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  • 1. Bennett, Sara
    et al.
    Mahmood, Shehrin Shaila
    Edward, Anbrasi
    Tetui, Moses
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda.
    Ekirapa-Kiracho, Elizabeth
    Strengthening scaling up through learning from implementation: comparing experiences from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda2017Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 15, artikkel-id 108Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Many effective innovations and interventions are never effectively scaled up. Implementation research (IR) has the promise of supporting scale-up through enabling rapid learning about the intervention and its fit with the context in which it is implemented. We integrate conceptual frameworks addressing different dimensions of scaling up (specifically, the attributes of the service or innovation being scaled, the actors involved, the context, and the scale-up strategy) and questions commonly addressed by IR (concerning acceptability, appropriateness, adoption, feasibility, fidelity to original design, implementation costs, coverage and sustainability) to explore how IR can support scale-up.

    Methods: We draw upon three IR studies conducted by Future Health Systems (FHS) in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda. We reviewed project documents from the period 2011-2016 to identify information related, to the dimensions of scaling up. Further, for each country, we developed rich descriptions of how the research teams approached scaling up, and how IR contributed to scale-up. The rich descriptions were checked by FHS research teams. We identified common patterns and. differences across the three cases.

    Results: The three cases planned quite different innovations/interventions and had very different types of scale-up strategies. In all three cases, the research teams had extensive prior experience within the study communities, and. little explicit attention was paid, to contextual factors. All three cases involved complex interactions between the research teams and other stakeholders, among stakeholders, and between stakeholders and the intervention. The IR planned by the research teams focussed primarily on feasibility and effectiveness, but in practice, the research teams also had critical insights into other factors such as sustainability, acceptability, cost-effectiveness and appropriateness. Stakeholder analyses and other project management tools further complemented IR.

    Conclusions: IR can provide significant insights into how best to scale-up a particular intervention. To take advantage of insights from IR, scale-up strategies require flexibility and IR must also be sufficiently flexible to respond to new emerging questions. While commonly used conceptual frameworks for scale-up clearly delineate actors, such as implementers, target communities and the support team, in our experience, IR blurred the links between these groups.

  • 2. Byskov, Jens
    et al.
    Bloch, Paul
    Blystad, Astrid
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och folkhälsovetenskap.
    Fylkesnes, Knut
    Kamuzora, Peter
    Kombe, Yeri
    Kvåle, Gunnar
    Marchal, Bruno
    Martin, Douglas K
    Michelo, Charles
    Ndawi, Benedict
    Ngulube, Thabale J
    Nyamongo, Isaac
    Olsen, Oystein E
    Onyango-Ouma, Washington
    Sandøy, Ingvild F
    Shayo, Elizabeth H
    Silwamba, Gavin
    Songstad, Nils Gunnar
    Tuba, Mary
    Accountable priority setting for trust in health systems: the need for research into a new approach for strengthening sustainable health action in developing countries2009Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 7, s. 23-Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite multiple efforts to strengthen health systems in low and middle income countries, intended sustainable improvements in health outcomes have not been shown. To date most priority setting initiatives in health systems have mainly focused on technical approaches involving information derived from burden of disease statistics, cost effectiveness analysis, and published clinical trials. However, priority setting involves value-laden choices and these technical approaches do not equip decision-makers to address a broader range of relevant values - such as trust, equity, accountability and fairness - that are of concern to other partners and, not least, the populations concerned. A new focus for priority setting is needed. Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) is an explicit ethical framework for legitimate and fair priority setting that provides guidance for decision-makers who must identify and consider the full range of relevant values. AFR consists of four conditions: i) relevance to the local setting, decided by agreed criteria; ii) publicizing priority-setting decisions and the reasons behind them; iii) the establishment of revisions/appeal mechanisms for challenging and revising decisions; iv) the provision of leadership to ensure that the first three conditions are met. REACT - "REsponse to ACcountable priority setting for Trust in health systems" is an EU-funded five-year intervention study started in 2006, which is testing the application and effects of the AFR approach in one district each in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The objectives of REACT are to describe and evaluate district-level priority setting, to develop and implement improvement strategies guided by AFR and to measure their effect on quality, equity and trust indicators. Effects are monitored within selected disease and programme interventions and services and within human resources and health systems management. Qualitative and quantitative methods are being applied in an action research framework to examine the potential of AFR to support sustainable improvements to health systems performance. This paper reports on the project design and progress and argues that there is a high need for research into legitimate and fair priority setting to improve the knowledge base for achieving sustainable improvements in health outcomes.

