LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

Research evidence and policy: qualitative study in selected provinces in South Africa and Cameroon

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Naude, Celeste E, Zani, Babalwa, Ongolo-Zogo, Pierre, Wiysonge, Charles S, Dudley, Lillian, Kredo, Tamara, Garner, Paul ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0607-6941 and Young, Taryn (2015) 'Research evidence and policy: qualitative study in selected provinces in South Africa and Cameroon'. Implementation Science, Vol 10, Issue 126.

[img]
Preview
Text
Impl_Sci_10_126_Research evidence and policy.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (676kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background
The translation of research into policy and practice is enhanced by policymakers who can recognise and articulate their information needs and researchers that understand the policymakers’ environment. As researchers, we sought to understand the policymaking process and how research evidence may contribute in South Africa and Cameroon.

Methods
We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews in South Africa and focus group discussions in Cameroon with purposively sampled subnational (provincial and regional) government health programme managers. Audio recorded interviews were transcribed, thematically coded and analysed.

Results
Participants in both countries described the complex, often lengthy nature of policymaking processes, which often include back-and-forth consultations with many diverse stakeholder groups. These processes may be influenced by political structures, relationships between national and subnational levels, funding and international stakeholder agendas. Research is not a main driver of policy, but rather current contextual realities, costs, logistics and people (clinicians, NGOs, funders) influence the policy, and research plays a part. Research evidence is frequently perceived as unavailable, inaccessible, ill-timed or not applicable. The reliability of research on the internet was questioned. Evidence-informed health decision-making (EIDM) is regarded as necessary in South Africa but is less well understood in Cameroon. Insufficient time and capacity were hindrances to EIDM in both countries. Good relationships between researchers and policymakers may facilitate EIDM. Researchers should have a good understanding of the policymaking environment if they want to influence it. Greater interaction between policymakers and researchers is perceived as beneficial when formulating research and policy questions as it raises researchers’ awareness of implementation challenges and enables the design of tailored and focused strategies to respond to policymakers’ needs.

Conclusions
Policymaking is complicated, lengthy and mostly done at national level. Provinces/regions are tasked with implementation, with more room for adaptation in South Africa than in Cameroon. Research evidence plays a role in policy but does not drive it and is seen as mostly unavailable. Researchers need a thorough understanding of the policy process and environment, how the health system operates, as well as the priorities of policymakers. This can inform effective dialogue between researchers and policymakers, and contribute to enhancing use of research evidence in decision-making.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 540 National and state health administration
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 546 Local Health Administration. Community Health Services
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-015-0315-0
Depositing User: Jessica Jones
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2016 16:32
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:11
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5560

Statistics

View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item