Communicating health research (70) Q2. What are the different approaches? (16)

25 September, 2022

Dear HIFA colleagues,

One of the key objectives of our discussion is to compare and contrast the different approaches to communicating health research, to help inform health researchers to achieve increased impact. We especially want to hear about the experience of health researchers.

1. What is your experience of communicating research to policymakers?

2. Which approaches have you used? (eg academic journals, policy briefs, interaction with policymakers, press releases, social media, television, radio...)

3. Can you share one example of *successful* communication to policymakers? What approach worked for you? How did you know it was successful?

4. Can you share an example of *failed* communication to policymakers? Perhaps an example where the relevant policymakers remained unaware of your research? Or an example where they ignored it or failed to use it in policy and implementation?

We have touched on:

Academic journals

Open access



Policy briefs

Social media

Mass media (TV, newspapers...)

Popular culture

Interaction with policymakers, funders, academia, other stakeholders

Engaging the public

Press releases


Framing the message clearly and concisely

We have noted the many factors to consider when planning the communication strategy:

Primary versus secondary research

Global versus local research

Stage in research cycle (before, during, after)

Operational level of intended change

Political and personality factors of policymakers

Looking forward to learn from your experience.

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Communicating health research

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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