Launch of Knowledge Translation Strategy in Lao PDR
Launch of Knowledge Translation Strategy in Laos
Dr. Sengchanh Kounnavong, Director of the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute (LaoTPHI) recently welcomed experts in the field of health policy to participate in the launch of the Institute’s Knowledge Translation Strategy, which is also a key output of the LEARN Programme.
LaoTPHI itself was created out of the merger of the National Institute of Public Health and the Francophone Institute for Tropical Medicine in December 2017. The Institute has a mandate from government to provide policy makers and implementers with advice and support on specific public health research questions, as well as generating tools, methods, and information needed to render decision making more evidence-based in future.
The LEARN Programme has identified major gaps in health policy implementation in Laos, including limited contact between researchers and decision makers, and policy implementers, as well as poor access to health research information and a lack of evidence-based decision making and policy advice. With the vision of an improved equity in the health sector and achievement of universal health coverage, it is essential to emphasise knowledge translation measures that start from knowledge creation and end with knowledge tools and products such as policy briefs, guidelines and recommendations.
Two LEARN PhD candidates will be the first to produce a Policy Brief for the programme. Currently in their final drafting stage, their respective titles are ‘Options to Reduce Teenage Pregnancy in Laos’, and ‘Young Adults: Enable a Completely Missed Group to Access Health Service’. With the guidance and support of LEARN and the KT Unit within LaoTPHI, these policy briefs will be presented and discussed during upcoming policy dialogues, and shared using different online platforms.
The launch event of the KT Strategy brought together decision makers, policy makers, researchers and programming staff from the health sector to review and discuss the strategy (add links to uploaded text in English and Lao). An ensuing discussion and workshop was facilitated by Javier Burgos of the EU Monitoring Facility, Dr. Khampeng Phongluxa, focal point at LaoTPHI for the Knowledge Translation Strategy, LEARN Programme Manager Suzanna Lipscombe and LEARN Coordinator Khanphoungeune Volaot.
All participants were enthusiastic and recognized the importance of the activities presented, not just within government departments conducting research, but also international research agencies and development partners. LaoTPHI will lead the next step and identify Focal Points within the MOH Departments to join the KT Team, who, in the long run, will support LaoTPHI implement the activities outlined in the strategy.
The LEARN programme (Lao Equity through Policy Analysis and Research Networks) is a five year effort to enhance the capabilities of public health institutes in Laos, coordinated by MCNV, funded by the EU.