Thursday, May 24, 2012

[EQ] Embedding of research into decision-making processes

Embedding of research into decision-making processes

“………this paper concerns the uptake of research evidence in policy decisions for health. It examines both conceptual paradigms and country case studies from the perspective of six WHO building blocks: service delivery, health workforce, information, medical products, financing, and governance….”

Adam D Koon, Devaki Nambiar, Krishna D Rao

Background paper commissioned by the Alliance for Health Policy and

Systems Research to develop the WHO Health Systems Research Strategy – 2012

Available online PDF [27p.] at:

“…..This study represents a nascent attempt to understand the issue of research use in decision making from the perspective of embeddedness of research institutions in policy making. According to the network analysis literature, the degree of embeddedness of an organization refers to its structural position in an organizational network

The greater its embededness or centrality in an organizational network, the greater an institution’s connectivity with other organizations in the network. This enables embedded organizations to be more immersed in the flow of information and resources than non-central organizations. In this study, we applied this idea of embeddedness to the context of research institutions (and their research) and the uptake of evidence in decision making for health.

Our findings suggest that multiple forces converge to create context-specific pathways through which research enters into the policymaking environment. Depending on the policy under consideration, Ministries of Health may call upon an intricate combination of actors for sourcing evidence. While proximity to a decision making core does have advantages, it is not the position of the institution within the network, but rather, the qualities that institution possesses that enable it to be embedded.

Four factors were hypothesized to influence embeddedness
 - reputation,

- capacity,

- quality, and
- quantity of connections to decision makers. I
n addition to this, the policy environment was also expected to influence the uptake of research.

In the second phase of this study, we attempted to validate our conceptual model through qualitative research conducted with decision makers and researchers in seven countries. Through this process we garnered key insights about the creation of embedded research institutions, the processes by which ministries of health source research, qualities of embedded institutions, and features of the policy environment.

Decision Makers sourced evidence from research institutions in a variety of ways - leveraging personal networks, accessing peer reviewed publications, developing formal linkages with national statistics agencies, academic, or independent research institutions, or by assembling expert committees for a well-defined task….”

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Methods

2.1 Literature Review

2.2 Key-informant Interviews

3. Embeddedness & Health Research

3.1. Research Embeddedness through the lens of health systems building blocks

3.2 Conceptual framework for embeddedness in health research

3.3 Empirical examples of embeddedness in health research

4. Conclusion

Works Cited


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