This paper examines issues of communication across the researcher-policymaker interface in four countries: Malawi, Tanzania, India and Pakistan. In-depth interviews were conducted with researchers working in health issues, and policymakers responsible for the formation of health policies at the local and national levels. The range of strategies used by researchers to disseminate research outputs to policymakers was similar across all study countries: most researchers disseminated their findings through research reports and workshops, and there was a heavy reliance on dissemination through academic circles. The results of this study highlight a communication gap between researchers and policymakers. Training in communication skills is necessary to allow researchers to target their research towards a policy audience, whilst policymakers need to take steps to inform researchers of their information needs.
Opportunities and Choices Working Paper No. 5, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, 20 pp.