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Evidence-informed country level policy making (10)

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In one country I was involved in a donor funded project that was designed precisely to encourage decision makers to use evidence in making policies on public health issues, particularly mother and child health. Donor project gathered all available research and evaluation data reports in a CD. They provided that CD to all relevant officials. In addition urged professional columnists to highlight the issues in news media, and by organizing monthly meetings. In other words this was the utmost effort anyone could make to persuade health officials to use evidence for policy and decision making. Unfortunately, the effort ended up showing too many flaws in government policies and apathy. Too little funds were allocated to health sector and too many children were dying from preventable causes. Government did not like the embarrassing initiative and the project was shut down within 3-4 months.

Moral of the story: an innovation is not likely to be welcomed on intrinsic value. There are other pre-requisites. You can succeed in your intervention if its application is likely to improve government's image. Meanwhile, try your interventions with NGOs.

Date of HIFA message: 
Thursday, February 25, 2016
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Author Name: 
Javed S Ahmad
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HIFA profile: Javed S Ahmad is a self-employed Health Communication Consultant based in the USA, and retired from the ILO a specialised agency of the United Nations. Professional interests: Health communication, promotion, behavior change communication, programming, evaluation and research.    javedsahmad AT

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