Co-authors: Anke van der Kwaak, Ibrahim Aqel, Robert Borst, Françoise Jenniskens, Aryanti Radyowijati, Arnob Chakrabarty, Eric Nzeyimana, Ely Sawitri, and Noor Tromp
Introduction: Translation of knowledge into policy and practice is important to prevent sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR)-related morbidity and mortality and ensure access to rights. Existing approaches to knowledge translation are often relatively rigid and implicitly assume linear processes, leading to time-consuming processes that are not tailored to countries’ needs.
Approach: SRHR knowledge platforms designed and implemented a collaborative rapid improvement model for knowledge translation (CRIM-KT) in Burundi, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Jordan. The approach consisted of learning sessions and action periods aimed at improving policies and practices addressing the prevention of child marriage and teenage pregnancies. To evaluate the approach, a participatory action learning process took place throughout the implementation (September 2017 and January 2019). An end evaluation was conducted using a desk review of project documentation, in-depth interviews, and a focus group discussion to document the process, outcomes, and lessons learned.
Achievements: In Indonesia, a local government policy was changed that aims to prevent child marriage by avoiding misinterpretation of a local cultural practice. In Jordan, the cabinet endorsed a national action plan to prevent child marriage and changes in practice took place. In Burundi, no tangible changes in policy and practice in SRHR were observed. In Bangladesh, practice changed by strengthening coordination for collaboration and exchange among stakeholders to prevent child marriage. In all countries, the approach considerably strengthened participants’ knowledge translation capacities.
Conclusion: The CRIM-KT led to improvements in policy and practice in a relatively short time frame and different contexts. This can be explained by the systematic, structured, and participatory approach, allowing for contextual adaptation and involvement of stakeholders, as well as the cross-learning on 2 levels (international and country collaboration teams). The principles of the CRIM-KT may be further developed and applied in other fields in global health to strengthen knowledge translation processes.