Reporting Research

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Debating media coverage of sexual and reproductive health in Bangladesh

This Wellcome Trust funded-pilot project worked with researchers, journalists, publics and affected communities in Bangladesh to spark informed and inclusive debate on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information, rights and access to services, informed by health research. The project was carried out by Panos London in partnership with Panos South Asia and BRAC School of Public Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The project combined capacity-building activities through workshops, training, and support materials to strengthen the ability of researchers to work with the media and other key stakeholders to more effectively communicate important health research.  Equally, it built the capacity of journalists to cover SRH issues sensitively and to use current and compelling research as a source.  Community discussion groups engaged affected groups directly in debate and create links with researchers, journalists, and CSOs.  Project learning was consolidated and shared widely with donors, policy makers, Northern and Southern research institutions and healthcare practitioners to improve access to SRH information and services in Bangladesh.

Activities included:

• Action-research comprising of a media scan and stakeholder interviews to identify gaps in coverage of SRH issues and research and views of key actors;

• Multi-stakeholder engagement – with editors, journalists, researchers and civil society organisation (CSOs) actors coming together in a forum to discuss findings and generate ideas for improving media and public engagement on SRH;

• Advocacy for improved research communication around SRH through the dissemination of a policy brief highlighting recommendations for policymakers, editors, researchers, civil society and donors.

Women and children wait to see a doctor at a mobile health clinic on a boat in Bangladesh/G M B Akash - Panos Pictures