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Evidence key to advocacy, aide says

July - August, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 4

Nicole Bates speaks to audience

The basis of any advocacy for global and other health programs is building evidence and showing return on investments, Global Health Council governmental relations director Dr. Nicole K. Bates, told NIH staff recently.

Invited by Fogarty to speak with international representatives from all institutes and centers, Bates said it is possible to advocate for more support "without breaking protocols and getting yourself and agency in trouble."

Successful advocacy, she said, starts with an evidence base, which leads to advocacy, which leads to policy formulation and finally implementation. Demonstrating return on investment, "the need to show what interventions can do and what policy can do" is critical to sustaining support, she said.

Bates suggested that networks of researchers, implementers and advocates talk more with one another, even if informally, and that scientists provide information to policymakers, "lending your credible voices."

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