Objectives: The aim of this study was to provide evidence about the design and implementation of policies for advancing the sustainability of knowledge translation (KT) initiatives and policies in Uganda's health system.
Methods: We searched for and reviewed evidence about KT sustainability issues in Uganda, the impacts of options, barriers to implementing these options, and implementation strategies to address such barriers. In instances where the systematic reviews provided limited evidence, these were supplemented with relevant primary studies. Documents such as the government reports and unpublished literature were also included in the search. Key informant interviews and a policy dialogue were conducted, and an expert working group guided the study.
Results: The KT sustainability issues identified were: the absence of a specific unit within the health sector to coordinate and synthesize research; health worker not familiar with KT activities and not often used. Furthermore, Uganda lacks a mechanism to sustain its current national health frameworks or platforms, and does not have a system to ensure the sustained coordination of existing national health KT platforms. The policy options proposed include: (i) the identification of a KT champion; (ii) the establishment of an operational KT framework; (iii) KT capacity building for researchers and research users, as well as policy and decision makers.
Conclusions: The sustainability of KT will be influenced by the prevailing context and concerns within healthcare both in Uganda and internationally. Furthermore, the availability of resources for KT advocacy, communication, and program design will impact on the sustainability of Uganda's KT activities.