World Health Organization and knowledge translation in maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition (2)

24 June, 2022

Neil writes: "It is good to read this new paper on a subject that is repeatedly explored on HIFA: how to improve knowledge translation - the usability, availability, adaptation, uptake and implementation of WHO guidelines." This is NOT the definition of knowledge translation, which instead should be (adopting Neil's formula) something like "the usability, availability, adaptation, uptake and implementation of the best health research." Indeed, WHO guidelines should not need much knowledge ttanslation if they are any good.

This reminds me how at one point in my WHO career I was put in charge of a new "Knowledge Translation Unit" at Headquarters. Shortly after this unit was announced, I had a visit from the Chief of Translation Services, who was worried that people would start sending me texts needing to be translated from one language to another - another meaning of "knowledge translation" altogether. People are still often confused by the fact that when we talk about knowledge translation, we are not principally talking about language translation (although, even more confusingly, that might indeed be one aspect of knowledge translation)...


Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO's Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and