Journal Article

Documenting HIV research-utilization activities, outputs and outcomes: Examples and lessons learned from Project SOAR

The importance of using research findings to inform policy and program decisions is well recognized, but the literature on measuring research utilization activities is scarce. As funding to support some areas of research wanes or remains stagnant, the need to document the value of investing in research by its’ effect on improved programs and policies becomes increasingly necessary. We present the experience of Project SOAR, a six-year USAID-funded project focusing on HIV/AIDS-related implementation research, to demonstrate measurement of research utilization. We follow the project’s research-utilization logic model, including inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. We present tools the project developed and examples from project studies and discuss what works, remaining challenges and how to overcome them, and lessons learned. We then make recommendations for incorporating research-utilization activities and measurement in implementation-research studies.