Making Data Matter: Impactful Results Dissemination Through Storytelling and Stakeholder Engagement
Presenter: Cristina Garcia
Co-authors: Katie Gorham, Meeru Gurung, Arun Sharma
Poster file: [download]
Introduction: Economic evidence is particularly useful to decision makers, yet many researchers do not prioritize broad dissemination. Unseen and unused economic evidence does no good; to promote evidence use among important stakeholders, investigators must intentionally and strategically disseminate results beyond peer-reviewed publications. Pairing human interest stories with economic evidence puts a face to the data and can be compelling to decision makers and the public. Here we share resources for using storytelling and stakeholder engagement to make data matter, highlighting the PneumoNepal PCV Impact Economic Data Study (PIES) approach as an example. Methods: Our process involved five key steps: 1) mapping messages and audiences; 2) map the stakeholders and determine the path to engagement; 3) find compelling stories; 4) package stories for priority audiences; 5) implement the engagement strategy. To map out messages and audiences, we developed a Message and Audience Matrix to answer key questions such as: what is the message, what is the corresponding data/evidence, and who is it important to? More details about this process and resources for replicating it are available at pneumonepal.org/storyresources. Results: The PneumoNepal PIES study estimated out-of-pocket costs and catastrophic and medical impoverishment impact of hospitalized pneumonia on Nepali families. We identified five stories of families impacted by pneumonia to pair with study results. Story products include a series of focus videos, a short documentary following one family coping with the repercussions of the pneumonia hospitalization six months later, and a series of short videos for distribution on social media. We also developed photo essays and a photobook telling the stories of the five families, which can be disseminated to stakeholders at meetings and conferences. Conclusion: In a competitive environment for attention, engaging key stakeholders requires effort and resources. Intentional engagement combined with compelling storytelling to supplement quantitative evidence can be an effective way of ensuring research results matter in real life.