Exploring actors roles in formulation of the human resources for health policy in Nigeria
BACKGROUND: Most policies in Nigeria are deliberate choices based on political mechanism, oversight, and lack of appropriate information. However in recent times there has been a global shift towards evidence based policy making. Thus Actors' views on evidence and their role in policy development appear critical to the use of evidence.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine how actors' perception, roles and levels of power influenced Human Resources for Health policy development in Nigeria.
METHOD: The research was conducted using a case study approach. Systematic reviews of relevant policy documents and reports, in-depth interviews of twelve respondents comprising government policymakers, academia, civil society organizations, health-workers and development partners were done. Interviews were analysed using NVivo 10 software for qualitative analysis.
FINDINGS: Most respondents perceived evidence to be factual and concrete to support a given decision. The government policymakers wielded a high level of power and spearheaded the policy process. Development partners were major decision makers because they had financial and technical power. Civil society groups had the power of advocacy and generated evidence. The academia had medium power level of power and also generated evidence.
CONCLUSION: The actors' with the highest level of power greatly influenced policy use and type of evidence used in formulating the Human Resources for Health policy. Stakeholders with coercive, financial or group power influenced the type of evidence finally used in formulating the Human Resources for Health policy.
KEY WORDS: Human Resource for Health; Health policy making; Role of actors in policy making