  • 3. Byskov, Jens
    et al.
    Marchal, Bruno
    Maluka, Stephen
    Zulu, Joseph M
    Bukachi, Salome A.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Blystad, Astrid
    Kamuzora, Peter
    Michelo, Charles
    Nyandieka, Lillian N
    Ndawi, Benedict
    Bloch, Paul
    Olsen, Oystein E
    The accountability for reasonableness approach to guide priority setting in health systems within limited resources: findings from action research at district level in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia2014Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 12, artikkel-id 49Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Priority-setting decisions are based on an important, but not sufficient set of values and thus lead to disagreement on priorities. Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) is an ethics-based approach to a legitimate and fair priority-setting process that builds upon four conditions: relevance, publicity, appeals, and enforcement, which facilitate agreement on priority-setting decisions and gain support for their implementation. This paper focuses on the assessment of AFR within the project REsponse to ACcountable priority setting for Trust in health systems (REACT). Methods: This intervention study applied an action research methodology to assess implementation of AFR in one district in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, respectively. The assessments focused on selected disease, program, and managerial areas. An implementing action research team of core health team members and supporting researchers was formed to implement, and continually assess and improve the application of the four conditions. Researchers evaluated the intervention using qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods. Results: The values underlying the AFR approach were in all three districts well-aligned with general values expressed by both service providers and community representatives. There was some variation in the interpretations and actual use of the AFR in the decision-making processes in the three districts, and its effect ranged from an increase in awareness of the importance of fairness to a broadened engagement of health team members and other stakeholders in priority setting and other decision-making processes. Conclusions: District stakeholders were able to take greater charge of closing the gap between nationally set planning and the local realities and demands of the served communities within the limited resources at hand. This study thus indicates that the operationalization of the four broadly defined and linked conditions is both possible and seems to be responding to an actual demand. This provides arguments for the continued application and further assessment of the potential of AFR in supporting priority-setting and other decision-making processes in health systems to achieve better agreed and more sustainable health improvements linked to a mutual democratic learning with potential wider implications.

  • 4.
    Gaitonde, Rakhal
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin. Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India.
    Muraleedharan, V. R.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Accountability in the health system of Tamil Nadu, India: exploring its multiple meanings2019Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 17, artikkel-id 44Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Accountability is increasingly being demanded of public services and is a core aspect of most recent frameworks of health system strengthening. Community-based accountability is an increasingly used strategy, and wasa core aspect of India's flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM; 2005-2014). Research on policy implementation has called for policy analysts to go beyond the superficial articulation of a particular policy intervention to study the underlying meaning this has for policy-makers and other actors of the implementation process and to the way in which problems sought to be addressed by the policy have been identified and problematised'.

    Methods: This research, focused on state level officials and health NGO leaders, explores the meanings attached to the concept of accountability among a number of key actors during the implementation of the NRHM in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The overall research was guided by an interpretive approach to policy analysis and the problematisation lens. Through in-depth interviews we draw on the interviewees' perspectives on accountability.

    Results: The research identifies three distinct perspectives on accountability among the key actors involved in the implementation of the NRHM. One perspective views accountability as the achievement of pre-set targets, the other as efficiency in achieving these targets, and the final one as a transformative process that equalises power differentials between communities and the public health system. We also present the ways in which these differences in perspectives are associated with different programme designs.

