An assessment of policymakers’ engagement initiatives to promote evidence informed health policy making in Nigeria
In most developing countries including Nigeria, one of the most challenging issues associated with evidence-to-policy link is the capacity constraints of policymakers to access, synthesize, adapt and utilize available research evidence. The purpose of this review is to assess the efforts and various initiatives that have been undertaken to deliberately engage policymakers and other stakeholders in the health sector in Nigeria for the promotion of evidence informed policymaking. A MEDLINE Entrez Pubmed search was performed and studies that investigated policy making process, evidence to policy link, research to policy mechanism, and researchers/policymakers interaction in Nigeria in relation to health policy were sought. Of the 132 publications found, 14 (10.6%) fulfilled the study inclusion criteria and were selected and included in the review. Of the fourteen scientific publications identified, 11 of the studies targeted both researchers and policymakers and the principal tool of intervention was training workshops which focused on various aspects of evidence informed policymaking. All the studies indicated positive outcomes and impacts in relation to quantifiable improvement in policymakers' knowledge and competence in evidence to policy process. Capacity strengthening engagement mechanism is needed for both researchers to generate better evidence and for policymakers and health-care professionals to better use available evidence.
Keywords: Policymakers, evidence informed, health policy, Nigeria