The of national health programmes in the

The process of evidence-informed policy-making aims to ensure that key decisions affecting populations are informed by robust data and the best available evidence. There is increasing research on knowledge translation approaches and interventions but there are limited studies examining the process of policy-making, and how research feeds into this process, in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The objective of this comprehensive study is to explore policy-making processes in the health sector, and across normative and empirical domains, in three selected Portuguese-speaking African countries: Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. In particular, the study will aim to understand the development and establishment of national health programmes and strategies, and examine to what degree policy development and public programme management in the selected countries is evidence informed. To this end, the dissertation will be composed by four main studies: 1) an analysis of public policy outcomes (e.g., legislation, strategies, recommendations, guidelines) as part of national health programmes in the selected countries; 2) a study aimed at understanding the range of evidence assessed as part of national policy development, and exploring context specific knowledge translation mechanisms using the Knowledge-to-Action cycle and the framework developed by Lavis et al. (2006) to assess country-level efforts to link research into action; 3) a set of knowledge translation best practices and recommendations on how to reduce the evidence-policy gap in the selected countries; and, 4) given the importance of networking in knowledge translation, a fourth study will specifically describe and explore the role of social networks in the health policy-making processes of these countries. Data for these studies will be collected through a desk review of government documents; as well as in-depth interviews and focus groups with a range of research and policy stakeholders to explore policy determinants (e.g, commitment, leadership, networking, strategic planning). A thematic analysis of the data will then be undertaken using an iterative approach. The overall study is expected to provide decision-makers and other relevant stakeholders with an improved understanding of the health policy process in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. By analysing dynamics of national policy processes in the present context it is expected that those involved in various levels of policy and research will be able to further investigate existing and proposed health policies, as well as institutional and governance settings in these countries.References:Lavis, J. N., Lomas, J., Hamid, M., & Sewankambo, N. K. (2006). Assessing country-level efforts to link research to action. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84 (8), 620-628.