    Conclusions: This research underlines the importance of going beyond the statements of policy to exploring the underlying beliefs and perspectives in order to more comprehensively understand the dynamics of policy implementation; it further points to the impacts of these perspectives on the design of initiatives in response to the policy.

  • 5.
    Hitimana, Regis
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Mogren, Ingrid
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi.
    Krantz, Gunilla
    Nzayirambaho, Manasse
    Semasaka Sengoma, Jean Paul
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, Obstetrik och gynekologi. School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda.
    Pulkki-Brännström, Anni-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Incremental cost and health gains of the 2016 WHO antenatal care recommendations for Rwanda: results from expert elicitation2019Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 17, artikkel-id 36Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: High-quality evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness is rarely available and relevant for health policy decisions in low-resource settings. In such situations, innovative approaches are needed to generate locally relevant evidence. This study aims to inform decision-making on antenatal care (ANC) recommendations in Rwanda by estimating the incremental cost-effectiveness of the recent (2016) WHO antenatal care recommendations compared to current practice in Rwanda.

    METHODS: Two health outcome scenarios (optimistic, pessimistic) in terms of expected maternal and perinatal mortality reduction were constructed using expert elicitation with gynaecologists/obstetricians currently practicing in Rwanda. Three costing scenarios were constructed from the societal perspective over a 1-year period. The two main inputs to the cost analyses were a Monte Carlo simulation of the distribution of ANC attendance for a hypothetical cohort of 373,679 women and unit cost estimation of the new recommendations using data from a recent primary costing study of current ANC practice in Rwanda. Results were reported in 2015 USD and compared with the 2015 Rwandan per-capita gross domestic product (US$ 697).

    RESULTS: Incremental health gains were estimated as 162,509 life-years saved (LYS) in the optimistic scenario and 65,366 LYS in the pessimistic scenario. Incremental cost ranged between $5.8 and $11 million (an increase of 42% and 79%, respectively, compared to current practice) across the costing scenarios. In the optimistic outcome scenario, incremental cost per LYS ranged between $36 (for low ANC attendance) and $67 (high ANC attendance), while in the pessimistic outcome scenario, it ranged between $90 (low ANC attendance) and $168 (high ANC attendance) per LYS. Incremental cost effectiveness was below the GDP-based thresholds in all six scenarios.

    DISCUSSION: Implementing the new WHO ANC recommendations in Rwanda would likely be very cost-effective; however, the additional resource requirements are substantial. This study demonstrates how expert elicitation combined with other data can provide an affordable source of locally relevant evidence for health policy decisions in low-resource settings.

  • 6.
    Nyström, Monica E
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet.
    Karltun, J
    Keller, C
    Andersson Gäre, B
    Collaborative and partnership research for improvement of health and social services: researcher's experiences from 20 projects2018Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 16, artikkel-id 46Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Getting research into policy and practice in healthcare is a recognised, world-wide concern. As an attempt to bridge the gap between research and practice, research funders are requesting more interdisciplinary and collaborative research, while actual experiences of such processes have been less studied. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to gain more knowledge on the interdisciplinary, collaborative and partnership research process by investigating researchers' experiences of and approaches to the process, based on their participation in an inventive national research programme. The programme aimed to boost collaborative and partnership research and build learning structures, while improving ways to lead, manage and develop practices in Swedish health and social services.

    METHODS: Interviews conducted with project leaders and/or lead researchers and documentation from 20 projects were analysed using directed and conventional content analysis.

    RESULTS: Collaborative approaches were achieved by design, e.g. action research, or by involving practitioners from several levels of the healthcare system in various parts of the research process. The use of dual roles as researcher/clinician or practitioner/PhD student or the use of education designed especially for practitioners or 'student researchers' were other approaches. The collaborative process constituted the area for the main lessons learned as well as the main problems. Difficulties concerned handling complexity and conflicts between different expectations and demands in the practitioner's and researcher's contexts, and dealing with human resource issues and group interactions when forming collaborative and interdisciplinary research teams. The handling of such challenges required time, resources, knowledge, interactive learning and skilled project management.

