Dear Chris and all,
You noted that a sentence in my previous message was inaccurate, namely: "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." As you said, 'This is NOT the definition of knowledge translation...'
Indeed, I should have written:
"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."
My message referred to a paper about knowledge translation of WHO guidelines and included the WHO definition of knowledge translation: '˜The synthesis, exchange and application of knowledge by relevant stakeholders to accelerate the benefits of global and local innovation in strengthening health systems and improving people's health'.
You noted: "Indeed, WHO guidelines should not need much knowledge translation if they are any good"
Yes, I'd like to explore this a bit more. if WHO guidelines are 'any good' (and perceived as such), then they will be more likely to be used. The picture is complex, however. At country level, guideline developers need to consider WHO (and other global and regional evidence) side by side with local research findings, routine health data, stakeholder inputs, and other considerations, in order to develop robust national policy. The capacity and resources (let alone the will) to do this effectively are often inadequate. The picture is also complicated by political, financial and other factors.
We continue to grapple with these issues on HIFA. See for example:
1. HIFA poster on Country-level policymaking, based on HIFA discussions and presented by HIFA member Soumyadeep Bhaumik at the Cochrane Colloquium in Seoul in 2016. https://www.hifa.org/sites/default/files/publications_pdf/HIFA_Case_Stud...
2. New HIFA project on role of civil society in national policymaking, in collaboration with the SUPPORT-SYSTEMS research consortium (University of Ghana, KEMRI, Norwegian Institute for Public Health and others) https://www.hifa.org/projects/new-support-systems-how-can-decision-makin...
3. New HIFA project on Communicating health research to support evidence-informed policymaking, supported by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseaseses (TDR) at WHO.
I'd like to invite you and others to explore these issues further. It would be interesting to hear from HIFA members who have experience in developing national policy and practice guidance: Did you have any challenges with developing guidance? What technical challenges did you face (for example, in synthesising global evidence from WHO with local evidence?) and how did you deal with these challenges? What other challenges did you have (for example, political challenges)? And can anyone share your experience in promoting the dissemination and uptake of national guidance, once it has been developed? There is also the possibility of having to revise existing guidance (at WHO and/or country level) on the basis of new evidence. It would be good to hear about ways in which you have addressed any of these issues.
Best wishes, Neil