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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp I35–I37 | Cite as

Forging Alliances to Bridge the Research-policy Gap

  • Sana Loue
Article

Abstract

It is critical that research findings be translated into policy if the research is to be beneficial. Researchers can play a role in bridging the research-policy gap by participating in the drafting of legislation and regulations, by testifying before lawmakers, and by building collaborations with key entities, including non-profit and governmental bodies outside of the health arena. Advocacy is inherent in the responsibilities of a researcher. A distinction must be made between researchers who serve as educators and advocates of change based on our current state of knowledge, and “scientific advocates” who rely on science only when it supports their political position. It is critical that researchers identify appropriate collaborators to bridge the research-policy gap and that the communities be involved in this process.

Résumé

Pour que la recherche ait un effet bénéfique, il faut absolument que les résultats de recherche se traduisent dans les politiques. Les chercheurs ont un rôle à jouer pour combler l’écart entre la recherche et les politiques en participant à l’élaboration des lois et règlements, en témoignant devant les législateurs et en tissant des liens de collaboration avec les entités clés, y compris les organismes gouvernementaux et sans but lucratif hors de la sphère de la santé. La défense des intérêts fait partie intégrante des responsabilités du chercheur. Il faut faire une distinction entre les chercheurs qui font office d’éducateurs et qui plaident pour le changement à la lumière de l’état actuel des connaissances, et les « défenseurs de la science » qui ne se fient à la science que lorsqu’elle appuie leur position politique. Il est impératif que les chercheurs trouvent des collaborateurs appropriés pour combler l’écart entre la recherche et les politiques, et que les collectivités participent au processus.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsCase Western Reserve University, School of MedicineClevelandUSA

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