This article is constructed from a series of questions Enrique Mendizabal asked ChatGPT. Read Enrique’s article ChatGPT: a game changer for the knowledge industry?
Knowledge translation in the Global South
Sure, here are five cases of knowledge translation in the global south:
- Knowledge translation for Ebola prevention in West Africa: During the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there was a critical need for effective knowledge translation in order to prevent the spread of the disease. This included communicating information about how the disease is transmitted, the importance of proper infection control measures, and the availability of vaccines and treatments. In order to reach as many people as possible, public health messages were disseminated through a variety of channels, including radio, television, and social media. Community health workers played a key role in translating this information into local languages and delivering it to communities in a culturally appropriate manner.
- Knowledge translation for improved agricultural practices in Ethiopia: In Ethiopia, many smallholder farmers rely on traditional methods of agriculture, which can be inefficient and result in low crop yields. In order to improve food security and increase incomes, there is a need for knowledge translation that promotes the adoption of modern agricultural practices. This includes providing farmers with information about the benefits of using improved seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation techniques. To facilitate the translation of this knowledge, extension workers and agricultural cooperatives work closely with farmers to provide training and support.
- Knowledge translation for maternal and child health in Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, maternal and child health is a major public health concern. To address this issue, there is a need for knowledge translation that promotes the adoption of healthy behaviors and the use of maternal and child health services. This includes providing information about the importance of antenatal care, childbirth preparation, and breastfeeding, as well as the availability of health facilities and services. To facilitate the translation of this knowledge, community health workers and health professionals work closely with pregnant women and new mothers to provide education and support.
- Knowledge translation for HIV prevention in South Africa: South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world. To address this issue, there is a need for knowledge translation that promotes the adoption of behaviors that reduce the risk of HIV transmission, such as consistent condom use and regular testing. This includes providing information about the effectiveness of HIV prevention measures and the availability of HIV testing and treatment services. To facilitate the translation of this knowledge, HIV prevention campaigns are conducted through a variety of channels, including mass media, community-based organizations, and schools.
- Knowledge translation for disaster preparedness in Nepal: Nepal is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and landslides. In order to reduce the impact of these disasters, there is a need for knowledge translation that promotes the adoption of preparedness measures, such as the construction of safe buildings and the development of evacuation plans. This includes providing information about the risks associated with different types of disasters and the steps that can be taken to mitigate their impact. To facilitate the translation of this knowledge, community-based organizations and local authorities work closely with communities to provide training and support.
Then, I asked for cases that considered traditional channels: Can you find 5 more cases that involve think tanks from the global south and involve film, audio, art or events/festivals. Each one in under 500 words. But the cases it presented were fictional! (When I asked ChatGPT for the names of the organisations involved it replied: I apologize, but I am not able to provide specific names for the think tanks mentioned in the cases above as they are fictional examples. My goal is to provide general information and ideas to assist you with your questions and needs. Is there anything else I can help with?). So I insisted: I want 5 real examples. The table below compares them side by side:
|Fictional cases||Real cases|
The real cases are spot on. Our own research into knowledge translation practice considered some of these as well as similar types of interventions in other regions.
Finally, I asked about the differences in knowledge translation practice between the global north and the global South. Here, ChatGPT was not as effective as before.
There are a number of differences in knowledge translation practice between the global north and the global south. Some of these differences include:
- Language and cultural barriers: In many cases, knowledge translation in the global south is hindered by language and cultural barriers. For example, information may be presented in a language that is not widely spoken or understood in the region, or it may not be culturally appropriate or relevant to local communities. This can make it difficult for people in the global south to access and use knowledge from the global north.
- Limited resources and infrastructure: In many parts of the global south, there may be limited resources and infrastructure available for knowledge translation. This can include a lack of access to information and communication technologies, as well as a lack of trained personnel to facilitate knowledge translation.
- Different priorities and needs: The priorities and needs of communities in the global south may differ from those in the global north. This can make it challenging to translate knowledge in a way that is relevant and useful for people in the global south.
- Different approaches to knowledge translation: The global north and global south may also have different approaches to knowledge translation. In the global north, knowledge translation may be more focused on the transfer of information from researchers to practitioners, while in the global south, it may be more focused on the co-creation and co-production of knowledge with local communities.
- Different stakeholder groups: The global north and global south may also have different stakeholder groups involved in knowledge translation. In the global north, these may include academic researchers, policy makers, and practitioners, while in the global south, they may include community leaders, grassroots organizations, and local authorities.
Our own study into knowledge translation in the global South suggests that these are not differences between the South and the North but rather between contexts or circumstances. There are policy sectors in the EU that are better funded than others, and cultural barriers affect communication of research within England or within New York State!
I found the cases (both fictional and real) extremely accurate. In hindsight we could have used this tool to find a better set of cases to study. The comparison of KT practice in the global South and North was a bit disappointing. My conclusion is that ChatGPT was not able to consider that most of what is written about KT comes from the global North and from the field of international development.
I am also aware that most of our analysis was not written down but thoroughly discussed in regular team-meetings. I wonder if the transcripts from those sessions could be translated by ChatGTP into a polished report.