Last summer we decided to evaluate the newsletter. We wanted to know more about our readers, and check if we were meeting our focal goal of providing a weekly update on global health policy & governance in the health SDG era, with focus on health policy & systems research, all this of course while “Switching the Poles”.
The evaluation was a two-stage process consisting of an online survey, and a series of interviews. Many of you contributed to one or both parts of the process, taking time out of your busy schedules to give us feedback. We would like to use this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone that participated.
While many of you like the newsletter – the frequency of distribution, the breadth of subjects that are covered, the independence and objectivity of the editorial team which allows for a more critical approach to global health policies, and the humoristic and irreverent writing style were cited as strengths of the newsletter – we also got suggestions on areas that could be improved upon.
An issue that was repeatedly mentioned was that of format and ease of navigation. It seems the current layout, particularly in the email format, hampers efficient scanning and reading, increasing the tedium associated with reading the newsletter, and overwhelming readers.
Apart from this, you also suggested diversifying the coverage of topics and regions, in order to shift the focus away from subjects and regions that are always in the spotlight – the newsletter has historically been slightly biased towards coverage of sub-Saharan Africa. You felt this would help to kindle an interest in the newsletter among people from certain regions or those working on particular subject areas, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge between researchers and practitioners in different parts of the world.
These comments and suggestions are useful, and while it would not be feasible or practical to implement all of them given limited resources, we are nevertheless grateful for your input and are currently reviewing them to decide which ones are actionable.
As we do this, we will bear in mind the things that you said you liked about the newsletter which were the subject coverage and writing style. We will do our best to strike a balance between comprehensiveness and manageability by keeping the double structure with highlights and then the other sections, while improving the format and ease of navigation. We will also strive to maintain the spirit of the newsletter which you almost unanimously agreed to be one of its defining features.
We thank you once again for your feedback and would like to assure you that we are listening and have heard you. The ‘new, improved’ IHP newsletter will be coming your way soon, look out for it!