Communicating health research (77) Q4. What are the needs and preferences of policymakers? (3) Global and local synthesis

26 September, 2022

Re: 'Localising and tailoring research evidence helps public health decision making'

Thank you Irina for pointing us to this paper. Here are the key messages:

Key Messages

- Information professionals carry out many activities involved in mobilising research into practice but this is often not recognised.

- Localising and tailoring are two key mobilising mechanisms that information professionals can use to increase the use of evidence in practice.

- Information professionals make evidence fit for decision making by localising evidence which relates to local context and needs.

- Information professionals tailor the format of evidence to present commissioners and planners with actionable messages.

- Information professionals’ expertise could be used more systematically to champion a culture and infrastructure within and between health organisations that encourage knowledge mobilisation.

Arguably, what policymakers need most is not the results of single primary research studies (although these can be paramount in selected situations), and not even the results of systematic reviews. Most often, they need a synthesis of global (secondary) evidence and local evidence, provided by expert information professionals. This critical process of global and local synthesis is not only important and complex, it is also (in my view) a neglected part of knnowledge translation.

Synthesis of global and local research is crucial for national and subnational policymaking. It is the basis of WHO's knowledge sharing approach whereby WHO provides rigorous international guidance that can be used and adapted by Member States.

I would like to ask HIFA members: Do you have any experience you can share on global and local synthesis? We are especially keen to hear from information professionals at country level:

- How can global evidence (for example WHO guidance) be improved to make it more easily adaptable to national/local context?

- Are you aware of any resources to guide global and local synthesis?

Have you been involved in WHO guidance development? Or Cochrane?? Or the Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative? We would love to hear from you.

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 neil AT