Improving Knowledge Management and Utilization of Research Results in Ecohealth Projects
This study brings together lead investigators from 11 past and ongoing Ecohealth projects across Latin America who are interested in achieving better development outcomes guided by research results. Their collective experience tells them that Ecohealth projects do not always make full use of the research findings. They often struggle to communicate their significance to decision-makers in ways that encourage research uptake-or translation into policy. This is not a new challenge for the Ecohealth field. Typically, research deals with health and environment problems for which there are no easy solutions. Attempts to address them are often rife with uncertainty and competing interests. The problems are also increasing in frequency and magnitude around the world, driven by rapid social and environmental change. The world's poor often suffer the most. They are extremely vulnerable, and they have to cope with few resources, poor health, inequality, and environmental degradation. Applying scientific research to address these types of problems remains challenging. It is equally difficult to draw lessons to inform solutions beyond specific settings. On the monitoring and evaluation side, better tools are needed to assess how results can be replicated or scaled up into new policies, intervention models, or new practices. This project will address these gaps. The research team will: -use case studies to analyze factors affecting the adoption and use of knowledge management, monitoring, and evaluation; -refine and test conceptual frameworks, methods, and tools to strengthen these three elements in ongoing research; and, -establish Web-based tools to disseminate and improve research implementation approaches and instruments through peer-to-peer exchanges. The project's long-term aim is to contribute to integrated policies that link health, environment, and development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the short- to medium-term, the project will enhance Ecohealth research projects. Specifically, it will help make them more effective at delivering intended outcomes. It will also support collaboration between teams from 16 universities and 60 government and civil society organizations in 14 countries.