Does research through Structured Operational Research and Training (SORT IT) courses impact policy and practice?

SORT IT is a partnership led by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases and WHO

Abstract

Setting

Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) courses are well known for their output, with nearly 90% of participants completing the course and publishing in scientific journals.

Objective

The authors assessed the impact of research papers on policy and practice that resulted from 6 SORT IT courses initiated between July 2012 and March 2013.

Design

This was a cross-sectional study involving e-mail-based, self-administered questionnaires and telephone, skype, in-person responses from first and/or senior co-authors of course papers. A descriptive content analysis of the responses was performed and categorised into themes.

Results

Of 72 participants, 63 (88%) completed the course. Course output included 81 submitted papers, of which 76 (94%) were published. Of the 81 papers assessed, 45 (55%) contributed to a change in policy and/or practice: 29 contributed to government policy/practice change (20 at national, 4 at subnational and 5 at hospital level), 11 to non-government organisational policy change and 5 to reinforcing existing policy. The changes ranged from modifications of monitoring and evaluation tools, to redrafting of national guidelines, to scaling up existing policies.

Conclusion

More than half of the SORT IT course papers contributed to a change in policy and/or practice. Future assessments should include more robust and independent verification of the reported changes with all stakeholders.

This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)

Citation

A. M. V. Kumar, H. D. Shewade, J. P. Tripathy, N. Guillerm, K. Tayler-Smith, S. Dar Berger, K. Bissell, A. J. Reid, R. Zachariah, A. D. Harries (2016) Does research through Structured Operational Research and Training (SORT IT) courses impact policy and practice? : International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease DOI: https://doi.org/10.5588/pha.15.0062

Does research through Structured Operational Research and Training (SORT IT) courses impact policy and practice?

Published 1 March 2016