Niven et al. (2014) sought to identify the association between physical activities and human well-being, which involved determining the key factors that affect the engagement of adolescent girls in these activities. In conducting the study, the researchers enrolled adolescent girls from different public secondary schools as study participants with an aim to identify the environmental factors that influence their level of involvement in school-based physical activities such as dancing and playing soccer. The researchers found out a high association between physical activities and human development.
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From their findings, the benefits of engaging in regular physical activities include good health status and improved psychological welfare. However, the girls elicited mixed reactions on the contribution of the physical environment on their involvement in physical activities. These factors include conditions of the facilities, equipment, time, weather conditions, and clothing. It is worth noting that despite the varying reactions, the girls’ concern involved improvement of the conditions surrounding these environmental factors. From the comments, it shows that varying the conditions of these factors greatly influenced girls engagement in their exercise activities. This paper, therefore, outlines the identification of research audience and the dissemination approaches. The main aims of the dissemination strategy are to increase reach out, motivate the use of information, and promote the application in evidence-based practice.
Significance And Relevance Of Selected Articles
Significance to Research Users
The selected two articles are those of Roberts and Petticrew (2006) and Crivello and Murray (2012). These articles are significant because researchers focus on the contribution of stakeholder-involvement in research and evidence-based policy formulation on both child and social development. The work provides information covering social needs, opportunities, gaps in knowledge advancement potential risks, and challenges in development. The different categories of research users such as governments and policy developers utilize this information in steering and streamlining procedures of development. Therefore, users utilize this information in strengthening their arguments, providing information, and outlining cost benefits of research in their practice and social development. Since the findings stipulate best practices in research and policy development by highlighting the significant social parameters, which allows for comparison of populations and best practices, it helps in the construction of models and generation of new approaches for social development.
Since the studies explore the development process of effective policy, their findings are of interest to researchers, parents, young people, social institutions such as international communities, and institutions of child development. The sharing of information help consolidate efforts and expand communication across fields, which contribute to the formation of collective interdisciplinary policies and intervention programs (Roberts & Petticrew 2006). Given the have highlighted gaps in research work linking stakeholder contribution to effective policy adoption, the studies provide an opportunity for other investigators to conduct further examinations and contribute knowledge advancement. Additionally, institutions of child development, parents, and the young population are major stakeholders involved in data collection, policy implementation, assessment, and determination of the impact of research (Crivello & Murray 2012). Therefore, the identification of the interest of this category of users is crucial for it outlines their contribution to the improvement of lives through research and policy enactment.
Limited funds and different social ideologies are the potential barriers that hinder the dissemination of information to particular audiences. Research work depends largely on the availability of adequate resources from the initial stage of identification of a problem to policy execution. For both private and local institutions-based researchers in developing countries, the inadequate availability of funds to steer an investigation remains a crucial challenge for practice. Due to the need to advance knowledge, these researchers overcome the challenge by limiting areas of study, people involved, and sourcing financial support from institutions from developed countries. Additionally, while disseminating their findings, these researchers have restricted budget for publishing, which limits the availability of the information for the audience intended to benefit from the study.
Additionally, different social ideology is a barrier because it overlooks the contribution of the political players and the parental representation of the young population’s needs. Most researchers undermine the roles of political players in instituting findings into social development. However, politicians play a crucial role in deliberating the formulation and adoption socio-economic policies. Moreover, the investigators have the notion that parents can genuinely express the issues surrounding their children. This misconception leads to a biased misrepresentation of the population resulting in the lack of important information among these participants.
Cultural differences and inadequate infrastructure are additional potential difficulties to overcome. Across the world, cultural practices differ according to geographical locations. In some regions, the cultural practices undermine the social position and importance of certain groups of people such as women and children. In these settings, the cultural believes allows male population and young adults to participate in all official functions as a representative of the entire population. Astoundingly, these cultural practices also limit the amount of information shared to other individuals in those regions (Mann, Liley, & Kellett 2014). The social practices create barriers to data collection and challenge to reliability and validity of the findings
Most developing nations have inadequate resource centers and low level of infrastructural development such as slow Internet access and power cuts. These challenges pose many difficulties for researchers in conducting participants and accessing referential materials from resource centers in diverse settings during data collection. Poorly maintained and non-tarmacked roads in rural areas, worsened by harsh weather conditions impede movement and may limit the accessibility of the low-class population. Slow internet services in most parts of developing nations obstruct the access to research-related information including available opportunities.
