• olivia bierman
  • Tanja Kuchenmuller
  • Ulysses Paniset
  • Mark Leys

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to better understand facilitators’ perceived role and influence on a policy dialogue’s (PD) process and impact. PDs enable interactions between policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders – one of the factors associated with promoting evidence-informed policy making. Design/methodology/approach: This is an exploratory study based on semi-structured interviews with ten key informants from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North and South America. Participants were purposefully sampled based on their experience in facilitating or observing PDs organized by the WHO’s Evidence-informed Policy Network. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative method. Findings: A successful PD relies on a structured process used to catalyze impact. Facilitators contribute to a successful PD through their facilitation skills, for example, helping to get to an informed judgment; knowledge, for example, about the health system; attitudes, for example, valuing the PD process over its outcomes; and personal attributes, for example, credibility. Facilitators’ involvement in preparatory and follow-up actions are equally paramount for a PD’s success. Challenges in implementing PDs can be prevented/attenuated, for example, through stakeholder analysis to identify suitable PD participants, and anticipate power constellations or potential conflicts. Research limitations/implications: Research should focus on the overall process of a PD – especially on preparation and follow-up activities and their influence on a PD’s success. Originality/value: Informed by harnessing practical experiences, this paper outlines facilitators’ skills, attributes, attitudes, knowledge and how these can be used to influence a PD’s success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-133
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Governance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Evidence-based practice, Governance structures, Health policy, Leadership, Public health, Training

ID: 37908222