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Examining The Importance Of ‘Practical Knowledge’ In Global Health

Noting World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the World Knowledge Forum last month “spoke of the need to ‘lay the foundations for a new field that will collect and distribute practical knowledge that countries can use to get delivery right in their unique contexts,'” Wolfgang Munar, a senior program officer in the Family Health Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Larry Prusak, an adviser on knowledge networks for the Foundation, examine in the organization’s “Impatient Optimists” blog why “[p]ractical knowledge is a topic worth exploring and better understanding for business, governments and philanthropies.” According to the authors, “the global health community faces the challenge to better understand, foster, and share practical, implementation knowledge that can, in turn, improve people’s lives” (11/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.