Main Article Content
Objectives: To explore and analyse factors that facilitate and inhibit the initiation and functioning of a national and transnational Community of Practice (CoP) for health policy and systems (HPS) and Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) in West Africa and to identify lessons for CoP interventions in similar multilingual low and middle-income contexts.
Design: A case study, with the case defined as processes, enablers and barriers to the initiation and functioning of a national and transnational CoP for HSP and RMNCAH in West Africa and drawing on a review and analysis of secondary data from the program, workshop, country team and project reports, and training sessions.
Setting: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Participants: Professionals from two Anglophone (Ghana and Sierra Leone) and four Francophone (Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger e Senegal) ECOWAS countries.
Interventions: Training and mentoring of multi-disciplinary country teams supported by small research grants to undertake formative evaluation and advocacy of priority HPS and RMNCAH issues; support for CoP development within and across country teams.
Results: The desire to learn from peers and mentors was a major enabler of the process. Human and financial resource availability, competing demands for time, communication in the context of a Francophone-Anglophone official lan-guage divide and the arrival of COVID-19 were all constraints.
Conclusions: This study highlights the processes, achievements, and challenges of establishing country-level and transnational CoPs in West Africa. CoPs require sustained human and financial resource investments, communication and medium-to-long-term implementation support for sustainability and impact.