Health Research Policy and Systems covers all aspects of the organisation and use of health research – including agenda setting, building health research capacity, and how research as a whole benefits decision makers, practitioners in health and related fields, and society at large.
The supplement 'People and research: improved health systems for West Africans, by West Africans' presents findings from a series of research and capacity development projects in West Africa funded by the International Development Research Centre's Maternal and Child Health programme (formerly Governance for Equity in Health Systems).
The widespread impact reported for some multi-project programmes, including needs-led and collaborative ones, could potentially be used to promote further research funding. Moves towards greater standardisation of assessment methods could address existing inconsistencies and better inform strategic decisions about research investment.
Paul Cairney and Kathryn Oliver conclude that successful engagement in ‘evidence-based policymaking’ requires pragmatism, combining scientific evidence with governance principles, and persuasion to translate complex evidence into simple stories.
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