An Appropriate Dissemination Strategy
Communicate Existing Knowledge and Research Findings
The first step to a successful dissemination of research findings is laying the foundation for a valid study through determination of existing knowledge on the chosen topic. This step is important in creating awareness of the existence of a previous work and identifying relevant ways the current study will build on it. The distribution of knowledge is essential in advancing discussion and creation of information in the academic field (Robb 2014). Communicating this knowledge is essential in providing facts that will help the audience analyze the need for the study, prepare them for the expected direction the study intends to take, inform of the feasibility of the study and the impact of the findings, which stimulate the generation of new gaps on knowledge for future studies. Additionally, sharing existing knowledge helps the audiences understand the theoretical framework and methodological focus of the research essential in preparing them to map out the expected direction of the study in advance.
Communicating research findings involves describing and interpreting the significance of the new information in light of the previously existing knowledge. The findings include challenges, results, and the gaps in the new study. This step provides information to the audience on how the study was structured and informs the reader of the findings in a logical argument. By providing explanations to the findings, sharing the findings creates an opportunity to highlight how the new research reflects, extends, or differs from current knowledge in the field (Pascal & Bertram 2014). This process is essential in demonstrating original thinking by emphasizing how the research either reinforced or contradicted previous findings. Additionally, in making a comparison with existing knowledge, it highlights the importance of the research to the audience in contributing and advancing academic knowledge and policy formulation.
Publications include journals, booklet, and study newsletters. Publications summarize the study findings and provide an ideal way to update study participants and agencies. Since publications act as a copy document with reliable referencing, advocacy groups involved in social policies and legislators can effectively access to inform their policy formulation and implementation strategies. Thus, publications aid in the creation of a new record of original contributions to knowledge, which is accessible and referenced by audiences.
Since the target audiences involve leaders, teachers, and other community partners such as parents, planning and organizing a tailored conference with these stakeholders facilitates effective engagement and sharing of the new findings. To reach a wider group of audiences, proper timing of audiences’ social schedules is essential in influencing attendance. Additionally, it allows the audience to network with others, permits discussion, prompts feedback, enhances the collection of presentation materials for later referencing, and promotes the spread of the information within the target population.
The wide geographical spread of social factors affecting adolescent girls, policymakers, teachers, and parents make mass media the most convenient and effective means of communication. Since mass media covers a wider scope of the audience within the same or in a shorter time, is extensively acceptable, and cuts across social literacy, it provides a reliable platform to spread and create awareness of the need to adopt the new information.
Letter of thanks to participants
Since participant involvement is essential in the development and execution of policies, appreciating their contribution in the research process through a letter of thanks considerably influences the spread of findings. Letters can also carry a summary of the findings, which act as the first line of sharing the information. Additionally, it encourages the participants to undertake individual efforts in accessing the information and ensuring a follow-up discussion in local conferences for the adoption and application by the relevant bodies.
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Descriptions of the Broader Strategy
Publication enhances the cooperation of the audience. The larger category of the audience considers a published work a finished product. Since most audience targeted is the active contributors and consumers of the findings, this group of people wants to receive a finished product to feel the value of their contribution and time. Publishing is valuable in reinforcing people’s perception of the commitment and attitude of the research conducted. Moreover, it encourages policymakers and other researchers to access, discuss, and distribute the findings effective reaching the wider audience population.
The oral presentation provides an opportunity to use various communication techniques such as tables and figures to convey the findings more clearly and allows for direct interaction with the audience. This approach is important for complementing and providing an extended explanation of the whole process of research and findings of items of interest raised by the audience. Audience participation guides in determining the need to adopt another form of the dissemination strategy for the missing or different category of audience.
