Feb 22 2016 - Mar 31 2016

"Health research globally has increased exponentially in the last few decades. Improved health systems that increase access to care are dependent on the successful translation of this research evidence into policy and practice. However, bridging the gap between researchers, policy-makers and health workers who implement the policies into practise is challenging, especially in low- and middle-income countries."

A free online discussion is taking place over 6 weeks on the use of research evidence to inform policy and practice. The topic, which is being sponsored by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Lancet, is open to all on the global Health Information for All (HIFA) forums. Click here to join HIFA, which is a global network that includes more than 15,000 health professionals, policymakers, researchers, systematic reviewers, international/national guideline developers, publishers, and information professionals in 175 countries, interacting on 5 virtual forums in 3 languages (English, French, and Portuguese).

The discussion will start on the main HIFA forum (English) and, in parallel, on CHIFA (child health and rights), HIFA-French, HIFA-Portuguese, and HIFA-Zambia. "We are especially keen to share and learn from the practical experience of policymakers, researchers and knowledge brokers, including case studies from different countries." The discussion will continue to the end of March 2016, when the content will be summarised and made widely available.

The first of 3 discussions, which begins February 22, focuses on evidence-informed country-level policy-making. It explores drivers and barriers to the uptake of evidence into policy and practice, what has worked and what has not worked in different contexts, and how these challenges could be better addressed in the future (e.g., capacity building, access initiatives, and raising awareness of key information sources). Future discussions will explore challenges of policymaking and implementation around specific health issues (please contact organisers if you would like to propose a specific issue).