    CONCLUSIONS: Collaborative approaches are important in the study of complex phenomena. Results from this study show that allocated time, arenas for interactions and skills in project management and communication are needed during research collaboration to ensure support and build trust and understanding with involved practitioners at several levels in the healthcare system. For researchers, dealing with this complexity takes time and energy from the scientific process. For practitioners, this puts demands on understanding a research process and how it fits with on-going organisational agendas and activities and allocating time. Some of the identified factors may be overlooked by funders and involved stakeholders when designing, performing and evaluating interdisciplinary, collaborative and partnership research.

  • 7. Odoch, Walter Denis
    et al.
    Kabali, Kenneth
    Ankunda, Racheal
    Zulu, Joseph Mumba
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 50110, Lusaka, Zambia.
    Tetui, Moses
    Introduction of male circumcision for HIV prevention in Uganda: analysis of the policy process2015Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 13, artikkel-id 31Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Health policy analysis is important for all health policies especially in fields with ever changing evidence-based interventions such as HIV prevention. However, there are few published reports of health policy analysis in sub-Saharan Africa in this field. This study explored the policy process of the introduction of male circumcision (MC) for HIV prevention in Uganda in order to inform the development processes of similar health policies. Methodology: Desk review of relevant documents was conducted between March and May 2012. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Conceptual frameworks that demonstrate the interrelationship within the policy development processes and influence of actors in the policy development processes guided the analysis. Results: Following the introduction of MC on the national policy agenda in 2007, negotiation and policy formulation preceded its communication and implementation. Policy proponents included academic researchers in the early 2000s and development partners around 2007. Favourable contextual factors that supported the development of the policy included the rising HIV prevalence, adoption of MC for HIV prevention in other sub-Saharan African countries, and expertise on MC. Additionally, the networking capability of proponents facilitated the change in position of non-supportive or neutral actors. Non-supportive and neutral actors in the initial stages of the policy development process included the Ministry of Health, traditional and Muslim leaders, and the Republican President. Using political authority, legitimacy, and charisma, actors who opposed the policy tried to block the policy development process. Researchers' initial disregard of the Ministry of Health in the research process of MC and the missing civil society advocacy arm contributed to delays in the policy development process. Conclusions: This study underscores the importance of securing top political leadership as well as key implementing partners' support in policy development processes. Equally important is the appreciation of the various forms of actors' power and how such power shapes the policy agenda, development process, and content.

  • 8. Paina, Ligia
    et al.
    Wilkinson, Annie
    Tetui, Moses
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management, Makerere University School of Public Health, New Mulago Hospital Complex, Kampala, Uganda.
    Ekirapa-Kiracho, Elizabeth
    Barman, Debjani
    Ahmed, Tanvir
    Mahmood, Shehrin Shaila
    Bloom, Gerry
    Knezovich, Jeff
    George, Asha
    Bennett, Sara
    Using Theories of Change to inform implementation of health systems research and innovation: experiences of Future Health Systems consortium partners in Bangladesh, India and Uganda2017Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 15, artikkel-id 109Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The Theory of Change (ToC) is a management and evaluation too ! supporting critical thinking in the design, implementation and evaluation of development programmes. We document the experience of Future Health Systems (FHS) Consortium research teams in Bangladesh, India and Uganda with using ToC. We seek to understand how and why ToCs were applied and to clarify how they facilitate the implementation of iterative intervention designs and stakeholder engagement in health systems research and strengthening.

    Methods: This paper combines literature on ToC, with a summary of reflections by FHS research members on the motivation, development, revision and use of the ToC, as well as on the benefits and challenges of the process. We describe three FHS teams' experiences along four potential uses of ToCs, namely planning, communication, learning and. accountability.

