Developing the National Knowledge Platform in India: A policy and institutional analysis

Veena Sriram, Sara Bennett, V. R. Raman, Kabir Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The importance of strong engagement between researchers and decision-makers in the improvement of health systems is increasingly being recognised in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2013, in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare began exploring the formation of a National Knowledge Platform (NKP) for guiding and supporting public health and health systems research in the country. The development of the NKP represents an important opportunity to enhance the linkage between policy-makers and researchers from the health policy and systems research field in India. However, the development process also reflects the highly complex reality of policy-making in the Indian health sector. Our objective is to provide insight into the policy-making process for establishing a health sector knowledge platform in India, and in doing so, to analyse the enabling contextual factors, the interests and actions of stakeholders, and the varying institutional arrangements explored in the development of the NKP. Methods: We used a qualitative case study methodology, conducting 16 in-depth interviews and reviewing 42 documents. We utilised General Thematic Analysis to analyse our data. Our research team combined perspectives from both outsiders (independent researchers with no prior or current involvement with the policy) and insiders (researchers involved in the policy-making process). Results: We found that enabling contextual factors, and a combination of government and non-governmental stakeholders with core interests in public health and health systems, were able to gain considerable momentum in moving the idea for the NKP forward. However, complex evidence-to-policy processes in the Indian health sector resulted in complications in determining the right institutional arrangement for the platform. Establishing the appropriate balance between legitimacy and independence, as well as frequent changes in institutional leadership, were found to be additional issues that stakeholders contended with in building the NKP. Conclusion: As interest in platforms linking health sector policy-makers and researchers grows in LMICs, our findings may allow stakeholders to learn from the Indian experience thus far, and to anticipate some of the facilitators and barriers that could potentially arise in establishing such mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalHealth Research Policy and Systems
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2018

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Policy Making
India
Research Personnel
Health
Health Policy
Administrative Personnel
Causality
Public Health
Research
Illegitimacy
Family Health
Interviews

Keywords

  • Evidence-to-policy
  • Health policy analysis
  • India
  • Knowledge translation
  • Knowledge translation platforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Cite this

Developing the National Knowledge Platform in India : A policy and institutional analysis. / Sriram, Veena; Bennett, Sara; Raman, V. R.; Sheikh, Kabir.

In: Health Research Policy and Systems, Vol. 16, No. 1, 13, 20.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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