The challenges of bridging the
gap between researchers and
policy makers: experiences of
getting research into policy
and ...
Presentation outline
• Introduction
• Aim of the study
• Who are we in HPRG?
• Methodology
• Results
• Enabling Factors
• ...
Introduction
• Getting research into policy and practice (GRIPP) is a
process of going from research evidence to decisions...
Aim of the study
To investigate different experiences of the
Health Policy Research Group (HPRG) in
seeking to ‘do’ GRIPP,...
Who are we in HPRG?
• A multi-disciplinary group based in the College of
Medicine of the University of Nigeria, Enugu-camp...
Methodology
• IDIs with purposively selected 9 stakeholders/policy makers
in various organizations who had been involved i...
The studies and projects were categorised
into 2 broad strategies
GRIPP strategies for researcher-initiated empirical rese...
Results: HPRG GRIPP MODEL
GRIPP
Model 1: Policy
makers and
stakeholders
seeking
evidence from
researchers
Model 2:
Involvi...
Model 1: Policy makers and stakeholders seeking
evidence from researchers.
Stakeholders request for evidence to support th...
Model 2: Involving stakeholders in designing objectives of
research and throughout the research period
• Objectives are se...
Model 2: Examples
• Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative
strategies for the deployment of ACTs at ...
Model 3: Facilitating policy maker-researcher
engagement in best ways of using research findings to
influence policy and p...
Model 3
• An evaluation at the end of the project showed that many respondents
reported improvements in the uptake of rese...
Model 3
• “Well, I think one thing that was critical
was the area where we drew up next steps
and all the relevant stakeho...
Model 4: Active dissemination of research
findings to relevant stakeholders and
policy makers
Examples:
• Community Based ...
Model 4: Mode of dissemination of the results
• Production of policy briefs and distribution to
policy makers and programm...
Model 4
Evidence exists for the use of the findings to
inform policy change
“The results of the assessment of the Communit...
Enablers
• Willingness of policy makers to use research findings EVEN if
they go against their expectations Or against cur...
Enablers…2
• Relationship & Trust
– Close and long relationship between the HPRG researchers and
policy makers particularl...
Challenges
• Capacity to use HPSR – in terms of
– decision-makers demand for and uptake of HPSR;
– their research uptake s...
Challenges…2
• Managing the political process of GRIPP
– The challenge of researchers making themselves available to
parti...
Conclusions
• GRIPP is necessary if improved policy decisions are to be
adopted especially within the context of UHC.
• Re...
Consortium for Health Policy and Systems
Analysis in Africa (CHEPSAA)
University of Dar Es Salaam
Institute of Development...
ACKNOWLEGEMENT: FACES OF CHEPSAA
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Bridging the gap between researchers and policy makers: GRIPP in Nigeria

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Bridging the gap between researchers and policy makers: GRIPP in Nigeria

  1. 1. The challenges of bridging the gap between researchers and policy makers: experiences of getting research into policy and practice in Nigeria. Benjamin Uzochukwu, Obinna Onwujekwe, Enyi Etiaba, Chinyere Mbachu, Chinenye Okwuosa, Monica Nystrom, Lucy Gilson 3rd AfHEA International Scientific Conference Nairobi, 11-13 March 2014
  2. 2. Presentation outline • Introduction • Aim of the study • Who are we in HPRG? • Methodology • Results • Enabling Factors • Challenges • Conclusion
  3. 3. Introduction • Getting research into policy and practice (GRIPP) is a process of going from research evidence to decisions. • The integration of research findings into policy and communicating research findings to Nigerian policy makers is a key challenge. • The wider literature focussed on projects because so much of the thinking is linked to donor-funded individual projects. • How as African organisations do we seek to engage policy makers over time and across projects and experiences, and sometimes in collaboration with others? • What are the experiences of being an African HPSR group trying to influence one’s domestic policy makers?
  4. 4. Aim of the study To investigate different experiences of the Health Policy Research Group (HPRG) in seeking to ‘do’ GRIPP, the important features and challenges of the process and possibly come up with a contextual model for GRIPP in Nigeria and SSA.
  5. 5. Who are we in HPRG? • A multi-disciplinary group based in the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria, Enugu-campus. • Dedicated to conduct of public health, health system and policy research to inform policies. • Has established regular and wide-ranging communication and information with policy makers in Nigeria and is involved in various capacity building programmes for local policy makers, CSOs and members of the academia. • Has increased the levels of accredited research outputs and publications. • A member of several international health policy and system consortia: CREHS, RESYST, CHEPSAA & EVAL-HEALTH.