Letter of thanks
The letter of appreciation provides an opportunity to reintroduce the audiences to the study and their important contribution to the dissemination of knowledge. The reintroduction stimulates participants’ urge to find facts of the research. Since it also outlines the objective of the study, summarizes findings, and suggests the potential positive contribution of the research in enhancing life, the letter communicates the intended message to the audience appropriately.
The mass media strategy reaches out to the diverse audience through roadside hoardings, Internet, newspapers, and television commercials. Therefore, because populations subscribe to different preferred media channels, this strategy is effective in covering all categories of the audience in a population. Additionally, media allows for the manipulation of the duration of coverage, which is integral in reaching out to a wider audience population.
Practical and Ethical Problems
Generally, mass media imposes programs on populations who have not consented to their programs. The imposition is unethical since it annoys other audience who are receiving information about the study for the first time and significantly makes them devalue the importance of findings. Practically, the mass media campaign is expensive and requires large budgetary allocation, which may not be possible to facilitate.
In publications, changes in data representation can create misleading results. Thus, inappropriate or accidental image manipulation causes falsification, which raises ethical concerns as a form of fabrication. However, it is practically necessary for publishing to edit data to reveal features for a large set.
Some conferences accommodate all categories of audiences. The involvement of diverse intellectual categories limits the freedom of engagement and the adoption of a suitable language that cuts across all audience. This structure of engagement raises the ethical concern for the need to target specific categories of the audience for a conference. However, in practice, research demands the involvement of all stakeholders in all strategies on knowledge dissemination.
Letter of thanks
In this strategy, the ethical consideration involves the possibility of the letter to communicate the intended message without influencing the participants’ view or eliciting an unintended reaction. However, with or without considering the audience level of association, in practice, the letter can be either beneficial or harmful depending on the receiver’s interest and perception. Additionally, speculation of whether the audience read the letter bring into question the importance and effectiveness of the strategy.
The goal of the dissemination strategy is to increase reach out, motivate people to use information, and promote application in evidence-based practice. The dissemination strategy aims to spread the new knowledge and the associated evidence-based interventions across wide geographical locations. Particularly, it intends to present relevant facts to all end-users of data, such as individuals in practice settings, policymakers, and institutions of learning, which contribute largely to the formulation and the adoption of policies.
However, the goal does not end with the wide distribution of knowledge, but it must stimulate its application in practice. Therefore, the choice of the distribution strategy depends on its potential to motivate a larger population of the audience, and specifically influence their decision and the ability to implement the findings. Publication, conference, letter of thanks, and mass media meet the threshold of a credible public communication platform, which increases people confidence in the findings. Since these strategies provide a platform to outline evidence-based studies in other regions, they are effective in meeting the objectives of the dissemination plan to motivate and influence the audience to apply the findings.
Crivello, G & Murray, H 2012, ‘Why strengthening the linkages between research and practice is important: learning from young lives’, Young Lives Policy Brief, vol. 1, no.19, pp. 1-4.
Mann, A, Liley, J & Kellett, M 2014, ‘Engaging children and young people in research’, in A Clark, R Flewitt, M Hammersley, & M Robb (eds). Understanding research with children and young people, SAGE Publishing, London, pp. 285-304.
Niven, A, Henretty, J & Fawkner, S 2014, ‘It’s too crowded’, European Physical Education Review, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 335-348.
Pascal, C & Bertram, T 2014, ‘Transformative dialogues: the impact of participatory research on practice’, in A Clark, R Flewitt, M Hammersley, & M Robb (eds). Understanding research with children and young people, SAGE Publishing, London, pp. 269-284.
Robb, M 2014, ‘Disseminating research: shaping the conversation’, in A Clark, R Flewitt, M Hammersley, & M Robb (eds). Understanding research with children and young people, SAGE Publishing, London, pp. 237-249.
Roberts, H & Petticrew, M 2006, ‘Policy for children and young people: what is the evidence and can we trust it?’, Children’s Geographies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp.19-36.