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Table 3 Influencing strategies

From: Strategies and tensions in communicating research on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS: a qualitative study of the experiences of researchers and communications staff

Creating public discussions of contested and neglected issues: BRAC has worked to change attitudes of key government and media stakeholders towards sexuality in Bangladesh. This included holding a public meeting on sexuality, careful and active recruitment of participants, and capitalising on credibility held by academic institutions in Bangladesh to ally with queer groups. (See: Rashid et al., this issue)
Reframing contested issues: APHRC’s presentation of the results of their Protecting the Next Generation project at two international conferences, the first in Tanzania in 2007 and the second in Nigeria in 2008. The first time the information about the early age at which young people are starting to have sex and the need to provide them with SRH information and services was met with concern and anger by audiences, and the second time they presented the same messages in a more sensitive way (e.g. emphasising the importance of parents in young peoples’ lives and the dilemmas parents face) but with the same policy conclusions, the audience had a much more favourable reaction.
Highlighting neglected issues: Bringing work on congenital syphilis higher up the policy agenda in Ghana through collaboration with the Ghanaian MoH. Generating buy-in for research findings at the national level through working with WHO on STI treatment and management guidelines (LSHTM and SRH and HIV partners).
Extending or shifting mainstream issues: Strategic use of high profile conferences on relevant subjects. For example Evidence For Action (UK) held a satellite meeting at the XVII Mexico AIDS conference to share experience of using and generating evidence to improve HIV treatment and care systems in resource-poor settings. A communications officer from IDS (UK) sent out a blog from this meeting highlighting links between unfolding HIV debates and research from the Realising Rights consortium.