A pinboard by
Sharief Hendricks

Post-Doctroral Fellow, University of Cape Town


Increasing pressure to improve health outcomes of populations with limited resources has prompted an emphasis on innovation. Design thinking has been proposed as a systematic approach to innovation in health, owing to its human-centred methodology that prioritises deep empathy for the end-users’ desires, needs and challenges, and results in a better understanding of the problem in order to develop more comprehensive and effective solutions. A key feature of design thinking is stakeholder participation. However, if stakeholders view their participation as merely instrumental, innovation can be stifled and the relationship between the researcher and stakeholders may break down. Evaluating stakeholder participation during the design thinking process provides a basis from which to improve interaction with and between stakeholders. Drawing from participatory research in health, where stakeholder participation is recognised as a core principle that facilitates the implementation of solutions, we can integrate stakeholder evaluation tools into the design thinking approach. We draw on typologies that describe levels of stakeholder participation and their involvement in making decisions about their health, and propose a modified assessment framework to evaluate stakeholder participation during the design thinking process. The modified framework provides a simple and practical tool to evaluate stakeholder participation, and can be used at different times and by different assessors. Evaluation of participation in a design thinking project may be used to improve participation, and therefore the uptake and sustainability of innovations. The framework may be used in design thinking beyond health applications.


Research engagement and outcomes in public health and health services research in Australia.

Abstract: To retrospectively explore research outcomes in Australian public health research and their relationship to full engagement with potential research users during the research process.A self-administered survey of all principal investigators (PIs) receiving research funds from one of three well-known research funding agencies. 'Research value' and 'research utility' were self-reported using fixed response sets. Associations between outcomes and 'full engagement' were examined.Our response rate (75.1%) yielded data for 187 research projects. For just over one-quarter (26.7%), 'research value' was rated 'very important' in terms of knowledge generation. The most common 'research utility' was 'continuing education' (27.3%) followed by 'policy formulation' (25.7%). While 66 (35.3%) projects engaged at least one potential research user group throughout 'full engagement', such an intertwined relationship between researchers and research users was not associated with research value (chi(2)=0.46, 1df, p=0.5) or research utility (chi(2)=2.19, 1df, p=0.14). There were no predictors of 'full engagement'. In just over a third of projects (34.8%), both part of the awarded grant and additional funding had been spent to promote research use.This snapshot demonstrates patchy research engagement between researchers and research users. Other academic groups were the most common partner for full engagement. In an evidence-based era, innovation in health research funding policy should be evaluated. As NHMRC embarks upon its 'Partnerships initiative' in 2009, we recommend a prospective approach to evaluation.

Pub.: 28 Jul '09, Pinned: 19 Sep '17