How to inform policy and decision makers about evidence-based prevention
Advocacy skills are essential for public health researchers and practitioners to potentially influence policy and decision making processes for better health-related policies and practice. Those skills are important especially in those public health areas where so-called “unhealthy” industries are influential and/or (at least) want to be important stakeholders in the field (such as alcohol and tobacco industry). Recognizing this need, Institute Utrip developed a series of advocacy trainings, especially for scientists, researchers and practitioners in the field of substance use prevention. Outcomes include an increased competence for such advocacy as forging stronger relationships with policy and decision makers and other key stakeholders in the field, advocating for the use of research to inform policy and decision makers about evidence-based policies and practice, providing expert testimony, writing position papers, press releases and social media posts, increasing the visibility and recognition of evidence-based prevention, and committing to ongoing advocacy. The workshop provides a template for scientists, researchers and practitioners to build advocacy skills and increase the role of public health professionals in setting evidence-based substance use prevention policy and practice. Scientists, researchers and practitioners need to become more relevant to policy and decision makers, and a workshop focuses on that aim.