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Publications

Filtering by Category: Policy processes

The Human Capital of Knowledge Brokers: An analysis of attributes, capacities and skills of academic teaching and research faculty at Kenyan schools of public health

Future Health Systems

Jessani N, Kennedy C and Bennett S (2016) The Human Capital of Knowledge Brokers: An analysis of attributes, capacities and skills of academic teaching and research faculty at Kenyan schools of public health, Health Research Policy and Systems, 14:58, doi:10.1186/s12961-016-0133-0

Academic faculty involved in public health teaching and research serve as the link and catalyst for knowledge synthesis and exchange, enabling the flow of information resources, and nurturing relations between ‘two distinct communities’ – researchers and policymakers – who would not otherwise have the opportunity to interact. Their role and their characteristics are of particular interest, therefore, in the health research, policy and practice arena, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. We investigated the individual attributes, capacities and skills of academic faculty identified as knowledge brokers (KBs) in schools of public health (SPH) in Kenya with a view to informing organisational policies around the recruitment, retention and development of faculty KBs.

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Enhancing evidence-informed decision making: strategies for engagement between public health faculty and policymakers in Kenya

Future Health Systems

Jessani N, Kennedy C and Bennett S (2016) Enhancing evidence-informed decision making: strategies for engagement between public health faculty and policymakers in Kenya, Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426416X14595114153349

Abstract

This article examines the complex interactions and strategies for engagement – both existing as well as desired – between academic Knowledge Brokers (KBs) and national health policymakers in Kenya. Based on semi-structured interviews with academic KBs and university leaders from six Schools of Public Health (SPHs) as well as national policymakers, the authors found that a delicate balance between leveraging personal individual relationships and establishing more sustained institutional partnerships is important for engagement. The authors provide a list of recommended strategies for effective and tailored engagement, and highlight the important but under-appreciated dual role of academic KBs within Kenyan universities.

Accelerating learning for pro-poor health markets

Future Health Systems

Given the rapid evolution of health markets, learning is key to promoting the identification and uptake of health market policies and practices that better serve the needs of the poor. However there are significant challenges to learning about health markets. We discuss the different forms that learning takes, from the development of codified scientific knowledge, through to experience-based learning, all in relationship to health markets.

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Institutional capacity for health systems research in East and Central African schools of public health: knowledge translation and effective communication

Future Health Systems

Local health systems research (HSR) provides policymakers and practitioners with contextual, evidence-based solutions to health problems. However, producers and users of HSR rarely understand the complexities of the context within which each operates, leading to the "know-do" gap. Universities are well placed to conduct knowledge translation (KT) integrating research production with uptake. The HEALTH Alliance Africa Hub, a consortium of seven schools of public health (SPHs) in East and Central Africa, was formed to build capacity in HSR. This paper presents information on the capacity of the various SPHs to conduct KT activities.

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Stakeholder Analysis for a Maternal and Newborn Health Project in Eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Based on the realization that Uganda is not on track to achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, Makerere University School of Public Health in collaboration with other partners proposed to conduct two community based maternal/newborn care interventions aimed at increasing access to health facility care through transport vouchers and use of community health workers to promote ideal family care practices. Prior to the implementation, a stakeholder analysis was undertaken to assess and map stakeholders’ interests, influence/power and position in relation to the interventions; their views regarding the success and sustainability; and how this research can influence policy formulation in the country.
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Better Guidance Is Welcome, but without Blinders

Future Health Systems

The three-paper series on guidance for evidence-informed decisions about health systems, published in PLoS Medicine, and produced by members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Task Force on Developing Health Systems Guidance, offers important contributions to improving the quality of evidence-informed decision-making in health systems [1]–[3]. We recognize the importance of engendering greater structure and systematization in processes that collate and evaluate evidence, and bring it to bear on policy. However, there are significant challenges in doing this for policies related to health systems, and we caution against the adoption of rigid approaches to the development of guidance and to the application of evidence to policy.
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Research Uptake: Getting Research into Use

Future Health Systems

In this short video, Jeff Knezovich, the Policy Influence and Research Uptake (PIRU) Manager for FHS, talks about getting development research into use and the importance of understanding the policy landscape around your research area. He outlines a simple approach that PIRU officers in each of the FHS countries undertook to develop our engagement strategies.
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Creating a public space and dialogue on sexuality and rights: a case study from Bangladesh

Future Health Systems

This article describes and analyses a research based engagement by a university school of public health in Bangladesh aimed at raising public debate on sexuality and rights and making issues such as discrimination more visible to policy makers and other key stakeholders in a challenging context.
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Strengthening the research to policy and practice interface: exploring strategies used by research organisations working on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS

Future Health Systems

The commentary describes the increasing interest from research and communication practitioners, policy makers and funders in expanding the impact of research on policy and practice. It notes the need for contextually embedded understanding of ways to engage multiple stakeholders in the politicized, sensitive and often contested arenas of sexual and reproductive health.
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Research translation to inform national health policies: learning from multiple perspectives in Uganda

Future Health Systems

Research and evidence can have an impact on policy and practice, resulting in positive outcomes. However, research translation is a complex, dynamic and non-linear process. Although universities in Africa play a major role in generating research evidence, their strategic approaches to influence health policies and decision making are weak. This study was conducted with the aim of understanding the process of translating research into policy in order to guide the strategic direction of Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) and similar institutions in their quest to influence health outcomes nationally and globally.
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National policy-makers speak out: are researchers giving them what they need?

Future Health Systems

The objective of this empirical study was to understand the perspectives and attitudes of policy-makers towards the use and impact of research in the health sector in low- and middle-income countries.
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Stakeholder analysis for health research: Case studies from low- and middle-income countries

Future Health Systems

Future Health Systems: Innovations for Equity (FHS) is working in six partner countries in Asia and Africa, focusing on strengthening the research–policy interface in relation to specific health system research projects. These projects present an opportunity to study the influence of stakeholders on research and policy processes.
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Exploring evidence-policy linkages in health research plans: A case study from six countries

Future Health Systems

Three key activities were undertaken by FHS during the initial phase of this five-year project. First, key considerations in strengthening evidence-policy linkages in health system research were developed by FHS researchers through workshops and electronic communications. Four key considerations in strengthening evidence-policy linkages are postulated: development context; research characteristics; decision-making processes; and stakeholder engagement. Second, these four considerations were applied to research proposals in each of the six countries to highlight features in the research plans that potentially strengthen the research-policy interface and opportunities for improvement. Finally, the utility of the approach for setting research priorities in health policy and systems research was reflected upon.
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