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Table 6 Summary of papers describing/evaluating knowledge translation (KT) interventions/tools

From: Review of published evidence on knowledge translation capacity, practice and support among researchers and research institutions in low- and middle-income countries

Intervention level/paper Intervention and evaluation aims, design and results/recommendations
Systems level
 Majdzadeh 2010 [94] - Intervention: In 1985, the Iranian government integrated medical schools into the Ministry of Health resulting in the creation of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME)
- Aim: To enhance translation of evidence into policy and practice
- Evaluation: Qualitative study involving interviews and focus group discussions with decision-makers, non-medical professionals, researchers (from intervention and control settings) and practitioners to assess impact on MOHME decision-making processes
- Results: Increased operations research but institutional policy-making culture remained unchanged; time for teaching and research compromised because of over-emphasis on service delivery
- Recommendations: Need for establishment of clear regulations and incentives to guide and promote the integration
 Sriram 2018 [90] - Intervention: Processes to form National Knowledge Platform (NKP) initiated in 2013, in India, by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW)
- Aim: To enhance dialogue and exchange between policy-makers and health policy and systems researchers to inform the generation of policy-relevant evidence and decision-making
- Evaluation: Qualitative case study involving interviews with researchers and policy-makers and document reviews in 2016 to analyse the policy-making process
- Results: NKP initially established as embedded within MOHFW but evolved into an independent platform; researchers network at the forefront, pushing formation of NKP, including leading proposal development; researcher network initially considered as secretariat but later involved as Steering Committee member
Institution level
 Mijumbi 2014 [91] - Intervention: University-based (Makerere University) rapid response service (RSS), implemented from 2010 to present, targeting state and non-state decision-makers, including mid- and top-level officials at Ministries of Health, civil society organisations and legislators
- Aim: Timely (within 28 days) development of four-page evidence briefs with clear key messages to support health systems policy development and planning
- Feasibility assessment: Case study involving RSS service data and interviews with service users covering the period 28 months from start of the service
- Results: Among nearly half of the policy-makers, the intervention resulted in a change in the course of action based on the evidence provided in the rapid response briefs
 Mijumbi-Deve 2017 [92] - Intervention: University-based (Makerere University) RSS implemented from 2010 to present targeting state and non-state decision-makers, including mid- and top-level officials at Ministries of Health, civil society organisations and legislators
- Aim: Timely (within 28 days) development of four-page evidence briefs with clear key messages to support health systems policy and planning decision-making
- Evaluation: Qualitative case study entailing interviews with researchers involved in its implementation and policy-makers who used or were conversant with the service, to explore the contextual factors associated with the how and why an RRS may be taken up by users in Uganda in the period 2010 to 2014
- Findings: Buy-in from Ministry of Health, consultation during design and implementation of the service, ongoing sensitisation and reminders, follow-up interviews with users, sustainable funding to run the service, including paying and training full time staff, and RSS research staff maintaining a balance between an institutionalised system and a personal relationship
 Syed 2008 [72] - Intervention: Development and application of the Future Health Systems (FHS) evidence–policy interface conceptual framework based on document review and iterative discussions among FHS research consortium; framework considers four key factors, including the developmental context, research characteristics, decision-making processes and stakeholder engagement
- Aim: Tool for assessing research plans’ potential for strengthening research–policy links in LMICs and opportunities for improvement
- Evaluation: Applied to six health system research plans
- Results: Identified gaps in research plans, including limited focus on the following: nurturing links with institutions involved in decision-making processes, identification and participation on formal and informal networks, and stakeholder analysis to inform the design of engagement strategies
- Recommendation: Wide application and evaluation
Individual level
 Mbuagbaw 2014 [93] - Intervention: 2-day training workshop targeting Cameroonian health researchers’ (university-based and independent) and policy-makers on pragmatic KT trials including distinguishing pragmatic trials from other types of trials, and key concepts in KT, important steps in clinical trial design
- Aim: Improve knowledge
- Evaluation: Structured pre–post training test survey administered before start of training and immediately after end of training
- Finding: Statistically significant short-term improvement in the participants’ mean score (standard deviation) from 14.7 (3.75) in the pre-test to 18.27 (4.21) in the post-test
Activity level
 Lavis 2009 [96] - Intervention: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) #13: Preparing and using policy briefs to support evidence-informed policymaking
- Aim: Guiding questions for preparing policy briefs for use in decision-making processes
- Evaluation: not evaluated
 Lavis 2009 [95] - Intervention: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) #14: Organising and using policy dialogues to support evidence-informed policymaking
- Aim: Guiding questions for organising policy dialogue
- Evaluation: not evaluated
 Young 2018 [69] - Intervention: The Policy BUDDIES Project in Western Cape Province, South Africa, implemented in 2014 for 6 months. Paired/matched provincial policy-makers one-to-one with local researchers skilled in KT skilled and knowledgeable about health policy and systems issues
- Aim: To build relationships (termed buddying) between researchers and policy-makers to increase the use of evidence in provincial health policy decisions
- Evaluation: External mixed methods evaluation using interviews with policy-makers participating in the programme, focus group discussions with researcher buddies and document reviews
- Results: Various uses of evidence observed; evidence presented by researchers not always align with policy-maker evidence needs; researchers’ improved understanding of complexity of policy process, communication of evidence and flexibility; and policy-maker champions and reputation of researchers facilitated programme success
  1. Table summarises the aims, study designs, and results of nine studies reporting on interventions or tools aiming to improve or facilitate the KT capacity and practice of researchers and researcher institutions. It organises the interventions at four levels – systems, institutional, individual and activity. Systems level interventions represent government-led interventions with substantial involvement of academic or research institutions. Institutional level interventions represent those initiated and implemented by academic or research institutions. Individual level interventions aim to improve individual KT knowledge and skills. Activity level interventions are guidelines for implementing specific KT activities such as development of policy briefs, organising policy dialogues and pairing researchers with policy-makers to enhance their interaction.