This article , published July 19, 2016 in Health Systems & Reform, and co- written by Christian Dagenais, Esther Mc Sween -Cadieux , Paul- André Somé and Valery Ridde presents some thoughts from the implementation and evaluation of a knowledge brokering program in Burkina Faso, as part of a research project on health equity in Burkina Faso. A link to the original article is available at the bottom of this page.


In Burkina Faso, inadequate interaction among researchers, decision-makers and practitioners, together with low use of research results, impede the development of health policies and interventions to improve equity. A knowledge translation strategy was implemented as part of a research program. The broker and his team promoted links between actors (health agents, NGOs, public administration, policy-makers, researchers), provided them with research results related to their needs, and supported them in applying this knowledge in their practices. The strategy was first implemented in Kaya District, Burkina Faso. To increase impact on population health, the strategy included widening the sphere of action through collaboration with the MoH. The broker was affiliated with a public health consulting firm in the capital, Ouagadougou and supported by Canadian experts and a senior Burkinabè broker. Evaluation shows that research use increased at the local level among health mutuals, regional NGOs, and health professionals in Kaya, but the objective of reaching Ministry of Health decision-makers was not achieved. Results highlight the need for better training in knowledge transfer for both local and international researchers and proper identification of the gateways to reach high level decision-makers. This ambitious strategy encountered several obstacles: difficult access to decision-makers, poor team communication, broker’s non-conducive working environment. Future brokering strategies should: analyze the political situation in depth to determine when and how to approach national and regional decision-makers; invest time and effort in developing different actors’ (including researchers) knowledge transfer skills; and ensure sufficient and good-quality communications and resources within the team.


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