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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 227-236

Lessons learned from strategies for promotion of evidence-to-policy process in health interventions in the ECOWAS region: A rapid review

1 Department of Health Policy/Systems, African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems, Ebonyi State University, CAS Campus, Abakaliki, Nigeria
2 Department of Public Health and Research, West African Health Organisation, 175, Avenue Ouezzin Coulibaly, Bobo Dioulasso 01 01 BP 153, Burkina Faso

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Chigozie Jesse Uneke
African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems, Ebonyi State University, CAS Campus, Abakaliki, PMB 053
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_188_20

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Context: The West African Health Organization (WAHO) is vigorously supporting evidence-informed policymaking (EIPM) in the countries of West Africa. EIPM is increasingly recognized as one of the key strategies that can contribute to health systems strengthening and the improvement of health outcomes. The purpose of this rapid review is to examine two key examples of evidence-based strategies used to successfully implement health interventions in each of the West African countries and to highlight the lessons learned. Methods: A rapid review technique, defined as a type of knowledge synthesis in which systematic review processes are accelerated and methods are streamlined to complete the review more quickly, was used. A PubMed search was conducted using the combination of the following keywords: Health, policy making, evidence, plus name of each of the 15 countries to identify studies that described the process of use of evidence in policymaking in health interventions. Two examples of the publications that fulfilled the study inclusion criteria were selected. Results: Among the key processes used by the countries to promote EIPM in health interventions include policy cycle mechanism and political prioritization, rapid response services, technical advisory group and steering committees (SCs), policy dialog, capacity-strengthening mechanisms, local context evidence and operational guidelines, multisectoral action and consultative process.Conclusion: Various degrees of success have been achieved in by West African countries in the promotion of EIPM. As the science of EIPM continues to evolve and better understanding of the process is gained among policymakers, more studies on effective strategies to improve the evidence-to-policy process are advocated.

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