/duty to effectively communicate the results of the research expressly to the researcher or his team, anyone who has an interest in public policy being informed by best practices or the best research results can and it must have the powers to do so, however, if this communication is backed by investigators, much better. But it should not be a premise.

[4] * What are the information needs of a decision maker, how do you prefer to be informed and what are the tools or ways of it? *

Based on my experience in Colombia and Mexico, the political process, decision-making in the health sector, is affected by a number of interests, not only scientific, with different gradients of weight and opportunity; in LATAM, organizations such as WHO/PAHO and the IDB have a important influence on the lines of action that are promoted as a country, especially in relation to health programs, projects and strategies public. Others are the actors, when we refer to the Health and Social Security Systems, in this, the actors and interests vary, and appear in the scenario entities such as the World Bank, private companies, politics and depending on the political tendency, the interests of the populations and the right to health proclaimed in the Magna Cartas; and with considerable weight the secretariats of finance and public credit and economy.

Under this scenario, the degree, level and amount of information required by a decision maker, at the government level, is enough; here your advisers and technical team are key players, since they are the ones who carry out the analysis of the context and share with the decision maker in short meetings, in the corridors, in a specific report that is sent to your email or WhatsApp.

[5] *What can we do to encourage effective communication of research results? *

Some strategies:

1. That researchers and research centers make executive summaries of the research results, in plain language and be spread in different ways.

2. Creation of a team specialized in promoting the use of evidence in decision-making in health, which has the ability not only to lobby, but also to identify

*Emily V. *

HIFA profile: Emily Vargas is a knowledge management researcher based in Mexico. emilymariavr AT