    Results: The three teams developed ToCs for planning and. evaluation purposes as required for their initial plans for FHS in 2011 and. revised, them half-way through the project, based on assumptions informed, by and adjusted, through the teams' experiences during the previous 2 years of implementation. All teams found that the revised ToCs and their accompanying narratives recognised greater feedback among intervention components and among key stakeholders. The ToC development and. revision fostered, channels for both internal and external communication, among research team members and. with key stakeholders, respectively. The process of revising the ToCs challenged the teams' initial assumptions based on new evidence and experience. In contrast, the ToCs were only minimally used for accountability purposes.

    Conclusions: The ToC development and revision process helped FHS research teams, and occasionally key local stakeholders, to reflect on and make their assumptions and mental models about their respective interventions explicit. Other projects using the ToC should allow time for revising and reflecting upon the ToCs, to recognise and document the adaptive nature of health systems, and to foster the time, space and flexibility that health systems strengthening programmes must have to learn from implementation and stakeholder engagement.

  • 9.
    Reveiz, Ludovic
    et al.
    National University of Colombia.
    Tellez, Diana R
    National University of Colombia.
    Castillo, Juan S
    National University of Colombia.
    Mosquera Mendez, Paola
    Torres, Marcela
    National University of Colombia.
    Cuervo, Luis G
    World Health Organization.
    Cardona, Andres F
    National University of Colombia.
    Pardo, Rodrigo
    National University of Colombia.
    Prioritization strategies in clinical practice guidelines development: a pilot study2010Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 8, artikkel-id 7Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: Few methodological studies address the prioritization of clinical topics for the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs). The aim of this study was to validate a methodology for Priority Determination of Topics (PDT) of CPGs.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: Firstly, we developed an instrument for PDT with 41 criteria that were grouped under 10 domains, based on a comprehensive systematic search. Secondly, we performed a survey of stakeholders involved in CPGs development, and end users of guidelines, using the instrument. Thirdly, a pilot testing of the PDT procedure was performed in order to choose 10 guideline topics among 34 proposed projects; using a multi-criteria analysis approach, we validated a mechanism that followed five stages: determination of the composition of groups, item/domain scoring, weights determination, quality of the information used to support judgments, and finally, topic selection. Participants first scored the importance of each domain, after which four different weighting procedures were calculated (including the survey results). The process of weighting was determined by correlating the data between them. We also reported the quality of evidence used for PDT. Finally, we provided a qualitative analysis of the process. The main domains used to support judgement, having higher quality scores and weightings, were feasibility, disease burden, implementation and information needs. Other important domains such as user preferences, adverse events, potential for health promotion, social effects, and economic impact had lower relevance for clinicians. Criteria for prioritization were mainly judged through professional experience, while good quality information was only used in 15% of cases.

    CONCLUSION: The main advantages of the proposed methodology are supported by the use of a systematic approach to identify, score and weight guideline topics selection, limiting or exposing the influence of personal biases. However, the methodology was complex and included a number of quantitative and qualitative approaches reflecting the difficulties of the prioritization process.

  • 10.
    Tetui, Moses
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), Makerere University, New Mulago Complex, Kampala, Uganda.
    Coe, Anna-Britt
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Bennett, Sara
    Kiwanuka, Suzanne N.
    George, Asha
    Kiracho, Elizabeth Ekirapa
    A participatory action research approach to strengthening health managers' capacity at district level in Eastern Uganda2017Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 15, artikkel-id 110Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Many approaches to improving health managers' capacity in poor countries, particularly those pursued by external agencies, employ non-participatory approaches and often seek to circumvent (rather than strengthen) weak public management structures. This limits opportunities for strengthening local health managers' capacity, improving resource utilisation and enhancing service delivery. This study explored the contribution of a participatory action research approach to strengthening health managers' capacity in Eastern Uganda.

    Methods: This was a qualitative study that used open-ended key informant interviews, combined with review of meeting minutes and observations to collect data. Both inductive and deductive thematic analysis was undertaken. The Competing Values Framework of organisational management functions guided the deductive process of analysis and the interpretation of the findings. The framework builds on four earlier models of management and regards them as complementary rather than conflicting, and identifies four managers' capacities (collaborate, create, compete and control) by categorising them along two axes, one contrasting flexibility versus control and the other internal versus external organisational focus.

