The purpose of this paper is to explore health researchers’ involvement of policy or decision makers in knowledge translation activities in Malawi.
The case study collected quantitative through questionnaire from health researchers from the University of Malawi. The study used inferential statistics for the analysis of the quantitative data. Pearson χ2 test was used to establish the relationship between categorical data and determine whether any observed difference between the data sets arose by chance. The Kruskal–Wallis H test was used to determine if there were statistically significant differences between independent variable and dependent variables. Data has been presented in a form of tables showing means, standard deviation and p-values.
Health researchers sometimes involve policy or decision makers in government-sponsored meetings (M=2.5, SD=1.17). They rarely involve policy or decision makers in expert committee or group meetings (M=2.4, SD=1.20). Researchers rarely involve policy or decision makers in conferences and workshops (M=2.4, SD=1.31). Rarely do researchers involve policy or decision makers in formal private or public networks (M=2.4, SD=1.17). In events organised by the colleges researchers rarely involve policy or decision makers (M=2.3, SD=1.11); and rarely share weblinks with policy or decision makers (M=2.0, SD=1,17). On average, health researchers occasionally conduct deliberate dialogues with key health policy makers and other stakeholders (M=2.5, SD=1.12). The researchers rarely established and maintained long-term partnerships policy or decision makers (M=2.2, SD=1.20). They rarely involve policy or decision makers in the overall direction of the health research conducted by themselves or the Colleges (M=2.1, SD=1.24).
The study recommends that there should be deliberate efforts by health researchers and policy makers to formally engage each other. Individuals need technical skills, knowledge of the processes and structures for engaging with health research evidence to inform policy and decision making. At the institutional level, the use of research evidence should be embedded within support research engagement structures and linked persons.
Formal interactions in a form of expert meetings and technical working groups between researchers and policy makers can facilitate the use of health research evidence in policy formulation.
In terms of framework there is need to put in place formal interaction frameworks between health researchers and policy makers within the knowledge translation and exchange.
There is dearth of literature on the levels of involvement and interaction between health researchers and health policy or decision makers in health policy, systems and services research in Malawi. This study seeks to bridge the gap with empirical evidence.
The researcher wishes to acknowledge funding support from the University of Cape Town Incoming International Student Award.
Mapulanga, P., Raju, J. and Matingwina, T. (2019), "Health researchers and policy makers involvement in knowledge translation activities in Malawi", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 380-395. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-01-2019-0008
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