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084 Understanding effective advocacy strategies: lessons learned from key successes and challenges in injury and violence prevention policy
  1. Sara Jacoby1,
  2. Kevin Borrup2
  1. 1University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  2. 2Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, USA


Despite the significant and persistent burden of injury morbidity and mortality across US populations, injury and violence research is both underfunded and underutilized in prevention and intervention policy. SAVIR is positioned to be the key organization to which local, state, and federal agencies and their decision-makers turn to for guidance on the most current research and evidence-based policy solutions. Violence and injury researchers need to have the skills and confidence to provide this guidance and be an active voice ensuring that policymakers have the best evidence to inform the decisions they make on behalf of the public. In the current policy climate, achieving additional funding for injury and violence research presents a challenge that requires the efforts and expertise of researchers and practitioners from novice to expert. Advocacy efforts are also a priority to prevent additional funding cuts and enactment of policies that limit essential injury and violence prevention research, diminish opportunities to train future injury and violence researchers and challenge the integration of evidence in innovative programs and policies that work. Effective advocacy is a skill. In this advocacy-training technical workshop the goal is to build the capacity of injury and violence researchers for effectively communicating with policy-makers and the public about the value and scientific yield of injury and violence research. We will also describe the different avenues to advocacy that take place through executive departments and other planning bodies. We will explore topics such as, who can engage in advocacy activities, what advocacy actually entails, and how to advocate using science and data. This workshop will specifically address advocacy restrictions that exist for research and prevention professionals, and how to contend with ethical and legal boundaries that may arise for employees of academic institutions, healthcare systems, and recipients of research grants. We will include practical training on how to do direct (i.e. speaking to lawmakers and their representatives) and indirect (i.e. Press conferences & Letter writing in the lay press) advocacy that attendees can apply to their areas of interest. Developing and practicing advocacy techniques amplifies the voice of SAVIR as an organization; and can benefit researchers in their own areas of violence and injury research. The proposed workshop will include didactic content with experienced injury and violence policy advocates, and academic government relations professionals in collaborative discussion and role-playing exercises. So that attendees leave with a practical skill set, we will center the workshop around a case study that examines timely topic of advocacy for firearm injury prevention research and policy.

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