    Results: The findings indicate that the participatory action research approach enhanced health managers' capacity to collaborate with others, be creative, attain goals and review progress. The enablers included expanded interaction spaces, encouragement of flexibility, empowerment of local managers, and the promotion of reflection and accountability. Tension and conflict across different management functions was apparent; for example, while there was a need to collaborate, maintaining control over processes was also needed. These tensions meant that managers needed to learn to simultaneously draw upon and use different capacities as reflected by the Competing Values Framework in order to maximise their effectiveness.

    Conclusions: Improved health manager capacity is essential if sustained improvements in health outcomes in low-income countries are to be attained. The expansion of interaction spaces, encouragement of flexibility, empowerment of local managers, and the promotion of reflection and accountability were the key means by which participatory action research strengthened health managers' capacity. The participatory approach to implementation therefore created opportunities to strengthen health managers' capacity.

  • 11.
    Tetui, Moses
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Makerere University College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health (MakCHS-SPH), Kampala, Uganda.
    Zulu, Joseph Mumba
    School of Public Health, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Ekirapa-Kiracho, Elizabeth
    Makerere University College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health (MakCHS-SPH), Kampala, Uganda.
    Kiwanuka, Suzanne N.
    Makerere University College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health (MakCHS-SPH), Kampala, Uganda.
    Coe, Anna-Britt
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen.
    Elements for harnessing participatory action research to strengthen health managers’ capacity: a critical interpretative synthesis2018Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 16, artikkel-id 33Artikkel, forskningsoversikt (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Health managers play a key role in ensuring that health services are responsive to the needs of the population. Participatory action research (PAR) is one of the approaches that have been used to strengthen managers’ capacity. However, collated knowledge on elements for harnessing PAR to strengthen managers’ capacity is missing. This paper bridges this gap by reviewing existing literature on the subject matter.

    Methods: A critical interpretive synthesis method was used to interrogate eight selected articles. These articles reported the use of PAR to strengthen health managers’ capacity. The critical interpretive synthesis method’s approach to analysis guided the synthesis. Here, the authors interpretively made connections and linkages between different elements identified in the literature. Finally, the Atun et al. (Heal Pol Plann, 25:104–111, 2010) framework on integration was used to model the elements synthesised in the literature into five main domains.

    Results: Five elements with intricate bi-directional interactions were identified in the literature reviewed. These included a shared purpose, skilled facilitation and psychological safety, activity integration into organisational procedures, organisational support, and external supportive monitoring. A shared purpose of the managers’ capacity strengthening initiative created commitment and motivation to learn. This purpose was built upon a set of facilitation skills that included promoting participation, self-efficacy and reflection, thereby creating a safe psychological space within which the managers interacted and learnt from each other and their actions. Additionally, an integrated intervention strengthened local capacity and harnessed organisational support for learning. Finally, supportive monitoring from external partners, such as researchers, ensured quality, building of local capacity and professional safety networks essential for continued learning.

    Conclusions: The five elements identified in this synthesis provide a basis upon which the use of PAR can be harnessed, not only to strengthen health managers’ capacity, but also to foster other health systems strengthening initiatives involving implementation research. In addition, the findings demonstrated the intricate and complex relations between the elements, which further affirms the need for a systems thinking approach to tackling health systems challenges.

