Journal of Health Communication Special Supplement Now Available
The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project is pleased to announce the release of a special supplement to the Journal of Health Communication titled Meeting the Information Needs of Health Care Providers, Program Managers, and Policy Makers in Low and Middle Income Countries. Our own Knowledge Management (KM) Director Tara Sullivan is one of the supplement’s guest editors, along with: Neil Pakenham-Walsh, coordinator of Health Information for All by 2015 (HIFA2015) and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network; and Symphrose Ouma, Chair of the Kenya Chapter of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA).
Over the course of the K4Health project, JHU·CCP and our partners FHI 360 and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) have conducted a series of country-level qualitative studies of family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) information needs. The results of the India, Malawi, and Senegal assessments are included in this special issue of Journal of Health Communication, along with other related articles and commentary pieces.
In his June 1st blog post, Global Health Knowledge Collaborative Presents at ICA Conference, Piers Bocock discussed the dual role played by the K4Health project. He wrote: “we help advance and promote KM best practices as a means of improving the effectiveness of development practice, while also helping to demonstrate that KM can also be an effective public health intervention.” This supplement to the Journal of Health Communication is one more example of K4Health’s role in demonstrating KM as a public health intervention.
KM is not just about disseminating information, but actually exploring peoples’ needs, then designing interventions to meet these needs. To date, however, there is not much evidence about specific information needs of different types of health professionals working in low and middle income settings. This supplement provides important results and suggestions that can be used to strengthen knowledge management systems. Beyond that, this research explores different levels of the health system, so we have specific recommendations for how these interventions can be implemented from the global level down to the community level.
We encourage others to review these results and consider the recommendations and implications of the findings as you design and implement your knowledge management programs.
We are offering indefinite open access to these articles, thus supporting free access to health information for health professionals worldwide.