Translating operations research findings into action requires an ongoing information exchange between researchers and decision-makers, ensuring policy-informed research and evidence-informed policy. To ensure use of our research findings, Project SOAR implements a research utilization (RU) process that promotes this engagement throughout the course of the study.
SOAR’s RU process begins when researchers purposefully identify key stakeholders who have a vested interest in the study findings. We then engage them in a variety of ways, including as members of a research advisory group that helps interpret the data, disseminate the findings, and develop and champion the recommendations that can lead to evidence-informed policy, programs, or practices.
Our RU approach improves the likelihood that key stakeholders will promote and use study findings to make decisions because the research is designed to address their specific needs. The process also fosters ownership of the research and understanding of how the results can be applied to strengthen the HIV response at the local, national, and regional levels.