  • 12.
    Uzochukwu, Benjamin
    et al.
    Enugu, Nigeria.
    Mbachu, Chinyere
    Enugu, Nigeria.
    Onwujekwe, Obinna
    Enugu, Nigeria.
    Okwuosa, Chinenye
    Enugu, Nigeria.
    Etiaba, Enyi
    Enugu, Nigeria.
    Nyström, Monica E.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Gilson, Lucy
    Cape Town, South Africa; London, UK.
    Health policy and systems research and analysis in Nigeria: examining health policymakers' and researchers' capacity assets, needs and perspectives in south-east Nigeria.2016Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 14, artikkel-id 13Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR+A) has been noted as central to health systems strengthening, yet the capacity for HPSR+A is limited in low- and middle-income countries. Building the capacity of African institutions, rather than relying on training provided in northern countries, is a more sustainable way of building the field in the continent. Recognising that there is insufficient information on African capacity to produce and use HPSR+A to inform interventions in capacity development, the Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (2011-2015) conducted a study with the aim to assess the capacity needs of its African partner institutions, including Nigeria, for HPSR+A. This paper provides new knowledge on health policy and systems research assets and needs of different stakeholders, and their perspectives on HPSR+A in Nigeria.

    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Enugu state, south-east Nigeria. It involved reviews and content analysis of relevant documents and interviews with organizations' academic staff, policymakers and HPSR+A practitioners. The College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus (COMUNEC), was used as the case study and the HPSR+A capacity needs were assessed at the individual, unit and organizational levels. The HPSR+A capacity needs of the policy and research networks were also assessed.

    RESULTS: For academicians, lack of awareness of the HPSR+A field and funding were identified as barriers to strengthening HPSR+A in Nigeria. Policymakers were not aware of the availability of research findings that could inform the policies they make nor where they could find them; they also appeared unwilling to go through the rigors of reading extensive research reports.

    CONCLUSION: There is a growing interest in HPSR+A as well as a demand for its teaching and, indeed, opportunities for building the field through research and teaching abound. However, there is a need to incorporate HPSR+A teaching and research at an early stage in student training. The need for capacity building for HPSR+A and teaching includes capacity building for human resources, provision and availability of academic materials and skills development on HPSR+A as well as for teaching. Suggested development concerns course accreditation, development of short courses, development and inclusion of HPSR+A teaching and research-specific training modules in school curricula for young researchers, training of young researchers and improving competence of existing researchers. Finally, we could leverage on existing administrative and financial governance mechanisms when establishing HPSR+A field building initiatives, including staff and organizational capacity developments and course development in HPSR+A.

  • 13.
    Zulu, Joseph Mumba
    et al.
    Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia .
    Kinsman, John
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Michelo, Charles
    Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia .
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Developing the national community health assistant strategy in Zambia: a policy analysis2013Inngår i: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 11, s. 24-Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: In 2010, the Ministry of Health in Zambia developed the National Community Health Assistant strategy, aiming to integrate community health workers (CHWs) into national health plans by creating a new group of workers, called community health assistants (CHAs). The aim of the paper is to analyse the CHA policy development process and the factors that influenced its evolution and content. A policy analysis approach was used to analyse the policy reform process.

    METHODOLOGY: Data were gathered through review of documents, participant observation and key informant interviews with CHA strategic team members in Lusaka district, and senior officials at the district level in Kapiri Mposhi district where some CHAs have been deployed.

    RESULTS: The strategy was developed in order to address the human resources for health shortage and the challenges facing the community-based health workforce in Zambia. However, some actors within the strategic team were more influential than others in informing the policy agenda, determining the process, and shaping the content. These actors negotiated with professional/statutory bodies and health unions on the need to develop the new cadre which resulted in compromises that enabled the policy process to move forward. International agencies also indirectly influenced the course as well as the content of the strategy. Some actors classified the process as both insufficiently consultative and rushed. Due to limited consultation, it was suggested that the policy content did not adequately address key policy content issues such as management of staff attrition, general professional development, and progression matters. Analysis of the process also showed that the strategy might create a new group of workers whose mandate is unclear to the existing group of health workers.

    CONCLUSIONS: This paper highlights the complex nature of policy-making processes for integrating CHWs into the health system. It reiterates the need for recognising the fact that actors' power or position in the political hierarchy may, more than their knowledge and understanding of the issue, play a disproportionate role in shaping the process as well as content of health policy reform.

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