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Implementing evidence ecosystems in the public health service: Development of a framework for designing tailored training programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of local evidence ecosystems in which academia and practice in the Public Health Service (PHS) are interconnected. However, appropriate organizational structures and well-trained staff are lacking and evidence use in local public health decision-making has to be integrated into training programs in Germany. To address this issue, we developed a framework incorporating a toolbox to conceptualize training programs designed to qualify public health professionals for working at the interface between academia and practice. We conducted a scoping review of training programs, key-informant interviews with public health experts, and a multi-professional stakeholder workshop and triangulated their output. The resulting toolbox consists of four core elements, encompassing 15 parameters: (1) content-related aspects, (2) context-related aspects, (3) aspects relevant for determining the training format, and (4) aspects relevant for consolidation and further development. Guiding questions with examples supports the application of the toolbox. Additionally, we introduced a how-to-use guidance to streamline the creation of new training programs, fostering knowledge transfer at the academia-practice interface, equipping public health researchers and practitioners with relevant skills for needs-based PHS research. By promoting collaborative training development across institutions, our approach encourages cross-institutional cooperation, enhances evidence utilization, and enables efficient resource allocation. This collaborative effort in developing training programs within local evidence ecosystems not only strengthens the scientific and practical impact but also lays a foundation for implementing complex public health measures effectively at the local level.

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