Policy BUDDIES – BUilding Demand for evidence in Decision making through Interaction and Enhancing Skills
Policy BUDDIES is a collaborative project including the Centre for Evidence based Health Care (CEBHC and Health systems and services research unit at Stellenbosch University, the South African Cochrane Centre (SACC), the Centre for the Development of Best Practices in Health (Cameroon) and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The collaborations draw on partners experience in working in the area of knowledge translation. The project is being conducted in South Africa and Cameroon.
The project consists of 5 phases (Figure) and commenced with a situational analysis which informed subsequent phases. The situational analysis aimed to understand policymakers’ capacity, as well as enablers and constraints related to demanding evidence during policy formulation and implementation, and to map existing communication between policymakers, research intermediaries and researchers. Health programme managers and programme coordinators in programmes related to MDGs 4, 5 and 6 at provincial level in Cameroon and South Africa were purposively selected and interviewed.
One of the aspects which emerged is the need for capacity development in evidence informed policy making and the use of systematic reviews. We drew on experiences in offering similar workshops as part of the Effective Health Care Research Consortium and the SUPPORT Collaboration and offered workshops in both Cameroon and South Africa in January 2014 and November 2013 respectively.
We are currently implementing the buddy model linking researchers and policymakers to work together towards promoting evidence-informed policy making.
Sharing project activities at international and national conferences:
- Young T. Leadership development to enhance evidence-informed decision-making. 8th Global Health Conference on Promotion. Health in all policies. 10-14 June 2013, Helsinki, Finland (invited oral presentation)
- Young T, Zani B, Dudley L, Ongolo-Zogo P, Naude C,Garner P. Policy Buddies: baseline assessment of the institutional capacity for evidence informed decisions in provincial health departments in South Africa. 20th International Cochrane Colloquium, Quebec, Canada. 19-23 September 2013 (oral presentation)
- Young T, Zani B, Dudley L, Ongolo-Zogo P, Naude C,Garner P. Policy BUDDIES: baseline assessment of capacity for evidence informed decisions in Provincial Health Departments in South Africa. Public Health Association of South Africa conference, September 2013 (oral presentation).
- SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP)
- Implementation Research in Health – A Practical Guide (Pdf)
- Support Summaries is a database of structured summaries of the best and most relevant evidence from systematic reviews of health system interventions relevant to low-and middle-income countries.
This project is supported by the Alliance for Health Policy and System Research, World Health Organization.