ICDDR,B and Knowledge Translation

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The following is part of a series of project updates from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). MHTF is supporting their project, Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Translation in Bangladesh. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.

Written by: ICDDR,B

The project “Knowledge Translation in Maternal Health: Culture and Capacity for Change” has successfully launched several concurrent activities. The main focus of the first three months of the project has been in two areas – 1) outreach to stakeholders, especially policymakers and ICDDR,B researchers, to inform them of the project and its goals and to receive early feedback and suggestions for improvement; and 2) drafting a document and reviewing curriculum for ICDDR,B researchers on ‘how to write a policy brief’ and communicate with policy makers. In addition to these, the most cost-effective and efficient approach to developing the project’s web-based system for maternal health ‘policy briefcases’ has been proposed. During this process, the project team realized the need for a ‘shared folder’ which contains the most up-to-date literature, evidence, and datasets on maternal health in Bangladesh. This is currently developed and is housed on the web-page of the Reproductive Health Programme at ICDDR,B. All study related personnel have access to this web-page.

A very successful consultative meeting entitled “Communication to strengthen evidence based policy-making for reproductive health in Bangladesh” was held at ICDDR,B on June 30th, 2010 to achieve our first objective mentioned above. Forty-two participants were invited and they included senior and mid-level government officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, researchers from ICDDR,B and other research institutes in Bangladesh as well as policymakers. This meeting was held in conjunction with another project that is focusing on enhancing the capacity of policymakers to apply research evidence in policymaking. The objectives of the workshop were three-fold: 1) to present a historical overview of ICDDR,B research and evidence and its influence on reproductive and maternal health; 2) to introduce the “Knowledge Translation in Maternal Health: Culture and Capacity for Change” project; and 3) to have open discussion about suggestions for the project. In addition to getting specific suggestions about what our ‘Access for All’ website should look like we also received useful inputs on the content of our policy brief training courses.

A draft of our first Knowledge Translation brief in both Bangla and English was circulated in the workshop. The Knowledge Translation Brief was based on a completed research study on “Strengthening Health Systems Capacity to Monitor and Evaluate programmes Targeted at reducing Abortion-related Maternal Mortality” conducted by ICDDR,B in collaboration with Ipas (available at www.icddrb.org/publication). Detailed and immediate feedback from the participants on the Knowledge Translation Brief was requested during the workshop. It was particularly valuable to hear policymakers’ specific suggestions about the presentation and the content of the Knowledge Translation brief.

The first draft of the document “How to Write a Knowledge Translation Brief” which draws on recent literature and existing training courses and materials has also been prepared. It is intended for researchers at ICDDR,B but could eventually be adapted for other institutions as well. The document is currently under review and the researcher’s course on this Knowledge Translation Brief writing procedure will be started soon.