The time-sensitive nature of policymakers’ acquisition and use of countless information sources regarding COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to prospectively study effective science communication practices and their impact. The Research-to-Policy Collaborative aims to both enhance and experimentally test the impact of an enhanced dissemination approach by evaluating:
- research communication strategies that enhance the access of relevant research using rapid cycle randomized controlled trials, and
- the potential impact of enhanced dissemination on the use of research evidence in legislators’ child and family policy activities relative to researcher interactions or nothing at all.
In the study, one group of policy makers will receive enhanced dissemination, including fact sheets with interactions from researchers regarding inequities that youth and children will face as a consequence of the pandemic. Meanwhile, a second group will receive the fact sheets only, and a third group will not receive any research communications. The research team will then compare policymakers’ use of research evidence related to COVID-19 and families across these groups. The impact analysis will focus primarily on federal-level legislative impact with a special attention to legislative efforts related to equity, disparities, or BIPOC communities and COVID-19.
In the video below (at 37 minutes), Principal Investigator Taylor Scott describes early findings, in a presentation titled, “Testing Science Communication Strategies among Legislators in the Era of COVID-19.”)