Stakeholder dialogues are structured communication processes that aim at supporting and engaging stakeholders to implement evidence-based solutions to a particular issue at hand. Based on a policy brief, a group of 6-20 stakeholders work collaboratively toward a common understanding of the problem and the best course of action.
Dialogues are guided by a moderator, who oversees the deliberation, stimulates participants to confront their views and facilitates confrontation over differences of opinion.
Dialogues in general close by deciding first whether there is agreement over a course of action, or not. Second, if there is no agreement, whether i) there is need to reconvene for a second dialogue to foster agreement, or ii) more research is needed given a possible lack of evidence to agree on the best solution. When outcome i) occurs, the SLHS engages stakeholders in a structured negotiation to solve the differences of opinion. When outcome ii) occurs, the SLHS informs the research agenda of the academic partners to address the open issues.
Stakeholder dialogues are promising mechanisms to successfully inform policy makers about evidence-based actions to identified problems on any levels of health, including policy, service delivery or financing and health information collection. Further, they are mechanisms that support the identification of research topics that match the current needs of the health system and thus create a culture of shared responsibility.
A list of stakeholder dialogues conducted in the SLHS can be found under Topics.