Engaging stakeholders, from inception and throughout the study, is good research practice to promote use of findings
Samuel Kalibala, Tara Nutley
2019. AIDS and Behavior. Online ahead of print, 03 July
The need for research-informed programming and policy making is well established. However, there is limited evidence that, when researchers actively promote utilization of research findings, stakeholders use such findings for decision making in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). A common barrier for research uptake in LMIC is that researchers focus on passive dissemination of final findings as the primary vehicle to affect research uptake. A more active approach to facilitating research utilization (RU) is necessary. Project SOAR, a six-year USAID-funded operations research project, recognized this gap and developed an approach to include the end data users in the research process from inception to final results dissemination. In this commentary, we make recommendations for active facilitation of research uptake using emerging lessons from SOAR’s RU process that focuses on ongoing engagement of stakeholders throughout the life of the study.