  6. 6. Methodology • IDIs with purposively selected 9 stakeholders/policy makers in various organizations who had been involved in one or other of the HPRG studies/projects and 6 researchers. We explored: • their understanding and experience about the methods and process used by HPRG to generate research questions and research results; • their involvement in the process and whether the methods were effective and how, in relation to influencing policy and practice; • whether they or their organization were involved in executing and analysing the research and whether this affected the uptake of study results by their organization; • factors that influenced the uptake of the study results.
  7. 7. The studies and projects were categorised into 2 broad strategies GRIPP strategies for researcher-initiated empirical research studies • CBHI Scheme in Anambra state, Nigeria: an analysis of policy development, implementation and equity effects. • An assessment of policy development and implementation process of District Health System in Enugu state, Nigeria. • Cost effectiveness analysis and WTP for competing diagnostic strategies for malaria in Nigeria. • Examining the links between accountability, trust and performance in health service delivery in Tanzania and Nigeria. Projects directly addressing GRIPP itself • Establishment of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems for the Anambra Malaria Control Booster Project (MCBP). • The PREVIEW ( Policy Research EVIdence for Effective Working of the Nigerian health systems) project- Concept and implementation.
  8. 8. Results: HPRG GRIPP MODEL GRIPP Model 1: Policy makers and stakeholders seeking evidence from researchers Model 2: Involving stakeholders in designing objectives of research and throughout the research period Model 3: Facilitating policy maker- researcher engagement in best ways of using research findings to influence policy and practice Model 4: Active dissemination of research findings to relevant stakeholders and policy makers
  9. 9. Model 1: Policy makers and stakeholders seeking evidence from researchers. Stakeholders request for evidence to support the use of certain strategies or scale up health interventions. • E.g. “Willingness to pay and benefit-cost analysis of modern contraceptives in Nigeria” – HPRG approached by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) to conduct this study in order to generate evidence for policy evaluation. • E.g. Examining appropriate diagnosis and treatment of malaria: availability and use of RDTs and ACTs in public and private health facilities in south east Nigeria – HPRG was approached by SMOH. • Different types of decision-makers, so is externally funded work the same as domestically commissioned work – in terms of potential to influence domestic decision-making? Getting research into policy and practice depends on the results
  10. 10. Model 2: Involving stakeholders in designing objectives of research and throughout the research period • Objectives are set together and research carried out together. – “ In most of those researches, officers of the State Ministry of Health of the two States were involved in every stage of research study starting with generating of research questions to presentation of research findings” • Several workshops and briefing meetings are held with them before, during and after the study. • The active collaboration and participation by the stakeholders facilitated the dissemination and acceptability of the results. – “Myself and some members of the project were involved in the research process and it was effective.” – “We organized workshops, conferences and validation meetings, so that the findings are generally discussed, and once they are adopted, it’s as good as going to play a key role in that policy formulation……..immediately that result was disseminated, we had a radical change in the malaria control unit ”
  11. 11. Model 2: Examples • Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative strategies for the deployment of ACTs at community level in Enugu state, southeast Nigeria • Establishment of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems for the Anambra Malaria Control Booster Project (MCBP)- the staff of the Anambra state ministry and the MCBP were embedded in this study. – An open call to which HPRG responded with other consultants? – It took into account stakeholders’ needs and capacities and defined formats for standard reports and used the data generated to make technical and strategic improvements in the project and provided capacity to end users to use data for decision-making
  12. 12. Model 3: Facilitating policy maker-researcher engagement in best ways of using research findings to influence policy and practice E.g. The PREVIEW Project- research-policy engagement • The goal of this project was to enhance institutional capacity among senior and middle level health managers within FMOH & SMOH to use research evidence to influence policy making and improve programme effectiveness using Lagos State as pilot. • Involved workshops for middle and senior-level policy-makers; a training manual was developed for this purpose; 2 policy retreats including policy dialogue • Policy makers got to know what research evidence exists in their State • Researchers presented their work and had the opportunity to interact with the policy makers
  13. 13. Model 3 • An evaluation at the end of the project showed that many respondents reported improvements in the uptake of research evidence in policy and practices in their work places. “It was an eye opener and we have used what we learnt to improve practice in the area of childhood immunization, malaria control and non communicable disease control” “We are now making decisions based on the findings such as with the maternal mortality reduction programmes and policy reviews based on research evidence” “We have formed the Policy maker-Researcher committee domiciled in the State Ministry of Health with representatives from tertiary institutions and research institutes, commissioning research” • Repository of research evidence in the ministry
