• Description

We examined factors that either enabled or inhibited the process of evidence-based decision making regarding health policy in Ghana. We conducted qualitative interviews with 2 major groups of stakeholders: health policy and systems research producers (research producers [RPs]) and policy makers (PMs). In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 RPs, who were representatives from 11 health policy and systems research institutions; and 12 PMs working in various national health-related agencies, ministries, and departments. We analyzed the data using the thematic analysis approach. Interview results showed 5 recurring themes in their discussion of enablers and inhibitors of the evidence-to-policy process: (1) the quality, relevance, and quantity of available research evidence; (2) how findings are communicated to PMs; (3) the strength of relationships between RPs and PMs; (4) available structures that promote evidence-based policy making; and (5) the political context in which research and policy making occurs. These findings point to some specific areas for further collaboration and communication among Ghanaian stakeholders to ensure that appropriate health policies are developed from an evidence base.

“You Can’t Look at an Orange and Draw a Banana”: Using Research Evidence to Develop Relevant Health Policy in Ghana