Received Oct 7; Accepted Nov 6.
Abstract Background Despite the increasing investment in health-related research in Sub-Saharan Africa, a large gulf remains between what is known and what is practiced in health systems. Knowledge translation programs aim to ensure that a wide range of stakeholders are aware of and use research evidence to inform their health and health-care decision-making.
The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the impacts on capacity building for knowledge translation and knowledge translation activities by reviews of work in dealing centers coalition of eight research groups in Africa.
Key informant interviews and document reviews will be employed to evaluate changes in knowledge translation capacity and to evaluate the effects of knowledge translation on potential users of research.
Quarterly teleconferences will be done to evaluate the impacts of knowledge translation activities on users of research. Using website tracking, we will be able to explore the influence of knowledge translation networking and dynamics of the knowledge translation network.
Discussion We have adopted the dynamic knowledge transfer model and the Landry framework to come up with a framework for this study so as to explore the capacity of producers and users of research to generate, disseminate, and use research findings, while highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
This information will be useful for guiding implementers that seek to build capacity on knowledge translation so as to promote the utilization of research findings for informing programs, practice, and policy. Keywords: Health systems, Knowledge translation, Evidence-based practice, Africa Introduction In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is an increasing investment in health research [ 12 ]. In addition, reviews of work in dealing centers from other regions can be relevant for decision-makers in this region.
However, a large gap remains between what is known and what is practiced in health systems [ 3 ].
Indeed, stakeholders such as the World Health Organization have signaled that the adoption of research findings in developing countries is low and needs to be improved [ 4 ].
Knowledge translation KT programs aim to ensure that a wide range of stakeholders are aware of and use research evidence to inform their health and health-care decision-making [ 5 ].
- Accepted June 28,
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- Evaluation of a health systems knowledge translation network for Africa (KTNET): a study protocol
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KT aims to identify the best evidence as well as the pathways that make it easier for the targeted individuals and organizations to use research evidence in decisions and practices, ideally involving all relevant stakeholders, including patients, consumers, health-care providers, and policymakers.
KT has been defined as the exchange, synthesis, and effective communication of reliable and relevant research results with a focus on promoting interaction among the producers and users of research, removing the barriers to research use, and tailoring information to different target audiences so that effective interventions are used more widely [ 6 ].
The need to understand how best to translate knowledge into practice focuses increasingly on dealing with information overload, because access to information is facilitated by modern information technology in many settings. In Africa, mobile devices with access to the Internet are widely used.
Hence, careful selection, assessment, and prioritization of information are crucial for potential users of research. Moreover, building the capacity of producers of evidence to package and disseminate evidence to various audiences, as well as building the capacity of the users of this evidence to demand for, access, interpret, and apply evidence, is a crucial step in this process.
According to Hamel and Schrecker [ 7 ], most researchers and research users in low- and middle-income countries have a low capacity for KT. This implies that a lot of research evidence remains unutilized in policymaking and practice.
It is therefore where to buy options to develop and increase the KT capacity of researchers and decision-makers. Previous studies have pointed to the impact of interaction and face-to-face contact between research producers and users for effective knowledge transfer [ 8 ].
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It has been noted that the KT process has over time evolved from what was previously a one-way flow from producers of research to the users to a more interactive mode of linkage and exchange [ 9 ]. Studies revealed that such exchanges include formal and informal initiatives ranging from tailored products and messages, briefing events and forums, as well as other forms of partnership [ 1011 ]. When applied in settings where people come together, drawn by similar interests and goals, such initiatives have a vast potential for facilitating knowledge uptake and behavior change [ 12 ].
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However, little is known about how best to do this, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The study presented in this protocol aims to provide insight into the impacts on capacity building for KT and outcomes of KT activities of a coalition of eight research groups in Africa.
The specific objectives are as follows: 1.
Description of the KT program and its background SinceThe Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO has supported researchers at universities and institutions internationally to conduct reviews of work in dealing centers research and to develop research capacity.
In Africa, NWO has supported eight research groups to generate much needed research evidence around health systems in Africa.
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The research groups have focused on four areas: service delivery in obstetrics and child health, health-care financing insurance initiativesmedical supplies and technologies laboratoryand governance in health-care accountability and community initiatives. This study protocol focuses on the evaluation of KT activities in this project.