Table 4

Preferred characteristics and sources of evidence for policy in Uganda.

Concepts assessed


Decision makers /funders

Media and CSO

Incentives and values for research generation or utilization

- Contribution to science and public health

- Prospects for career development

- networking with other experts

- Income generation

- Optimizing wellbeing of communities

- Demonstrating results & visible benefits

- Improving value for money –(cheaper and effective)

- Simplifying interventions

- Duty to inform the public

- Grip and sustain audiences’ attention;

- Generate revenue or goodwill

- Promote debate with different view-points

Interests during dissemination or communication of evidence

- Focus is positive results, i.e. what worked well

- Hands-off: “A good study speaks for its self”

- Hand-over: give report to decision makers

- Involve stakeholders in research processes

- Feasibility of applying new evidence:

 - how to achieve the benefits in the real world context

 - How much will it cost to implement?

 - How to integrated evidence with on-going policy and practice?

- Focus is to spur individual-level actions/awareness of the audiences

- Simplify information for non-educated audience

- Prefer known experts as the source of evidence

- Value evidence from first-hand face-linked (experiential) evidence in addition to face-free sources

Criteria for judging strength of evidence

- Cohort studies, Randomized studies

- Optimal representativeness – i.e. multi-site or multi-country studies


Statistical credibility

- Long follow-up period of cohorts

- Operations research – testing the feasibility space eg benefits, acceptability, cost-effectiveness, and how to implement new interventions

- Alignment of evidence to major operational challenges

- Timeliness for action

- Large effect size

- Indigenous evidence

- Reputation of research institution /researcher

- Aim is a “balanced” story – with “triangulation” of different perspectives e.g. proponents, opponents, service providers, decision-makers

- Newsworthiness of evidence

 - Number of people affected

 - Extent of changes from status quo

 - Credibility of experts /researcher

- Verification of evidence

 - Stories of affected people

 - Publications in major journals and conferences

CS: Civil Society Organizations;

Ssengooba et al. BMC International Health and Human Rights 2011 11(Suppl 1):S13   doi:10.1186/1472-698X-11-S1-S13

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