  14. 14. Model 3 • “Well, I think one thing that was critical was the area where we drew up next steps and all the relevant stakeholders were there, including those that do research and policy makers…… to ensure that programmes are evidence- based and guided by research that was identified”
  15. 15. Model 4: Active dissemination of research findings to relevant stakeholders and policy makers Examples: • Community Based Health Insurance Scheme in Anambra state, Nigeria: an analysis of policy development, implementation and equity effects. • An assessment of policy development and implementation process of District Health System in Enugu state, Nigeria. • Cost effectiveness analysis and willingness to pay for competing diagnostic strategies for malaria in Nigeria. • Examining the links between accountability, trust and performance in health service delivery in Nigeria
  16. 16. Model 4: Mode of dissemination of the results • Production of policy briefs and distribution to policy makers and programme managers • Stakeholders’ workshops including commissioners of health, permanent secretaries, directors of public health, heads of line ministries, representatives of civil society organisations and sometimes the traditional rulers of the research communities • One-on-one discussion of results and advocacy with policy makers and programme managers • Conference presentations of findings
  17. 17. Model 4 Evidence exists for the use of the findings to inform policy change “The results of the assessment of the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme was very helpful while we were expanding to other communities” “The result of the willingness to pay study helped us when we were rolling out RDTs”
  18. 18. Enablers • Willingness of policy makers to use research findings EVEN if they go against their expectations Or against current policy “the willingness of the users to use the research findings and that is why it’s important to enter into a form of commitment agreement that whatever the findings will be that you will make use of them.” • Credibility of both the research findings and the researchers can and do influence GRIPP. “through a long standing cordial relationship with the HPRG, we have found them to be credible and hence feel comfortable using their research findings to impact policy and practice”
  19. 19. Enablers…2 • Relationship & Trust – Close and long relationship between the HPRG researchers and policy makers particularly in Anambra and Enugu States facilitated GRIPP • Building of networks • International agendas drive domestic policy making. But what is implication for researchers? -Trying to link research to international agendas? – “Yeah. there was this international agenda of the MDGs, you know the Free MCH services actually is targeting the women and children addressing MDG 3 & 4…… and once that policy was formulated because it has an international component, the government was interested in it and that was why it sailed faster than any other policy we have ever formulated in this state”
  20. 20. Challenges • Capacity to use HPSR – in terms of – decision-makers demand for and uptake of HPSR; – their research uptake skills and its practical implications for evidence-based policy making • Communication gap between researchers, donors and policy makers “There is also a communication problem between the donors and the researchers because the donors want a particular thing to be researched which might not be the crux of the problem”
  21. 21. Challenges…2 • Managing the political process of GRIPP – The challenge of researchers making themselves available to participate in policy processes on top of all other work – Powerful influence of politicians – Role of other stakeholders • Lack of willingness of some policy makers to use research. – This is greatly influenced by the political context within country and not always easy to change “I think the biggest problem is the resistance to change. This is because, we will do some surveys and you try to tell people that this is what we found in this survey and people will say no, no, this is how we have been doing it.”
  22. 22. Conclusions • GRIPP is necessary if improved policy decisions are to be adopted especially within the context of UHC. • Requires a deep understanding of how to interact with policy makers, what information they require and in what form and with whom to establish interactions. • Necessary to educate decision makers and practitioners about the relevance of evidence produced. • Develop context specific strategies explaining how the findings can be utilized in practice. • Interpersonal relationship and trust is a good way of strengthening the relationship between the researcher, policy makers and the practitioners. • Country HPSR groups can influence domestic policy makers if appropriate strategies are employed.
  23. 23. Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (CHEPSAA) University of Dar Es Salaam Institute of Development Studies University of Witwatersrand Centre for Health Policy University of Ghana School of Public Health Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management University of Leeds Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development University of Nigeria Enugu Health Policy Research Group & the Department of Health Administration and Management London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Health Economics and Systems Analysis Group, Depart of Global Health & Dev. Great Lakes University of Kisumu Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development Karolinska Institutet Health Systems and Policy Group, Department of Public Health Sciences University of Cape Town Health Policy and Systems Programme, Health Economics Unit Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute Health Systems Research Group University of the Western Cape School of Public Health http://www.hpsa-africa.org/
  24. 24. ACKNOWLEGEMENT: FACES OF CHEPSAA

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