Diffusion of evidence into public health policies and practice : investigating the black box

by Juliet Nabyonga

Institution: Université Catholique de Louvain
Department: Institut de recherche santé et société
Year: 2015
Keywords: Malaria treatment policy; User fees abolition; Evidence; Public health policies; Knowledge translation; Uganda
Record ID: 1077219
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2078.1/157290


Uptake of evidence in public health policy development, also referred to as knowledge translation (KT), is poorly understood, especially in low income countries. We sought to enhance our understanding of the diffusion of evidence into public health policies and practice in Uganda. A theory-driven enquiry was used with two Ugandan case study evaluations: the national malaria treatment policy change on the one hand, and the abolition of user fees in the public health care delivery system on the other. We found that there is no simple formula for improving evidence uptake, but a better understanding of facilitating factors and interactions of stakeholders can help researchers and policy actors improve KT. Facilitating factors identified in our study pertain to the characteristics of the available evidence, the strengthened capacity of the Ministry of Health to lead the KT process, the presence of KT partnerships, the feasibility of implementation of the proposed change, a favourable political context and evidence aligning with the overall government agenda. However, the nature of the issue may influence this uptake as evidence concerning non-contested technical issues tends to be taken up more easily than evidence pertaining to more controversial policy themes. (MED - Sciences médicales)  – UCL, 2015