Does the Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) continue to influence health policy and/or practice?

Jaya Prasad Tripathy, Ajay MV Kumar, Nathalie Guillerm, Selma Dar Berger, Karen Bissell, Anthony Reid, Rony Zachariah, Andrew Ramsay, Anthony D Harries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: The Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) is a successful model of integrated operational research and capacity building with about 90% of participants completing the training and publishing in scientific journals.

Objective: The study aims at assessing the influence of research papers from six SORT IT courses conducted between April 2014 and January 2015 on policy and/or practice.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional mixed-method study involving e-mail based, self-administered questionnaires sent to course participants coupled with telephone/Skype/in-person responses from participants, senior facilitators and local co-authors of course papers. A descriptive content analysis was performed to generate themes.

Results: Of 71 participants, 67 (94%) completed the course. A total of 67 papers (original research) were submitted for publication, of which 61 (91%) were published or were in press at the censor date (31 December 2016). Among the 67 eligible participants, 65 (97%) responded to the questionnaire. Of the latter, 43 (66%) research papers were self-reported to have contributed to a change in policy and/or practice by the course participants: 38 to a change in government policy or practice (26 at the national level, six at the subnational level and six at the local/hospital level); four to a change in organisational policy or practice; and one study fostered global policy development.

Conclusion: Nearly two-thirds of SORT IT course papers contributed to a change in policy and/or practice as reported by the participants. Identifying the actual linkage of research to policy/practice change requires more robust methodology, in-depth assessment and independent validation of the reported change with all concerned stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Health Action
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date6 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Operational research
  • Policy
  • The Union
  • Médecins Sans Frontières;
  • TDR
  • SORT IT

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