Is operational research delivering the goods? The journey to success in low-income countries
Van den Bergh, R
van den Boogaard, W
Castro, K G
von Schreeb, J
Enarson, D A
Harries, A D
AffiliationOperational Centre Brussels, Medical Department, Médecins Sans Frontières, Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Access to Medicines Unit, Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK; International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Centre for Operational Research, Paris, France; Department of Molecular and Cellular Interaction, Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Brussels, Belgium; Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA; Department of Public Health, Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya; Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva, Switzerland; Imperial College London, London, UK; Stop TB Partnership, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland
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JournalLancet Infectious Diseases
AbstractOperational research in low-income countries has a key role in filling the gap between what we know from research and what we do with that knowledge-the so-called know-do gap, or implementation gap. Planned research that does not tangibly affect policies and practices is ineffective and wasteful, especially in settings where resources are scarce and disease burden is high. Clear parameters are urgently needed to measure and judge the success of operational research. We define operational research and its relation with policy and practice, identify why operational research might fail to affect policy and practice, and offer possible solutions to address these shortcomings. We also propose measures of success for operational research. Adoption and use of these measures could help to ensure that operational research better changes policy and practice and improves health-care delivery and disease programmes.
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