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Table 3 Group reflections on building the field of HPSR+A in COMUNEC and its policy and research networks in Nigeria

From: Health policy and systems research and analysis in Nigeria: examining health policymakers’ and researchers’ capacity assets, needs and perspectives in south-east Nigeria

Group of participant Vision for HPSR+A and contribution to the vision Who should be part of the field – possible networks and benefits Key competencies needed
Researchers Improved visibility, more representation and involvement of different fields, harmonization of stakeholders to ensure uptake of research findings, a formalized structure for HPSR+A, get all stakeholders involved in setting priority needs Everybody is part of the network – university staff, staff in State Ministry of Health (SMOH), other health staff, other researchers from other institutes, donor agencies, beneficiaries, people from other fields with different expertise Advocacy and communication skills (workshop, publications, etc.), research methodology skills, GRIPP skills, management skills, teaching/training skills
HPSR+A researchers will drive the vision and setting up of the policy and strategic plan, share experiences of networking, be involved in training of other researchers and policymakers This will bring in different perspectives, improve ownership and community participation, make for better adoption and priority setting and uptake
Leaders in COMUNEC A well-defined structure with a clear policy document, establish an office that will have a full-time employed research administrator (clearly defined roles – scouting for calls, publicizing calls, etc.) and budget for running the office must be available/provided by the college; harmonization of different research groups Entire research team; networking with other research groups within and without the institution and country – important for capacity building Expertise in the field, research interest/orientation, mentorship, computer literacy, workshop facilitation and training
Teachers of HPSA Well-articulated HPSR+A structure with identification of areas of need in HPSR+A; a clear budget line for research within the institution that is managed by the directorate for research and policy Whoever is willing and interested; networks with the university, development partners (e.g. WHO), donor agencies, professional groups (Nigeria Health Economics Association, African Health Economics and Policy Association, International Health Economics Association, etc.) There is a need to sensitize policymakers on the need to use evidence for policy, and through dissemination of research findings  
Bureaucrats and other policymakers Contribute by developing research policy, implementation plan and budget, proper coordination and framework; ensure active participation; establish a researcher-policymaker network and machinery for sustainability; facilitate funding; carry out research gap analysis SMOH, HPRG, Universities, development partners, private research organizations and private health practitioners; all tiers of government HPSR+A research design, proposal writing and dissemination, data management packages, sourcing interpretation and utilization of research findings
Development partners and funders A robust evidence-based research network that can generate and communicate research findings and ideas to provide evidence for planning, decision making, monitoring and evaluation of health system interventions Development partners, Ministry of Health (all tiers), university community/researchers, private sector, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, media Analytical skills for policy analysis, negotiation skills, ICT skills, communication skills (presentation skills), training, technical skills
Develop a research engine – i.e. a coordinating body to champion HPSR+A, with lobby groups that will cut across all groups of people and a robust research network that goes beyond COMUNEC Networks should be developed to
o build a synergy among similar groups
o knowledge management
o resource mobilization and sharing
o build capacity and confidence
o provide robust and accessible database