Evidence-informed policymaking in practice: Country-level examples of use of evidence for iCCM policy

Daniela C. Rodríguez, Jessica Shearer, Alda R.E. Mariano, Pamela A. Juma, Sarah L. Dalglish, Sara Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Integrated Community Case Management of Childhood Illness (iCCM) is a policy for providing treatment for malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia for children below 5 years at the community level, which is generating increasing evidence and support at the global level. As countries move to adopt iCCM, it becomes important to understand how this growing evidence base is viewed and used by national stakeholders. This article explores whether, how and why evidence influenced policy formulation for iCCM in Niger, Kenya and Mozambique, and uses Carol Weiss' models of research utilization to further explain the use of evidence in these contexts. A documentary review and in-depth stakeholder interviews were conducted as part of retrospective case studies in each study country. Findings indicate that all three countries used national monitoring data to identify the issue of children dying in the community prior to reaching health facilities, whereas international research evidence was used to identify policy options. Nevertheless, policymakers greatly valued local evidence and pilot projects proved critical in advancing iCCM. World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) functioned as knowledge brokers, bringing research evidence and experiences from other countries to the attention of local policymakers as well as sponsoring site visits and meetings. In terms of country-specific findings, Niger demonstrated both Interactive and Political models of research utilization by using iCCM to capitalize on the existing health infrastructure. Both Mozambique and Kenya exhibit Problem-Solving research utilization with different outcomes. Furthermore, the persistent quest for additional evidence suggests a Tactical use of research in Kenya. Results presented here indicate that while evidence from research studies and other contexts can be critical to policy development, local evidence is often needed to answer key policymaker questions. In the end, evidence may not be enough to overcome resistance if the policy is viewed as incompatible with national goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ii36-ii45
JournalHealth policy and planning
Volume30
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • Case management
  • Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • child health
  • evidence-based policy
  • policy analysis
  • sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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