The purpose of this paper is to better understand facilitators’ perceived role and influence on a policy dialogue’s (PD) process and impact. PDs enable interactions between policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders – one of the factors associated with promoting evidence-informed policy making.
This is an exploratory study based on semi-structured interviews with ten key informants from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North and South America. Participants were purposefully sampled based on their experience in facilitating or observing PDs organized by the WHO’s Evidence-informed Policy Network. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative method.
A successful PD relies on a structured process used to catalyze impact. Facilitators contribute to a successful PD through their facilitation skills, for example, helping to get to an informed judgment; knowledge, for example, about the health system; attitudes, for example, valuing the PD process over its outcomes; and personal attributes, for example, credibility. Facilitators’ involvement in preparatory and follow-up actions are equally paramount for a PD’s success. Challenges in implementing PDs can be prevented/attenuated, for example, through stakeholder analysis to identify suitable PD participants, and anticipate power constellations or potential conflicts.
Research should focus on the overall process of a PD – especially on preparation and follow-up activities and their influence on a PD’s success.
Informed by harnessing practical experiences, this paper outlines facilitators’ skills, attributes, attitudes, knowledge and how these can be used to influence a PD’s success.
The first author was a consultant of the WHO at the time of the study. The second author is a staff member of the WHO. The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this publication, and they do not necessarily represent the views, decisions or policies of the WHO.
Biermann, O., Kuchenmüller, T., Panisset, U. and Leys, M. (2018), "Policy dialogues: facilitators’ perceived role and influence", International Journal of Health Governance, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 120-133. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHG-12-2017-0063Download as .RIS
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